If you want the best network-attached storage (NAS) experience, get a Synology NAS server like the DiskStation DS412+. But if you want to guard data from even the worst disaster, an IoSafe storage device, such as the Solo G3, will fit your needs. In fact, you can use those two combined for the best of both worlds.
Now, what if you just need a single device that offers both a great user experience and top-notch data security? There's something you can look forward to: the N2 that IoSafe announced today.
This is a new NAS server, which the disaster-proof … Read more
After more than a month in beta state, Synology's final latest version, version 4.1, of the DiskStation Manager operating system for its NAS server, was released today.
Synology is one of a few NAS vendors that regularly releases new versions of the operating system, which improves and adds features to its existing NAS servers. DSM has been by far the most advanced operating system for network-attached storage servers, which offers not just a vast amount of features and ease of use, but also the most robust user interface that resembles a native operating system. Like all NAS operating systems, DSM is accessed via a Web interface using a connected computer.
DSM is one of the main reasons Synology NAS servers, such as the DS1511+, or the DS412+, have been the best on the market, for both home and small business environments.… Read more
Generally, the term "hard-core" and external hard drives don't go together. This is because external, portable hard drives are probably the most popular and casual type of consumer storage.
But some of them can get really serious, too.
These are external storage devices that are not just fast or rugged, but also are likely to make you think before purchasing due to their cost. In other words, they are not for everyone, but only those who have the need for them and can appreciate their value.
If you are one of these people, the following five drives are totally worth the investment.… Read more
Apart from USB 3.0, the My Passport for Mac also increases the capacity to 2TB while remaining compact and portable. The reason WD waited until now to release a Mac portable drive that supports USB 3.0 is because USB 3.0 has just been added to the new version of the MacBook Pro and … Read more
Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series. For the other parts, check out the related stories.
Since my last post on the basics of home networking, which is Part 1 of this series, I've been flooded with even more e-mails than I had been before (which explains why some of you haven't heard back from me). The good news is that nobody is asking about what a router is anymore. I guess I did an OK job explaining that in my previous post.
Most of the e-mails this time asked about how to have the … Read more
Generally, for network storage needs, I would recommend getting a dedicated NAS server, such as the Synology DiskStation DS1511+. However, if your needs are limited to casual usage, such as sharing documents and streaming music and photos, then a router with built-in network storage capability -- one that comes with internal storage or can host an external storage device and shares that with the rest of the network -- fits the bill better.
While much inferior to a NAS server in terms of features and especially performance, some routers actually have more to offer, in terms of storage, than one might expect and may just be what you need. In any case, getting a router of this type plus an external hard drive is a lot cheaper than a dedicated NAS server.
Following is a list of five top routers with built-in support for network storage that I've reviewed in recent years. … Read more
N600 routers are the first true dual-band routers on the market, capable of delivering 300Mbps Wi-Fi speed -- based on the dual-stream (or 2-by-2) setup of the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard -- simultaneously on its two frequency bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The marketing term "N600" basically means "Wireless-N standard with a combined bandwidth of 600Mbps."
In layman's terms, an N600 router comes with two built-in Wireless-N access points. Wireless clients connected to one of these access points (a client can only connect to one access point at a time) will have a ceiling speed of up to 300Mbps. In reality, the real-world sustained speeds of wireless routers vary a great deal, depending on the environment, distances between router and clients, and the frequency band.
In my experience, N600 routers generally offer about 60Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and about 140Mbps on the 5GHz band, within 75 feet or less. And while these seem much lower than the 300Mbps ceiling speed, they are more than fast enough for most applications, including high-definition media streaming. In fact, 140Mbps is about 50 percent faster than a wired Ethernet connection. Farther out, from 150 feet or more, a Wi-Fi connection is generally only good for accessing the Internet and mild networking needs. You can find out more about the basics of home networking here.
Since the dual stream is currently the most popular standard of Wi-Fi used in clients, getting an N600 router is probably the best value for your money. This is because the speed of a network connection is determined by the slowest speed of any party involved, so if you get a faster Wi-Fi router (such as an N900 router), you might not see any benefits at all if none of your clients support the higher tiers of Wi-Fi speeds.
Below are the top five N600 routers among those I have reviewed in recent years.… Read more
Editors' note: This post is part of an ongoing series and was updated on February 13, 2013, to add information about hubs, switches, and the new 802.11ad Wi-Fi standard. For the other parts, check out the related stories.
As the guy who reviews networking products, I generally receive a couple of e-mails from readers a day, and most of them, in one way or another, are asking about the basics of networking (as in computer to computer, I am not talking about social networks here.)
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate e-mails because, at the very least, it gives me the impression that there are real people out there amid the sea of spam. But I'd rather not keep repeating myself. So instead of saying the same thing over and over again in individual e-mails, I'll talk all about home networking basics, in layman's terms, in this post.… Read more
It's generally easy to upgrade your computer to a standard solid-state drive (SSD) as long as your computer supports the standard 2.5-inch hard-drive design. The MacBook Air, however, doesn't, so most people are stuck with the machine's relatively limited stock storage.
OWC announced today the OWC Mercury Aura Pro SSD, which is designed specifically for 2012 MacBook Airs. Instead of the standard design, the new SSD comes in the same design as those used inside the supported Air; it's shaped more like a stick of system memory than a hard drive.