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ZyXEL NSA320 2-bay Network Attached Storage and Media Server

Posted on September 21, 2012 by Blog Design Journal
ZyXEL NSA320 2-Bay Network Attached Storage and Media Server

ZyXEL NSA320 2-Bay Network Attached Storage and Media Server

The NSA320 is a high performance home storage device and media server capable of handling 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.

The NSA320 features rich server technologies for multimedia sharing. Acting as an iTunes server, Squeeze Center, personal blog and photo album server, the NSA320 simplifies streaming and sharing multimedia on PCs, laptops and SqueezeBoxes.

With the user-friendly installation wizard, it’s easy to manage and backup media files on the NSA320. You can also play music and slide shows directly from the NSA320 through the intuitive user interface integrated with a media player.

The NSA320 allows you to create a music playlist to play on the background of your slide shows. A newly designed alphabetical search bar provides you with a more convenient way to search within thousands of songs, photos and videos stored on the NSA320.

The NSA320 allows users to continuously download large files using eMule, Bit Torrent, FTP or HTTP services without powering on their PC. The auto-upload function enables NSA320 to automatically upload files stored in the NSA to FTP servers or other media sharing Web sites like Flickr and YouTube – a very efficient way to share files with friends and family.

“Wake-on-LAN” enables users to turn on the NSA320 and access media files remotely anytime and anywhere, even when the device at home is powered off. In addition, with support for hibernation mode the internal hard disks in the NSA320 can automatically spin down when there is no data transmission after a period of time.

With the power scheduling function, the NSA320 can be turned on or off automatically based on your usage patterns and needs to conserve power and expense.

  • 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
  • Advanced green NAS with Wake-on-LAN, power scheduling and hard disk hibernation for energy savings
  • Runs eMule/Bit Torrent/ FTP/HTTP downloads independent of PC

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2 to “ZyXEL NSA320 2-bay Network Attached Storage and Media Server”

  1. Tom Servo says:

    A nice media server that does many things right! Reviewed: Zyxel NSA325. It supports 2 x 3.5″ SATA drives, has 2 USB2 ports (back) and a single USB3 (front) & has Gigabit Ethernet. 1.6GHz Marvell processor is faster than older NAS devices (faster than the 800MHz CPU in the D-LINK DNS-320 or the 1.2GHz CPU in the DNS-325) and 512MB memory allows multiple functions at same time.DRIVE INSTALLATION:Drive guide rails must be attached to each drive via screws. Note that the pointy end of the rails must face INWARD (i.e. on the same side as the SATA connector). The quick install sheet doesn’t mention this and it’s easy to overlook from the diagram. The reason for the specific orientation is that you use a tool (located behind the drive cover) to remove an installed drive from its bay and this tool clips onto the exposed end of the drive rails. Also when installing be sure to insert the drive so that the SATA connector will mate with the drive (it will not if you insert the drive the wrong way and you could cause damage). ZyXEL needs to have better instructions. The front door is a little flimsy though, be careful when removing/installing to avoid breaking the tabs that keep it in place.Note that drives are NOT hot-swappable, do not remove/insert with the power on. Drives up to 3TB are supported with newest firmware (note if you have old firmware you will need to temporarily install a smaller drive, create a volume, then use the firmware check function in the web interface to update firmware before installing 3TB drives).RAID:RAID 0/1 are supported. RAID 0 uses the combined storage space of both drives but has no redundancy. RAID 1 mirrors contents on both drives so if one fails your data is still safe.POWER MANAGEMENT/UPS:+ You can connect a (APC brand) UPS to the NAS via one of the USB ports and it will auto-shutdown when UPS battery is low (you can adjust when the shutdown occurs based on the UPS reported capacity remaining). A nice touch and one that will help prevent data loss. I tried it with a Tripp-Lite UPS and it wasn’t recognized so it looks like only an APC will work.+ You can set the UPS to always power on after a power failure, useful if acting as networked storage.+ You can spin down drives if no data transmission occurs in a specified time (adjustable in minutes)+ Supports “wake-on-lan” so device can turn on and service incoming requests even if powered off.+ NAS uses external 12V 5amp power adapter. This is better than an internal power supply as it is easily replaceable if it fails.+ Interestingly the NAS has an internal clock (powered by a CR2032 battery) and can be set to power on/off via time schedule.THE BAD:- There is no “network activity” LED at the front panel (the LED is on the Ethernet jack). I would have liked to see a front panel LED. This is important as use of one of the back USB ports will block the network LED on the jack.- I do not think there is a way to migrate to larger capacity drives without backing up/replacing drives/recreate RAID/restoring the array.- Download Manager feature (more on this below) cannot download files that require authentication from websites (i.e. files that require login). This is a shame as this would been much more useful.- This NAS takes LONG to boot. This may cause a problem if used as network storage as PCs may boot quicker than the NAS!- For some strange reason the CPU temp is reported incorrectly (12 deg Celsius) on the NSA status page after some time in operation. It still seems to work correctly so this may be a minor bug.OTHER:+ Front panel USB connector is USB3 for fast copy from/to external USB3 devices. This is just for copying data from/to an external drive, I don’t think connection to a PC is supported.+ NAS has CPU temp sensor.+ The fan is a 3-wire fan (has RPM sensor so the NAS can determine fan speed). The fan label mentions that has a hypro bearing, which supposed to be a long-lasting bearing. The fan is very quiet, practically silent.+ Web-based interface is nice and clean, with attractive icons. The admin setup webpage is logically organized. You can check the CPU temp/CPU load/free memory from the admin page.+ ZPilot feature allows you to drop files/folders to an “always-on-top” icon to copy to the NAS. Optionally you can have the NAS sort files into specific folders based on the file type.+ Add-on packages really expand functionality of the NAS. For example installing the SMART package allows you to see the status (temperature, SMART status, model & serial #) of the installed drives.+ Firmware update is totally painless, one click will check for new firmware, another click downloads & installs it. You don’t need to download it from a PC then upload it to the NAS. However note that you must have drive(s) installed and a volume created to use the auto-update feature as it needs to download firmware to the volume. If no drive(s)…

  2. Seth "old boz" says:

    Good and BAD – read UPDATES! (Down from 5 stars to 2 stars) Amazon’s price fluctuates SO MUCH and SO FAST on this, you have to monitor all the time. It can be had for less than $100 in two days.I am still moving data from a readynas Duo to this NAS. It’s slow because you cannot (so far) just back up to and from anything on the network. Boo!!The interface, once you learn it, makes MANY things easier to do than some other NAS boxes require.Pros: Although it’s plastic, it does not heat up. A larger fan would make me feel safer, though, with 2TB or 3TB drives running in it. The drives won’t just pop out. You have to use the plastic handle, but it is an easy thing to do. Since it is not something that has to be done often, it is no big deal. Supports Jumbo Frames. DLNA just flat works. Faster stream than the Readynas Duo (v1), which may be because of the processor. This unit shows up on my Sony BD player almost immediately. The Readynas could take as long as 2-3 minutes.Cons: UPS monitoring!! This is BS that it won’t see Cyberpower 850PFC!! I wouldn’t own an APC with “modified” sine wave. The CP is FULLY compatible with Windows, Linux, and MAC OSX, so WHAT is the issue? This needs an IMMEDIATE fix!! Although setting up FTP access is less hassle than most higher priced NAS boxes, it is too open. Giving a user his own PW and login still lets them see other shares. That is a security issue. The Jumbo Frames support is TOO RESTRICTIVE. You are bound by their check boxes for 4KB, 8KB, or 9KB. Actual MTU settings (optional) would let you tweak all of the attached devices. (Readynas goes to 7936K.)Update June 19, 2012: I got the other 2TB drive out of the Readynas, created a raw new partition, and put it in the NSA320. NO option to RAID–only a second JBOD. It makes sense since when the first drive is put in you DO NOT get a RAID 1 option. Too bad.STILL no migrate button available in JBOD or RAID mode. The manual says it will show up.STILL NO UPS sensing. This is definitely a show stopper around here, although the CP850 will power these for up to 45 minutes.The Backup Planner does see other network drives!! The Readnas is now the backup.NEW UPDATE: 1. Using both the NIC and NSA320 with Jumbo Frames at 9K, Paragon Backup flies at 31.1MB/Sec write time (1GB net/Cat 6)!! 2. USB 2.0 externals (EXT3) transfer at ~25MB/Sec. WHy are these other reviews saying slow??? 3. UPS SENSING–it’s undocumented. After removing the USB external drive, the NSA320 found the CyberPower 850PFLLCD!! Even with a USB stick pluggedin. It must be a firmware issue. However, it shows “120%” available so I set shutdown at 60%. (It doesn’t matter. The 850 has a Readynas Duo, two external USB drives, and this NSA320 attached and only drawing 51-55W!!)We’ll see what happens when I put the external USBs back on line.**Update, June 20, 2012:DARN!! 1. UPS monitoring went away again!! I did a system power down and back; it was gone. I tried the with-USB drives/ without USB drives–NOTHING!! Where is tech support when you need it? 2. The Readynas is still a Storage Device on the wireless to my laptop. The NSA 320 only shows up as a media server. Since I can web access it, I know it’s not the router. 3. The print server works, but only to wired devices. No way to reach it wireless. I think if the NSA 320 finally shows as a storage device it wil drag the printer along.**UPDATE June 22: Reduced to 2 stars because: CONS: 1. UPS monitoring IS a Zyxel programming issue! This from “other type” of UPS Senior Tech Support: “As to communications protocols I am unable to say what the differencesare between our protocol and …. I can tell you about our products as they relate to NAS boxes.Your UPS has a chipset that communicates using the HID USB Power Device standard. TheCyberPower provides additional data that is not included in thisstandard, but the rest of the data complies with the standard. As suchdevises with are designed to work with that standard will work with ourproduct. The features of the CyberPower that are not covered by thestandard will not be accessible but the basic function as you have seenwill be there.APC may also use the standard plus some additional protocols to covertheir additional features as well. APC is a very popular brand, so aNAS manufacturer may have programed their product to work with the fullAPC protocol. Because some fraction of the APC data is not part of thestandard, if the device assumes it is being connected to an APC it willlook for that portion of the communications that are custom to the APCand when it does not find it it will declare the connection a failureeven…

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