Do you see this device?

It’s a Netgear SC101 Network Storage Device. And it’s been installed on my network for about two months. And it’s a total piece of cow poopie.
A brief description for those of you who don’t know what this device is. It’s essentially a hard drive that can be accessed by any computer on my local network. The SC101 is supposed to provide “full-time access to data files such as MP3’s, video files, documents, etc”. Except it has a couple of glitches. No wait, it’s has a lot of them. Let’s start with the obvious.


The device get’s hot. Like Africa hot when it is used to, say, copy a few MP3s. The designer of the heat sink on top of the box apparently was going more for looks than functionality. Per Netgear’s support, the device should be operated with the front cover removed in order to lower the operating temperature. But that’s just the first part.
Next, you will find the device only runs on Windows. No Mac support whatsoever, which especially sucks since I’m seriously contemplating getting a Mac. Oh well, that’s my bad, I should have read the box closer.
Which brings me to the device itself. It supposed to provide RAID-level mirroring which backs up your data to another drive automatically. Except on occasion, the RAID mirroring fails spectacularly, losing all of your data. So, heeding warnings from other users, I’ve run the device as two seperate drives and now use Norton’s Ghost to maintain images of my drive and the one network drive.
But that’s not all. Say you want to copy from one disk to another. You would think the device would let you do that….WRONG! Everything has to go through the main PC, which obviously slows everything down to a crawl.
And God help you if you are running a wireless connection, because the device comes to a screeching halt when transferring a 3MB MP3 file. Netgear’s answer is to turn off your router’s firewall in order to improve network performance.
Finally, there’s Netgear’s lack of support. I opened a ticket in mid-January reporting a problem with a piece of provided software. It is now mid-March and my ticket has still not been responded to by their Tier II team.
Maybe I was expecting too much from a little network device. I know now that I should have slapped Linux on the spare machine I had lying around, but that’s my bad and now I get to pay for it.

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