Access to network shares is controlled with a list of local users and groups, the security of which is sufficient for home use. The ability to assign usage quotas is a new feature, and this allows you to limit the amount of storage space available on a user and group basis. FTP services are on the cards as well, and restrictions can be applied to folders declared for FTP access. You can also restrict the number of users that can access a folder simultaneously and limit the amount of bandwidth available to each FTP folder.
The Nero backup software supplied with the DSM-G600 has been booted out and replaced with a single user copy of Memeo AutoBackup. This is far more sophisticated product, as it supports a wide range of backup destinations, offers optional backup encryption and after the first scheduled backup has run will only secure file changes or new files, making for speedy operation. The appliance also provides an unusual backup feature in allowing you to select files and folders on other systems which can be downloaded to a location on the appliance over HTTP or FTP. This is accessed from a separate administrative interface where you provide login details, the URL of the source, a location on the appliance to copy the files to and a recurring schedule – great for website administrators.
We had no problems securing files from an Iomega NAS appliance over FTP although, as we observed with the DSM-G600, the status screen for each job shows the passwords for each login account in plain text – not exactly security conscious.
General performance for a RAID-0 stripe was on a par with D-Link’s quoted figures of 23MB/sec read and 15MB/sec write speeds. We tested real world performance by copying a 691MB video file from a Supermicro 3.2GHz Pentium D PC to the appliance which took 45 seconds, for average write speed of 15MB/sec. Copying the file back to the PC returned an average read speed of 21MB/sec. Usefully, you can power the drives down after so many minutes of idle time, allowing you to do your bit for saving the world as well as saving your data.
For such a compact NAS appliance, the DNS-323 offers a good set of storage features at a reasonable price, although we still would have liked to have seen greater USB functionality. The closest competitor to this device is the Thecus YES Box N2100, as it offers a very similar set of features including the iTunes server. However, the Thecus is not as well constructed and will also set you back around £50 more.
All in all, the D-Link is a solid, if unspectacular, choice.