When most home and workstation users think of NAS (Network Attached Storage), they think of big, bulky rackmount servers packed to the brim with terabytes of hard drive space (and terabyte-style price tags to match). NAS became a buzzword in the late 90's, during the dot-com explosion, where the product was targeted at companies who were just integrating web functionality into their businesses, and needed data storage where multiple people could access single file sets.
Typical NAS servers ranged in the multi-thousand dollar price range when they were first introduced, and most companies found that building cheap PC's with commodity components and inexpensive hard drives was a much more viable solution than a dedicated NAS server. While NAS servers still exist in their original form (and have greatly improved over the years), NAS is not nearly the force it once was in the market. However, NAS is finding a new market, that being the home.
Most homes today have at least one PC, and connecting them together to share files and internet connectivity has urged the wireless network products forward. However, sometimes you want to access files over a network, but don't want to run over and turn that other PC on. It would be nice if you could just access the hard drive directly over the network, without the hassle of the PC. In very simplistic terms, this is what NAS is. With users integrating music and movie storage systems for their homes, NAS turns out to be the perfect product.
Plextor, well known for their optical writers, is starting to expand their product line as of late with video editing and conversion systems, and as of this month, NAS devices. We're going to look at one of Plextor's new NAS drives, sold under the (not extremely memorable) PX-EH25L-NA name. Plextor is looking to bring NAS devices to the masses at tolerable price points. Let's see how they do.
- Capacity: 250 GB
- Speed: 94.5 Mbps
- Buffer size: 8 MB
- Rotation Speed: 7200 RPM
- Built-in Print Server
- Silent Operation
- LAN Interface Specifications:
- Interface: IEEE 802.3 / IEEE 802.3u Standard
- Transmission Encoding Method: (100 BASE-TX/10 BASE-T)
- Port/ Connector: RJ-45
- 100Base-TX: Category 5, 2, 4, UTP
- 10Base-T: Category 3, 4 , 5, 4, UTP
- USB Interface:
- Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, Full-Speed, Low-Speed
- Number of Ports: 2
- Protocol Support: TCP/IP
- Two-year full warranty (parts and labor)
- Operating System Support
- Windows XP / Windows 2000 Professional
- Windows Me / Windows 98 SE/ Windows NT 4.0 (SP4.0 or above)
- *Software requirement: Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later