I have been waiting for the 2TB NAS prices to drop for a while, but now as the hard drive factories in Thailand are flooded I decided to invest in a backup drive before the prices rise again. I had high expectations and initially had a look at products from several different vendors. In the end I went with Lacie Network Space Max due to its fair price and consumer-oriented brand name.
Setting up the NAS wasn’t quite as simple as I would have wished for. I started by installing the software that came on the cd, but the assistant tool is just plain useless. It just couldn’t find the drive on the network. The main issue is that the guide book expects your router to be upnp compatible. If not you are left to fend for your self. Unfortunately finnish telcos don’t supply compatible ADSL modems. Most people are bound to have a hard time with the setup.
The thing is troubleshooting network problems takes quite a while. Initially I thought I just had not had the network cable properly connected or with connection. I moved the drive closer to the Telewell router and used a shorter cable. I figured I should give or couple of the first DHCP addresses a try on my browser. With this educated guess I was able to get access to the admin page and at least figured the drive itself is working. In the end the break-through came when I assigned the modem ports to routed instead of the default bridged mode.
I managed to map the drive share manually (net use \\ip address\OpenShare) and take backups of most of the important data. Unfortunately I had to move the files around quite a bit. One thing I have noticed is that the response times are affected by any data intensive operations. The hardware feels especially sluggish since there is very little feedback on the status of different operations. Only thing that gives away that something is happening is the noise that the drive makes. I upgraded the firmware and now I don’t know how to initiate the automatic file downloads from camera or USB drives anymore.
All in all I would give the drive 7/10. I expect the mirrored drive to keep our precious home media safe and generally it is pretty quiet. If I didn’t have a master’s degree in telecoms I think I would have gotten totally frustrated during the setup process. Consequently I really can’t promote the product to somebody with limited computing experience. The media features are really useful and I will write another post on integrating with Samsung 7 series televisions.