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The Quest For the Perfect SOHO NAS (Part II)


MR. Technoid Guy
In Part I of The Quest for the Perfect SOHO NAS, my journey began with the Coolmax CN-330 Dual Bay 3.5″ SA TA RAID Network Attached Storage Enclosure. If you read my first article, “The Quest For the Perfect SOHO NAS (Part I),” you soon found out that the device did not perform as expected. The next stop in my journey led me to the Buffalo LinkStation Duo 2TB Dual-Drive Reliable Shared Storage (NAS), Model LS-WX2.0TL/R1. I did not do much research on this model before purchase. This time I trusted the word of the salesman, who based his opinion on the manufacturer’s name, “Buffalo.” Feeling confident in my decision, I purchased the Buffalo LinkStation Duo 2TB Dual-Drive Reliable Shared Storage (NAS), Model LS-WX2.0TL/R1.

Immediately upon opening the box, I definitely liked the sleek look and appearance of the Buffalo NAS. Its simple but stylish lines with compact design made me want to display this handsome device in the middle of my living room. Since this model comes with hard drives already installed, much of the initial setup work was done. Insert the CD, run the setup software and you are almost ready to start enjoying your new NAS product. FTP setup was simple, with easy to follow on screen questions. Most, if not all, users will find the Buffalo NAS easy to setup and install. Overall setup of this product took less than 30 minutes. The only thing to remember is to set the RAID configuration. This model ships with the RAID set at the default level, RAID 0. RAID 0 (striped disks) distributes data across multiple disks in a way that gives improved speed at any given instant. If one disk fails, however, all of the data on the array will be lost, as there is neither parity nor mirroring. In order to switch to disk mirroring, RAID 1, you need to set up the information in the Buffalo firmware. YOU MUST SETUP YOUR RAID LEVEL FIRST BEFORE COPYING FILES ONTO YOUR NEW NAS, OR ALL YOUR FILES WILL BE LOST UPON SWITCHING RAID LEVELS. Buffalo does a nice job of covering this issue by inserting a special instruction pamphlet in the box.

This product has many features that the average SOHO users will like, such as simple setup, small footprint and extremely quiet operation. This model is so quiet that I could not even hear the fan or the hard drives running. Users can take confidence in the Buffalo name. Buffalo has been a leader in the backup and storage area for many years. Once you see this product, you can see why. Simply put: quality through and through.

The only problem with this product is the lack of security. Yes, the product requires passwords, and can incorporate in an active directory. However, there is no connection log, or access log. This is a huge flaw in the design of many of these NAS products. Buffalo is not alone in this deficiency. In order to verify that I was not missing something in the security, I called Buffalo and talked to their support team. While I was on hold, I searched their forum and found other customers requesting the need for event log tracking. Eventually I reached a live support person. I want to add that the gentleman I talked to was very pleasant and knowledgeable. He informed me that the security logs are not available on their NAS products. He mentioned that I was not the first person to request this and that management was aware of the problem but no solution was currently available at the time of writing this article. I thanked him for his time and ended the conservation.

Security is a huge issue when it comes to computers and file storage. Your average everyday person does not stop and think about security for their computers, wireless access points and especially a new device like a NAS. I went back to the store and talked to the sales rep who sold me the product. I have much respect for him, and he is very knowledgeable in the field of computers and electronics. I mentioned that the Buffalo has no security logs or tracking logs. He said and I quote, “No one has ever asked me about them.” I inquired how would users would check to see who is accessing their files via LAN, FTP, or HTTP. He again said no one had ever asked about the security. Scary, isn’t it? Makes me wonder how many NAS storage boxes are running wide open.

I now was on a mission to find an NAS with security and connection logs. If I am going to open up my storage drive to the outside world, I definitely need to know who is accessing it and from where. I quickly called Seagate and inquired about their highly touted Black Armour NAS. I was extremely disappointed to find out that their system does not have security or connection logs. My next call was to Western Digital. The Western Digital new Share box NAS did not have security or connection logs either. Now I was truly stumped. Some of the biggest manufacturers in the world and their products do not have logs. I could not sleep knowing my files were setting out on the web and I had no way to track who was trying to hack my site or who might even be logged in, friend or foe. I quickly disconnected my Buffalo product and went looking for the perfect NAS. My vision now was a nice sleek product like the Buffalo, but with enhanced security features.

Part III on my Quest for the perfect NAS will reveal the product that I found.


Buffalo LinkStation Duo 2TB Dual-Drive Reliable Shared Storage (NAS)
Buffalo LinkStation Duo 2TB Dual-Drive Reliable Shared Storage (NAS)


  • Simple Setup
  • Ultra quiet design
  • Small footprint
  • Very stylish
  • Solid performance



  • Lack of connection logs
  • Lack of security logs


4.5 Star Rating


I would rate this product a 4 1/2 star. I really liked the small foot print as many users will. It’s ultra quiet operation makes it suitable for both home and office. Simple setup allows most users the ability to have their files on-line in record time. The only drawback was the lack of security logs. In my opinion if you are looking for a NAS device that you will not expose to the internet, than this product is for you.


Until next time, keeping reading Technoid Corner where you learn today’s technology one article at a time.


The Quest For the Perfect SOHO NAS (Part I)


MR. Technoid Guy
NAS or (Network Attached Storage) has been around for some time. Recently, NAS started finding its way into the SOHO (Small Office Home Office) arena. The first decision you face when looking for a NAS product is whether you want to purchase just an enclosure without hard drive(s) or a pre-packaged unit with hard drive(s) installed. Once you decide on the type of NAS, you are faced with a seemingly endless list of manufacturers to choose from. Some of the names you will recognize, others are companies that are starting to dabble in the NAS market. I might add that I have 19 years of computer experience with 12+ years of networking in a mixed hosted and SaaS environment with a dated MCSE NT 4.0 certification. This being said, this is not my first rodeo. I believe software and hardware should evolve into simpler devices with rich interfaces. As you will find out, not all NAS products are created equal.


In my quest for the perfect NAS, I spent a few hours researching various manufacturers and suppliers of NAS products. My first NAS product experience was the Coolmax CN-330 Dual Bay 3.5″ SA TA RAID Network Attached Storage Enclosure. I did some quick online reviews. I did not find many positives mentioned about this device, other than the fact that it was one of the cheapest products on the market and good for entry level use. Since my initial thought was to use this for simple file storage and home use, I felt comfortable with my decision. My next step was to try this product, mainly because of its small-sized enclosure and raid capabilities with a reasonable price sticker of around $129.00. The age old adage of “You get what you pay for,” never rang clearer once I got the product home and opened the box. The overall construction of the Coolmax Enclosure was cheaply made and seemed flimsy at best. While this did not instill confidence, I trudged forward hoping that the firmware was strong and would be capable of handling the work load for which it was intended. Wrong, the first big shock was the total lack of documentation. If I had not researched this product online, I would never had known to unscrew the top and install the drives. The next problem was getting the device to remember any settings. When I tried to save a static IP address to the device, it continued to revert back to DHCP served. Finally, I let the device stay at this setting and tried to proceed further. Unfortunately, I was unable to proceed. The device was now not allowing me to format the drives. I quickly came to the conclusion that something was wrong with this particular model and returned it to the store 3 hours later. Instead of doing the right thing, which would have been to do some more reviews on other models, I decided to try the same model again. With 3 hours of Coolmax firmware knowledge under my belt, I was sure I could get this model to run. However, obstacles still were lurking around the corner. I finally was able to get the device to accept a static IP address. Great, however, after formatting the drives, the system restored itself to the default settings. Once again I inputted the IP address and this time it took. Now 4 hours later I was still fighting with the firmware in setting up FTP users. Finally, at the end of the day I asked myself, “Can I really trust putting my important files on this supposed NAS device?” The answer was simple. No!


I returned the Coolmax CN-330 and purchased a Buffalo 2TB NAS Storage Unit. My next article will discuss the ups and downs associated with setting up the new Buffalo storage device.


Coolmax CN-330 Dual Bay
Coolmax CN-330 Dual Bay


  • Hard to say, never really got the product to function all the way
  • There are some access log features which are a definite plus
  • Overall small footprint
  • This device could be interesting if Coolmax added just a little more quality into the product



  • Terrible Documentation
  • Cheap Construction
  • Noisy, this device would be offensive in some SOHO environments
  • Firmware weak


1 Star Rating


I would rate this product a 1 star. I really liked the small foot print as many users would. However, it’s overall flaky firmware and noisy fan makes me hesitant to recommend this product for any type of real production environment.

Until next time, keeping reading Technoid Corner where you learn today’s technology one article at a time.


What’s Running On Startup


Windows Run Command
The more software you install, the slower your computer seems to become, especially at Startup. Even if you uninstall applications, your computer is still just as pokey. Your question becomes, “How do I check what is running on Startup of my computer?” For those old timers back in the days of DOS, Startup programs were loaded into the AUTOEXEC.bat file. Later, in Windows 3.1 , Startup programs were found in the WIN.INI or SYSTEM.INI files. With the introduction of Windows 95 and all Windows based computers today, most, if not all, of the Startup programs or files are located in the system registry.
Windows Run Command
One tool that is built into the operating system is the MSCONFIG.exe application. This application allows users the ability to select a Startup option to help diagnose what applications might be affecting their computers’ performance. To launch the MSCONFIG.exe application, click “Start.” Next, depending on your operating system or style theme, you might need to click on “Run.” Finally, type in the command box: MSCONFIG.exe and press “OK” or “Enter” on your keyboard. The program will launch and display in the upper left corner System Configuration. There are five tabs located across the top of the window. A brief description and function of each one is provided. The “Boot” tab provides information and options for the booting process of your computer. The “Services” tab will display all services that are currently running or have stopped running. The “Startup” tab will display the applications that are loading on Startup, which application is in process, where the application is located as well as Startup parameters and the registry key.
With this information in hand, you have the ability to select the Startup options for your computer, which in turn should help you better control your PC’s Startup performance.

Help My Terminal Service License Has Expired!

If your Terminal Server is not licensed, it will issue temporary client licenses that will expire in 90 days. To work around this issue until your Terminal Server is properly licensed, you need to delete the temporary license key in your registry on the client machine.

Note: It is recommend to backup the registry before making changes. Failure to do so may render your system inoperable.  There is no Windows component more important than the registry. For this reason, you should use extreme caution when working with its contents.
The follow steps below will walk you through the process.
Registry Figure 1

  • Click on Start, then Run
  • Type in the Run box “regedit”
  • Double click “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”
  • Double click “SOFTWARE”
  • Double click “MICROSOFT”
  • Double click “MSLICENSING”
  • Double click “STORE”
  • Delete the “HardwareID” folder
  • Delete the “LICENSE000” folder
  • Close Regedit
  • Launch your RDP “Remote Desktop Protocol Icon”

What Is Application Hosting?

Application Hosting

What is application hosting? Is application hosting right for you or your company? These two questions are asked by many. By definition, application hosting is a type of internet-based hosting service that allows individuals and organizations the ability to access their own data and programs via the World Wide Web. If you have a connection to the internet, you have the ability to access your programs and data.

Many small to mid-sized companies are looking into application hosting for the versatility and benefits that are provided. One of the main benefits of choosing an application hosting service to handle your software needs is the reduced IT cost. The need to upgrade servers or workstations lessens due to the fact that the service is provided to you over the internet. How many of you fight with your tape drive or forget to backup your data? Let the application hosting company provide you this service. Rest comfortably knowing that your data is secure, protected and backed up nightly. Are you tired of installing updates to the software? Once again, the application hosting company will keep your software updated automatically.
If the reasons listed above do not have you at least interested in application hosting, the ability to access your data from work, home or even on vacation might just be the icing on the cake. If you have internet capabilities, you can access your data or programs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. If you want to be less involved in your facility’s IT maintenance, software updates and day-to-day data backups and and be able to focus, instead, on your regular daily job tasks then application hosting might be right for you.

Maria Austin