Linksys NAS200 Network Storage

Have you run out of space only to find you want an easy solution that you can share between computers? Linksys might have found a way… but how good is it?

Picture this: you’re surfing around on your laptop looking through all your photos when you suddenly realize that you’re running out of space. Oh, and your roommate wants to take a look at all those photos that you took a few nights ago when you were out. What do you do?

Me, personally, I’d lock my door and attempt to come up with the most ridiculously complicated solution to hopefully persuade my roommate to leave me alone in my own little convoluted world.

Luckily, Linksys have come up with a less drastic solution that would actually work. My evil scheme probably wouldn’t and I might even lose a roommate out of it: not a brilliant alternative.

The Linksys NAS200 is a brilliant little solution for what it does, and the reasons why its brilliant come down to design.

Basically, the NAS200 is an external storage bay with network connectivity and back-up options. You’ll install your hard drives, plug it into a network and you’re done. Alternatively, if you wanted a wireless solution, plugging it into a wireless router should work too. Mind you, these things aren’t new as a whole.

But if you’ve ever tried putting together an external hard drive, you’ve probably found that it requires an inordinate amount of unscrewing, pulling apart, plugging in, and screwing. That’s all well and good if you like pulling things apart, but in a world of convenience, external do-it-yourself kits lack that level of speed and ease of use.

The Linksys NAS200 changes that by using a system that is similar in design to batteries.

“Batteries?” you ask curiously. “Batteries,” I reply quite confidently.

Do you remember when you open up the bottom of a remote control or a toy that took batteries and you had that little piece of ribbon that allowed you to pull up on it and get the batteries out without having to bang the device on the back and hope they all came out? Well the Linksys NAS200 uses the same principle in their hard drive installation, so to install a hard drive, all you need is a Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive and push it into place letting the little ribbon poke out a bit. Then just stick the plastic covering back over the top and voila, you’re done.

This can be done with two drives and like many of the other dual-hard drive solutions on the market, you can choose to run in mirrored RAID, both drives as one, or two separate disks. There are a fair amount of options and the NAS200 even features the ability to snap other drives into the unit by use of the 2 USB ports sitting on the back.

I couldn’t see any hard drive limits so I’m going to assume that it’ll work fine with whatever 3.5 inch SATA drive you stick in it.

Installation is easy enough but it’s not really a “snap in” sort of solution. You’ll need to run the excellent software provided but it feels more like you’ll need to do it for each computer you want to have access for the drive. Alternatively, there are some advanced setup options for the creation of users with passwords being given access to the drive, but I felt more like I just wanted to plug it in and have it work.

And ultimately, it does… provided you run through the CD first. But what you do get is a good network storage system for either the beginner or someone advanced who doesn’t want to fuss around with installation or setup and just want something that works.

If you’re looking for an external storage solution that lets you have more control than a bundled pack from one of the many storage companies out there, the Linksys NAS200 is an excellent piece of hardware to have.

Product: Linksys NAS200 Network Storage System with 2 Bays

Vendor: Linksys

RRP: $249.99

Website: Linksys

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark