The N2100 Y.E.S. Box is a fantastic product and although its not completely perfect, it is about as close as we have seen network storage get for home users. The N2100 is essentially a dedicated file server with its own processor, memory and custom case. Keeping this in mind, do not expect it to come cheap with a retail price tag of $300, considering the hard drives are not included. The good news is hard drives are surprisingly cheap these days, with a pair of Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB drives costing just $260. This means that for under $600 you can build a dedicated terabyte server that could fit in a shoe box!
And well, $600 is a great deal of money to spend on home storage, but when you consider all the applications you could give to the N2100, justifying the cost becomes a tad easier. The N2100 is much more than just network attached storage, and for many it will become a vital home network tool.
Already I have become very attached to our N2100 sample and have found it to be an invaluable tool for storing and accessing data. There are however a few small issues with the N2100 that have been a little frustrating.
As I talked about earlier, the GUI is plain ugly, clumsy and the setup process is not as self explanatory as it could have been. While the admin software is quite powerful, there were a few annoying limitations, such as the inability to write to USB storage devices. The last issue I have with the N2100 is the poor documentation. The quick installation guide is a little too quick and unless you are a bit of a network wiz, setting up the N2100 could be somewhat challenging.
Performance wise the N2100 leaves a lot to be desired as far as transfer rates are concerned, but for general usage the performance was sufficient. For example, there could be a hundred users just viewing images and listening to music from the N2100 at any given time. However, as soon as someone requests a large file and hogs all the bandwidth this is when problems start to arise. Nevertheless, for a typical home setup the N2100 should be more than powerful enough and while I have talked about slow speeds, it is probably fast enough for our daily usage needs. Overall the N2100 is a fantastic product that should certainly be considered by anyone looking at serious network storage.