Linksys NAS200 review

I’ve long been looking for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) solution at home for some time now, but they were either too robust and expensive (when using a professional NAS system/server) or not extendable enough (when using a network attachable hard disk).
Lately however, the prices of small NAS systems have come down, so it was time to buy one and it has become the Linksys NAS200.
At the moment only filled with 1 500GB SATA disk.

Some features

  • Supports RAID 0 and RAID 1
  • Music and video streaming
  • 2 external USB ports for hard disks or flash drives (FAT, FAT32 and NTFS support)
  • 1-button backup
  • Build-in HTTP, FTP, DDNS and UPnP AV media servers

Pro’s

  • Small form size, especially of you compare it with a normal PC or even a barebone.
  • Easily extendable with it’s 2 SATA bays and 2 USB connections.
  • Easy to use. It supports HTTP, FTP, SMB (for windows shares)
  • It detects inactivity of the disk and powers it down (with the fan a few minutes later), so very low power consumption.
  • Should support media centers (haven’t tested that yet).
  • Build-in downloader, handy for nightly (cheap, since bandwidth counts only 50%) downloads.

Con’s

  • Can get quite warm.
  • Because of the fan, the noise can be an unpleasant factor. It’s not a system that you’d like to install in your living room.
  • Passwords have a limited length of only 14 characters.
  • SMB connection isn’t really fast.
  • Proprietary filesystem, so if the unit crashed, the data is inaccessible.
  • Inability to limit the administration section to access from LAN only (unsecure).
  • When a USB drive has a NTFS format, you can only read from the disk, not write to it.

One thing I especially like to mention. The NAS 200 has a 1 button backup. When pressing it, all PCs with installed software will be backed up to the NAS. For some people this can be handy, to ease the taking of backups, but it’s useless to me. The NAS200 is too slow to take a 60GB backup and who wants to press a button on a NAS? The whole point is that it’s attached to the network so you don’t need physical contact with it. So I really question the point of this button/feature.

Conclusion

The NAS200 a nice handy addition to your home storage for movies, music and personal files. It’s a little too slow for heavy backing up (I only tried SMB shares at the time of this post, not FTP). And I would suggest to only allow FTP access from the internet, since the HTTP server allows also the administration, which is a possible security leak.

Pictures

Linksys NAS200 boxed

Linksys NAS200 box contents

Linksys NAS200 warning

5 Responses to “Linksys NAS200 review”.

  1. Hi,
    I’m also using a NAS200, equipped with 2 Samsung HDDs 750G each. I don’t need 1Gbit speed; 85% of the stored data is written once and only serves as a central back-up. Furthermore, 95% of my entire home network clients have 100Mbit network hardware (>15 clients). Unlike many other cheap NAS, Linksys allows to switch off the fan: I don’t mind it’s noisy, but it must stop when I don’t use the equipment.

    I’m working in the electronics industry and decided the NAS200 has a very bad disk cooling. I would not recommend to mount the 2nd harddisk unless you want to grill the drives. I stripped the NAS down and moved everything in a metal 2x 5.25″ disk case. If you want, I can send you photos how to open the case; maybe nice to publish on this site?

  2. Thank you for your article. It’s very frustrating that nowhere in the NAS200 manual does it tell you that you can’t write to NTFS formatted USB drives. I went out and purchased a FreeAgent hard drive to back up my NAS, and it took me ages to work out that I had to reformat it to FAT32 before I could write to it via the NAS.

  3. The NAS-200 can’t write only in USB drives formatted with NTFS? If I have a 3.5 internal hard disk formatted with NTFS, the NAS-200 won’t write too?

  4. As far as I know, the NAS won’t write to NTFS, only FAT32 and its own filesystem.

  5. Just to make things clear – as far as I know, this unit uses Ext3 filesystem, which unlike NTFS is NOT proprietary. Ext3 is a standard open source filesystem of Linux. It is much more reliable than NTFS (safer journalling), has better indexing of large directories, is hard to fragment, etc…

    Drives formatted as Ext3 can be read and written to in windows as well, you will need to install something like ext2fsd or ext2ifs (http://www.fs-driver.org/).

Leave a response