I was thinking of using something simple like NAS Dongle also known as Wanser-R by MRT-Communication, a Taiwanese company for my office simple LAN network setup. The idea is to use this cheaper alternative than a full blown Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for storage and backup of files.
Now having used it for a month it is not all that it is crack up to be. Although for simple network storage it is still fine, for more advance usage like user quota and restricting sections for private usage was totally unworkable. The NAS Dongle is just for simple usage and probably best suited for home use rather than for office use.
The setup was simple, all you need to do was plug in to your LAN network, plug in a portable drive or USB thumb drive and you are all set for your NAS usage. For more tweaking you could login to the web configuration page for further customization.
However, I noticed some of my customization gets erased after switching off the NAS dongle and switching it back on again. Most frustrating was adding user for private access. The login id and password gets erased each time I switch off the NAS dongle! So there was no way to create individual private storage on this NAS. What a waste.
In additional the admin password kept getting reset back to default; so no way to secure the NAS dongle against other user from messing with it. It is not so big deal in my office since I’m the only techie guy around so it is unlikely anybody in the office will mess with it, so for other company thinking of setting up NAS storage and trying to section it for each user would be better off getting a real NAS storage solution that this Wanser-R NAS Dongle.
There are a few interesting feature like FTP access but without a fixed IP in our broadband network it of no use though you could probably hack a DNS IP using some of those IP solution company out there in the internet. Other feature like acting as media server, Apple i-Tune server and Bit Torrent download server. Since I have no such use for these features I’m not sure whether NAS Dongle Wanser-R was able to perform as advertised.
Since it didn’t work very well even for the basic NAS password management secure access to the USB portable device, there is a doubt the other features would work very well either.
Anyway if you just want something cheap and simple with only Public Network access for NAS storage then this NAS Dongle Wanser-R will be just fine. For more advance feature you would be better off getting a real NAS device.
Here are the details of this NAS Dongle Wanser-R for your info.
NAS Dongle is one of the smallest NAS product in the market, simply connect USB storage box into NAS dongle and build up your personal File server, FTP server, Bit Torrent server, and XBOX 360/ Apple-iTunes music server in a few clicks.
NAS Dongle also act as a USB printer server, connect your printer in to NAS dongle and share the printer resource in the network environment. It is a cost-effectively and high performance product.
Support USB mass storage device.
Support Auto IP (DHCP server or DHCP Client)/ Fixed IP.
Under network environment, it supports one 10/100Mbps Ethernet port.
Password management provides secure access to HDD and web management
Support Samba/FTP server
Support Bit Torrent download server
Support XBOX360 media & Apple i-Tunes music server.
Support USB Printer server.
Compatible with Windows 2000/XP/ VISTA , Mac 10.5.4 above.
Product Name: NAS Dongle
Interface: RJ45 (LAN)
— 1x USB2.0
— 1X RJ45
— 1X Power Jack
Data Transfer Rate: Up to 100Mbps (Networking)
— External Power adapter
— 5V DC=== 1.2A
System File Support: FAT32
Operation Environment :
— Operation Temperature: 0 ? ~ 35 ?
— Operation Humidity : 10~90RH
— Storage Temperature: 0 ? ~ 50 ? ,
— Storage Humidity: 5~95RH
Product Dimension: 70(L)x 32(W) x 24(H) mm (Main body)
Certification: CE, FCC Certified
— 1x NAS Dongle
— 1x Ethernet Cable
— 1x External Power Adapter
— 1x Utility CD (User’s manual, Syncquick Backup software)