Over the years we have addressed the topic of external storage solutions in many ways and forms. We keep a sharp eye on developments here. The market is changing, a couple of years ago the consumer and SoHo environment pretty much all used simple external storage devices like USB HDD encasements or more recently external eSATA solutions. In the middle of the mainstream and high-end sector there's a market for DAS units and at the other side of the scope we of course NAS units. A couple of years ago NAS storage units where to be found only in the enterprise and corporate environments as those solutions where not only expensive but also required an Ethernet infrastructure and a system administrator that could configure it.
Some things changed over these years, our demand for massive volume storage capacity has increased, with the help of WiFi and Ethernet in general in our homes we started evolving in our lifestyle and thus requirements. It's exactly in the lifestyle segments where the latest NAS units come in. NAS units are really small handy servers that not only function as a storage device, they are getting more functionality combined with ease of use as well.
With prices going down, and everybody having high-speed LAN Ethernet at home the market is slowly adapting and targeting NAS devices at a hard to convince and very money attentive consumer. One of the companies out there making a really good effort in offering you a handy and affordable NAS unit is Promise. Promise released an updated version of their SmartStor series NS4600 Network Attached Storage Unit. A storage device that comes in at just 400 USD, which for a NAS unit is a very attractive price.
Armed with a new GUI and priced very competitively, they offer this NAS unit with four swappable HDD bays, RAID functionality, eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet, USB (2.0) and then a heap of software functionality that blows you away completely. I mean this thing can download torrents, has an FTP server, a MySQL server, a WEB server, built-in media center and iTunes Server. It's compatible with all major OSes and sure of course has user and group based management as well.
As you can observe, this little box has an implausible amount of tricks hidden in it, so let's find out what the NS4600 is all about, next page please.
Promise SmartStor NS4600 NAS review Armed with new a new GUI and priced very competitive Promise offers the SmartStor series NS4600 NAS unit with four swappable HDD bays, RAID functionality, eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet, USB (2.0) and then a heap of software functionality that blows you away completely. I mean this thing can download torrents, has an FTP server, a MySQL server, a WEB server, built-in media center, torrent download client and iTunes Server. It's compatible with all major OSes and sure of course has user and group based management as well.
Promise SmartStor DS4600 DAS review There is something in-between the NAS and standalone HDD enclosures, and we call that technology DAS -- Device Attached Storage, for the consumer market quite a new phrase to learn and understand. Today we test one, yes it will be more expensive as a normal HDD enclosure yet much cheaper than a NAS device, the unit we look at today for example is aesthetically very pleasing, can hold four high performance drives in hot-swappable drive bays, it is really fast, energy efficient, silent and comes with a plethora of connectivity towards your PC, like eSATA, USB, FireWire (400/800), of and I'd almost forget it .. is RAID 0|1|5 compatible.