A poor performer, but it’s the cheapest NAS drive on test – worth considering if you’re on a tight budget.
T here’s not much more to the DNS-327L than a plastic box with a metal hard drive cage inside and a PCB at the bottom; this is a consumer-orientated unit. The drives aren’t hot-swappable, but installing them is still relatively easy. Unhook a plastic lid from the top and install loops onto the drives. They’ll then slide in with SATA and power connections at the bottom. Alongside power, there’s one USB 3 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port on the rear.
Despite the minimal hardware, the D-Link has a decent selection of features once you delve into the web-based management interface. The twin discs can be configured as RAID0, 1 or JBOD. You can also migrate a single drive to a RAID1 configuration. The USB port can provide print-server capabilities or UPS monitoring, or can be used to connect external storage. Media-streaming options are comprehensive, with DLNA HNv1.5 and iTunes, and there’s support for IP security cameras too.
Like others this month, the DNS-327L can be extended with downloadable apps, although this system isn’t as easily extensible as, say, Seagate’s. However, there are genuinely useful options here, including WordPress blogging, phpBB forums and the Joomla platform, which will turn the D-Link into a mini web server. You can also download directly to the device via FTP, HTTP or BitTorrent P2P, and back up to Amazon S3 or Google Drive cloud storage.
The 1.2GHz Marvell Armada 370 processor and 512MB of RAM is paltry compared to others this month, and the DNS-327L’s performance proves that you get what you pay for. Writing speed with a single large file was among the slowest this month, although reading was a little better at 89MB/sec. Backing up multiple small files placed the D-Link bottom of the pack, with a speed of only 13MB/sec.
But the DNS-327L is much cheaper than any other drive on test, making it worth considering if you’re on a budget.
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