D-Link Australia DNS-323
- Two drive bays, iTunes server, print server, metal case
- Hard drive partition sizes can't be customised unless a RAID mode is used, release levers and front panel aren't lockable, iTunes server had to be restarted every time we added new files
For storing masses of music and video files, the DNS-323 is ideal. It's relatively easy to set-up and use and we love its iTunes server feature, which means that any iTunes library from any computer can access the same music.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The DNS-323 is a two-drive network storage enclosure (it doesn't come with any hard drives, users can install their own) that's relatively easy to set up and use. It doesn't have an extensive feature-set, but it's well-suited to the average home network and small office.
It's the perfect repository for large video files and music and it has a gigabit Ethernet interface to speed up file transfers on a gigabit-capable LAN. However, it was slightly slow on our gigabit-capable Ethernet network, as we achieved a file transfer rate of only 13MBps when copying files from our test PC to the D-Link.
Two 3.5in SATA hard drive bays can be exposed by popping off the front panel of the enclosure, and they allow for up to 2TB of storage to be installed. Indeed, we used two 1TB Hitachi Deskstar drives in our tests, which the enclosure detected and promptly formatted. To format the drives, we had to log in to the DNS-323 using its Web page interface, from where we were able to select the drive set up.
The DNS-323 can set up both drives individually, or it can stripe them (RAID 0), or it can mirror them (RAID 1). RAID 1 is the best method for keeping your data safe, should one hard drive fail, and faulty drives can be easily removed by pulling on the lever at the rear of the enclosure. Upon selecting the type of setup, the format procedure will commence. Unfortunately, when using individual disks, the setup doesn't allow for partitions to be created, so only large, single partitions can be used. Partition sizes can be customised when RAID is used.
After the drives have been set-up and formatted, and a user account has been created, the detection utility, which ships with the enclosure, makes it very easy to map the network drive (or drives) to each computer on the network. Network drives will show up in Windows Explorer, where files can be transferred to and from the device. Office users may wish to set up group accounts and individual user accounts, as well as disk quota limits, and this can all be easily accomplished through the Web interface.
Home users will love the iTunes server feature, which allows the DNS-323 to be the central storage and play point for all music. If the iTunes server is enabled, the DNS-323 will show up in the left-hand pane as a 'shared' device and, when clicked, it will display all the music that's located on it. Users can select the folders where music is stored on the DNS-323, or simply use the 'root' setting, which shares all music files on the drive. This worked well in our tests, except that we had to re-enable the server each time we added new music in order to find it in the iTunes library.
The universal plug-and-play (UPnP) AV feature is also supported by the DNS-323, which allows some media streaming devices (such as Netgear's EVA8000) to detect and play any media that's located on it. With UPnP-capable media streamer attached to a TV, and the DNS-323, a PC doesn't even have to be switched on in order to listen to music or watch video files.
Office and home users will appreciate the built-in printer server function, which allows a USB printer to be shared over a LAN, while advanced users will be able to make use of the built-in FTP server function for distributing files to remote locations.
Physically, the DNS-323 has a firm, metal body with plastic ends. It's a compact size with a small cooling fan at its rear, so it won't take up too much space on a desk. We do wish the front panel and hard drive removal levers had some sort of locking mechanism, so that the drives couldn't be easily removed.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTTest Engineer | $92 p/hrVIC
- TPSolution Architect - InfrastructureQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTSalesforce Marketing ConsultantNSW
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- TPPrincipal Data Analyst | ArcGIS | Power BI | QlikQLD
- FTAgile CoachNSW
- CCGraduate DeveloperQLD
- FTTechnical WriterVIC
- CCImplementation Manager - DeliveryVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- TPSenior ConsultantNSW
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksACT
- CCTechnical WriterVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Test AnalystWA
- CCBusiness SpecialistVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- CCPeopleSoft Functional AnalystVIC
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW