Review: Addonics NAS 3.0 Adapter

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We reviewed Addonics‘s first NAS adapter in early 2009, somehow missed the second version of the same, and now present our review of their NAS 3.0 Adapter. Like the previous iterations, the NAS 3.0 Adapter is an extremely small device. It sports two USB ports, an RJ-45 port, and a power socket. As with the original version, the power adapter is not a wall wart. Say what you want about Addonics products, at least they understand that consumers hate wall warts.

Features

  • Built-in file server, WebDAV server, DHCP server, and BitTorrent client
  • Supports disk volumes up to 128 PB
  • MSRP $65

Pros

  • Small, easy to use
  • Provides UPnP
  • Can share one USB disk and one USB printer, or two USB disks

Cons

  • Only supports NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT volumes
  • Cannot format attached media
  • Cannot browse attached media from the device’s interface

Review
Things have changed a lot in the two years since I reviewed the original Addonics NAS adapter. Dropbox and its myriad workalikes have gained incredible traction. The PogoPlug has evolved into several distinct versions. The cloud has expanded to offer considerably more functionality. In short, there’s no shortage of ways to store and access your data today. Addonics’ offering back in early 2009 was pretty novel, but frankly their offering in 2011 is underwhelming.


The web based interface is entirely serviceable, but not really pleasant to use, as you can see above. You can enable SMB and WebDAV, and UPnP. For the first two you can create specific password-protected user accounts as well as enable the default password-less Guest account. Users (including Guest) can be granted read-only or read/write privilege to any directories on the media attached to the USB port labeled “storage”.

Although you can plug two USB drives into the NAS 3.0 Adapter, only one of them can be shared with any kind of granularity. If you plug a drive into the “printer” port, it will be world readable. Only the drive connected to the “storage” port will permit you to selectively share content to users you create.

It is not possible to format media from the NAS Adapter itself. You need to format your media before you connect it to the device. Depending on your environment, this may be problematic, as the NAS Adapter only supports NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT. I was unable to get the NAS Adapter to recognize a USB stick I had formatted from my Ubuntu laptop, even though I had partitioned it as FAT32. When I used my Mac Mini to format the USB stick as exFAT, the NAS Adapter saw it just fine.

The claim to support volumes up to 128 petabytes is a bit silly. If you have a 128 petabyte volume, you’re almost certainly not going to connect it to this doohickey.

I liked the original Addonics NAS Adapter, but the version 3.0 Adapter falls flat in comparison to the myriad other options available today.

Product Page: Addonics NAS 3.0 Adapter