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LaCie 2big NAS review

Michael Passingham
10 Aug 2014
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Lacie 2big NAS bays protruding
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
249
inc VAT

Superb user interface and plenty of extra features make this a great entry-level NAS

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Specifications

Capacity: 4TB, 3.5" hard disk bays (free): 2(0), Networking: 1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet, DLNA media server: Yes, Print server: Yes, Dimensions (WXHXD): 91x172x200mm, Weight: 4.4kg

LaCie's 2big NAS is a handsome NAS enclosure that you can buy with or without disks. The model we've reviewed here is the cheapest with disks and ships with a pair of 2TB Seagate disks. If you already have your own NAS disks, you can save £130 by buying it diskless.

The corrugated metal casing surrounding the disks is very distinctive, as is the futuristic-looking status light-cum-power button on the front. This attention to detail means that the 2big is somewhat short of accessible connectivity; there's a single USB2 port on the rear along with an eSATA port and a Gigabit Ethernet connector, and that's it. For home users with modest requirements this should be enough, but business users may prefer something a little more practical and a little less style-conscious.

We were a somewhat baffled by the over-engineered disk bays, which require a special LaCie key in order to be unlocked. It does prevent accidental caddy removal, but it's highly likely you'll lose the key almost immediately and then have to rummage around to find an alternative object to open the bays with.

The design of the case is intended to improve cooling, and while the case did indeed get warm during use, there's still a fan in the device that means it's about as loud as any other NAS, if not louder.

The 2big NAS runs Lacie's NAS OS 3 operating system, which you configure via its web-based interface. The interface is made up of a stylish and easy-to-understand set of web pages that can be customised to your liking. It's simple but cleanly designed and it's very easy to find your way around.

^ The user interface for the LaCie 2Big NAS is both pretty and functional

Setting up and configuring file shares is a cinch. When you create a share, it will follow the global default share settings on your device, but after creation you can edit these settings depending on who you want to be able to access a folder. Coloured symbols let you know at a glance whether a folder is set to the global default or whether it has its own custom settings.

The 2big NAS has a print server, which works very well, although if you're using an MFP you won't have access to anything other than your device's printing capabilities.

By default, media folders are disabled on the 2big, meaning you'll have to enable DLNA/UPnP and iTunes media server protocols both globally and in a specific folder in order to access your video and music collection from connected media devices. Again, you can see at a glance whether the protocol you need is enabled, or if there are any problems or conflicts preventing them from working properly.

We were able to access our video and music collection from Windows Media Player, although iTunes was unable to see our video files, despite us having enabled the NAS device's iTunes Media Server. As expected, streaming performance over a wired network was fine; we had no problems whatsoever playing videos stored on the NAS on a couple of PCs on our network simultaneously.

LaCie also allows you to use your NAS as part of a hybrid Cloud setup via its Wuala Cloud storage service. Similar to Dropbox, this service mounts a virtual drive on your PC, which gives you access to cloud storage provided by LaCie and also allows you to access any LaCie and Seagate NAS devices as well. The remote storage part of the service requires a subscription, although with your 2big you will get three months of 100GB storage for free, and then it's €9.99 (around £8) per month. Using this application, you can also create links to files stored on your NAS to share with others. There are also mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to upload and download files while on the move.

^ LaCie's Wuala hybrid cloud service is good, but you'll need to pay for it to make the most of it

There are no third-party apps to download and install; what you see is what you get with the LaCie 2big. For users only looking for the basics, this won't be an issue, but you should know that there won't be any opportunities to extend the use of your NAS in the future, so make sure that it does everything you need it to.

File transfer speeds were slower than those attained by more expensive NAS devices, but they were respectable nonetheless. In RAID 1, it was able to achieve 59.7MB/s write speeds and 75.5MB/s read speeds for large files. For small files in this mode it managed 7.9MB/s for writing and 17.2MB/s reading. These results were largely repeated in RAID 0, although write speeds were a little slower.

The LaCie 2big NAS is an excellent consumer NAS that also has enough useful features to make it suitable for business use. While its lack of extra apps may put some people off, we'd heartily recommend it as an entry-level device, especially given its decent performance.

Hardware
Capacity4TB
Default file systemEXT4
File attribute supportYes
Price per gigabyte16p
Hard disk interfaceSATA2
3.5" hard disk bays (free)2(0)
RAID modesJBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1
Interfaces
Networking1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Front USB portsNone
Rear USB ports1x USB2
Other portseSATA
Networking
Universal Plug and PlayYes
DLNA media serverYes
Print serverYes
USB disk serverYes
Web serverNo
FTP serverYes
Mac file sharingYes
SSHNo
WebDAVNo
Other servicesDownload manager
Features
Dimensions (WXHXD)91x172x200mm
Weight4.4kg
Vertical positioningYes
Buying information
WarrantyThree-years RTB
Price£249
Supplierwww.misco.co.uk
Detailswww.lacie.com
Part code9000225

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