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Inside

The NSA 325 is powered by a 1.6 GHz Marvell Kirkwood SoC (88F6282A1C160) and is supported by 512 MB of Nanya RAM. The Gigabit Ethernet controller, which supports jumbo frames, is the Marvell 88E1318 "Alaska" Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver. Rounding out the hardware complement is 128 MB of flash and a NEC D72022F USB 3.0 interface.

This hardware lineup compares favorably to what you’ll find in the similarly priced D-Link DNS-325 which has a 1.2 GHz Kirkwood 88F6281 processor and supported by 256 MB of RAM. The figure below shows the main component side (top) of the NSA 325’s circuit board.

NSA PCB top view
NSA 325 circuit board - top view

The device is powered by an external wall transformer which has a rated output of 12VDC@ 5A. For those of you who worry about power consumption, the NSA325 is a "green" device. The next figure shows you the power control page. Here's you'll find the setting for hard disk spin down UPS setting (if attached) rules for what to do after a power failure, Wake on LAN and a Power control schedule.

Zyxel NSA 325 Power Management

ZyXEL NSA 325 Power Management

You could, for example, reboot the device the first day of every month at midnight. With the two 2 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 drives (ST2000DM001) supplied by ZyXEL for testing, it consumed 23-24W during a file copy, 18W while idle and dropped back to 8W with the drives spun down. With the device plugged in and running, the Power Factor measured 0.56.

Setup

Before you can set up your NSA325, you first have to install one or two hard drives. If you are going to mirror your disks to achieve fault tolerance, be sure to purchase two drives of the same capacity. Otherwise the capacity on the larger drive that exceeds the capacity of the smaller drive will be wasted.

Installing the drives is really quite simple. First, you remove the front cover by pulling slightly on the left side of it. Next, you install rails onto the top and bottom of your drive as shown below. Slide the drive/rail assemblies into the drive slots and replace the cover. Next, connect the NAS to the power supply and your network and press the power switch on the front panel. Observe the system status LED and wait for it to turn solid green. It should take a little over two minutes.

Zyxel NSA325 drive installation
ZyXEL NSA325 drive installation

Setup is performed using software provided on an included CD. When you launch the NAS Setup Utility, you will land at a screen similar to the one below. On first installation, there will be and additional icon that lets you run the installation wizard. When I ran the installation and setup on a Win 7 system, it was fairly straightforward.

Initially, rather than seeing "Online" status, my status showed the NAS as "Unreachable" - even though I could ping it and log into it with a web browser. I suspected that my security package (Kaspersky) had intercepted the program. It had, graded it as a low risk threat and disabled it.

Most likely, that was due to the fact that the NSU program wasn't digitally signed. Within Kaspersky, I made NSU a trusted program and moved into a non threat group, but it still reported "Unreachable" Finally, by disabling the Windows firewall, I was able to use the program. I also installed NSU on an XP computer that had Norton 360 installed, and didn't have any problems.

The icons across the bottom of the screen are shortcuts to locations within the browser-based UI for items you may want to set up initially.

Network Setup Utility

Network Setup Utility

The "Media" icon takes you to the home landing page shown below. From there, you can view music, photos, movies, favorites, browse files and applications and further set up the device.

NSA325 Home Page is a gateway to most functions
NSA325 The Home Page is a gateway to most functions

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