“ FANTEC LAN DRIVE LD-H35NU2-2 - Network drive - Ethernet 10/100 „
I came across one of these on ebuyer's website for £9.99 a couple of weeks ago and as I was in the process of placing a rather large order I decided to order one.
I have an old xbox configured with XBMC which plays all the media which is presented from and SMB share on my desktop computer. This works great for the most part except that I need to leave the computer on each time I want to watch a film.
This landrive enclosure allows you to insert a 3.5" IDE hard drive and then present it via a lan conection or USB directly to your PC. The installation is really easy with you having to remove a few screws and then connect the drive up to the cables inside. The screw's and driver are included to make things easier. I dropped my 500gb westen digital drive in which I preloaded with about 350gb of music and films for the xbox to play (i also pre-formated with fat32 as the enclosure can't accept NTFS). I then connected it to the network and powered it on.
The drive is accesable via a web page that allows you to configure a password, format the drive, present SMB shares, present FTP access, and update the firmware. Finding it on network was simply a taks of checking the IP address that had been handed out by my ADSL router. I began by updating the firmware as someone on the ebuyer site (Lee S) pointed out that it wasn't compatible with vista and pointed me in the direction of www.enclosureservice.com who provide a compatible firmware under the name of ns347,ns348.
Once this was done I setup a share and password for accessing it and added the share to my XBMC machines and I was able to play all the media off it perfectly.
Over the 2 weeks I have found that it has a tendancy to lock up if its left running for a long time without being accessed (it has a drive sleep function but that wake up works for up to an hour atleast after it kicks in) and the unit tends to feel rather warm when in use (no excessively) but this is posibly by design as the enclusure drags the heat from the hard disk. This isn't to much of a problem anyway for me though as I tend to only turn it on when I want to use it but it could be a problem if I decide to leave the drive on to access remotely.
Copying files to the drive over the lan interface hapens around 4-5mbs but I would imagine this to vary depending on the drive being used. In my case connecting the drive via USB raises the transfer rate to somewhere closer to 23mbs but to be honest I use the lan connection most of the time as its to much effort to keep moving the drive.
Overall for a tenner this is a little bargain, it allows multiple pcs to share files and in my case allows me to turn my pc off while accessing my files from the xbox. The only thing I wish it had was a Upnp server built in so I could use it to present my media to my newer xbox 360, but beggars can't be choosers.
The LanDrive is a multifunctional hard drive enclosure. In addition to being a network storage device, you can also use it as a standalone external hard drive via the USB interface.