back to article Addonics NASU2 micro USB NAS adaptor

You've got yourself a big old external hard drive. You've got yourself a network. How do you bring the two together? Addonics' NASU2 NAS Adaptor is a good place to start. It's a tiny, 70 x 32 x 25mm black box with a USB 2.0 port at one end and a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port at the other. There's a dinky 285mm patch cable in the …

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  1. Adrian Jones

    Nice idea...

    ...but I'll wait for a gigabit version.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What a review...

    That's a crap review... how about telling us:

    a) what filesystems it supports? FAT32, NTFS, Ext3, Reiser, HFS, etc, etc. I bet it doesn't support all of them but I'd like to know which (for drive portability)

    b) what type of processor and speed? ARM or x86?

    c) how much internal memory?

    d) What's the real-life throughput? Yes, it's got a 100Mbps port, but what's the actual throughput?

    e) What's the power draw? If this thing is designed to be on 24/7, I don't want it pulling any more than 5W at the mains (+HDD load).

    f) How many USB devices can it support? You mention using the USB hub, but is this how it was designed to be used or might that explain why it could only handle one device on the hub?

    I'm used to better than this from el reg.

    D-

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where in the UK

    Has anyone worked out where this can be purchased in the UK?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks neat

    Does it spin down the drive when not in use?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IO Specs/Benchmark/Tests?

    Why did you not measure network speed? Telling us that it is restricted due to the Fast Ethernet port must be a joke...

  6. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    Nice but shortsited,..

    why bother with 10/100?

    why not just go straight for Giganet, it'd cost the same

    wake me up when they get a clue

    (mine the one with 20 Epsom in the pocket)

  7. Ian Rogers

    rsync

    Would be a lot more useful with an rsync server on board.

  8. Sam York
    Thumb Down

    I'll echo AC @ 15.16

    This is a rewording of the press release/spec sheet. It tells us nothing really.

    I'm mainly interested in the possibilities of adding a USB hub - you say the price combined with a new hard drive is more than buying a hard drive with an Ethernet port, but if I can plug a £5 active hub into it and use four cheapo USB drives, it starts to become more attractive.

    Did you actually try it with a powered USB hub? You must have some knocking about El Reg Towers.

    Did you even take it out of the box at all or did you just read the Quick Start Guide and regurgitate it?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multiple drives?

    From their FAQ:

    Q. Can I attached an USB hub to the NAS adapter to have multiple hard drives on the Network?

    A: No. The NAS adapter does not support USB hub

    It uses FAT32 and needs the drive to be initialised before use.

    Lots of info on thier website:

    http://www.addonics.com/products/nas/nasu2-qa.asp

    Otherwise sounds good.

  10. Daniel Palmer

    @What a review...

    My thoughts exactly. I have a feeling the throughput is not going to be anywhere near either the network connection or the USB connection the drive is connected to. The innards are probably one of the recentish microcontrollers that have built in ethernet and USB hardware.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @gigabit ethernet

    Lets see, why would they only put a 10/100 ethernet port on a device which is used exclusively to access a USB (11Mb/S) hard drive, rather than putting in a gig ethernet port .... hmmm

    Nope, can't think of any reason

  12. ben
    Thumb Up

    Seems like an ideal thing...

    ...for networking your TF5800Pvrt so that you can stream your recordings to your local network... the Cisco equivalent(NSLU2) is £84 or something like that off Amazon...

  13. Mage Silver badge

    USB

    1.1 is 12Mbps theory = 2 to 4 Mbps typical

    2.0 is 480Mbps theory = 30Mbps to 60Mbps typical

    Even if track to track access on the HDD is 1ms and there are 2 users, the disk won't be able to do much more than 5Mbps

    Interesting gadget if you already have a USB drive knocking around. Or possibly faster than a USB 1.1 only laptop port to connect a USB 2.0 drive via Ethernet. Firewire is nice but generally expensive.

  14. Richard

    @@gigabit ethernet

    USB2 (480Mbits/s) surely? Even though USB2 is crap compared to Firewall 400/800 for sustained throughput I've seen up to 30MBytes/s throughput via USB2 directly (not hub) connected drives (IDE and SATA2) ... so having Gigabit (=<~200 MBytes/s full duplex?) would be reasonable for USB2 drives and even better if Firewall was also an option.

    The limitation of FAT32 and not even NTFS is pants though .. backwards compatible unless you want files bigger than 4GB? ... so a bit rubbish as a media server for video. FAT32 is not unusual for low-end NAS devices though.

    Hopefully these are little Linux firmware boxes which can be hacked to provide some better protocols ... like NFS 8-)

  15. Sam York

    @ AC 16.51

    USB 2 is 480Mbit/s....

  16. Sarah Davis
    Thumb Down

    derfinately pointless

    reply from Addonics

    "Unfortunately, there are no plan soon that it will support NTSF and EXT3 in future firmware upgrade for NAS. This is possible, but we are not certain when it will be available to use different formats beside FAT32. "

  17. Rich

    Tiny?

    75x30x25 isn't tiny. The size of a USB key would be tiny. The size of a plug would be really tiny.

    Also, given it needs powering, wireless would be cool.

  18. Steven Raith
    Paris Hilton

    @AC1651 @gigabit ethernet

    No, you dolt, it's USB2, 'capable' of 480Mb/sec [60megaBYTEs a second] of raw throughput - although you'd never see that realistically from any device.

    100Mb/sec does seem to be the limitation - they could only pull about 7.9MB/sec from a single, large, contigious file according to the FAQ - about 64Mb/sec, which sounds about right for a combined standalone 100mbNIC/USB running server software in my eyes once you take into account the FTP/SMB serving that will no doubt be sharing the same resources.

    Still, bit pointless for me, fucked if I'm formatting my porn drive, er, I mean ESSENTIAL BUSINESS DATA BACKUP just for the privelidge of wanging it on the LAN - I'll just leave the Acer Aspire One plugged into the wall, whack the drive onto it and CIFS/FTP it for now.

    Steven R

  19. Daniel Palmer

    @Richard

    Firewire is so amazing you managed to not spell it correctly each and every time you wrote it...

    > USB vs Firewire

    There probably aren't many drives that would like living in a little external box and overwhelm a USB2 port. ATA/SATA -> Firewire bridges seem pretty rare too, I think the only ones worth anything are made by Oxford Semiconductor (Actually a British company iirc) and even those aren't all that good. Well, unless you consider good to be not detecting the drive(s) half the time and not appearing on the Firewire bus the other half . I doubt there are any SoC's with firewire built in for devices like this.

    > Gigabit Ethernet

    200 MB/sec if you don't have any protocol overheads. Hint; You do.

    >FAT32

    I have a sneaky feeling the hardware inside this thing is fairly weak. Hence it only does FAT32.

    >Hopefully these are little Linux firmware boxes which can be hacked to provide

    >some better protocols ... like NFS 8-)

    Not likely.

  20. Jim

    @Daniel Palmer

    "ATA/SATA -> Firewire bridges seem pretty rare too, I think the only ones worth anything are made by Oxford Semiconductor (Actually a British company iirc) and even those aren't all that good. Well, unless you consider good to be not detecting the drive(s) half the time and not appearing on the Firewire bus the other half."

    Never had a problem with FW bridges not detecting drives. Had issues with bridges not seeing the whole drive (seen 128GB size limits on LaCie unit) but a drive always appears. The only time I have had problems is when the hdd was dead.

    As for being rare, well you can only really find them at specialist outlets like Amazon. I particularly like the Macally aluminium ones tymmy.

    I still don't get why ieee 1394 is always second to USB, it has been better performing for so long. And don't tell me it is because of cost, the price diff is negligible.

  21. OBone

    ipod

    anyone know if this thing work with the spare IPOD I have kicking about?

  22. Danny Silver badge

    Too expensive

    For that price you might aswell get a raidsonic NAS2000, it spins drives down, its quick for a 100mb (not gigabit im afraid) supports large drives and doesnt need to be fat32 if you dont want it to be.

    There are loads of linux hacks for it too if you are that way inclined.

    Then again im having more luck using my old XBOX as a file server (and it happily runs XBMC too)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like my "Lan Disk"

    The web page layout looks exactly like my cheapo "LAN Disk" that I got from Maplin, RDC2882, lots of drives share this chipset.

    Possible its using the same chipset + IDE to USB?

    If so, its going to be slow, but will support >4gb (on fat32) using its own system though. Basic passwords (no read only etc). And transferring on FTP will freeze/stop SMB access. Not to mention getting them working with Vista apparently.

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