Small shops looking for an inexpensive, simple-to-use basic NAS device should consider the EtherFast Network Storage Device from Linksys, now a division of Cisco Systems.
The $850 EFG120, which shipped last month, is ideal for SOHO environments. It comes with a single 120GB IDE hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet port, print server and built-in backup software—everything small businesses need for network file sharing.
The EFG120 was easy to set up in my tests. Using the utility disk that comes with the device, I quickly specified network settings and logged in to the Web management interface to set up file shares using Internet Explorer.
The EFG120 doesnt have advanced NAS features such as snapshot capabilities, but it does offer user-based disk quotas and supports Universal Plug and Play.
I liked having the option of adding a second IDE drive to the system. The EFG120 comes with two drive bays so I could easily add a 250GB hard drive to the second bay or replace the existing 120GB drive and max out the device with as much as 500GB of storage. This is a good option for small businesses because IDE hard drives are inexpensive compared with getting another NAS.
Linksys sells a hard drive tray for the second drive bay for $29.
For more information, see www.linksys.com.