Network Storage for the Home with the D-Link DNS-323
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A few weeks ago I took a look at the Netgear offering to the home network attached storage market; the product worked, but had obvious flaws. In this article, I'm going to be taking a look at the D-Link DNS-323. This is another network attached storage device, also aimed at home and small business users. So how will D-Link compare to Netgear? Read on to find out.
The box contains the following items:
DNS-323 Network Storage Enclosure
The documentation, manual and drivers CD
The power adapter
A cable clip
A CAT5 Ethernet cable
The drive enclosure looks very nice with a kind of two-tone matte and brushed effect black aluminum design. It feels heavy, solid and well constructed, and manages to come across a little less toaster-like than the SC101. Two non-stick rubber strips run the length of the device on the base to prevent any slipping or sliding on almost any surface.
The front panel features a drive activity light for each of its two drive bays as well as the network activity light and the power button. All of the lights are blue, which looks great and contrasts well with the black and silver front panel. The power button flashes rapidly when the device is initially switched on to indicate that it is booting up, and dims when in low-power mode.
The rear panel houses the Gigabit Ethernet port, the power receptacle (as the manual describes it) and a USB socket with which to attach a printer to the integrated print server. There is also a socket for the cable clip to be attached to if you want to use it, as well as two drive release levers. These are a useful addition as the hard drives slide right into the device and leave no purchase with which to extract them. The internal fan can also be seen from the rear.
Physically connecting it all up is really straightforward and takes very little time. The front plate slides off easily, but doesn't feel incredibly secure when locked; it seems like it could easily come off if knocked. This is the only part of the device that doesn't feel completely solid and secure. When adding drives there are no IDE cables to connect; they just slot right in with no hassle and no fuss. Unlike the front plate, these are secure, and require the appropriate lever to be pulled to release them.
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