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Friday, October 02, 2009

Personal NAS: D-Link's DNS-323 is a Winner

After my Galaxy MGB Raid Pro case died a few months ago, I really needed another personal solution for a network attached solution for my home network. With 2 Dell PCs, a Dell Server, and a Mac Mini, there is a lot of data that needs to be shared between devices -- and properly backed up. Please nevermind the fact that the number of desktop computers out number the total household 2:1 and if you add in the laptops and PS3s, it's worse.

Still, a reliable backup soltuion was required, and preferably one that was also compatible with the Apple Macintosh. The Galaxy unit really struggled with any sort of Mac connectivity via SMB, and forget about using Time Machine, even with hacks on it on Snow Leopard, OS X version 10.6. I was left with a modified process where I backed up my Mac Mini to my Windows 2008 server and from my Windows 2008 server copied everything to the NAS. Not really the greenest solution, wasting energy, disk space, and time.

Without any sort of NAS device, I was considering what to do when I happened to be stumbly through the aisles of Fry's Electronics...which can be dangerous for any geek, especially me. I ended up by the storage devices and the D-Link DNS-323 jumped out at me...it was only $149! I double checked only at Amazon.com and it was still $157 there. I had to buy it.

The D-Link DNS-323 is a great personal NAS device that is a big winner in my book, especially when compared with similar products like the Galaxy MGB Raid Pro

And let me tell you, thus far it has been a night and day difference from that old Galaxy MGB Raid Pro NAS.

First off, setup was pretty easy...just pulled out the 1TB Hard Drives from my Galaxy and dropped them in the quick release slots on the DNS-323 and I was in business. It was also nice not to have to screw everything in, saving me about 10 minutes. The only bummer is that even though you can use the same EXT2 format with the D-Link NAS, you cannot just drop the drives in and go. Unfortuantely, the entire drives needed to be reformatted.

Not a huge loss given the data was all backup and not source data. Just costs a little extra time and energy.

A couple of additional benefits so far:

1. The NAS device is yet to lock up; even when copying 100,000 files or more. That was a frequent issue with the Galaxy device that in the midst of a large copy, it would just freeze up.

2. Network throughput is much higher than the Galaxy. I'm touching much higher rates, peaking at 30M+ in some cases. I could never get the Galaxy much about 15M -- even using the same cables and both supposedly supported gigabit ethernet.

3. Ability to backup your Apple Macintosh directly to the NAS device. While you can configure (learn how to here) the Mac's Time Machine to backup to a network with a minor hack, I could not get it to work with the Galaxy NAS. No problems what so ever with the DNS-323.

4. The D-Link NAS is pretty quiet, especially the fan. Noticeable audible difference in terms of producing less noise.


So far, in my book the D-Link DNS-323 is a winner if you need a basic JBOD or backup configuration at a reasonable price for your home or small business network. The easiest place to pick one up? The D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure is only $148 bucks now at Aamzon. Just click here to pick one up.

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