Review: Four NAS Machines

LaCie Network Space 1 TB

Noise and energy consumption

Unlike the 2big Network from LaCie, you can almost forget about the Network Space once you've plugged it in. Because it doesn't have a fan, you have to press your ear right up against the enclosure to hear the disk platter turning.

Having a single disk doesn't make for much energy saving though. While not working, it used around 13 W, rising to 15 W while reading and writing to the disk. The dual-HDD Synology DS209 uses 18 and 21 W in the same conditions.

The LaCie Network Space is an entry-level NAS system with a limited range of options.  As you can see in the photo above, the manufacturer has reused the enclosure of the LaCie Hard Drive designed by Neil Poulton.

There are, however, two differences, with a USB port at the front to connect an external hard drive and a Gigabit Ethernet port at the back to give the Network Space access to your network.  Two versions are available, 500 GB and 1 TB.

Interface

The tool used to configure the Network Space is the same as the one found on the 2Big Network.  It's very simple, but rather limited. As a result, it's very clear and setting things up doesn't take long. However, it's not long before you reach the system's limits.

File sharing and other featuress

The features available on the Network Space are very limited compared to what's on offer by its competitors.  It only supports the CIFS/SLB and AFP protocols, which is fine for Windows and Mac users, but leaves Linux networks out in the cold.  You can also give secure remote access to your files over FTP, or use it as a multimedia server for DLNA-compatible devices.

File transfer rates

As we saw in the introduction, you can connect a USB key or an external hard drive, and either organize a manual or automatic backup of the data contained on it onto the Network Space.  Unfortunately, the speeds are absolutely terrible and we can't advise you use it in this mode.  During our speed tests, we reached an average of 1.6 MB/sec. for writing and 0.6 MB/sec. in reading.  Note that drives formatted using NTFS are read-only.

Although the transfer rates are better over Gigabit LAN, they're still the slowest in our collection of NAS systems.  The results that we found using CIFS/SMB were an average of 3.4 MB/sec. for writing and 4.4 MB/sec. for reading.  You'd better have a lot of time ahead of you if you've got a lot of backups to do.

The speeds are just as appalling over FTP.  We found speeds of 4.5 and 4.9 MB/sec. for writing and reading respectively.  As a result, we can't recommend this NAS.

LaCie Network Space 1 TB
ProsCons
  • Easy to use interface
  • Quiet
  • Attractive design
  • Dreadful speeds
  • Just one USB port
  • Minimum number of features

With incredibly poor speed test results and a lack of features, this is a NAS system to avoid.

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12 comments
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  • malici0usc0de
    One of the things I would like to see in a NAS before I actually purchase one is hardware encryption of some sort. It would be nice to know if the unit were stolen that the data on it couldn't be accessed without proper credentials of some sort. For this very reason I still choose to run my storage from a real PC is so I can fully encrypt all the drives.
  • SuckRaven
    Ignoring price for the moment, I would love to see these, or some other future NAS boxes assessed in a RAID 0+1 configuration, where u get the benefits of both striping, and redundancy. Four 1TB drives though, only to end up with 1/2 the total storage of 2TB is a b*tch though, I know... =)
  • d_kuhn
    There are 4-6 drive NAS enclosures out there relatively affordable.

    Do yourself a favor - if you're interested in Network Storage, DON'T get a 2 Drive appliance. Get a larger unit and populated it as funds allow. Something like the Intel ss4200-e ($160-$200), 4 drives.
  • awaken688
    Good article. Obviously these commercial solutions are nice. For pure interest sake, I'd love to see a NAS DIY build thrown in to see performance and usability comparisons. A lot of us have spare stuff around to build one minus the hard drives. Thanks for the review though.
  • wildwell
    ^^ Yeah, a DIY description or follow-up article would be cool!
  • smokinu
    just do a google search on NAS DYI review and you will find several sites dedicated to NAS reviews and comparisons. There are so many ways out there to build one depending on which OS you plan on using.
  • g00ey
    Why not build your own NAS from a cheap computer using OpenSolaris and ZFS? That's what I would do if I need to extend my storage capacity. ZFS also offers features that are way more reliable than what RAID can offer.
  • I was disappointed not to see my ReadyNAS Duo in the line-up; I think it easily matches the features, it has an active community producnig "add-ons" e.g. in development is a feature for ip security cameras, there's one to stream music over the net, there's an itunes server, at least 3 torrent clients, plenty of local media streaming, as well as normal stuff like storage, RAID, UPS support, backup management
  • What the hell is this reviewer talking about. I just purchased the Lacie NS2 - i have a constant transfer rate of 11 MB/s over my LAN using a Dlink Dir-635 router standard G.
  • This review is just plain wrong. I recieved my Lacie NS2 a few days ago, and the speed is fine.
    I use mine on a gigabit lan, and my speed is around 30 MB/s read, and 20 MB/s write on a normal explorer transfer.
  • msi911
    My sentiments exactly. This is a link to a danish review but you can see the transfer speeds under "Benchmark": http://www.laptopworld.dk/Anmeldelser/Tilbehoer/2869-lacie-network-space-2.html?start=4
  • There is a huge difference between the NetworkSpace 2 and NetworkSpace Generation 1. The first/older model has a ridiculous transfer rate. I can confirm the 4 MB/s measured here.