The appliance offers an unusual backup facility where you use a separate screen to create schedules for downloading files to the appliance over FTP or HTTP. You provide login details, enter the URL of the source, select a location on the appliance to copy the files to and set a recurring schedule. We tested this using an Iomega NAS appliance running an FTP server and it worked fine. A status screen is provided to keep an eye on scheduled jobs and it was disappointing to see that the download path for each job showed all login details including the account password for the remote system in plain text!
The bundled Nero BackItUp utility is easier to use for backing up PCs to the appliance. It’s really designed to copy data to removable media such as DVD-RW but works well enough with the DSM-G600 as you can create scheduled backup jobs that copy data to a share that’s been mapped to a drive letter. Backup speeds are quite good as we secured and verified a 1.1GB mix of files to the appliance over Gigabit Ethernet in a shade over ten minutes. After a full backup has been run you have the option of using update backups which only copy across modified or new files. BackItUp also has an option for backing up a complete drive or partition but it will only let you select a DVD or CD drive as a destination and not the mapped drive.
”’The Easy Search utility automatically find the appliance on the network.”’
During testing we encountered a bizarre fault – if we selected the Status tab in the web interface the appliance disappeared off radar and froze. The Easy Search utility could no longer find it and the only way to get it back was to power it off and reboot it. We advised D-Link of this problem and it did make a valiant attempt to resolve it by providing new firmware versions but these made no difference. We then swapped the older Maxtor drive for a Western Digital WD2500 ATA/133 hard disk and the problem disappeared. We also found an interesting news story where a German court ruled in September that D-Link’s implementation of Linux in the DSM-G600 violated the terms of the GPL (General Public License). Presumably, that’s why D-Link’s web site now has links for downloading the source code for the appliance.
The DSM-G600 is a simple, low cost NAS appliance that at first glance looks good value. The wireless functions add an extra dimension to shared storage but the backup features are comparatively weak and in D-Link’s world not all IDE hard disks are equal.