Performance over CIFS hasn’t improved over its predecessor with a 690MB video file written to the Gateway from a Supermicro 3.2GHz Pentium D system on the LAN in 130 seconds for an average of 5.3MB/sec. As expected, read performance was slightly better with the file copied from the Gateway at a rate of 6.5MB/sec. These speeds are roughly par for the course for the majority of single drive desktop NAS appliances using Fast Ethernet ports. Wireless performance for file copies was uninspiring with the same test file copied from a Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook equipped with a Proxim 802.11g wireless PC Card in 356 seconds for an average of 15.5Mbps.
A big bonus of the Gateway is the sheer range of features to play with. It offers an email server which lets you set up your own internal mail addresses without the need for an ISP. The FetchMail utility can be used to pull mail from an external server and allocate it to selected local accounts on the Gateway. The main point to be aware of is the appliance uses DDNS and, as the manual observes, you may find that a lot of mail servers consider mail from these types of addresses to be spam. You don’t get much help in setting it up but the appliance uses the TwonkyVision MediaServer v3.1 for dishing up multimedia content to UPnP devices.
The bundled Acronis True Image software lets you secure hard disk images to the appliance although this is the OEM version which only allows whole hard disks to be imaged and restored. For around £20 you can upgrade to the full version which adds features such as scheduled and incremental backups. The appliance runs MySQL so it can manage a database while the Apache web server can serve up your own web pages to the Internet over HTTPS. The same applies to FTP services while port forwarding can be used to open up access from the Internet to specific PCs. Wireless security extends to WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption and an access control list uses client’s MAC addresses to block or allow access to specific systems.
A compact NAS appliance offering a whole heap of features at a reasonable price. Performance is on a par with similar appliances in this price range and security has been improved over the previous model although the documentation could be a bit more helpful with many of the services.