back to article Cisco Linksys Media Hub 500GB home NAS

Linksys has always been one of those dull, boring companies that makes dull, boring networking products for business users. But since its takeover by networking titan Cisco in 2003, Linksys has slowly tried to turn itself into a more consumer-friendly firm - all the better to grab a slice of the burgeoning home networking market …

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350 quid?

I could buy a real server for that and install Orb on it. No ridiculous "maintenance fees" there.

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Icy Reception

Personally, for half the price you can get a 1Tb Icybox NAS 4220B that does all, plus more (yes, bittorrent included). Add another 70 notes on top for full mirroring of 1Tb. Just make sure you get the latest board (1.2) and use Seagate and WD drives (small issue of HD compatability). A small price (read - Hinderance) to pay for a bob-on unit.

Hey, how about a review of it? It only costs 80-90 notes for the box itself..

Enough said really.. rather expensive..

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Stop

Gigabit?

If it took 2 hours to transfer 20 gig of music + video that's 2.8mbyte per second. So it's actually slower than my WD NAS drive which clocks around 7mb/sec (and I thought that was slow).

Surely when they claim something's gigabit they really should mean just that.

(I'm assuming that the reviewer's computer isn't the bottleneck here)

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Looks a bit expensive!

Doesn't look very good value for money when you compare it with similar products from Buffalo that have similar features, but are under £150 !

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Jim
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Fail

Way too expensive

No AV out

Subscription web service

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Not for server users?

What exactly does "Setting up the Media Hub is fairly straightforward for PC owners..." mean to the author? "As long as you're not using a Cray or a blade server you're OK..."? "Works with Sun Sparc, Apples Macs, Desktop Itanium boxes running FreeBSD..." ?

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madness price.

I have an icybox happily RAIDing (I had a failed drive so I know it works!) Better at less than half the price (coupled to my XBMC).

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Alert

Soooooo

How does this compare to the QNAP-209?

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IT Angle

how is that ?

how is that you need an "installer" to setup a network drive ? long were they days when you had to configure AppleTalk and Netware (MAP ROOT H:= anyone ?), but mapping a network drive these days should not require an "installer"... should it ?

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Stop

350 quid?

Too expensive: I just purchased 500GB Hitachi drive for $75 (about 47 quid).

Features I wouldn't pay for: The web feature is available gratis elsewhere

Confusing: why would I want another device to manage?

Not redundant: A single hard drive? For this money, I would want hardware RAID.

Doesn't work: as the review showed, the interface didn't work with all formats whereas treating it as a network drive allowed some formats to be recognised.

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Looks nice...

But I just recently bought a NetGear ReadyNas NV+. Yeah I know, quite a chunk more expensive, but the 2x750GB HDD version here in Canada was on offer at 860CAD (ex tax) so, why not!

I now have that setup with 4 750GB hdds so essentially RAID5, with hot-swapping. It doesn't have the (admittedly) very sexy web interface of the linksys (at least from the piccies, may be a dog to use), but I recon it is a better all round product... for those that have the money to burn :D

Still nice to see companies at least making an effort; though why they think 500GB is sufficient for entry level I will never know.

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Tom
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boring networking products for business users.?

What? They have been making cheap funky shaped plastic boxes of mostly air for years, the boring metal case square business products are the new line.

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Too many

Chinese and Taiwanese lookalikes available to do all this stuff for circa $60-90 sans HD. I think they may have shot themselves in the foot with this one.

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Coat

So ...

Calling it "Cisco Linksys" rather than plain old "Linksys" obviously means 'double the price' ...

Now as it happens, I'm in the market for a NAS solution so I can free up some of the USB ports on my main machine and allow my consoles to grab films and choons over the network, but £350 for a 500Gb network disk? Shyeeaaaah, right .... stuff it.

The Icybox IB-NAS-4220B looks like it could be a contender - 2-bay SATA NAS enclosure (no disks) for around £100 - add in a couple of 1Tb disks and even at today's prices it comes in at around £100 less than this, plus it has RAID capability. No hot-swap, but I think I can live with that. Reviews look generally positive and the pricing is OK, so I wouldn't mind hearing of any 'real world' experiences with it (or maybe even a Reg review?)

Mine's the one with the NSLU-2 'Slugs' in the pockets.

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Power consumption?

For a box that may be always on, it would be a good idea to include the power consumption in the review. And no, the Linksys product page does not include this in the specs either, which is not a good sign.

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Anonymous Coward

Cisco Linksys - we don't need no stinking customers!

I have a couple of Linksys Media Center Extenders (a DMA2100 and a DMA2200). The DMA2100 is a great little box at it's current "street price" of ~$100, but the only support from you'll get from Linksys is to have your posts on the Linksys forums deleted if you suggest that Cisco doesn't give a damn about supporting these products.

They have moderators that actually read the forums editing or deleting posts that they don't like, but in the 2 months that I checked the forums out on a regular basis, I never once saw any of these moderators actually answer any questions.

There are a couple of small firmware changes that these devices need (support for "magic packet" WOL, Divx fourcc tweaks, some aspect ratio consistency between differnt codecs) to make a good device better, and a couple of slightly more involved changes (support for multiple pairings, much shorter boot time - 90 seconds, wtf?). But good luck getting a response from Linskys/Cisco admitting that these flaws even exist, never mind that they'll do anything about them.

The bottom line is that Cisco/Linksys seems to still have some pretty good engineers creating their products, but the beancounters won't spend the money needed to make the products great. Those little niggely bits spoil the whole effect.

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Cisco Linksys

My experience with Cisco Linksys is similar.

I bought a WRT54G years ago, and it was great. The stock firmware was fine and there's numerous 3rd-party firmwares for it. (I have DD-WRT on mine.)

Bought one more recently (ver 5). Useless! The firmware was so buggy, it'd crash within hours, AND scramble the settings! It was nice, you'd power it back up and it STILL wouldn't come back up without hooking ethernet up and resetting the settings on it. Right after Cisco bought Linksys, they stripped the fully-functional Linux firmware, cut the RAM and ROM in half, and put in a barely-working version 1.00.00 firmware. Why they didn't at least get the hideous bugs out first, I don't know. I returned it!

I think they still sell them. I don't know how the stock firmware is, but there's a special extra-small DD-WRT version for it I guess. But, if you're running 3rd-party frimware anyway, the WRT is like twice as expensive as competitors (since Cisco cut RAM and ROM, but not the price.)

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Boffin

Additional - ICYBOX - Hint

Where as I'm a great fan of the ICYBOX, I would urge caution when 'hacking' it. If you leave it 'as is' (albeit with the supported downloads on the Raidsonic site), it works like a charm. For those that want to 'hack' it, make sure you know what you are doing (and have a good understanding of Linux [BusyBox]) - unlike this muppet typing this, I'm sure you'd get more out of it. For me, I'm crap at Linux and have since given up on adding extra things to it (shame really, but as a vanilla box, it's awesome!)

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Boffin

Further proof, if any were needed ...

... that this device is too damned expensive, today I ordered:

- 1x IcyBox IB-NAS4200-B (£97 inc.VAT)

- 2x WD 'Green' 1Tb drives (£80 each inc.VAT) - could have had SeaCrates for slightly less, but after an interesting incident with a bricked Barracuda that was a road I wasn't prepared to travel.

Delivery costs came to about £15 as I used two different suppliers, so we're looking at £270-ish for a 1Tb NAS solution with gigabit ethernet and RAID capability that pulls around 27W at full load (see: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/02/01/icy-box-ib-nas4220-b-network-storage/4) - not too shabby.

Certainly better than paying a £70-80 premium for the Cisco name and a pretty looking LCD-type display.

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