|At a Glance|
|Product||TRENDnet USB 2.0 IDE Network Storage Enclosure (TS-I300)|
|Summary||BYOD single drive IDE NAS with 2 USB 2.0 ports for expansion.|
|Pros||• 2 USB 2.0 port to expand storage
• Easy set up
• FTP and UPnP AV servers
|Cons||• Clunky interface for user and network access management
• No FTP server logging
• No gigabit Ethernet
• Relatively expensive for what it does
NAS devices are available in many different configurations ranging from multiple-drive devices that support RAID (RAID0, RAID1, and in some cases RAID5) to simple single-drive devices. NAS devices are also available with pre-installed drives or sold as "BYOD" (Bring Your Own Drive).
Aimed at the budget-conscious consumer who wants to add network storage to their home network, TRENDnet's TS-I300 USB 2.0 IDE Network Storage Enclosure is a single-drive BYOD NAS enclosure that offers two USB 2.0 ports for added storage capacity.
With online prices for the TS-I300 hovering around $100 and the availability of cheap IDE drives, you can add a lot of storage to your network for well under $200. Of course, since this is a single-drive device, you won't have the option of setting up a RAID configuration for fault tolerant storage.
The front panel of the TS-I300 has a power switch, a single USB port, LED indicators for power, LAN activity, disk activity, and hard disk full, and a USB indicator.
The hard disk full LED blinks orange when the drive is filled to 95% of its capacity, and remains illuminated when the drive is full. The multicolored USB LED indicates mounting (blinking green), good connection (solid green), USB connection failed (solid orange), or dismounting (blinking orange). The Unmount button allows you to safely dismount attached USB devices.
Figure 2: Rear panel
The rear panel (Figure 2) has an opening for the fan, a power connector, the second expansion USB 2.0 port, a Reset button, and an RJ45 auto-sensing Ethernet port. Unlike some of the more expensive BYOD NAS enclosures that have gigabit Ethernet ports, the TS-I300 only has a 10/100 port.
TRENDnet also markets the TS-I300W, a wireless version of the TS-I300. The "W" version supports 802.11b/g, 64/128 bit WEP, and WPA-PSK. The single antenna on the "W" version is located above the USB port on the rear panel.
Installation of the IDE drive is fairly simple and requires only a Phillips head screwdriver and a little manual dexterity. To install the drive, you unscrew the two screws on the back panel and slide the case off. Sliding off the case reveals the drive tray and power/data connectors.
Figure 3 is a view of the drive tray and power/data cables.
Figure 3: TS-I300 drive tray and power/data cables
The quick start guide instructs you to ensure that the jumper on your IDE drive is set to Master. Like all power and IDE data cables, the cables are keyed so that you can't connect the cables incorrectly. A close inspection of the circuit board reveals that the TS-I300 is powered by a 150 MHz RISC-based RDC 3210 processor, which is shown in Figure 4 below.
Figure 4: RDC 3210 150MHz processor
The RDC 3210 is a SOC (system on chip) that runs the i486 instruction set. The underlying operating system is Real-Time-Embedded-Linux based on a 2.4.25 Kernel and the internal drive is formatted with EXT2. The other key components are 4 MB of flash and 32 MB of SDRAM.
You mount the drive to the drive tray using the four screws that were supplied with your drive. Probably the most difficult part of the installation is starting the screws through the holes in the side of the case.
Even though a magnetic Phillips head screwdriver would facilitate the mounting, you do need a bit of coordination; although, you won't need the manual dexterity of a brain surgeon to get the drive mounted.
Figure 5 illustrates how to secure the drive to the mounting plate through the holes in the side of the case.