An incredibly low price makes up for slightly slow transfer speeds and a somewhat drab interface in this budget NAS enclosure
2 disk bays, N/A storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
It’s particularly easy to fit drives to the DNS-325. All you have to do is slide up the sleek metal face-plate and push your hard disks into place. The system is entirely screwless, but feels secure nonetheless. There are fewer I/O ports on the DNS-325 than you’ll find on many of its similarly priced rivals, but the USB port on the back and the user-configurable USB Copy/Unmount button will prove sufficient for many users. You can use it to either attach extra storage or share a USB printer across your network. The power switch is activated by pushing on the fascia of the NAS itself, and the absence of a visible switch makes the device look even sleeker.
The supplied installation disc leads you through the process of installing your drives, setting up an admin password and giving the NAS an address on your network. It also prompts you to set up a DDNS account using D-Link’s free DLinkDDNS.com service, which makes it easier to access your NAS remotely from outside your local network if your ISP only gives you a dynamic IP address. An optional step lets you configure the NAS to send alert and notification emails to a designated address. Finally, you’re prompted to format and configure the drives and map the location of the NAS’s share to a drive letter for your PC to access. Finally, the application offers to set up a range of add-on packages for the NAS, including an audio streamer, photo centre and Squeeze Centre media streamer.
Its web interface lacks the polish of rivals such as Synology or QNap, having big chunky icons, dated styling and small text, but everything’s easy to find. There are three main sections, but one of those is a customisable Favourites tab that starts life empty. The Management button is the most immediately useful section of the interface, providing you with access to disk and volume management tools so that you can reformat the NAS’s hard disks and change your RAID settings. You can also re-run the NAS setup wizard, use the Account Management settings to create users and assign permissions, and configure local network and Dynamic DNS settings.
Not the slickest-looking interface but it gets the job done – click to enlarge
There’s also an Application Management screen and a separate tab for installed applications. These include services such as iTunes and UPnP media streaming, an integrated BitTorrent client, a basic web-accessible file server interface, an FTP server, and a management interface for backups to and from the device, including Apple Time Machine. The NAS also comes with Farstone’s Total Recovery Pro backup suite for Windows.
|Default file system
|Price per gigabyte
|3.5in drive bays
|Free 3.5in drive bays
|JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1
|USB direct access ports (front/rear)
|Other USB ports (front/rear)
|eSATA ports (front/rear)
|Ethernet connection speed
|Universal Plug and Play support
|UPnP media server
|USB disk server
|TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP
|Ethernet cable included
|Time Machine backup support, personal cloud storage/web file server, optional Squeezebox server, optional photo gallery, optional blog hosting
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|two years RTB