I just finished testing the Addonics pocket NAS 2.0 NAS2XU2 device that was announced just a couple weeks ago. My first thoughts are that it’s loaded with features, faster than expected, and small enough to use with your mobile office on any budget.
The predecessor to the NAS2XU2 was the single port NASU2 with only 10/100 MB/s ethernet support, at $59.99, a price increase of only $15, it’s really worth it. Many of the features remain the same, but Addonics took some customers feedback into consideration and made some necessary changes for the next-generation NAS. This version supports gigabit ethernet, has dual USB ports and an added dedicated port just for a USB printers.
CrunchGear had a look at the original version and found it a bit slow only transferring data at 1.3MB/sec. I did not have a Gigabit network to test on, but sending files over WiFi to the USB thumbdrive connected to the Pocket Nas 2.0 on a 10/100 MB/sec Cisco Linksys router was able to reach 2.8MB/s speeds. That is more than double that of the previous model, showing that there is an improvement in throughput and it should be drastically noticed on a Gigabit network.
Setup, Installation and Administration
After plugging in the NAS 2.0 to a router, power outlet (no PoE just yet) and adding a USB drive and USB printer, you are nearly finished. There’s really not much to setup and install for the pocket NAS 2.0, it’s very user-friendly and straight forward.
I popped in the driver disc that it came with, but my MacBook just spit it out. I tried it in another machine and it didn’t work either. Luckily there is very little needed to get this up and running.
You can check your DHCP client table list on your router to see what IP your NAS 2.0 has picked up, then just connect to that IP with your web browser and use the default admin/admin login and password. The Addonics software is a java application and I was able to get it from their website and it gave me the IP address without a problem. If you are not running DHCP on your router your NAS 2.0 will auto-assign itself an IP based on it’s own internal DHCP server.
Administration options are sufficient for this devices capabilities. Obviously you have the option to change Administrator passwords, and an Identification Page for Hostname and Workgroup settings. Time Settings lets you change the time on the device, or use a remote Time Server. LAN Config is for DHCP or Static IP configuration, MAC address display and PpoE setup. A Disk Tool setting lets you Format a USB drive, or use Scandisk. Finally, a Maintenance tab setting lets you upgrade firmware, reboot or reset the adapter to factory defaults.
Note: Addonics has updated the web administration on the NAS 2.0 device but they do not reflect the changes in their User Manuals on their website. It may look different, but essentially it’s the same.
SMB File Server
When you access the file server you have the option to add users to access the shared folders. There is no access restriction functionality for specific folders, so accounts added here will be able to see anything you share with only the option to restrict read or write access.
From a Mac you just enter the smb://192.168.1.103 address (yours will be different) into the server connection dialog box (command+K in Finder), hit connect and you will be prompted for the username and password you created. After connecting you will have your NAS 2.0 appear in your finder window where you can access the shared folders and files.
A transfer of 1.17GB file took only 6:51 seconds, 2.8 MB/s over WiFi on a 10/100 connection. This is fast considering the limitations of WiFi speed and transferring data to a USB flash memory drive.
FTP is pretty much like what you would expect it to be, limited by your internet service providers upload cap if you are sending from a remote location. Nonetheless, a great feature to have for a quick and easy way for someone to send you large files.
An anonymous account is present right off the bat. From the configuration you can add FTP users, change the FTP port (very handy for ISPs that block port 21) and just turn off the FTP service if you like.
Unfortunately, Xbox 360 connectivity did not work entirely because it didn’t show any of my files. After jumping around in the Xbox 360 Media Menu (you access this by pressing the round xbox button in the center of your remote), and going in to each of the USB drive shares in Video, Music and Pictures, finally the STORAGE device appeared. As with iTunes, when you go to access files from your shared folder, they do not show up, not even MP3 or AVI files.
The P2P server, aka Bit Torrent Setup, works quite well. You upload a torrent file that it will begin to connect to peers to receive the data. Each file is shown in your Download Queue with the percent status of completion. You can modify most settings that you could in a standard BT client, like port, download path, upload and download limits and max peers. One interesting features is the Mail Notification, you can set mail delivery info to be notified when your download is complete.
Network Print Server
This was feature was easier to use than I thought, and very convenient. You add a printer to your computer as you normally would, but set the port to the IP address of the NAS 2.0. A complete walk through on this is available in the NAS2XU2 – NAS 2.0 Adapter User Manual if you are unsure of how to setup network printers. This is a great feature for setting up a remote mobile office quickly with print sharing for all of your users.
The Addonics NAS 2.0 – NAS2XU2 unit is cheap, silent, easy to setup, and best of all, small enough to toss in your laptop bag and take with you anywhere you go. At $59.99 it’s quite the deal for a basic NAS device for USB devices and printers. However, if you wan’t to go the route of accessing music, video or other media from your XBOX 360 or iTunes, this is probably not the way you want to go. This was disappointing, but if you are clever enough and know how to use SMB you really don’t need the built-in sharing options that are provided.
Official website for the Addonics NAS2XU2.