Like I said, the only thing my cozy little setup lacked was a network attached storage—a high-capacity hard drive accessible to any computer on the same LAN. Other World Computing’s NASPerform is one such a device, and one that, in my brief time with it, performed as I’d always hoped my very first NAS would—without much of a hassle. (Not to say that I’m easily impressed, but I’ve become so upset with various technologies that having something work like it’s supposed to is appreciated.) However, that’s not to say that I didn’t suffer my fair share of “?!” moments, but, overall, NASPerform should warrant your consideration if you’re in the market for a NAS.
So who needs a NAS? You, probably—power users who know their way around a command prompt or those whose simply download a hell of a lot of content. To that end, I find it hard to believe that Grandma and Grandpa would get much use out of several hundred gigabytes sitting on a LAN. The rest of us, those who own multiple computers, run BitTorrent 24/7, pull down reams of content from Usenet—commence the secret handshake—and change our SSIDs from “linksys” or “default” to anything else would do well to invest in a NAS. The ability to plug in a giant hard drive into your router—NASPerform comes in 250GB, 500GB and 750GB sizes; or you can grab the HDD-less enclosure and supply your own drive—and access your MP3s, videos and the like from any computer is certainly handy. I reckon once you’ve spent any amount of time with a NAS, you’ll be scratching your head like Cletus saying, “Man alive, how did I ever function without one of these?”
You know, something to that effect.
The NASPerform comes with the encased hard drive, USB and power cables, and a little footie thing to stand the drive on. You’ll also find a software CD, which you’ll need to run before hooking up the device to LAN. Calm down—it takes all of two minutes. At least it did on my now hopelessly outdated iMac.
Once you’ve rebooted, feel free to plug the NASPerform into your router. Now, go back to your computer and launch the little utility thing that you just installed from the CD, give your drive a name, format it, yada yada. That’s it. The drive will then mount on your desktop like any other drive, albeit with a different icon indicating that it’s network-based.
I named the drive “SIREN.” It’s an inside joke. You don’t want to be on the inside, trust me. (Hi-res pic here.)
Truth be told, that’s about it as far as setup goes.
Performance is swell, but don’t expect to transfer large files over the network as quickly as you can with an internal drive. A 4.4GB MKV file (some HD movie rip) took 33 minutes to traverse from my iMac, through the 802.11g-only Wi-Fi network, to the NASPerform; the file played perfectly running from the NASPerform using VLC. So streaming won’t be a problem, it’s just that the initial transfer may take a few more minutes that you’re used to. Don’t worry, though, you’re able to play any and all multimedia files from NASPerform on your computer. Killing Puritans sounded just as good coming from the NASPerform as it does my internal hard drive or USB connected hard drive.
He looks happy for someone being streamed over 802.11g. (Hi-res pic here.)
I’m streaming an MP3! (Hi-res pic here.)
Speaking of that, yes, you can hook the NASPerform up to your USB port and use it as any old external hard drive.
A small hiccup: for whatever reason, the NASPerform mysteriously dismounted while it was idling. Now, I can’t tell you why or how that happened; I can tell you that I had to haul ass down a flight of stairs to my router to manually restart the drive. After that it remounted and all was super once again. Also, the blue light on the drive itself is a little bright for my liking. Having the drive in the same room as where I sleep, like I do now, is like sleeping with the Bat Signal on. I tend to drape a t-shirt over it. No other problems since then to report, though.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a fairly cynical person. Sue me. So for me to say that something isn’t a piece of junk or “why would any rational person want this?” you know I’m cool with it. That’s what I can say about the NASPerform—the damn thing works without me having to have a heart attack trying to make it work. These days, that’s my highest praise for anything.
Bottom line: NASPerform does what I wanted it to do with little to no headaches. What more could you want from a piece of technology?
NASPerform Product Page [Other World Computing]