Although the Wireless Space is bundled with software for both Windows and Mac OS, we found ourselves perfectly happy ignoring it. On OS X Time Machine works flawlessly out of the box, and on Windows both the built-in backup utility (at least in Windows 7) and a number of third party tools are better than the provided one. Managing the Wireless Space, meanwhile, is best done through the web interface.
As well as giving you web-based access to files on the Wireless Space, the web interface offers a large range of configuration options for setting up a Firewall, DHCP settings (when operating as a router) and Wi-Fi security, to name but a few. What’s more, the Wireless Space will also download torrent files for you, either manually added or dropped into a monitored folder.
Performance-wise the Wireless Space doesn’t particularly impress, although it’s not overly sluggish. Over Ethernet our small file test (1067MB of various MP3s and images) saw write speeds of 174Mb/s and read speeds of 186MB/s, while the large file transfer (those same files in a single zip 907MB archive) write and read speeds hit 216Mb/s and 220Mb/s respectively. While much better than the many routers available with USB ports for adding storage, that’s far shy of more robust NAS devices.
Switching to Wi-Fi, the transfer speeds dropped of in line with the Wi-Fi signal – about 42Mb/s close up and a dreadful 12Mb/s separated by a few dozen meters and a couple of walls. The Wi-Fi results are to be expected, and the Ethernet results acceptable – the Wireless Space is certainly no substitute for a full-fledged NAS device but it’s on a par with most, and better than some Time Capsule alternatives such as the Seagate GoFlex Home.
Last but not least on the Wireless Space’s list of abilities is its media server. Or rather, media servers, because as well as offering up music, pictures and video to any DLNA-compatible device (we had no problems streaming from a PS3) the Wireless Space also has a built-in iTunes server, which functioned as expected.
At Â£155 in its 1TB guise the Lacie Wireless Space is notably cheaper than an Apple Time Capsule and yet offers more functionality – from DLNA streaming to torrent downloads. The Wireless Space isn’t as speedy as dedicated NAS devices, and if you just want a backup device, cheaper alternatives are available, but its mix of features justifies its asking price if you do want all that it offers.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.