Network-attached storage, or NAS for short, is fast becoming popular amongst the tech-savvy and storage freaks; especially those with multiple computer systems at home. For the uninitiated, NAS allows data to be accessed by multiple computers connected to the same network. And there are many advantages to doing so.
In many ways, it acts somewhat like a file server, but unlike a file server, there's no need for the user to build an additional system. This saves costs, not just on hardware, but also on software, since most consumer NAS also come preloaded with custom operating systems that are based on Linux or Windows. Additionally, for the environmentally conscious, versus a full-fledged PC-based file server, a NAS with its simpler though dedicated hardware requires less power to operate. The hard drives in a NAS spin down when idling, waking up only when called upon.
Apart from costs, NAS units are also becoming increasingly popular because of their speed. Moving large chunks of data is much faster through Gigabit Ethernet as opposed to the ubiquitous USB 2.0 and even the speedy FireWire 800.
Today, we have with us the Blackbox NAS from Vox. Stylish and chic, we check it out to see if it is as good as it looks. Here's a quick summary of its specifications.