NAS Storage Blog

NAS storage news, reviews, tips and tricks

LG N4B2ND4 NAS storage from LG with Blu-Ray

I am always on the look out for new NAS devices and last day I was told to check out the NAS devices from LG and the devices look interesting.
My first impression was the cool design. The white plastic cover and the aluminum front looks surprisingly nice.

The LG N4B2ND4 4-bay NAS looks fantastic and I must say that the built-in Blu-Ray drive is a feature that I have not seen in a NAS before.
What is a Blu-Ray drive doing in a NAS some might say.

The LG N4B2ND4 has a suggested price that says 850 US Dollars which is pricy but a quick look at the features tells the pricy story. 4 TB storage, Blu-Ray drive and Intel Atom Dual Core CPU and 1 GB memory cost some money.

Check some of the LG N4B2ND4 NAS specifications below.

LG N4B2ND4 specifications

  1. Blu-Ray drive. Great for data backup. Very cool feature.
  2. Intel Atom Dual Core 1.6GHz. Very powerful.
  3. 1024 MB memory. I guess you can run a Tomcat application server with OK performance on this NAS with that much memory installed.
  4. 4 TB data storage included. 4 hot-swappable hard drives. Multiple RAID configurations are available.
  5. Gigabit ethernet.
  6. 3 USB 2.0 ports.
  7. Extremely cool design.
  8. Embedded Linux as OS.
  9. Web based interface.
  10. Power consumption: 38 W in action.

The LG N4B2ND4 is nice looking and it is powerful but very expensive. Go for a Synology or QNAP NAS instead. They will give you more value for the money.

Use OpenDNS DNS servers instead of your ISP

For almost a year I have used the DNS servers from OpenDNS instead of the DNS servers from my ISP and I am actually glad that I changed.
As my Airport Extreme router is my home gateway this is the only device where I have changed the primary and secondary DNS server. So all Internet traffic goes through the OpenDNS servers which are placed at many locations all over the world.

OpenDNS is used by many so their services are reliable. I am pretty sure that the OpenDNS servers are faster at the name resolution operation than my ISP.

Benefits of OpenDNS

There are several benefits when you switch to OpenDNS DNS servers.

  1. Faster DNS name resolution. There are many OpenDNS servers and they are tuned and tweaked in order to deliver the best service.
  2. Secure web surfing. Phishing websites are blocked because OpenDNS knows most of them.
  3. Reliable. The many OpenDNS servers around the world will guarantee that even a DNS server is busy another one can be used for name resolution. Your ISP will not have that many DNS servers

Problems with DNS servers

The problems with DNS servers and most other servers are the logging. OpenDNS is a business and they want to earn money. They do that by selling logging data from their DNS servers to other companies. Your Internet usage will be given to US government if needed and not to the government from your country.
I know that my ISP is logging too so it is unavoidable.

OpenDNS IP addresses

The IP addresses to use for your router or your computer are the following:

  1. Primary DNS server: 208.67.222.222.
  2. Secondary DNS server: 208.67.220.220.

Here is a guide how to setup OpenDNS on your router or compu ter.

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS – WS-WVL/R1 looks like a NAS suitable for a home network

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo is a small ready to use NAS from Buffalo. The design of the NAS is not one my favourites. It looks like a cheap music device but this machine have some awesome specs: Dual Core CPU and 2 GB RAM.
I only know little about Buffalo but the company has a reputation for making some quality NAS devices. They are not as popular as Synology and QNAP though.

The NAS chassis is made of metal and the fan placed at the back is big, not that noisy and ít sure does look like a quality fan. It is most likely better than the fans that are placed in many Synology DiskStations. I had to replace the fan in my Synology DS211+ with a Noctua fan.

The TeraStation Pro is equipped with two hard drives (500 GB each) and it is possible to use RAID 0 and RAID 1. That is a good thing.

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS – WS-WVL/R1 specifications

Here is a list with some hardware specifications for the NAS.

  • Two USB interfaces: 1 x 2.0 and 1 x 3.0.
  • Two hot swap hard drives (500 GB).
  • Disk encryption.
  • Dual gigabit Ethernet ports (RJ-45).
  • Web access.
  • BitTorrent application.
  • Intel Atom 1.66Ghz Dual Core CPU.
  • 2 GB RAM.

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo is a midrange quality NAS in my opinion. The price for the Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo is somewhere between 2 – 300 US dollars.

Use IP blocking (Auto Block) in Synology DSM if some ports are open

With IP blocking it is possible to deny connection to certain IP addresses that tries to connect to different services on your Synology NAS. If it is possible to access your Synology via SSH, telnet, WebDAV, FTP, rsync and others from the Internet due to a port forwarding, IP blocking is a nice security feature. It prevents the bad guys from keep trying to connect to your NAS services and gain access if they provide the correct username and password. This must not happend.
If a someone tries to login to DiskStation via SSH and the number of failed login attempts is too many according to the number of login attempts that you define, the IP will be added to an IP black list. Your NAS now knows that this IP is blacklisted and it should not be allowed to try to connect to the service.

Enable IP blocking in Synology DSM 4

By default IP blocking is not enabled in DSM so you will have to enable ít.

  1. Login to your NAS.
  2. Open Control Panel and go to Auto Block.
  3. Check Enable auto block.
  4. Set Login attempts to 5 and Within (number of minutes these 5 login attempts must be within) to 5.
  5. Click Apply.

That is one step closer to a more secure NAS.

Western Digital Elements SE Portable 750 GB is my preferred NAS backup device

Western Digital Elements SE Portable 750 GB is my preferred NAS backup device and I got two of them. They are both a part of my data backup strategy. The Western Digital external disks are extremely popular and it is understandable.

I do like them a lot because of their stability, capacity and connectivity.

Even though my Synology DS211+ NAS has a capacity of 2 TB it does not mean that all 2 TB are used and far from all data is that critical.

The critical data on my NAS has a current capacity that says 300 GB and that data is backed up on the two WD Elements SE 750 GB disks every week. I do make an encrypted image off the content on my MacBook Pro and put it on each disk too. So each disk now contains NAS data and MacBook Pro data.

Each disks is placed on a separate location outside my house and the data is off course encrypted. I do not store my data externally unless the data is encrypted.
I do recommend the Western Digitals Elements series and the My Passport series for backup. Both series are worth the money.

The QNAP TS-219P Turbo NAS did loose to Synology DS211+

When I bought my Synology DiskStation DS211+ last year the QNAP TS-219P was the toughest competitor among the many other NAS devices that I reviewed in order to find my new NAS.

The QNAP TS-219P was and still is a worthy competitor to Synology DS211+ because the hardware specifications and price for both devices are so similar. QNAP NAS devices are known to be stable and the NAS chassises is quality.

Both Synology and QNAP are some of the top dogs of NAS manufacturers in the world and they do make quality hardware and firmware for their devices.

I had chosen 5 NAS devices for the final and at the end only two finalist were chosen in the final round: Synology DS211+ and QNAP TS-219.

Why did QNAP TS-219P loose?

The reasons that QNAP TS-219 lost to DS211+ last year in the final was the following:

  1. Design. The DS211+ has in my opinion a better looking design than the TS-219 and since my NAS is visible and not hidden, it does matter how the NAS looks.
  2. DSM. The Disk Station Manager (DSM) is a bit better than QNAP Firmware but QNAP has a package system called QPKG which is a fantastic feature created by QNAP.

I will do a similar NAS competition the next time I am going to buy a NAS and I do hope that the final will include NAS devices from many manufacturers.

LaCie Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt for your MacBook Pro

LaCie Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt I/O is an interesting device and it is indeed useful with your Apple MacBook Pro 2011.

I am the owner of a MacBook Pro and I find the Thunderbolt technology very interesting because it provides a connection to your computer that is very fast. With Thunderbolt you can transfer data with up to 10 gigabit per second from one device to another. It is perfect for fast data backup and that is something that I could use.

I want a LaCie Little Big Disk for my birthday.

What is Thunderbolt?

I do not want to give a complete overview of the Thunderbolt technology but only mention some of the benefits this new technology brings us.

  1. Extremely fast data transfer.
  2. Compatible with existing DisplayPort devices (Perfect for us Mac users).
  3. Daisy-chaining. Chain your Thunderbolt devices so they are wired together in sequence.

Thunderbolt was developed by Intel as was first used by Apple in their computers in 2011.

LaCie Little Big Disk specifications

I have thought of buying the LaCie Little Big Disks in order to try the data transfer myself and use this little device as the Time Machine disk. It could be an interesting test.
The LaCie Little Big Disk is a small aluminum box with a hard drive and two Thunderbolt interfaces.
Here are some LaCie Little Big Disk specifications:

  1. Capacity: 1 TB, 2 TB or 240 GB SSD hard drive.
  2. Nice looking aluminum enclosure with heat sink cooling.
  3. Weight: 650 g.
  4. Two Thunderbolt ports.

Synology DS112j 1-bay NAS with USB 2.0

Synology has just released the DS112j NAS that features hardware encryption of data, very low power consumption and a cool white design that will blend in perfectly in most homes and company offices.
The DS112j will be a perfect start NAS for users that are unexperienced with the use of a NAS device and how it can fulfill the many IT services that is needed at home and in small officess.
The DS112j is a 1-bay NAS you will not be able to configure RAID but if you buy a good and stable hard disk from Western Digital so should be good to go.
Here a list of the most important hardware features in Synology DS112j:

  • Cool white design that will blend in.
  • Wake on LAN.
  • Up to 4 TB data storage.
  • Encryption engine.
  • Low power comsumption: 13 W when active and only 5 W when hibernated.
  • 1.0GHz processor.
  • 128 MB DDR2 RAM.
  • Place for one hard drive (3.5” or 2.5”).

Buy the new Synology DS112j if you need a cheap and stable service provider for LAN or WLAN. This NAS will be an excellent beginner NAS for most users.

Synology has just released DSM 4.0

Synology has just released DSM (Disk Station Manager) 4.0. The Disk Station Manager contains several newsworthy features and I must say it looks extremely nice and so far it runs smoothly on my Synology DS211+ NAS. The firmware file has a size of 171 MB.
Here is how you can upgrade your current DSM version:

  1. Use DSM to upgrade automatically. The DSM will download the firmware file and restart the NAS afterwards.
  2. Upgrade manually. Download the file from Synology Download center and upload the file to your DSM afterwards.

I used the automatic update and the whole operation download, install and reboot worked like a charm. After the install the DSM seems to work perfect. All users are available, files are available, packages are OK so far so good.
New important features in DSM 4.0:

  1. Cloud service.
  2. New business services like DHCP server and VPN.
  3. Powerful and easy to use user interface.

I am looking forward to try the new Cloud functionality in DSM 4.0. It is one features that I think will be important for future use of my NAS.

Enjoy the new features in DSM 4.0.

Is Apple Time Capsule a NAS?

Before buying my Airport Extreme I also considered to buy the Apple Time Capsule which is an Airport Extreme with one hard drive and one hard drive only. I ended up buying an Airport Extreme and a Synology DS211+ with two Western Digital 2 TB green instead. I am glad that I did not bought the Time Capsule because in my opinion it is only a router with a build in backup device.

The Time Capsule does not have the many features that an ordinary intelligent NAS has. You can not run services like FTP, HTTP (web server), use RAID and use surveillance.
I am a big fan of RAID and the lack of RAID configuration on the Time Capsule (There is only one disk) is extremely bad and this is intolerable for me. I want backup of my data with a RAID 1 configuration.

The Time Capsule can provide you with data back up but do not expect it to be the best solution in the wold. Go for a NAS with RAID.