Review: Four NAS Machines

LaCie 2big Network 2 TB

Software

The interface used to configure this NAS system is very simple, but rather limited. It's very clear and setting things up doesn't take long, but it's not long before you reach the system's limits.

The LaCie 2Big Network is a NAS server with two hard drives.  It comes in four different versions, with capacities of 1, 2, 3 or 4 TB.  It has more options than the LaCie Network Space, but that's still not enough to rival the big names in this field.  It's mainly aimed at people who wanted a shared storage solution, and doesn't offer much else.

As usual, LaCie has produced an enclosure that's impeccably crafted, with the whole thing ia finished in aluminum to improve the efficiency of heat dissipation.  There's a large round button at the front that automatically backs up USB peripherals.  

File sharing and other features

The 2Big Network supports three different network protocols: SMB/CIFS (Windows), AFP (Mac) and NFS (Linux).  You can also access your files remotely using an FTP client or via a browser, where you can also encrypt your data and send it over a secure HTTPS connection.

Some rather slow speeds

This is a NAS system that's beginning to show its age, and that can be seen when you examine its data transfer rates.  Over USB, the speeds are disastrous.  On average, the 2Big Network managed 3.0 and 3.1 MB/sec. respectively for writing and reading from our external hard drive.

When we used a Windows network, the data transfer rates showed how far behind LaCie is lagging when compared to companies like Qnap and Synology.  We measured speed of 6.4 and 9.6 MB/sec. for writing and reading in RAID 1 and then 7 and 9.5 MB/sec. in RAID 0.

As you can see in the graph above, the speeds are a little better over FTP, but the Synology model is still a long way ahead--three times faster on average.


Noise and energy consumption

Unlike its big brother, the 2Big Network is a long way from being the quietest NAS system we've ever heard.  According to LaCie, the enclosure is designed with reducing heat in mind, which is why it includes a 40 mm fan.  Unfortunately it's loud and not powerful enough to keep the two Hitachi Deskstar 1 TB drives that are turning at 7200 rpm cool.  We measured temperatures of up to 50° C on both drives. 

LaCie 2big Network 2 TB
ProsCons
  • Stylish design and aluminum finish
  • Simple interface
  • Loud
  • Slow
  • Only 2 USB ports
  • A minimum of extra features
  • The LaCie 2big Network 2 TB is an older model and that became obvious when we tested it. It's just not fast enough, and it doesn't have very many extra features, either. Its only strength is the amount of effort that has gone into designing it.