A Network Attached Storage drive for the home or small office
NOTE! You may have just a little time to enter and win a Linksys Media Hub NMH405 in our July prize draw that ends at midnight in Friday 31st July
Today we are reviewing a Network Attached Storage unit, or 'NAS', for short. NAS is a term more commonly associated with offices and other business environments. But increasingly our homes are being networked, and a NAS unit is basically an external hard drive attached to a network instead of directly into your computer. NAS units are basically computers with an operating system and a large hard drive integrated in to a small device that works off your network. A NAS unit is less vulnerable to viruses that might attack your PC, and it offers a large amount of storage, ideal for photos, documents, music and video files, in a centralised and widely accessible location. It's also ideal as a remote back up drive for you PC, or even multiple PCs. The Linksys Media Hub NMH405 is a NAS designed for home use and is styled to blend in with the decor of a modern home.
The Linksys Media Hub NMH405 should be plugged into your home's network router via an Ethernet cable. Once installed, any computer, wireless or wired, also attached to your home network, will be able to access the drive. The Linksys Media Hub NMH405 has an easy to use Web interface and as the administrator you can set up user accounts with various levels of access privileges. You can also set the unit up to be accessed via the Web, no matter where you are in the world. UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is supported for easy integration with your router.
Part of a range of NMH400 units, the Linksys Media Hub NMH405 comes with a single 500GB hard disk installed, but a second 3.5 inch hard disk can be user-installed, and such drives are available in sizes of up to 1TB, with even bigger ones now coming onto the market. USB drives can also be attached externally via the front and back USB ports provided, and you can also use built in memory card slots for downloading your camera photos and videos.
Although the Linksys Media Hub NMH405 is marketed like a home media server, it's really more of a NAS drive than a sophisticated media server that can handle high bandwidth and performance-sapping streaming video, like HD. It's fine for watching standard definition video recordings over the home network, though some older specification wireless networks may not be up to the job. Using the Linksys Media Hub NMH405 for accessing photos, documents and other files is problem-free.
Overall, the Linksys Media Hub NMH405 is a nicely packaged product aimed at home users. It looks the part and won't stick out like a sore thumb in your living room next to the hifi, for example. At £249, the Linksys Media Hub NMH405 offers reasonable value for money, although tecchies might say you can buy a similar specification NAS drive for less. However, an alternative product may not look as good in your home and is likely to be more difficult for a novice to set up and use.
On the second page of this article is a pictorial tour of the Linksys Media Hub NMH405. Just click on a thumbnail to see a larger view of the product, complete with a descriptive caption:
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Linksys Media Hub NMH405 review
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