DNS-323
   

D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Attached Storage Enclosure

rate 3.8
  • Brand: D-Link
  • Category: Network Attached Storage

Back It Up

Keeping all of your important files on your computer without backing them up is like owning a house and not insuring it. It's important to back up your files so if the unexpected happens, you still have a backup in place. The ShareCenter 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure can house up to two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives of any capacity1, giving you plenty of space to store your music, photos, videos, documents and other important stuff. When used with two hard drives, the 2-Bay ShareCenter allows you to back up files in full or incremental backups and comes with four different hard drive modes so you can best configure it to your needs.

  • Standard mode creates two separately accessible hard drives
  • JBOD (Just a Bunch of Drives) combines both hard drives in linear fashion for maximum space efficiency
  • RAID 0 provides faster speeds by combining both drives in a striped configuration, which means data is distributed across both drives in the enclosure.
  • RAID 12 causes the drives to mirror each other, providing maximum protection. If one drive fails while configured as RAID 1, the unaffected drive continues to function like a single drive until the failed one is replaced. When a new drive is inserted, it's restored--returning full protection to both drives. Two is better than one.

B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Drives)

One of the best things about this ShareCenter device is that it comes without built-in hard drives. That means added flexibility and reduced strain on your wallet. Rather than being handed any old hard drive, you're free to hand pick the one that is the best fit for you. Choose the size. Choose the brand. Search for the best deal. Buy one. Buy two. The sky is the limit.

Bundled Software

With bundled software, you never have to worry about your hard drive crashing. Not only does it let you restore individual files and documents in case they get lost, it lets you take snapshots of your entire hard drive so you can restore your computer to the way it was when the snapshot was taken.

Sharing is Caring

Because this enclosure connects to your network instead of directly to a computer, it allows you to share all of your saved content over your network. Music, photos, videos ... think of the possibilities! And no need to worry about the safety of your stuff. You can give rights to specific users or groups and assign them to folders with either read or read/write permissions. This is perfect for an office environment with employee-specific data or for the home where you can ensure your children will only have access to age appropriate material.

BitTorrent

This product features a built-in BitTorrent client that lets you download files at incredible speeds without the need to switch on a computer. Adding torrents to your download list is easy; simply upload the torrent or enter its web address and you're good to go. Plus, you can configure your torrents, port settings, bandwidth management and seeding options in the web-based manager.

D-Link Green

While this may look like your average storage enclosure, it's not. This is a D-Link Green storage enclosure, which means it's as good for your wallet as it is for the environment. This product:

  • Features a fan that only comes on when hard drives need cooling
  • Allows hard drives to enter sleep mode when not in use to conserve electricity and prolong the life of the hard disk
  • Complies with the European Union's RoHS directive that restricts the use of certain hazardous materials
  • Uses recyclable packaging to help reduce waste that goes into the environment

The D-Link Easy Utility

The D-Link Easy Utility allows you to easily locate the 2-Bay ShareCenter from anywhere on the network. Once it is located, you can use the utility to map the hard drive so it will appear in My Computer on your PC.

Easy Peasy

Not quite the handyman? That's OK. You can insert hard drives without using any tools or attaching any cables.

The Power of Gigabit

This ShareCenter device comes with a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port, giving you blazing fast speeds so you can back up and access your stuff without the wait.

USB

Featuring a USB port that can act as a print server port, this storage enclosure allows a USB printer to be added to your network without the need for a dedicated computer. The USB port can also support a Universal Power Supply (UPS) monitor that supports "smart" signaling over a USB connection. If a power outage were to occur, the compatible UPS monitor would allow the UPS unit to safely shut down the DNS-323.

Be Cool

There's no overheating in this enclosure's future. It comes with a quiet built-in fan to keep things nice and cool.

Share

ShareCenter Connects to Your Home Network

One of the biggest misconceptions about ShareCenter devices is that they are simply external hard drives. Sure, they protect your stuff in case your hard drive crashes. And yeah, they allow you to back up your digital content so you can save space on your computer. But unlike external hard drives, ShareCenter devices connect to your home network instead of to a single computer, which means they can go far above and beyond the limits of an average external hard drive.

Share Files Over Your Home Network

Because ShareCenter devices connect to your home network, they are able to back up and store content from all of the computers on your network instead of just one. That means while you're backing up work documents from your laptop, the rest of the family can back up the digital photos and music from their computers. Plus, because all of that digital content is being stored in one central location, it's easy for everyone on the network to share it between computers. And no need to worry, ShareCenter makes it easy to control who has access to what, so privacy isn't an issue.

Access Your Content from Anywhere

ShareCenter devices feature built-in FTP servers, which enable you to access your saved content remotely over the Internet. Once you set up an FTP server, you can access all of your music, videos, photos and documents from virtually anywhere. That's right. Thanks to ShareCenter no matter how far you travel, you never have to be more than a few clicks away from all of your saved files.

ShareCenter connections

 
  • Secure and share your digital files
  • Insert one or two internal 3.5 SATA hard drives without tools or cables
  • Protect your important files with mirrored hard drives using RAID 1 technology
  • Access stored files over the Internet
  • Hard drives not included
  • Two 3.5-inch SATA Hard Drive Bays
  • Diskless (Add Your Own Hard Drives)
  • Tool-less Hard Drive Installation
  • Multiple Hard Drive Configurations Including: RAID 0, RAID 1, Standard and JBOD
  • Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity for High Performance
  • SharePort Technology for Sharing a USB Printer or Storage over your Network
  • Built-in Secure FTP Server for File Access Over the Internet
  • UPnP AV Server to Stream Music, Photos and Video to Compatible Media Players Including PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • iTunes Server
  • Peer-to-Peer Download Engine Powered by BitTorrent
  • Bundled Backup Software
  • Automatic E-mail Notification of Device Status
  • Jumbo Frame Support of 9000 Bytes
  • NFS Server Support
  • 24/7 Basic Installation Support
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
YSC "ciac" 4.0
597 of 613 people found the following review helpful
I needed a network storage, and I wanted some degree of user-extensibility (hackable). After much research, DNS-323 became an obvious choice, at least based on specification, figures, reviews and user reports. The budget was under $200, and it's incredible how expensive NAS boxes are in general.Here are some models I considered and why they didn't make the cut:Linksys Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives NSLU2 an amazingly flexible NAS that's also cheap. It has a very large and healthy developme ... nt community for its hacks. However it requires external enclosure and is much slower. NSLU2 also doesn't spin down the drives by default (reports say you can with some tweaks). Has the least functions out of the box. Very tempting alternative however, due to its being a favorite platform for hackers/developers and consequently a legendary bang for the dollar Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200) follow up on the NSLU2, has two SATA bays, seemed perfect. However Linksys decided to drop a dog of a chip in there, making it slower than even the old NSLU2 out of the box. The chip is also different and odd compared to NSLU2, making it a dubious candidate for development projects. Heat dissipation is also a reported problem, as well as fan noise. It's relatively new so no development projects (hacks) are centered around it. I wonder with the lackluster hardware if it ever will. Buffalo LinkStation Pro Shared Network Storage LS-320GL - NAS - 320 GB - Serial ATA-150 - HD 320 GB x 1 - Gigabit Ethernet Has everything--gigabit, speedy processor, large ram-but only 1 bay and comes with a drive that I don't need. Replacing the drive voids warranty, and the drive doesn't spin down (big no). Isn't as well made as there are numerous reports of it failing after a few months. Also a very hackable unit like NSLU2, and were designed to encourage it. I came into the decision on my DNS-323 with a slight mistrust of D-Link products, after having owned several buggy network hardwares in the past. The justification for the purchase was its reported speed by many, often comparable or beating units more than several times its cost. It's one of the few "budget" boxes that actually delivers the speed it promises. It has a 500mhz processor, the Marvell 88X7042 SATA controller and marvell's 88E1111 gigabit network handler. All proven workhorses. a very efficient case design with small volume/footprint, the dual bay sata with raid, standard linux file format (ext2), the ability to spin down and its operating power efficiency. For the money, there's really none other on the radar with these credentials. Receiving the product is another revelation. I'm the obsessive-compulsive type who can see every single flaw, which tend to be plenty on mass produced products these days. I couldn't find one scratch on the brushed metal sides of this NAS case. The product is very solid, with hefty metallic casing (I don't think you can find any NAS box made of metal under $200.. or maybe even $500), that actually has a suede rubberized finish on top and bottom. The metal case proved to be important as it helped dissipated the heat of the drives as I turned off the fan with scripts later. It is also VERY spatially efficient, with no space wasted. The only gap between the drives were well thought out as cooling channel. I don't think it could get any smaller without hurting its function. The speed-controlled fan is very quiet to the point of being nearly silent; an amazing feat due to its size (40mm). I don't think I have ever seen a small fan that quiet. The lights are discreet, no Christmas colors. The box looked great and exuded quality. I can't complain about the build quality at all. It's just well made with solid components. D-link's accountant must be asleep at the switch. Installation is easy. You just open the front face cover and slide in the drives. Connect the power and network cable and that's it. It comes with (or you can download) a software that automatically maps the drive for you. (you can do it yourself too quite easily. it's not proprietary in any way) The configuration page is also very straightforward. Perhaps a bit too plain vanilla, but what it has just works. Have been using ftp and itunes server extensively. I haven't tried raid 1 (which reportedly have issues with older firmwares) or the upnp media server. Otherwise I haven't had problems with the firmware, which I upgraded to 1.03. Firmware 1.04 is due soon, and I tried the beta versions as well without yet running into problems. The speed didn't disappoint. I didn't have a gigabit network at home though, but at the 100mbps ethernet, it registers 99%+ throughput on transfers. It was able to sustain the speed for the entire 400+gb I transferred on initial set up without any breaks or stops. In other words I haven't been able to touch its limit yet. After almost 3 weeks of constant use, there's not one problem on its basic features: storage and serving files over the network. It just does what it should, even if I fancied more imaginative features. Now the hacking part: I've discovered after my purchase that there's a sizable contingent of users on the web who have tackled and extended the capability of this solid piece of hardware. I really hoped D-link was stronger on their firmware design or implement more features, but it looks like they have had problems and thus became conservative, resutling in the plainness of the standard firmware. If you google fun_plug or check out dns323.info, you'll find all the information you need to explore the untapped potential of this rather capable hardware set. I was able to get this little puppy to be a bittorrent client, a web server, upgrade the itunes server, deliver media streaming over http, customize its fan control (it really doesn't run that hot with my wd5000aaks, helped by the metal case. The hack cuts on fan power and the already unnoticeable noise, and maybe even lower dust levels), and use its usb for storage as well as print server; and I just started playing with it 3 days ago! There are also many security enhancements that solves many of the network functional lackings mentioned in other reviews here. Due to the way the firmware is written, you don't even need to change the firmware to attach all these features. I'm not good with hacking, but it's really not that hard for most of these "hacks". I suspect most people can follow the instructions just fine. To conclude: this is a solid NAS hardware that has a doubter and a miser convinced of its value for the dollar in the course of the past 2.5 weeks. As a basic network storage, this thing works very well. If you venture into the available hacks, you can really make it work like you dreamed it and maybe even more. I am not giving it 5 stars only because I wish D-link provides some if not all these wonderful hacked features to suit its rather robust hardware, and that I only had limited exploration of its features. However, as it stands, it works quite reliably and fast out of the box. That is probably the most important to most people. For me, it delivered. 4/10/2009 UPDATE The unit still works very reliably, serving as a server that just about never failed in any way. Thanks to ever improving "attached" plug-in packages, its service options have diversified greatly, working well as my home file/print/web/media server while I travel. All is well, until the most recent upgrading of the drives, where I wanted to add an extra drive with the old one in one of the bays. What it is supposed to do, and as it does also display in its configuration page, is to format the new one while leaving the old one alone. The prompt also specifically says so. What it did instead, however, was to format both drives, taking my old drive's data with it. It is not a user error, but a firmware flaw. Later I found that it is reported to be a problem since firmware version 1.04, and mine is the latest of 1.06. This is a mass storage device often entrusted with possibly terabytes of data, especially with today's cheaply available large capacity hard drives, and about two years into its product life cycle--this sort of engineering negligence is bordering criminal, and downright pathetic. Two thumbs down for D-Link on this one, and I wish I have the means to hold them responsible. That said, I cannot take away the star ratings, although I would remove a star at least. The hardware is still robust and high quality, and I observed and suspect it's something of an open/shared hardware platform that's not entirely due to D-Link's credit. The stock firmware however is just astoundingly dangerous. It is a good idea to back up your data, especially if you plan to change the disk configuration (add/remove disks, switching on RAID, etc.) or upgrading firmware. Still, it's quite inexcusable, not to mention inconvenient (forced to back up a possible back-up storage device? Did the point just become moot?). Just something I want you to know before committing, or until they fix this 800lb-gorilla problem. Frankly I think it would serve D-Link better to make the firmware open source, since they obviously couldn't find the means to apply themselves to make it at least safe. However, this unfortunately joins many other d-link products that suffered from incomplete product development. A shame, but that's never my choice to make. You may still have the power of the wallet to elect, and with ever increasing NAS options out there, my review may not be entirely correct about available alternatives anymore. Caveat Emptor. Thank you. More >
C. Gafton 1.0
164 of 181 people found the following review helpful
The D-Link DNS-323 is a dual SATA enclosure, boasting an embedded Linux running on a Marvel board with an ARM5 processor. You put in the drives, and it configures them using the software raid stack from its embedded Linux. It has gigabit ethernet, and as NAS functionality goes, it only supports SMB shares. That's about where the coolness ends - with the specs. Even though it runs Linux, it is not capable of serving NFS. Even though it runs Linux, it is not capable of using ext3. But I am getting ... ahead of myself.First thing I had to do based on the advice pouring from the Internet was to upgrade its firmware to the latest and greatest 1.0.4. Then I put in my 2 x 1TB drives and I started configuring it. The web interface gives the usual choice of jbod/raid0/raid1 - and after choosing raid1, it asked me how much RAID1 I want, promising that the rest will be used for a JBOD setup. I selected a 500GB setup for RAID1, which gave me an extra 1TB of JBOD scratch space I planned on using for stuff like local mirrors and caches. I did a samba mount for the RAID1 volume, dropped about 20GB of stuff on it and then proceeded to test the failure handling of the DNS-323. Power off, pull out one drive, start it up in degraded mode. As expected, the JBOD volume is gone, but the RAID1 one is still going strong, data is still there. I zero out the drive I pulled out, power off, insert it back, and power on again. This is where the fun started. One would expect the device to reconstruct the RAID1 array, and give me an option to remake my JBOD from the space not being used for the RAID1. Sure enough, the web interface prompts me resync the new drive2, issues a failure, asks for a reboot. Upon reboot it asks again to resync the newly inserted drive2, this time it looks like it is making it through, half an hour later it says it is happy and asks me to reboot. Fine, I reboot, next time it comes up it prompts me to resync the newly inserted drive1 (note - this is the *other* drive that I have not touched, now it thinks that drive is newly inserted as well). This is testing, so I click ok, it fails, asks for reboot; reboot, starts syncing fine, completes, asks for reboot. On next reboot, it asks to resync the newly inserted drive2, and the cycle seems to keep on repeating. On the positive side, the data continued to be available. But maybe because it was running degraded most of the time, I don't know why, it stopped being reliable. I would get random read-only errors from the smb mounts, directory tree corruption (files that should be in subdirectories show up in the root of the share), a whole bunch of problems that made me put the thing in the box it came from and send it back to Amazon. I wasn't even trying to stress test it and it failed miserably. Totally not worth my time dealing with it. How many people that declare themselves happy with the device have actually tested the recovery from a hard drive failure? More >
M 1.0
352 of 402 people found the following review helpful
Based upon its specifications and price, this product seems like a great deal. And if you just need to share hard drives over your network without any security or passwords, it seem to work very well.Here's why I'm returning mine.1. Although the device is advertised as supporting the EXT3 file format (which is more secure than EXT2), D-link's original firmware apparently had many, many problems with EXT3, so Dlink updated the firmware. Did they re-write the firmware to correct the bugs? No. ... They just removed all support for EXT3. Unfortunately, they didn't re-write the manual, so if you read the manual, you'll wonder where the EXT3 options went, and whether your unit is defective or not.If you don't know what EXT2 and EXT3 is, check out Wikipedia. Suffice it to say that EXT3 is better, more robust, and has better protection against data loss. Most NAS devices uses EXT3 by default. Although this device is advertised to support EXT3, it hasn't since a firmware update in early 2007. 2. Dlink did exactly the same thing with the Disk Utilities, including a scandisk and defrag feature. Again, they're still in the documentation, but nowhere to be found on the device. 3. Technical support is absolutely horrid. They've outsourced to somewhere that doesn't speak English, understand their products, or understand customer service. I called to inquire about the above issues. Two of the three times that I called, I couldn't even hear the representative because of what sounded like a very loud fan in the background. The third time, the representative had no knowledge of the product. In fact, when you go through the phone tree, there isn't even an option for this device, so you just have to select something else and pray that you reach the right area. I ultimately got my question answered by calling sales and asking to be transferred to a level 3 support technician - they're in the U.S. 4. When accessing the network share on the DNS-323 from a Windows based machine, you must be logged in to your machine using the username that you entered on the DNS-323, because the "user name" field will be greyed out and cannot be changed when you attempt to access the files. This creates problems if you have different usernames on each computer because you must now set-up the system. Other NAS devices (Synology, Buffalo, Linksys) don't behave this way, instead letting you change the username and the password when you login. There is a workaround, involving mapping a network drive and selecting the option to login as a different user, but I have too many folders setup to map every single one to a network drive. 5. The password length must be between 5 and 8 characters. Because you must set the username and password on your Windows machine to match exactly with the DNS-323 (see above), you now must make sure your password on your computer is also between 5 and 8 characters. Most other NAS devices don't have this limitation. 6. Each time you set-up a user permission to access a directory, the system creates a new, different share name. For instance, suppose that I have a directory called "Test." I choose to allow a user named "John" to access "Test" with read-write permissions. The DNS-323 will create a share named "Test" which John can access. Suppose that I then allow a user named "Mike" to access "Test" with read-write access. The system will create a separate share named "Test-1" which Mike can access. Mike will not be able to access the share named "Test" and John cannot access "Test-1." With multiple users, this could be a serious nuisance. Other NAS devices (Synology, Buffalo, Linksys) don't behave this way, instead letting every user simply access "Test." 8. The scheduled backup feature does not work properly. I set it up to backup all the files from an older Linksys NAS device. It got about half-way done and then stopped for no apparent reason. To make matters worse, when I attempted to delete the files that it did copy, it gave me an error claiming that the files were read only. Apparently, it set some kind of read only flag on all the files that it copied. I tried changing the flag, but it wouldn't let me do that either. Yet, I have read/write permissions for the folders and I can change the file names. I just can't delete them. More >