Hands-on Review of the ZyXEL NSA320 2-Bay Power Media Server

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Would you like a cheap 2-bay media server? If so, take a look at the ZyXEL NSA320 2-Bay Power Media Server, it might just be what you are looking for.

UWHS Review - ZyXEL NSA320 2-Bay Power Media Server 008

With a powerful CPU and sufficient memory, the ZyXEL NSA320 2-Bay Power Media Server can quickly transfer, backup and stream large multimedia files at the same time. Its superior data read/write rate is up to four times faster than most generic network storage appliances. The NSA320 also handles multiple simultaneous 1080p high-definition streams to different UPnP and DLNA-certified devices such as Microsoft XBOX360, Sony PS3 and DLNA TV in every room at home.

  • Superior performance for simultaneous file transfers and multiple HD streams
  • Faster data backup with NTFS support
  • Intuitive user interface integrated with media player
  • zPilot™ for media auto-classification by easy drag-and-drop
  • Just click and select to easily enhance features for your network application needs
  • Runs eMule/BitTorrent/ FTP/HTTP downloads independent of PC

Who are ZyXEL?

From their website:

Founded in 1989 and set up in Taiwan, ZyXEL is now the leading provider of complete broadband access solutions for service providers, as well as business and home users.
ZyXEL solutions boast the latest, hottest networking features such as Triple Play, Quality of Service (QoS), Network Security and Network Management. Both corporate and home users can take advantage of ZyXEL products and services to enjoy high quality, versatile media applications in a secure and manageable networking environment.

As one of the early modem makers, ZyXEL has undergone many transformations in the fast-paced networking industry; and its mainstay products have also evolved from modems, ISDN TAs and routers to broadband access devices serving the needs of the individual, small business and corporate users, and even large-scale central offices. Today, ZyXEL is one of the few companies in the world capable of offering complete networking solutions ranging from DSL customer premise equipment, central office equipment, Internet security appliances, switches, WLAN equipment, network-attached storage and centralized network management systems.

Thanks to the combined force of 33 sales offices and 2 R&D centers worldwide, ZyXEL successfully passed US$479 million in annual revenue in 2008. The company currently has 3,200 employees, and distributors in 70 countries reaching over 150 regional markets.

Specifications

Networking
  • Network protocol:
    • TCP/IP
    • CIFS/SMB, NFS (for Linux/Unix)
    • FTP, HTTP
    • DHCP client
    • PPPoE
    • NTP (Network Time Protocol)
  • Network setting:
    • DyDNS support
  • Network applications:
    • Gigabit jumbo frame support up to 9K bytes
    • UPnP AV server
    • iTunes server support
    • SqueezeCenter support
    • Samba/FTP server support
    • Photo album server
    • phpMyAdmin/MySQL/PHP
    • Supports eMule/BitTorrent/FTP/HTTP downloads
    • Auto-upload newly-added files to FTP servers, flickr and YouTube
Media Playback Support
  • Supports Windows Media Center plug-ins for playing music/videos
  • Supports photo slide show
File System Support
  • Internal HDD: XFS
  • External HDD: NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, FAT32, ReiserFS, XFS
Security
  • Supports HTTPS and FTPES (FTP over explicit TLS/SSL)
  • Encrypted NSA to NSA remote replication
  • Encrypted NSA to external disk archive backup
Backup Solutions
  • One-touch copy/sync button for external USB-capable devices backup
  • Backup planner:
    • Instant/Scheduled backup
    • NSA to NSA synchronization/archive backup
    • NSA to external USB hard disk backup
  • PC to NAS backup (Memeo AutoBackup software)
USB Device Support
  • USB hard disk and card reader
  • Digital camera (support picture transfer protocol)
  • UPS monitoring and auto shutdown
RAID Features
  • RAID0, RAID1, JBOD
Disk Maintenance
  • Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.)
  • Automatically detect disk bad block sector with e-mail notification
Power and Thermal Management
  • Power control:
    • Internal disk hibernation support
    • Scheduled power on/off/reboot
    • System automatically resume after power outage
    • Wake-on-LAN support
  • Thermal management:
    • Smart fan speed control
    • High temperature alert/buzzer
    • Auto shutdown at high temperature
Management
  • User & group management
  • Package Management for setting up applications
  • IP filter table management
  • Download service with bandwidth control
  • Download status management
  • RSS client and server support auto-download and notification
  • Recycle bin with auto-cleanup and restoring files function
System Tools
  • System maintenance:
    • System resource, session, status monitoring
    • Online auto-upgrade firmware
  • Alarm:
    • E-mail notification for specific severity of log recorded
    • High temperature e-mail alert with auto-shutdown option
  • Logs:
    • Syslog record
    • Periodically system event with e-mail notification
Minimum System Requirements
  • OS for utility: Windows XP/Vista/7 (32 & 64 bit)
  • Browser: IE 6.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Chrome 4.0+

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  • http://homeservershow.com/forums John Zajdler

    Hmm, a very interesting box, thanks for the detailed review.

  • coolbro

    i have one of these bad boys.
    very good indeed and extremely easy to set up.

  • Pingback: Melhor solução de home media server que eu já vi | bernabauer.com

  • Riz

    I have this and what can I say it offers everything and works like a charm and is quite easy to set up. I get transfer rates of 85mbs with 2 seagate drives.

  • NSA320man

    I have been using the NSA320 for about a year and find it to be a very good device. The fact that it is inepensive is also nice. The only thing negative I have run across is the feature for putting the drives to sleep will break the RAID configuration if one of the included drives in the array is an external drive. The solution: Don’t use that feature :)

    All other servers/functions work extremely well so far in whatever way I have chosen to use them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kris.gruber Kris Gruber

    I am on the second one of these and neither has worked at all. In each case the server will not initialize despite following the instructiuons (as far as it goes anyway) to the letter. Any ideas what the problem might be? I’m trying to install this using a win 7 PC….

    • http://www.facebook.com/kris.gruber Kris Gruber

      I’d also add that not only have I had two units that don’t work AT ALL, not even a tiny bit, but Zyxel support is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Their only suggestion so far is press the factory reset button.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kris.gruber Kris Gruber

        OK so the support people sent me a link to some update firmware.. Result? Zero. I can’t believe I’m just unlucky, so where do all their good reviews come from??

        • Gilo

          Use ip address of nas box login in via web as admin go to volume on side window at the end of listed volume you will see a delete volume then re create it should work i had this problem it kept telling me the disk was down.

  • Gerry

    Absolutely amazing device. However anyone know why anytime i try to back up an external hard drive to it that it always stops at 279gb and 720 folders? red light becomes solid at the USB section and i press it again and it starts agin but from the begining and finishes at the same bit again. WOuld be great if all i had to transfer was 279gb but i need to transfer 1.4TB :(( any help or advice would be great