Test of NAS boxes shows ioSafe as disaster proof

Five NAS appliances for all your small business storage needs

We tested five Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances, ranging from 4T to 18TB in capacity and targeted for small offices and businesses with up to 20 to 25 users. All are more-or-less in the same price range: about $700 to $2,000 with drives.

Our participants were: D-Link’s Share Center Pro, Western Digital Sentinal DX4000, Thecus N4800Eco, Ctera C200 and ioSafe N2.

All of the units provide basic NAS functionality. They support RAID drive configurations and offer iSCSI support. They all provide local accounts and directory authentication for controlling user access. They support the popular file sharing protocols: CIFS (Windows), NFS (Unix/Linux), AFP (Mac), FTP, and offer at least basic remote web access.

The best NAS for your business depends upon the capacity you need and what you want to do with it. For instance, if data safety is the No.1 priority you’d want to opt in for the disaster proof ioSafe N2 unit, which also offers many more server and network functions over the traditional NAS feature-set.

If you don’t require a lot of disk space and would like easy clientless backup and could use some cloud and collaboration functionality, consider the CTERA C200. (Watch a slideshow version of this test.)

If you require high capacity, consider the Western Digital (4-bay 4T to 12 TB), Thecus (4-bay up to 16TB), and D-Link (4-bay 12TB or 6-bay 18TB) units. All are in similar price ranges with some notable feature differences: Western Digital uses the Windows Storage Server OS and Thecus offers video and audio outputs, while D-Link doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles.

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