Shuttle KD20 NAS Review

Shuttle KD20 is an affordable 2-bay NAS box that supports up to 2 x 2TB hard drives. You can mix hard drives of different types and capacities. It offers 4 different configurations: Single Disk, JBOD, RAID 0, and RAID 1.

  • Single Disk: Only one of the bays is populated.
  • JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks): Both bays are occupied. This mode offers the most amount of space if you have two drives of different capacities.
  • RAID 0: Offers the best performance for a two drive setup. If your drives have different capacities, the amount of space available under this setup will equal to twice the size of the smallest drive. That is, if one of your drives is 1TB and the other is 2TB, the maximum space available will be the size of the smallest drive (1TB) x 2 = 2TB. (If you want the maximum capacity this combination offers which is 1TB+2TB=3TB, you will have to use the JBOD mode.)
  • RAID 1: Under this mode the drives are mirrored. In case one fails you can recover your data from the other drive. The maximum space available under this setup is the size of the smallest drive. If you have 2x2TB drives in your setup the maximum space available will be 2TB. If you have a 1TB and a 2TB drive, you will end up with 1TB of space. RAID 1 is the only mode that supports hot swap.

In addition to the two drive bays, KD20 offers 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x SD card reader on the front and 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Gigabit LAN ports on the back of the unit. Any of these USB ports can be used to connect a printer or an external hard drive. KD20 can function as a Samba file server, DLNA/iTunes media server and an integrated print server. It also supports scheduled back ups and BT downloads.

Installation and setup

The NAS box is really easy on the eyes and comes with everything needed for a quick installation. Shuttle provides two bags of screws for mounting 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives to the drive trays. Installation points on the drive trays are well marked for both types of drives.

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For our setup we used two 3.5″ Toshiba 2TB DT01ACA200 drives. These are 7200rpm drives with 64Mbytes of cache. According to the manufacturer these drives consume 6W during read / write operations, 5 watts when idle and 1 watt in standby mode.

Once the unit is powered on, the setup is accomplished by typing your NAS box IP on your browses window and following the prompts on you screen. For convenience, Shuttle provides OmniNAS Finder app for MAC, Windows and Android platforms for locating KD20 on your network.

OmniNAS Finder App
OmniNAS Finder App

Setup through the web interface is pretty straight forward. The wizard walks you through some of the features giving you the option to enable or disable them. It is also possible to change these settings from the main setup screen at a later time.

KD20 setup wizard screens:

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Features

Server

In addition to the Samba file server, KD20 is capable of acting as a DLNA media server, iTunes server and a print server. Print server feature allows you to connect an USB printer to KD20 which then can be shared by users on the network.

Shares

KD20 allows you to create network shares which behave as separate drives on the network. Using this feature, an administrator can create multiple user accounts and limit access to shares using user credentials.

Autocopy

When enabled the autocopy feature copies the contents of a USB storage device that is connected to the front port or a SD card that is inserted into the card reader into predetermined folders.

Backup
BT Download
Sharebox

Power Consumption

We found the power consumption claims by Shuttle to be in line with our observations. Using our setup KD20 consumes 9 watts in standby mode (disks not spinning), 16 watts when idle mode (disks spinning), and 20 watts during copy operations. These numbers do not include an additional power usage by external devices attached to the box. For example, during coping of files from a USB 3.0 stick, the power consumption was around 22 watts.

The built-in cooling fan can be bothersome to some, especially in a quite room, but it seldom comes on and when it does, it spins for a bout a minute or so.

Conclusion

If you need an affordable NAS with simple functionality then the KD20 fits the bill. It is energy efficient and reliable. Although we had some connectivity issues with the NAS especially when it was in sleep mode, these issues have been resolved with the latest firmware update from Shuttle. The new firmware also added to ability to shutdown or restart the server remotely.

Shuttle KD20 2-Bay RAID Network Storage


New From: $179.95 USD In Stock

Netgear CG3000D-100NAS DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router Review

I get my internet service through my local cable provider, Time Warner cable of Southern California. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was leasing a modem from them for a nominal price. It was a no frills basic modem that gathered dust under my desk for over a year. I often forgot it was there except for the occasional contact with my left foot. I was happy with the setup in that my connection never dropped unlike the DSL service I had from AT&T, and Time Warner was happy to nickle and dime me. However, a few weeks ago they decided to double my lease fee with no explanation or justification. I wasn’t happy. Unlike my car, the modem did not require any sort of scheduled maintenance, say an oil change or alignment. The fee they were charging was unacceptable. One could buy the exact ancient modem on eBay for two months’ lease fee. So my search began for a basic cable modem to replace the cheapo one from Time Warner.

While conducting my search I stumbled across Netgear CG3000D-100NAS Cable Modem Router on Amazon.com. It had loads of features and the best of it all it was less than $25.00 with free shipping. The fact that it had a built in wireless router and gigabit switch meant that I could use it to replace both my modem and the router; less clutter under my desk and hopefully less electricity.

The reviews for the modem were mixed on amazon.com. However, Amazon has an exceptional return policy; if I was not happy with the modem I could simply return it back to them. I placed the order, selected same and the modem was delivered to my house around 8PM that evening. It came in a non-retail packing with a power adapter and LAN cable.

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Main Features

DOCSIS 3.0 Frankly, this does not mean much to me. My subscription with cable company is 15 Mbits downstream and 1.5 up stream. So, I know that any of DOCSIS version starting with 1.0 well suppresses the speed limits imposed on me. If you like to kill some time here is the wiki article.
Wireless access -Supports up to 300Mbps (802.11n)
-‘N’ connect WPS setup: never used this feature on any of my routers. However, if you care, it is there.
Gigabit LAN Four LAN ports that support 10/100/1000 Mbps speeds
USB 3.0 port I have not been able to get this to work.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was a breeze. Connected all my devices and the coaxial cable to the router; powered it up and opened a browser window on my desktop computer. That immediately brought me to Time Warner modem activation page (elb02.activatemymodem.com/landing). I tried going through the regular activation process by following the instruction on the web site. However, at the end I was informed that my modem could not be activated and that I should either call them or chat with one of their technicians on line. Of course, I opted for the latter option.

Once the tech came online, he asked me for my Time Warner customer number, DOCSIS version and the MAC ID of the modem and finally whether the modem was a lease or a purchase. After several minutes, my modem was activated and I was happily surfing. So far, so good.

Tweaking it

About an hour fast forward and the whole experience turned sour. The modem kept dropping the connection and it would take several minutes for it to come back. I searched through the Amazon reviews for a solution with no luck. As I was looking through the router’s log files, I noticed repeated DOS attack entries originating from my PCs. This was odd because I knew for a fact that all my PCs were clean. I suspected that the router’s firewall was mistakenly identifying multiple simultaneous requests coming from my PCs as DOS attacks. I figured I needed to tweak these settings on the router.

However, there was no such entry on the router’s default web page to change firewall settings. A little bit of Googling revealed that this router has two different levels of login: administrative and superuser. In order to change the firewall settings one must log in as the superuser using the default credentials user: ‘MSO’ password: ‘changeme’. The superuser login reveals a new heading titled “Content Filtering” which is not visible under the administrative login using the default credntials user: ‘admin’ password: ‘pass’.

Once there, I went to “Services’ link and disabled ‘IP Flood Detection’ and rebooted the modem. Since then all my connection issues have been resolved.

I highly recommend that you also disable ‘Remote Management’ option on this router. It will provide you with one more layer of added security against intrusions from the internet.

Superuser login reveals a new entry on the admin menu.
Superuser login reveals a new entry on the admin menu.

Conclusion

It is well worth the $25.00 I spent on this router. You can barely buy a modem for that price. Highly recommend it.

Buy One on Amazon.com

Update

Things I have discovered in the last week or so.

Apparently, under DOCSIS specification, your cable provider has absolute control over your cable modem’s firmware. That is, they can push a new firmware and change settings on your modem at will.

The second thing I learnt over the past week is that, the wireless functionality on this cable modem is pretty much worthless. The strength of the wireless signal and the signal itself fluctuates, often completely disappearing off the radar. So much so that I couldn’t take it anymore and plugged in my old D-Link DIR-615 router into one of the LAN ports on the modem and started using that for wireless access. I continue to use the gigabit switch on the modem as the DIR-615 lacks that future.

However, I would still recommend this modem as you still get a functioning DOCSIS 3.0 modem with gigabit switch, all for around $25 .


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NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router, 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit and DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem


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