DNS-321 and DNS-323 Review

DNS-321 and DNS-323 Review
Here is a little box that will bring joy to your home or small office network. It's a little powerhouse full of features. The D-Link DNS321 2-Bay 2 3.5-Inch Bays, SATA, RAID 0/1, Gigabit Ethernet Port Network Storage Enclosure is sure to meet and maybe even exceed your requirement for a good storage or backup solution. If you have ever lost data you know how heartbreaking it can be. The Dlink DNS-321 is a great solution for backing up all of those valuable files or precious memories.

The hardware on this unit is up to par with our expectations. It is small sleek and silent. It's footprint requires little space and is stylish with its blue LED lights shinning bright.

The DNS-321 is very easy to set up. There really isn't much to it. Purchase two drives of your choice and plug them in to this little guy and let him do the rest. When you power up the DNS-321 and log in to its GUI you will be prompted by a screen that allows you to choose JBOD, RAID 0 or RAID 1. For those of you who are asking what that is, it's actually real simple JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Disks which is exactly that. You put two disks in and they will show up as two disks. The other two options RAID 0 and RAID 1 are used for data redundancy or speed. Raid 0 is what they call stripping which just splits data evenly across two or more disks. This is good when speed is required. Most homeowners however will tend to use RAID 1 which will put a replica of the first disk on the second. If one drive goes bad it will notify you through email. At this point all you have to do is purchase a new drive of equal or greater size, plug it in, hit the restore button and you are done. The DNS-321 will do the rest. The Network layer supports up to gigabit speeds which is excellent. The on board fans keeps things cool and is controlled via temperature so if your box is cool or has little to no activity , odds are that the fan will be off. It is very quiet and doesn't run too hot.

The interface is simple to understand and work with once you get used to it but it does take some getting used to. It is a Linux based OS but its GUI is served as a web page so it is pretty invisible to the common user. Because it is a Linux box per say, there is the use of user permissions as well as groups. This makes it easy to set permissions for access. The built in FTP server is a breeze to set up and use however we didn't like that it didn't allow us to lock the Secure feature on it so users could connect both with and without the security. We did not like that there are no access logs on the box either. This is something that can easily be done and will help security aware users able to sleep at night.

You can use the emulator to see how you like the interface at D-Links Website

So whats the big difference between the DNS-321 and the DNS-323? Well not much really. The DNS-323 offers a beefier processor but not by much, and allows you to attach a usb device to it for sharing. The devices although not tested we believe are limited to hard drives , usb thumb drives and possibly printers. You can check out the DNS-323 here.

- DNS-321
- Power adapter
- User's manual
- Hard Drives are NOT included but you can get those anywhere like Amazon for instance

- Cheap solution with lots of features
- Offers JBOD as well as RAID 0 and 1
- Quotas can be set on a per user basis for transfers
- Network Access and Dynamic DNS is supported
- FTP Server
- UPnP AV Server
- iTunes Server
- DHCP Server

- The interface can take a while to get used to.
- Did not like the fact that you cant force users to use SFTP
- No logging can be done with this device so you will never know who was using your FTP server or accessing your box.



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Posted In: Technology


daddyo Posted Apr 8, 2009
I wasn't going to buy this because of financial issues, but now that I had a baby all the pictures are taking up all my space. I think the time to upgrade has come. Thanks for the review.
Timothy L Posted Nov 30, 2009
The DNS-321 now has updated firmware to include FTP logging
Neil Posted Feb 2, 2010
I am not able to setup FTP Server on my DNS-321. Are there any instructions available to do that? I have set it up from the FTP Tab option int he GUI but what should be the URL to go to to access the drive content?

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