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LaCie LaPlug review

Mike Jennings
17 Feb 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
72
inc VAT

A simple, relatively straightforward device that’s hampered by poor large file transfer performance and a limited range of options

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Specifications

0 disk bays, N/A storage supplied, 1x 1000 Ethernet ports

LaCie's LaPlug is designed to turn any USB storage device into a network-attached storage (NAS) disk. It's slightly smaller than a portable external hard disk and has four USB2 ports for flash drives and external hard disks, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi to send your files over the network.

LaCie LaPlug

The LaPlug costs a reasonable £72 and is easy to use. LaCie's own software finds devices attached to the LaPlug, and a couple of clicks is all it takes to mount network drives, with options available for both Windows and Mac users. It's also simple to find and connect to your wireless network. It works nicely, but there are few options – we weren’t able to change the drive letter in LaCie’s software, for instance, and had to assign drive letters in Windows instead. Both NTFS and FAT32 disks are supported, and the LaPlug is compatible with both UPnP and DLNA, so you can stream files to an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, for example, as well as iTunes. We found once we'd used a disk with the LaPlug it was no longer recognised in Windows, so once you've set up a disk as network-attached storage you won't be able to use it as a normal external hard disk without reformatting it first.

Drives appear as network devices on your PC and behave like normal hard disks or USB drives, and the LaPlug also includes a web interface that allows access to your files from any internet-enabled PC - you'll have to set up port forwarding to access files from outside your network, though. The web interface is basic, without the range of options found on more advanced NAS devices, but it works well - documents and media files opened without a problem.

LaCie LaPlug

The LaPlug's main failing, though, became apparent during our performance tests. We connected an external hard disk to the LaPlug and accessed it through a Gigabit router connected to both the LaPlug and our test PC and found the device to be extremely slow: its large file performance of 14.3MB/s falls far behind the 41.3MB/s of our favourite NAS device, Synology's DiskStation DS212j. It's not so bad with small files, managing a read and write average of 8.8MB/s, which is only slightly slower than the Synology NAS.

That’s not the only area where we found problems. We couldn't copy files to the disk with their attributes intact, and advanced users could be frustrated by the lack of options throughout – LaCie’s Network Assistant software allows disks to be mounted but little else. The LaPlug is an easy way to connect USB storage and other devices to your home network, and its Wi-Fi and web interface make it relatively easy for groups of users to access files and media. It’s simple and fairly good value, but power users could be disappointed by both the lack of options and the poor file performance.

Basic Specifications

Price£72
Rating***

Storage

CapacityN/A
Formatted capacityN/A
Default file systemNTFS
Price per gigabyteN/A
InterfaceUSB
3.5in drive bays0
Free 3.5in drive bays0
RAID modesN/A

Interface

Ethernet ports1
USB direct access ports (front/rear)N/A
Other USB ports (front/rear)4
eSATA ports (front/rear)0
Other portsnone

Networking

Ethernet connection speed1000
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
UPnP media serveryes
iTunesyes
Print serveryes
USB disk serveryes
Web serveryes
FTP serveryes
Protocols supportedN/A

Miscellaneous

Size37x119x119
Weight300g
Vertical positioningno
Ethernet cable includedyes
Additional featuresnone
Power consumption active7W

Buying Information

Price£72
Warrantytwo years RTB
Detailswww.misco.co.uk

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