- Attractively priced, two SATA hard drive bays, Web/FTP/media server capabilities, bundled NFI Shadow backup software
- Lacks Gigabit Ethernet connection, no print server capabilities, lacks torrent support, build quality feels cheap
The NAS200 is a decent product for the asking price, albeit with plenty of room for improvement. Its chief flaws, including a complicated interface and no Gigabit Ethernet, have significantly dragged down its appeal. Nevertheless, it should prove satisfactory to budget-minded shoppers — provided they have plenty of patience.
Price$ 249.99 (AUD)
The Linksys NAS200 is an affordable network-attached storage enclosure aimed primarily at home users. With its twin SATA hard-drive bays, pre-installed backup software, built-in media server and HTTP/FTP client capabilities, it certainly appears to have all major networking requirements covered. However, the absence of a Gigabit Ethernet connection hamstrings transfer speeds; an oversight that will deter many users. Furthermore, a range of design and interface flaws reduces its overall appeal.
The NAS200 has two Serial ATA hard drive bays that can be equipped with any SATA-compatible HDD. (The hard drives themselves will need to be sourced separately, however.) While this blows out the overall cost of the device, it also grants you the ability to upgrade your storage space as your memory requirements grow. Handily, two USB ports are also included, allowing you to add additional storage via an external HDD or flash drive. However, despite the presence of two USB ports, the NAS200 does not support printer-sharing over your network — a regrettable omission.
As mentioned above, the NAS200 only comes equipped with a single 100Mbit Ethernet port (10/100), for a maximum raw data rate of 12,500 Kbytes/sec. Consequently, it lacks the zippy transfer speeds offered by competing models with gigabit Ethernet connections. (For comparative purposes, check out our review of the TS-209Pro Turbo Station .) This has effectively dashed the NAS200's appeal to small businesses, and will require home users to have plenty of patience when it comes to media streaming and the like. In another blow to time-conscious users, the drives are not hot-swappable. This means that if you have a RAID 1 configuration and one drive bites the bullet, you're forced to rebuild your system from scratch.
In terms of design and build quality, the NAS200 is a bit of a mixed bag. With its squat, boxy shape and plastic black finish, it could almost pass for a home stereo sans speakers. It's an unconventional look, but pleasing nonetheless. Front-mounted LED indicators alert you to power and connectivity status; an engraved Linksys logo adds a small touch of class. Rounding out the features is a front-mounted backup button, which fires up the bundled NTI Shadow software when pressed.
With its flimsy weight of just 839g, the device feels decidedly cheap and insubstantial. It's a small quibble, but $250 is a lot to pay for something you could practically sneeze off the table. Another build issue we encountered was the lack of space between USB ports. This caused our medium-sized flash drive to block access to both ports when plugged in. One final design flaw is the noise that it generates — when used in quiet environments, its fan is distractingly loud.
Installing your drives into the NAS200 is a very straightforward procedure. To insert a drive, you simply line it up with one of the rear-mounted bays and slot it into place (no screws or brackets are required). However, we were left unimpressed by the ribbon-like tags that are used for HDD removal. In addition to looking cheap and tacky, they occasionally got in the way during installation. (We much prefer spring-loaded latches, as found on NetGear's Storage Central Turbo SC101T.)
We found the process of setting up our network to be relatively uncomplicated, if a little on the fiddly side. If you choose to add a second hard drive to your system, the setup wizard will offer a range of configuration options, including RAID 0, for maximum backup security, and RAID 1, for maximum speed and storage. Once a selection has been made, the device will begin formatting your drives, erasing any pre-existing data on them in the process.
You're then free to map the drive to your PC, with a second wizard taking novices through the initial steps. It was at this point that the ease-of-use took a bit of a nose dive. We found the administrative interface to be very unwieldy, with the majority of settings embedded within a sprawling maze of sub-menus. This can naturally make life difficult for the first-time user. Annoyingly, you're also required to retype your password and user name whenever you swap between windows.
Once everything is up and running, the NAS200 will meet most of the requirements expected from an entry-level NAS drive. In addition to being a networked backup and storage device, it can also act as a Web, FTP or media server. It supports individual user permissions on folders, but we couldn't find any options for groups. The in-built download manager can download files while your PC is off (unfortunately though, torrent files are not supported). There are also options available for a scheduled shutdown, though it may take some effort to actually find them.
Join the newsletter!
When the Hypertext Transfer Protocol was introduced nearly 30 years ago, the Internet was a small, cozy club hosting just one website.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Seagate Unveils 14TB data storage portfolio
- QNAP introduces new affordable 3-bay 10GbE NAS
- Crucial launches BX500 SSD
- Crucial launch DDR4 2933 MT/s registered DIMMs
- Samsung announces the X5, the company's first NVMe SSD
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: 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