Review: Linksys Provides SOHO Storage Solution

Aimed squarely at the SOHO market, the EFG120 exemplifies easy setup. All that installers need to do is plug the unit into an Ethernet-based network and run the included setup utility. That utility will seek out the EFG120 and launch a wizard to set up the unit. The unit can be configured to act as a DHCP server if none exists on the network, but users will need to assign a workgroup name.

The EFG120 is compatible with Microsoft Windows Networking. Once configured, the NAS device is immediately available via the Network Neighborhood applet on Windows-based computers.

Installers can define users and passwords, along with secure folder access based upon logon parameters. In other words, an administrator can easily define who has access to what files on the unit.

CRNTest Center engineers installed a second drive into the unit to evaluate storage and backup options. The IDE-based drives come installed in a convenient removable tray, so installers need only slide the tray into the unit's available bay to add additional storage. The second drive can be configured as a backup drive. Administrators can set the primary drive to copy all of its contents over to the secondary drive either manually or on a schedule.

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Test Center engineers would have preferred to see a mirroring option for the backup process, which allows the drives to be backed up in real time. The second drive can also be configured as an additional volume, doubling storage space to 240 Gbytes total.

The integrated print server is also quite easy to set up. Users simply plug a printer into the unit's parallel port and then use the unit's browser based administrative console to setup sharing of the printer.

Ongoing maintenance and setup tasks are eased by the EFG120's integrated browser-based administrative console. All tasks are well-defined, and users will be pleased with the diagnostic and performance options included. The unit includes hard-disk error-scanning and defragmentation utilities to help keep the unit performing at peak capability.

All things considered, the EFG120 offers smaller networks an economical and simple means of sharing files or a printer, as well as backing up data, while meeting storage needs. The key word is simple. Those looking for advanced features, such as true remote access or enhanced security may be better served by one of the many server appliances on the market.

COMPANY: Linksys

Irvine, Calif.

(800) 326-7114

PRODUCT: Linksys EFG120 120 GB Network Attached Storage Print Server

LIST PRICE: $1249.00

WARRANTY: 1 year parts and labor

DISTRIBUTORS: D&H, Ingram Micro, Tech Data