There's no denying that NAS devices are incredibly useful. Aside from the obvious peace of mind brought on by knowing all of your precious data is backed up and safe in the event your PC dies, or you accidentally shift-delete an entire folder not just a file (yes, I did that; yes it was stupid), being able to access your music, pictures or videos from a networked media player, TV or games console is pretty useful and, of course, somewhat cool.
Of course, we can't all fit a Netgear ReadyNAS NVX into our properties, let alone afford one, but there are more practical options available such as the Buffalo LinkStation Mini and Thecus N0204. However, in reaching their diminutive dimensions, some features are sacrificed. The EZY MyXerver, on the other hand, is both small and attractive, and also packs about as heavy a feature set as any consumer NAS could need.
The one concession made is the use of a single drive, giving the MyXerver itself no redundancy. However, in a home environment you're unlikely to be working from your network attached storage, but rather backing data on a PC (or PCs) up to it. As such, if the hard drive in the NAS or your computer breaks, the data still shouldn't be lost (unless both drives fail at the same time which, let's face it, is pretty damn unlucky).
The MyXerver is available in capacities ranging from 500GB to 2TB of storage, which should be capacious enough for the average household. Furthermore, the 1TB model I tested costs about £130, which isn't too expensive at all.
The use of one hard drive does at least mean the MyXerver is fairly compact, and as a bonus it looks stylish too, even if blue status LEDs are getting a little old now. The MyXerver is a fanless system so the only noise it produces is that of its hard drive, which even on a desk is barely audible - always a bonus. Connectivity is minimal, with an Ethernet port and power socket obviously required and the only other input a USB port for making quick backups to the system.
Set-up is pleasantly simple. With the MyXerver hooked up to your network, the included software tool will find it, let you rename it and map it to a network drive. Any further configuration uses the web interface, which is a bit old school looking, but does the job. By default the entire drive is shared, but you can create as many shared spaces as there is capacity spare to create them, accessible to any number of users.