Patriot Gauntlet Node Wi-Fi Storage Enclosure Review

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Installation & Setup

Installing a drive in the Gauntlet Node is quick and easy. All you’ll need is a small Phillips head screwdriver; remove four screws from the back of the Node and slide the cover off. After you install four other screws and rubber spacers into the 2.5-inch drive you’re using, simply connect the SATA cable and lay the drive inside the chassis.


Then, replace the first four screws and cover the holes with the little plastic feet that are included in the box and you’re done. (Patriot threw in two extra screws in case you have butterfingers and lose a couple during the installation process.)


Unfortunately, setting up and configuring the Gauntlet Node is not quite as easy. If you were hoping for a one-touch-and-you’re-connected sort of wireless device here, tough luck.

Once your drive is installed in the Node, you may need to connect the unit to your PC via USB and format your drive. Patriot instructs you to use the NTFS format, although we discovered that at least in one case a FAT32-formatted drive did the trick.

With a properly formatted drive, you can add whatever files you like, and when you’re done, unplug the USB cable and press the WiFi button on the side of the Gauntlet Node to create a hotspot.



Next, use your wireless device of choice to connect to the Gauntlet Node just as you would any hotspot. (Yes, this will kick you off of any other network you’re currently using.) Then, you can open the Node’s Web-based configuration GUI, called “Gauntlet Connect”, by entering “10.10.10.254” into a Web browser. Once logged in to the Node, you can adjust the device’s settings and enable the Internet pass through functionality by using the interface to locate and log in to your existing wireless network.



Gauntlet Connect has four sections: Status, Setup, Network, and Security. The Status area is the default page, and it shows you system information such as the server host name, the Gauntlet Node’s current firmware version, the time and date, and network information. Under the Setup area, you can adjust most of the aforementioned features, including upgrading the firmware, and you can click “Network Connection” and then select your preferred wireless network to reconnect your device or computer to the Internet.



You can adjust the Gauntlet Node’s SSID and account username and password under Network, and all the wireless security settings are available in the Security area.



After you’ve made your choices in Gauntlet Connect, you may still not be ready to access files on the Node. In some cases, you’ll have to manually mount the Node to your network. In Windows, you have to click the Windows button and enter “\\10.10.10.254” in the Search Programs and Files text area and then enter the Gautlet Node’s username and password (both of which are “admin” by default). You can also of course just use Windows Map Network drive functionality. In OS X, you have to click Go from the file menu in Finder, click Connect to Server, and enter “smb://10.10.10.254” when prompted. After you enter the username and password (“admin” again), you should see the Node appear as a drive on your desktop.

    
Example of the Android interface

Unexpectedly, the setup experience is superior on mobile devices. On both Android and iOS devices, you have to enter the Settings menu and manually connect to the Gauntlet Node hotspot, but once you launch the app, reconnecting to your main wireless network is a snap, and thereafter you'll be able to stream media with ease.

    
Example of the iOS interface

The iPad app, it should be noted, was especially snappy and responsive.
 

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