Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (21)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


105 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be scared!
This product has received mixed reviews, and to be fair there is a good reason for this - most people don't get what it does as it's a fairly unique product.

The NSLU2, or Slug as is is often referred to, enables you to cheaply turn an external USB drive into a NAS. BUT ... it is intended to be of use to those who have a spare drive which is surplus to...
Published on 24 Jan 2007 by Mr. Shaun Pugh

versus
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read This First !
Please read this before you buy!

If you are reasonably computer literate, and are happy to upgrade the Firmware for this device then it makes a great job of using an external harddrive as a "server". Don't buy this if you do not consider yourself capable of upgrading the device before using it.

I now have my two laptops and a desktop sharing files...
Published on 1 Nov 2006 by Mr. I. C. Simpkins


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

105 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be scared!, 24 Jan 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
This product has received mixed reviews, and to be fair there is a good reason for this - most people don't get what it does as it's a fairly unique product.

The NSLU2, or Slug as is is often referred to, enables you to cheaply turn an external USB drive into a NAS. BUT ... it is intended to be of use to those who have a spare drive which is surplus to requirement, probably because you've just bought a bigger drive to backup your stuff. If you only have 1 external drive which you are currently using for backups this device probably isn't for you - buy a NAS with a built-in HD. It is now possible to connect an external NTFS or FAT32 drive so you can move it between the Slug and your PC, but that's generally not the reason most people want a NAS. NAS devices are best when they are setup and left to run as stand-alone devices on your network.

If you are ready to accept the fact your external HD will become your NAS and won't be used for anything else, then you are now in business and what you can do with the Slug is quite impressive for such a cheap device. With a little bit of 'tinkering' and not much in the way of Linux knowledge you can easily expand beyond the standard NAS file sharing functionality, and add things like a print server, media server and so on.

I have mine running twonkyvision media server to stream my itunes collection (mp3) to a wireless music player, sharing out my printer so I can print from my laptop without having my PC switched on (handy if you travel with your job and need to print a map for where you need to be the next day), and sharing files. I could use it as a web server, a mail server and countless other types of server if I wanted, but it configured the way I want it and it was a doddle to do.

In operation the Slug and HD are silent (unless you have your ear right next to the HD) and consume a fraction of the power my PC does - perfect for leaving on all the time.

Some people have commented on the backup feature of this device and how it's no good for backing up their PC. My approach is rather than using the Slug to backup your PC, backup from the PC onto one of the network shares created by the Slug. My MP3's, photo's and other important stuff is all on the Slug, but these are copied from my PC using SyncToy. SyncToy is one of the XP Power Tools available from Microsoft and is free. You can schedule this, but it's not as good as something like Memeo. For Full-System backup (i.e. the kind you can do a bare-metal recovery from) the best option is to use a second HD attached to the PC (internal or external) and use Acronis True Image. Acronis enables you to boot from a rescue CD and restore the image.

Different tools for different things, but NAS devices aren't designed for high throughput - they are designed to serve files. The Slug is good in this respect, but certainly isn't the fastest consumer NAS on the market, but it is cheap and very flexible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable device for the money!, 13 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
Having cased up a spare IDE drive for a princely sum, I was looking for something to attach it to, something that would give me always-on access from anywhere on my LAN and I came across this little beauty.
On opening the box, the first impression I had was how truly tiny and cute this thing is - it's completely dwarfed by my router and cable modem!
It was a complete doddle to set up and get working (although at that stage the only external device I had plugged in was a memory stick), I just connected the unit to my router and ran the wizard on my PC to find and configure it. The contents of my USB pen drive were then accessible both via Windows Explorer and for extra cool factor, viewable via my browser too. Neat!
Out of the box it doesn't support NTFS (why do Linksys ship with their out-of-date firmware? This is losing them sales...), which was how my drive was already formatted and as that was stuffed with my backup data, I wasn't keen to reformat it! So I already knew I needed to upgrade to the latest official Linksys firmware (exploration of the unofficial projects, "Unslung" and "OpenSlug", I'm leaving for another day).
Well the upgrade process wasn't as smooth as it should have been - following the instructions just didn't work and I had to search online to find out that there was a little utility called EraseAll required. This turned out to have been supplied on the CD, but not documented. However that did run without a hitch and the NTFS drive works just fine (Note: I'm sure the release notes in the firmware mix up usb ports 1 and 2 when taking about NTFS support, so try connecting to the other port if it doesn't work).
I haven't tried using it as print server yet and I've only dabbled with the ftp, but both are useful features to have available.
Transfer speed seems just fast as it was from a dedicated PC server and responsiveness is actually better. The LAN is the limiting factor on speed.
The only negative things I can find to say about it are minor:
1. You need to have an ext3 formatted device attached to change some of the configuration (like the admin password, hmmm...), but I guess a spare USB pen drive would do for that.
2. It doesn't start automatically when the mains power is switched on, you have to press the on button.
3. Power saving spindown on USB disks is apparently a bit hit or miss (I don't think this is an NSLU2 specific issue) and you have to enable it on the drive itself, from a PC, using whatever utility the manufacturer might provide. So I haven't tried doing this yet.
4. Devices are not hot-swappable. No biggie, you just have to remember to power the unit down each time.
Anyway, in summary, if you want to share disk space across your LAN I thoroughly recommend this device. All the other features are icing on the cake to me, but it's a real no-brainer to buy this little server when all the alternatives are at least as expensive, less flexible and mostly devoid of all the little extras.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value and also Defintely a buy for the GNU/Linux-phil, 16 Sep 2004
By 
M. MCNEILL - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
This unit is actually a very very small and cheap Linux Server with an ethernet port and two USB 2.0 ports. It's stock firmware spports sophisticated user management and backup utilities. You will need to purchase your own USB hard drives to plug into it, and currently the stock firmware will not let you attach FAT32 (i.e. Windows) formatted drives to it. The NSLU2 will need to format the drives to a Linux format (ext3) to manage sophisticated user quotas and access restrictions which FAT32 does not support. This restriction may be eased by some of the ongoing work in customising this little box since the Open Source community worked out how to improve the device.
Since the Tom's Networking article ([...]) a highly active community has formed which have taken it upon itself to customise this item with additional functionality such as iTune servers, mail servers, CVS servers etc, SSH, print servers, Fat32 support, etc.
See [...] for the latest and greatest information on custmising the NSLU2.
A very neat little box with great potential and solid community support!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NSLU2 - Does what it says on the box, 19 Nov 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
A terrific piece of kit. The Linksys install went smoothly, and I formatted a drive in no time. However, I couldn't see the drive using Network Neighbourhood. The problem was with my Norton Firewall. One of the default Rules stops incoming Netbios messages. I recommend that you give the NSLU2 a fixed IP address so that you can modify the Firewall Rule for that computer (i.e. the NSLU2) only.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read This First !, 1 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. I. C. Simpkins "Ian" (Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
Please read this before you buy!

If you are reasonably computer literate, and are happy to upgrade the Firmware for this device then it makes a great job of using an external harddrive as a "server". Don't buy this if you do not consider yourself capable of upgrading the device before using it.

I now have my two laptops and a desktop sharing files from an external 500Gb USB harddrive connected to this little device over my wireless network.

However, this was only possible after an hour or two of faffing about, checking out other peoples problems on the net and then referring back to the Linksys website (which ended up being very helpful). If you want to connect a "standard" USB harddrive which is formatted to either NFTS or FAT32 (most of them are), then YOU HAVE TO UPGRADE THE FIRMWARE. This isn't as bad as it might sound, but does involve visiting the Linksys website (the US site, NOT the European site as this doesn't seem to have the latest Firmware version !), downloading the latest Firmware (at the time of writting in October 2006, this is V2.3 R63) and also downloading another programme to allow you to upload the firmware into the NSLU2 !

In the end everything works fine - but with some effort and certainly not straight out of the box.

If you read some of the other reviews below, at least one of them also mentions the device appearing to confuse USB ports 1 and 2 - I have the same problem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice product... eventually!, 11 April 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
After fiddling with this for quite a few days - and enduring an awful lot of headaches - I've finally got it working. And it's quite good. Unfortunately, the Storage Link is let down by slow disk access (especially when handling deep nests of folders and folders containing 100s of files) and some of the worst documentation I've ever seen. I've previously been a fan of Linksys manuals - easy to follow and admirably brief - but in the case of the Storage Link, the manual is woefully inadequate. There simply isn't enough info there on setting up shares and network settings.

This does what it says on the tin - turns a USB hard disk into a cheap file server - but is certainly not an easy "out of the box" solution. I consider myself an advanced computer user, but the NSLU2 requires an awful lot of tweaking to get right, and I can't recommend it if you're new to networking.

Some of the other reviews here wax lyrical about the customisation potential of the "Slug" - but be warned, you have to be *very* dedicated and tech-savvy (especially in Linux, Telnet, etc) to get involved with hacking it.

Over all, nice product idea, does the job, but diabolical instruction manual, support and interface.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good piece of kit, 23 Feb 2006
By 
jdennis_99 (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
I bought one of these in order to attach two CrossFire 120 GB USB 2.0 hard drives directly to a network, in order to allow streaming backups for several laptops across a network. The drives have been used before and had NTFS file system.
The firmware that the NSLU2 ships with doesn't support FAT32 or NTFS file systems, which is annoying. I tend to find that upgrading the firmware is the first thing I do on any piece of Linksys hardware!
The most recent version of the firmware supports both FAT32 & NTFS, but only on USB port 1! This is a little frustrating, as I have had to reformat one of my drives to ext3. Damn Linksys - hopefully next firmware will support NTFS on both ports.
This is a small annoyance, as the device does everything else perfectly - both drives are now network attached, and all the backups are now going onto the drives.
The good thing about this device is that it is highly customisable - there are several projects on the Internet with custom firmware to change its functionality to a router, wireless router, print server... The most common are Unslung & OpenSlug.
I wonder if Unslung supports NTFS on USB port 2? Hmmm...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, but only for advanced users, 23 July 2007
By 
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
I've been wanting to get one of these for sometime, but it's been a bit low priority, so it's taken me a while to get round to it. Now I have one I think they're wonderful, but as many other reviewers have stated, this device is not for the average user.

I have several years of both Windows and Linux experience and was able to understand how it works right from the start, but if you only have experience of Windows, then you could be in for a big learning curve and expect to have to play about with it for several days before you get it set up exactly how you want it. The documentation is basic to say the least, but if you follow it carefully and don't just skip over the bits that you don't understand then you should be up and running in under an hour.

If you just want to set up a big hard drive on your network to backup your files, then this probably isn't the solution for you. However, if you have several users on a home network and they each want a bit of private storage space as well as public fileshares etc, then this unit is more at home. Think of it as like a budget version of an office file server.

It is fantastic value for money, but you need to know a bit about server administration to use it to it's full capability.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool !, 12 July 2006
By 
Iain Sheriff (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
Top little device. Needs a firmware upgrade but after that easy to get set up. Backups are easily scheduled either to or from NAS.

Does everything it says and while it doesn't have automatic RAID like the SC101 it does support NTFS and FAT32.

You can plug any USB storage device in and access from anywhere on your network.

Ideal for backing up photos/music anything really !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap NAS solution for home & small buisness use, 25 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Linksys by Cisco NSLU2 Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives (Electronics)
Been waiting for an affordable NAS product for home use for a while. This one is the cheapest by far, in part because it doesnt include any storage of its own. However, you can attach a maximum of two usb hard drives ( utp 300gb each ) or one drive and a flash/pen drive. It has a web interface for administration and includes a backup ( from drive a to b ) facility. There is a very active linux community ( this box uses a cut down version of linux ) that is developing its firmware to expand its use. Mine is attached to two 40gb usb drives which i share on windows network.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa60ee2dc)

This product

Only search this product's reviews