Netgear SC101 full review

Now this is a box with a difference. The toaster-like SC101 from Netgear is that rarity, a low-cost NAS (Network Attached Storage) box.

You connect the SC101 anywhere on your network and thanks to the clever software you install on each workstation, the hard disk drive appears to be a local drive and not a network share. As a result, all sorts of clever tricks become possible, such as spanning and Raid 1 mirroring, either between internal drives or with other SC101s on the network. So as well as being a NAS box, this actually has elements of a storage area network (SAN) as well.

One of the reasons the SC101 is relatively cheap is that you have to supply your own hard disk - it needs you to slot in a 3.5in ATA133 drive set to Cable Select. The SC101 finds your new drive, then formats it remarkably quickly (it uses an oddball file system) having first checked for updated software online, which is a wise move. You can then partition it and decide how it is to be shared and who on the network is to have access to what.

All in all, setup is pretty straightforward. The unit will take two hard disk drives (essential for mirroring) but be warned - the casing isn't actively cooled and can run rather warm.

Also in the box is another clever piece of code: SmartSync Pro, both a backup tool and a way of synchronising folders. Performance-wise, the SC101 is pretty much par for the NAS course, so long as you remember that the bottleneck on all NAS systems is the 100Mbps network, which translates to rather less than 50Mbps in practice.


Netgear SC101: Specs

  • 10/100 Mbps (auto-sensing) Ethernet RJ-45 interface
  • TCP/IP, DHCP and SAN
  • supports 2x 3.5in internal ATA6 or above IDE hard drives
  • 1-year warranty
  • 171x108x144mm

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