A TEXT POST

QNAP Releases System Updates to Fix Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/qnap-releases-system-updates-fix-heartbleed-openssl-vulnerability/

QNAP Releases System Updates to Fix Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

QNAP® Systems Inc. today announced firmware updates for Turbo NAS systems with vulnerability to the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug (CVE-2014-0160). The operating systems vulnerable to Heartbleed are QTS versions 4.0 and 4.1. Versions 3.8 and earlier use a different version of OpenSSL and are not affected by the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug.

As described on the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures website, the OpenSSL 1.0.1 TLS and DTLS implementation, before 1.0.1g, does not properly process Heartbeat Extension packets which allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading private keys (aka the Heartbleed bug).

“We strongly urge users of vulnerable Turbo NAS systems to update their firmware,” said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP. “Users are also recommended to contact their SSL providers to regenerate their SSL CSR/keys for server protection.”

To obtain the system updates (QTS 4.0.7 and QTS 4.1.0 RC2) with recompiled OpenSSL, please download from http://www.qnap.com/i/en/product_x_down/ or have your Turbo NAS perform a live update via the QTS control panel.

For more information, please contact us at http://helpdesk.qnap.com/

A TEXT POST

Thecus N7510 Review

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/thecus-n7510-review/

Thecus N7510 Review

Thecus is no slouch when it comes to producing affordable NAS solutions. They have been producing some of the best performing NAS at an unbeatable price for as long as I can remember. With the introduction of their Vision Series, Thecus has put the pressure on. Their N7510 NAS brings some interesting things to the table, 7 bays of storage loving goodness, great looks, and a fantastic price. Let’s see if it delivers more than just an odd number of drive bays.

The N7510 follows in the footsteps of some of their other recent releases, and this changes the game for Thecus. First, this NAS is absolutely beautiful to look at. The black steel and brushed aluminum construction stands out from the competition. The aluminum is thick and gives the NAS a polished appearance. The N7510 completes their Vision Series lineup of Atom powered NAS (2-bay N2800, 4-bay N4800 and N4510U and the 5-bay N5550) and with 7 bays, it is the king of its classroom.

Thecus N7510 8 580x580 Thecus N7510 Review

The Thecus N7510 is a 7 bay tower style NAS powered by an 2.13 GHz Dual Core Intel Atom Processor that is partnered with 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The NAS features two Ethernet ports for connectivity with Link Aggregation, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, supports a ton of RAID configurations (RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and JBOD), measures it at (HxWxD) 320mm x 210mm x 270mm, and weighs a hefty 10.42Kgs.

Thecus brings the same technology they packed into their N5550 into a larger and far better looking package. The N7510 brings everything you are looking for in a Network Attached Storage device together into one easy to manage package. Things like sharing files, website features, iSCSI support, cloud features, and home theater functionality are all available in Thecus NAS OS5. Administration is flexible and easy enough for a novice with enough features for enterprise.

Thecus N7510 11 580x527 Thecus N7510 Review

Thecus N7510 12 580x1199 Thecus N7510 Review

Visually, the N7510 is a towering brushed aluminum spectacle.  On the surface, Thecus had ditched the yellow elements we found on the N4200 PRO for a more soothing blue. The black case and the brushed aluminum enhancements make for an attractive, and heavy, NAS.

Thecus N7510 8 300x300 Thecus N7510 Review

There are 6 different LED indicators up front of Power, System, WAN/LAN1, LAN2, USB Copy indicator, and eSATA Link.  Below the LED information strip are two USB 3.0 Ports, a power button, an LCD information panel and some menu function buttons.  The on-screen menu will typically be in “Display” mode, which will provide you with relevant information such as Hostname, IP address, Aggregation Settings, System time, etc.  Additionally, there are USB Copy and Management Modes.  Management Mode will allow you to change IP settings, reset, reboot, etc.

Thecus N7510 18 300x328 Thecus N7510 Review

Thecus N7510 21 Thecus N7510 Review

Open the thick aluminum push-to-release door and you are presented with the 7 drive bays that make this NAS unique stacked neatly on top of one another.  Each drive caddy is interchangeable with the other Thecus NAS we have tested and includes the same key locking mechanism and key.  There is no lock for the door… just the drive trays.  The door sports a slew of ventilation holes for the two rear cooling fans to pull air through and are dual purposed to allow you to see the HDD status light on each of the drive trays.

Thecus N7510 7 300x300 Thecus N7510 Review

Around back you will find an expansion slot, two system exhaust fans, a pair of Ethernet Ports, VGA, HDMI, eSATA, USB Ports, Power, and Audio connections.  The HDMI port allows you to connect your NAS directly to your TV and run the popular XBMC front end.

Thecus N7510 20 300x360 Thecus N7510 Review

Thecus N7510 19 Thecus N7510 Review

Unlike the N2560 we looked at last month, the N7510 ships with Thecus NAS OS5; the same version of NAS OS that can be found on all other variants within the Vision Series.  I haven’t received word yet on whether or not Thecus NAS OS6 will make its way beyond the SOHO/Home NAS lineup.

Thecus N7510 13 580x259 Thecus N7510 Review

The Thecus Firmware is logical. Things are where you would expect them to be. Finding things can take a bit of time if you are used to other NAS firmware, but the search function works well and will lead you in the right direction.  Thecus NAS OS5 isn’t as pleasing to the eye as that of Asustor, Synology, and QNAP, but it will do the job.  The UI is plastered with a pastel blue background and a mundane dated side panel.

Thecus N7510 14 580x261 Thecus N7510 Review

The individual menu elements, when clicked, bring frames into view that sometimes do not scale with the size of the window.  These smaller than window size frames make for a constant scrolling in either direction to get all the information.

Thecus N7510 22 580x303 Thecus N7510 Review

The firmware is broken down into 9 basic sections which each include various items to administer the NAS.

  • System Information: General, Status, System Log, Online Registration, Syslog Management, System Monitor, Hardware Information
  • System Management: Date and Time, Notifications, Firmware Upgrade, Scheduled On/Off, Administrator Password, Config Mgmt, Factory Default, Reboot & SHutdown, File System Check, Wake-0n-Lan, SNMP, UI Login Functions.
  • System Network: Networking, DHCP/RAID, Linking Aggregation.
  • Storage: Disk Information, RAID Management, NAS Stacking, ISO Image Mountin, Share Folders, iSCSI
  • User & Group Authentication: ADS Support, Local User Configuration, Local Group COnfiguration, Batch Input, User Quota, User Group Backup, LDAP Support
  • Network Services: Samba/CIFS, AFP, NFS, FTP, TFTP, Webservice, UPnP Service, Bonjour, SSH, DDNS, UPnP Port Management
  • Application Server: iTunes Server, Module Installation, Auto Module Installation
  • Backup: DOM Backup, Rsync Target Server, ACL Backup/Restore, Data Burn, Data Guard, Amazon S3
  • External Devices: Printers, Uninterrupted Power Source

If you are looking to give the ThecusOS 5.0 a testdrive: ThecusOS Demo

  • Username: thecus
  • Password: thecus

Thecus NAS OS5 provides you, the user, with some easy to find and read statistics about your NAS. The new page provides you with 4 customizable graphs that range from CPU usage and Memory Usage to Bandwidth. Unfortunately, there still is not a graphical representation of disk space, like other manufacturers.  This requires you to read the article instead of just looking at the pictures.

Thecus N7510 16 580x261 Thecus N7510 Review

The N7510 supports multiple RAID volumes on a single system.  For example, this allows you run a RAID 0 volume for speed and a RAID 6 volume for redundancy based on your needs.  RAID expansion and RAID migration in the N7510 is no different from it is for other models in the Thecus linup. You have the ability to migrate from various RAID levels, but not from a single disk to RAID:

  • RAID1 -> RAID5/6
  • RAID5 -> RAID6

The Users and Group Authentication menu option contains all the things you need to create users on your NAS. It allows you to create users individually for ACL (access control lists) or groups for a more generic permissions structure. You can even configure the NAS for ADS (Active Directory Server)/NT support. For home users or small office users, you can batch import users by means of a CSV file.

Submit files containing user names, passwords,
and group names separated by commas without any spaces,
each line represents one user.
(ex. Student1,password1,student_group)

Creating shares with the NAS is straight forward. All you have to do is click the “Add” button, name your share, provide a description, and choose whether it is public, and if you want to enforce a Quota or not. You can set the permissions for each folder by user or by group after the share has been created by entering ACL and dragging either the user or the group to Deny, Read Only, or Writable.

Additionally, Thecus NAS OS5 Sports:

  • McAfee Antivirus – Thecus’ innovative hardware helps prevent failures. But sometimes you have to protect the NAS against itself. Adding an antivirus to the already comprehensive software bundle will provide the necessary software protection by scanning the files on your NAS and defending it against possible threats. McAfee is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company and shares Thecus’ spirit of dedication and quality. By establishing a strong partnership with them, Thecus will allow users the benefit of McAfee’s powerful software on their NAS entirely for free.
  • Data Burn – NAS data can now be burned directly to CD, DVD, and Blu-ray discs with Data Burn, this hassle-free module makes burning data to a disk effortless. In addition, burning ISO image file is also supported. Whether you’re managing audio, media or essential files; Data Burn copies information fast while significantly reducing waiting time. The process of burning file to disk is now easy and smooth with Data Burn module.
  • Cloud Backup – The private and public clouds meet with Thecus’ new DropBox, Amazon S3 and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality! Guard your data with RAID at home and an additional level of protection in the Cloud. Just drag and drop files into the folder on your NAS and access them on any computer or mobile device with DropBox, Amazon S3 or ElephantDrive. Still waiting for Thecus to catch up to QNAP and provide a Google Drive module.

Thecus also supports the installation of additional modules so that you can bring new features to your NAS. The available list of applications is small but growing. There are plenty of 3rd party modules available as well.

  • Aria2
  • Dropbox
  • McAfee
  • Piczza
  • Transmission
  • Twonkymedia
  • WebDisk
  • XBMC

Thecus N7510 17 580x261 Thecus N7510 Review

It is a given that using your NAS should be easy, and it is also a given that your NAS should perform well in serving up your files. After all, this is basically what the devices is intended for. To benchmark the NAS, we run synthetic benchmarks as well as benchmark some real world activities.

NAS Benchmarking Hardware & Methodology details hardware used & methodology for conducting benchmarks.
To see how this NAS compares to others, please visit our NAS Benchmarking Database

For testing the large file transfer speed of the NAS, we transfer a 46.6GB Blu-Ray ISO (Avatar) from the workstation to the NAS and back five times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting. For more on our Avatar Benchmark please see our Benchmarking application: COD Benchmarking Utility

[table id=1 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]

trans Thecus N7510 ReviewFor testing the transfer speed of the NAS with smaller files, we use the same method as the Avatar test but instead create two hundred individual MP3′s of specific file sizes for repeatable results. The files are copied from the workstation to the NAS and back 5 times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting.

[table id=2 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]

trans Thecus N7510 ReviewFor testing the large file transfer speed of the NAS, we transfer a 2GB file from the workstation to the NAS and back five times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting.

[table id=2 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]

For further benchmarking, we test each NAS using Intel’s NAS Performance Toolkit to rate 2 key areas of NAS performance. We measure File Copy speeds to and from the NAS and the Directory Copy speeds to and from the NAS. System RAM is set to 2048MB of RAM to ensure there is no mem caching for transfers.

[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 use_datatables=false /]

For benchmarking the performance of iSCIS, we created an iSCSI connection to the NAS and benchmark the NAS using Intel’s IOMeter.  IOMeter has to be one of the most widely used software packages for benchmarking disks. There are an endless number of ways you can build a benchmark, but we chose to limit our benchmarking to 100 percent Sequential Read and Write then 100 percent Random Read and Write. You can emulate our benchmarking by using the following configuration

‘size % of size % reads % writes % sequential % random delay burst align reply
2,097,152 100 100 0 100 0 0 1 0 0
2,097,152 100 0 100 100 0 0 1 0 0
2,097,152 100 100 0 0 100 0 1 0 0
2,097,152 100 0 100 0 100 0 1 0 0
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 use_datatables=false /]

CrystalDiskMark is another benchmarking utility that determines speeds by measuring 512KB, 4KB, and 4KB (Queue Depth 32) sequential and random read and write speeds. Test data can be Random, 0Fill, and 1Fill. For our purposes, we left the test at Random.j

[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,27 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 use_datatables=false /]

Thecus brings performance and style together into one beautiful brushed aluminum package.  The N7510 features 7 drive bays and tons of file transferring goodness. The new look of the Thecus lineup’s exterior is left lonely by the dated but still functional administration.  The web interface has everything you need in various categories, but it lacks the panache and polish you get from other NAS.  Whenever I perform any system maintenance, I feel like Marty McFly.

Thecus N7510 8 580x580 Thecus N7510 Review

The N7510 does look good, and it performs as well as NAS that cost nearly twice as much.  The Intel D2701 CPU teamed up with 2GB of RAM and the Intel 82801JI SATA AHCI Controller keep data moving quickly through the dual Intel Corporation 82574L Gigabit Network Cards.  The benchmarks show that this NAS can hang with the big boys.

When you put it all together and slap it with a price tag right around $700.00 USD, you get a NAS that is almost impossible to pass up.  Given its price tag, the lackluster UI is something I can easily live with.  If you are in the market for a speedy NAS that has great looks and plenty of 3rd party support, you need not look much farther.

A TEXT POST

iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane - BPU-124DE-SS Review

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/istarusa-railway-series-backplane-bpu-124de-ss-review/

iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane - BPU-124DE-SS Review

Having more than one hard drive in your PC not that uncommon for one reason or another.  Sometimes, having access to those drives is just as important as having them.  The days of locking your drives behind your case’s side panel are gone, and products like SATA cages / backplane make accessing your drives easy.  For me, having a number of 2.5″ SSDs with varying operating systems fulfills my needs for testing, working, and playing.  Instead of selecting which drive I want to run through the BIOS, I simply pop that drive in my SATA backplane and I am off and running.  Recently our Vantec EZ Swap F4 MRK-425ST-BK 4 Bay HDD rack has decided that its 40mm fan would sound like a bicycle with a baseball card running through the spokes.  Can iStarUSA’s BPU-124DE-SS unseat our current hardware? Let’s find out.

iStarUSA’s BPU-124DE-SS is a 5.25″ bay device capable of housing four 2.5″ hard drives comfortably.  The all aluminum enclosure features two 40mm cooling fans, LEDs for power and HDD activity, a key lock to keep those pesky fingers from removing your drives, a single SATA power connection, and a cool red racing stripe!  The unit measures 146mm x 41.9mm x 180.1mm and you can feel the difference that the all aluminum construction makes when holding it.  The BPU-124DE-SS can support 2.5″ hard drives with a thickness of 7mm to 15mm.  The unit supports SATA I/II/II and SAS I/II.

BPU 124DE SS 11 580x435 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review

In the box? Some instructions, screws, keys, and the unit.  No SATA cables or SATA power connection extensions.  No fluff… just business.

The front of the unit is home to the four removable drive trays and each drive tray has a release and locking mechanism.  The LEDs on the drive trays will blink red quickly if you are suffering from overheating and blink red slowly for a fan failure.  Power on is Blue and accessing is Purple.

BPU 124DE SS 7 300x232 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review BPU 124DE SS 8 300x232 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review

Around back, you find the two 40mm (3500 RPM) cooling fans, the SATA power connector, four SATA/SAS connections, and a switch to disable the HDD LEDs.  If you plan on flipping the switch to disable the LEDs, keep in mind it doesn’t disable them completely.  It will just keep them from blinking during activity.  The back is painted a LOUD red color to match the go faster stripe on the top.

BPU 124DE SS 6 300x232 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review

Bottom…

BPU 124DE SS 5 300x263 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review

Installing hard drives is a breeze.  The each of the drive trays have standard mounting holes drilled for all 2.5″ hard drives.  SSDs and HDDs of varying heights fit without issue.  Other than the stubborn feel of aluminum on aluminum, the drive trays insert cleanly and latch with ease.   Every time I pull a drive or insert a drive I get that chalkboard feeling. The aluminum hinge is fixed to a plastic housing unit with some simple catches to keep things in place.

Unfortunately, the key lock turns to plastic to lock… more like a deterrent than a lock, but hey… locks were only meant to keep honest people out.  They can be bypassed with some effort, but will render the plastic locking retention mechanism useless afterwards.

BPU 124DE SS 10 300x164 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review

During installation, it was realized that this is not as easy as you would expect… depending on your chassis.  Cases like the Lian Li PC-6 have supports for 5.25″ drives to hold them in place during installation.  These interfere with the height of the BPU-124DE-SS and require you to modify your chassis if installation is a must.  If your case doesn’t have these, you are good to go.

BPU 124DE SS 14 300x300 iStarUSA Railway Series Backplane   BPU 124DE SS Review

As far as performance goes, benchmarking indicated that there is no hit to performance by using the drive cage.  These results are expected as this unit only acts as a pass-through, intelligence is handled by your motherboard or RAID cards.

Putting it all together, the BPU-124DE-SS is a good-looking and sturdy unit.  The drive trays are well made and the all aluminum construction compliments any chassis.  The BPU-124DE-SS can provide you with quick access to a number of drives easily.  Due to the size (height) installation certain cases could be an issue.  I don’t consider this a design flaw of the unit, just the way things go sometimes (check your case first).  With a price tag of between $62.00 and $70.00, it isn’t the cheapest option out there, but factoring in craftsmanship and materials makes it an easier pill to swallow.  Bottom line, this is a well made cage with great looks and quality materials.  Two fans will help to keep your drives “as cool as the other side of the pillow”.

A TEXT POST

Asustor AS-302T Review

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/asustor-302t-review/

Asustor AS-302T Review

NAS manufacturers are hitting the home theater enthusiast scene pretty hard.  Asustor has joined the charge and thinks they have a NAS that can steal the spotlight.  They are packing as much as they can into these powerful little boxes and people are eating it up.  Asustor impressed us with their AS-608T; can they keep up the good work with the AS-302T?


Asustor AS 302T 2 300x300 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 1 300x300 Asustor AS 302T Review

Asustor bills this NAS as “A cutting edge multimedia NAS – Ready for your digital lifestyle”
Play all your media on your LCD/LED TV; Instant top-notch home entertainment

  • Equipped with the latest Intel processor designed specifically for multimedia use
  • 1080P high-definition multimedia playback capability
  • The world’s best digital music player
  • A rich variety of features and add-on applications via App Central
  • A perfect union of hardware and software
  • Use Searchlight to find any files, folders or functions you need

With a claim of “A perfect union of hardware and software”, you have to ask yourself what Asustor has packed inside a box that measures only 163.5mm x 108mm x 230mm and weighs only 4.12lbs.  The AS-302T is powered by an Intel ATOM 1.6GHz Dual-Core Processor and teamed up with 1GB of DDR2 RAM.  There is one HDMI 1.4a port, a 70mm cooling fan, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, and one Gigabit Ethernet Port. There is even an Infrared receiver built in for the optional Asustor remote control.  The AS-302T supports Single Disk, RAID 1, 0, and JBOD.

Asustor AS 302T 7 580x316 Asustor AS 302T Review

With the introduction of the AS-302T, Asustor marries a Full HD (1080P) multimedia solution together with an storage.  Having the ability to directly connect to your TV, control with an IR remote, and act as your storage device makes the AS-302T a versatile multimedia appliance.  The feature list of this NAS includes a UPnP Media Server, iTunes Server, and a couple of other front end applications like XBMC and Boxee (available through the Asustor Portal Application).

Asustor AS 302T 10 300x176 Asustor AS 302T Review

Asustor didn’t leave mobile users wanting.  With applications like AiMaster, AiData, and AiDownload, you can enjoy and control many aspects of the NAS while on the move.  Although these aren’t unique to the AS-302T, they really enhance the user experience.

AiMaster
AiMaster is dedicated NAS management software for your mobile device. No matter if you are an individual user or IT administrator, AiMaster lets you conveniently manage your NAS while its comprehensive support for push notifications ensures that you stay up to date with the status of your system.

Asustor AS 302T 13 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 14 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 15 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review

AiMaster has to be the best mobile NAS management application I have used yet.  It brings the NAS UI to the mobile platform better than the competitors do.

AiData
AiData lets you safely browse and access all the files stored on your NAS from your mobile device. Additionally, it allows you to stream multimedia content and view photos from your NAS as well as providing integration with Dropbox that gives you easy data management across the cloud.

AiDownload
Use your mobile device to control Download Center on your ASUSTOR NAS. Whether it’s searching, downloading or managing tasks, AiDownload gets it done in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, when your downloads are completed, your mobile device will receive immediate notification.

The AS-302T is a sleek looking NAS decked out with some Blue and Green LEDs, it is elegant and industrial.  The near black matte finish, LED color combination, and small footprint allows you to display your NAS without it being the focus (good or bad).

Up front, the NAS features a Power button, an activity indicator, network indicators, a USB 3.0 Port with instant backup button, the IR receiver, and two hard drive trays.  The hard drive trays are interchangeable with other Asustor NAS models and sport an easy “push to release” button along with power and activity LEDs.

Asustor AS 302T 11 Asustor AS 302T Review

Asustor AS 302T 2 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 1 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 4 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 3 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review

The sides are your typical fare… nothing but some ventilation.  I am waiting for the day that they start adding windows and lighting to the NAS.

Asustor AS 302T 51 Asustor AS 302T Review

Around back, you have the 70mm cooling fan, another USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, the 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port, power, a headphone jack, and the HDMI 1.4a Port.

Asustor AS 302T 6 Asustor AS 302T Review

The optional remote control is not as complex as you would expect or maybe hope for.  It features only 10 buttons, each of which is assigned different responsibilities based on the application you are using.  There is a Power Button, a Home Button, a Settings Button, some arrows, an OK button, back and play pause buttons.  No batteries included.

Asustor AS 302T 7 Asustor AS 302T Review

Finding your NAS and getting started has never been easier.  Asustor’s Control Center allows you to quickly identify your Asustor brand NAS on your network and configure many settings before accessing the device directly through the web interface.

You can quickly view NAS settings/specs, set the device password, change network information, and access the NAS web page with a quick click.

Asustor AS 302T 1 580x348 Asustor AS 302T Review

Asustor AS 302T 2 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 3 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review Asustor AS 302T 4 150x150 Asustor AS 302T Review

Once inside, the AS-302T is powered by Asustor’s ADM operating system.  ADM brings a desktop like environment to NAS management and has a ton of additional apps that can be installed to extend the functionality already built in.  ADM, Asustor Data Master, is an IOS-like interface developed by Asustor (built on Linux) with this in mind.  With the advanced web IU, you can rearrange settings, create pages based on your usage preferences, and even change the background image.  You can run multiple applications without having to commit to those changes and lose everything; the applications can be minimized, moved, or closed.  Multitasking in a NAS OS!  Other NAS UI require that you either commit your changes or lose them before moving to another setting.  I can create a share and an RSYNC module for it side by side in two different windows.

Asustor AS 302T 6 580x252 Asustor AS 302T Review

The administration, out of the box, is broken up into several different “apps” that reside on the desktop.  The apps are logically defined and it is easy to figure out what does what without requiring a manual.

Access Control

Access control is where your users, groups, app privileges, and shared folders reside.  Users can be added with just a few clicks and groups can be assigned just as easily to make administrating access to shared folders easy.  Shared Folders can be created and added in no time at all and allows for advanced user access permissions.  ADM is the first NAS OS we tested that recognizes right clicks and presents options for individual items quickly.  Others have followed since.

Activity Monitor

The activity monitor presents everything you need to know about what your NAS is doing in a very slick way.  The percentage of each CPU (core) is displayed graphically, as well as memory, network activity, disk usage, and running processes.

Backup & Restore

Backup & Restore is everything the name describes.  You can create RSYNC jobs, FTP Backup jobs, configure backup to external devices, configure the One Touch Backup, backup to Cloud (currently only supports Amazon S3), and the ability to export and import your backup settings.

File Explorer

File explorer is as self descriptive as can be.  You can view and manage documents easily.  With the cloud services Asustor builds into the NAS, you also have the ability to create a public share for any specific document quickly to allow someone from the outside to download.  Beyond that, compression is built-in (zip or 7z!); just right-click on a file and choose.

Settings

Settings is home to the basic configuration of your NAS.  You can configure system ports, regional options, enable notifications, restore to factory default, configure networking, modify energy saving features, and more.  The hardware subsection allows you to configure things like LED indicators, buzzers, HDD power down settings, and customize the LCD panel.  ADM defender is a very basic firewall that can ban specific IP addresses or ban them based on failed login attempts.  ADM update allows you to check for and install any software updates available for your system.

Services

Services is where you configure most of what your NAS will do for you.  Here you can enable and configure CIFS/SAMBA, AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, the Web Server, MySQL, Terminal Access, and the RSYNC Services.  Each of these are easy to configure, but I am a bit disappointed in the RSYNC implementation.  Creating modules for each folder you have can become a cumbersome and time-consuming process. It would be helpful if an RSYNC Module was created automatically each time a share is created, or at least an option available for creating the module when the share is created.

Storage Manager

The Storage Manager is where your disk management and volume management reside.  Here you can create volumes in various RAID and non RAID arrays (RAID 0,1 single disk or JBOD).  Inside the Disk tab you can view SMART information or get down and dirty with the Disk Doctor.  The Disk Doctor is something that every NAS should employ.  It not only allows you to do a SMART scan, but it will also do a bad block scan.  To further enhance the feature, you can schedule each of these and have the AS-302T report to you its findings.  Worried about losing data? This can be your first line of defense in detecting potential issues and being proactive.  This NAS has support for iSCSI for use in shared storage environments.

System Information

The System Information module gives you insight into some basic information about your NAS.  It will let you know what version of ADM you are running as well as the Asustor ID you have assigned to the AS-302T.  Here you can also find what model you have, the CPU, how much RAM is installed, and what temperatures your NAS is experiencing.  The Networking tab shows you some basic network information.  The Log tab shows you the latest issues or experiences your NAS has had.  Online users is self explanatory.  The Dr. ASUSTOR, however, is something unique.  It is a utility that can help you proactively manage your NAS.  It will list errors and solutions as well as offer suggestions for keeping your NAS healthy.  This is how I discovered the Bad Block scan… it suggested it to me.

Outside of the benchmark and normal NAS functions, the AS-302T functions impressively as a Multimedia device.  The Portal is clean and crisp, offering some personalization to your multimedia experience. You can add your favorite websites to the screen, change the order of shortcuts, and customize the desktop wallpaper.

Asustor AS 302T 9 580x409 Asustor AS 302T Review

The portal screen shows you information about your NAS, such as the hostname and IP address.  Additionally, the time and date is displayed as well as tiled shortcuts for your applications.  From here, you have the ability to browse the net, open up your ADM, start XBMC, and more.

Moving around the screen is easy enough with the remote, but things like typing quickly become frustrating.  YouTube and Chrome are nice to have, but without a keyboard… useless to me.  I would have liked the AiRemote app for Android or iOS feature a keyboard instead of only a mouse.  That would make the experience much much better.

Asustor AS 302T 10 580x341 Asustor AS 302T Review

XBMC is the perfect add-on and this NAS runs it perfectly.  My massive library (900+ lossless DVD/BD rips along with 59K FLAC/MP3) loaded without issue and the AS-302T was able to play my loss-less Blu-ray media files without issue, video playback was smooth.

My tip to you… if you are going to run XBMC on your NAS, forget the remote and either use the AiRemote app, the official XBMC remote app, or XBMC Constellation on your phone or tablet.  XBMC remote app and XBMC Constellation will take your experience to the next level.

It is a given that using your NAS should be easy, and it is also a given that your NAS should perform well in serving up your files. After all, this is basically what the devices is intended for. To benchmark the NAS, we run synthetic benchmarks as well as benchmark some real world activities. Testing is conducted by configuring the AS-302T in both RAID 0 and RAID 1.

NAS Benchmarking Hardware & Methodology details hardware used & methodology for conducting benchmarks.
To see how this NAS compares to others, please visit our NAS Benchmarking Database

For testing the large file transfer speed of the NAS, we transfer a 46.6GB Blu-Ray ISO (Avatar) from the workstation to the NAS and back five times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting. For more on our Avatar Benchmark please see our Benchmarking application: COD Benchmarking Utility

[table id=1 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]

For testing the transfer speed of the NAS with smaller files, we use the same method as the Avatar test but instead create two hundred individual MP3′s of specific file sizes for repeatable results. The files are copied from the workstation to the NAS and back 5 times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting.

[table id=2 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]

With the review of the AS-302T, we are introduction a 2GB file transfer benchmark.  The test is conducted in the exact manner as the previous two tests, but is limited to one file 2GB in size.

[table id=18 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]

We also test each NAS using Intel’s NAS Performance Toolkit to rate 2 key areas of NAS performance. We measure File Copy speeds to and from the NAS and the Directory Copy speeds to and from the NAS. System RAM is set to 2048MB of RAM to ensure there is no mem caching for transfers.

[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 use_datatables=false /]

For benchmarking the performance of iSCSI, we created an iSCSI connection to the NAS and benchmark the NAS using Intel’s IOMeter.  IOMeter has to be one of the most widely used software packages for benchmarking disks. There are an endless number of ways you can build a benchmark, but we chose to limit our benchmarking to 100 percent Sequential Read and Write then 100 percent Random Read and Write. You can emulate our benchmarking by using the following configuration

‘size % of size % reads % writes % sequential % random delay burst align reply
 2,097,152 100 100 0 100 0 0 1 0 0
 2,097,152 100 0 100 100 0 0 1 0 0
 2,097,152 100 100 0 0 100 0 1 0 0
 2,097,152 100 0 100 0 100 0 1 0 0
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 use_datatables=false /]

CrystalDiskMark is another benchmarking utility that determines speeds by measuring 512KB, 4KB, and 4KB (Queue Depth 32) sequential and random read and write speeds. Test data can be Random, 0Fill, and 1Fill. For our purposes, we left the test at Random.

[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,25,26 hide_columns=1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 use_datatables=false /]

Having a polished user interface, a well implemented multimedia experience, and a large number of applications available for it, the AS-302T offers a ton of flexibility per dollar.  Asustor has done a great job with this product and their attention to detail and passion for storage appliances shines through.

When you add it all up, the AS-302T is an affordable NAS ($318 USD) that delivers.  Having a price tag only a tad bit higher than the Thecus N2650 and a couple hundred under the QNAP TS-269 PRO, the AS-302T becomes an attractive product for its price aside from its function.

Bottom line, Asustor and done it again.

cod recommended badge Asustor AS 302T Review

A TEXT POST

Thecus – First in NAS Industry to Have Devices Which Support RAID 50 and 60

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/thecus-first-nas-industry-devices-support-raid-50-60/

Thecus – First in NAS Industry to Have Devices Which Support RAID 50 and 60

Thecus® is pleased to announce the world’s first NAS devices with support for RAID 50 and RAID 60. These new NAS devices offer significant advances in performance and fault tolerance for small and medium businesses and enterprise customers.

Full RAID 50 support is now available in the following Thecus NAS devices: N6850, N7510, N8850, N8900, N10850, N12000 N12000PRO, N16000, and N16000PRO. In addition, all devices with 8 bays or more, also support RAID 60.

For ultra high speed connectivity, 10GB Ethernet cards are supported. Maximum capacity starts at 24TB in the entry-level N6850, and ranges up to 2.5 petabytes for N12000PRO and N16000PRO systems with additional daisy-chained Thecus D16000 DAS units.

For ease-of-use and maximum uptime, standard features in Thecus NAS devices include OLED touch panel display, web and mobile administration, HDMI output, and USB 3.0.

A New Kind of RAID

RAID 50 combines the advantages of RAID 5 and RAID 0, to surpass the performance of both of these lower RAID levels. RAID 50 brings improved read speeds, significantly faster write speeds, greatly improved fault tolerance, reduced access time in random access operations, and greater storage capacity. RAID 60 combines the best of RAID 6 and RAID 0, to improve further on these advances.

Compared to RAID 10, RAID 50 and 60 require much less overhead storage capacity,. Therefore, they cut system costs, power usage, and physical space demands, while still retaining the ability to survive multiple drive failures that would wipe out lesser RAID systems. The greater fault tolerance of RAID 50 and 60 also means little or no loss of performance while a failed drive is swapped out and restored.

“SMB and Enterprise firms have long been looking for a NAS solution that leverages the latest innovations to combine reliability, performance and cost effectiveness in a single device. By being the first to bring RAID 50 and RAID 60 to the NAS device market, we believe we have finally met this growing demand,” said Florence Shih, General Manager at Thecus. “We’re already seeing great interest from our SMB and Enterprise partners.”

A TEXT POST

Lian Li Releases the PC-Q33 Mini-ITX Chassis in North America

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/lian-li-releases-pc-q33-mini-itx-chassis-north-america/

Lian Li Releases the PC-Q33 Mini-ITX Chassis in North America

Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd, today announces a new brushed aluminum Mini-ITX chassis – PC-Q33 – with a flip-open design and space-efficient hardware support.

Front Hinge for Easy Access

The PC-Q33 provides plenty of working space for DIY builders. Builders can swing open the top and front panel of this brushed aluminum chassis providing easy access to the internal components.

Space Efficient Hardware Support

At 18L, the PC-Q33 supports a tremendous amount of hardware for its size. Taking advantage of every available space Lian Li’s latest brushed aluminum chassis accommodates CPU coolers up to 180mm (7.0”) in height and ATX power supplies up to 200mm in length. The latest powerful low-profile graphics cards up to 220mm (8.6”) easily fit inside the chassis.

Versatile HDD Mounting

The PC-Q33 has a versatile design for hard drive mounting. In the side HDD cage, two 3.5” drives or one 2.5” drive and 3.5” drive can be installed. This side HDD cage can be removed by unscrewing three thumbscrews. The front panel additionally allows for up to three 2.5” drives or one 3.5” HDD with two 2.5” drive.

Water Cooling Support

The fully aluminum PC-Q33 supports 120mm radiators and AIO liquid cooling kits.

Tool-Less Installations and Features

The PC-Q33 has pop-off side panels for simplified installations, upgrades and maintenance. Hard drives, 3.5” and 2.5”, can be tool-lessly mounted on the front panel with thumbscrews with rubber suspensions. Additionally, the expansion slots are secured by thumbscrews.

Connectivity

The I/O panel is located on the front bezel. Connections include two USB ports and HD audio.

A TEXT POST

Lian Li PC-Q28 Review

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/lian-li-pc-q28-review/

Lian Li PC-Q28 Review

When we thought that we had the perfect case for our NAS build, Lian Li came knocking on our door and promised to change our minds.  Our current build features the Fractal Node 304 and it has been a great small server / NAS mini-itx chassis that has plenty of storage space.  Unseating it will be quite the challenge.  Lian Li confidently accepts the challenge.

Lian Li PCQ 28 18 580x229 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

To get some of the basics out-of-the-way quickly, the Lian Li PC-Q28 is an all aluminum mini-ITX case that spans 227mm wide, 305mm tall, 345mm deep, and weighs in around 7 pounds.  The chassis is capable of housing up to 7 hard drives.  The storage configurations vary, but for those building a big storage solution, it can potentially work out to six 3.5″ HDDs and a 2.5″ hdd.  To boot, you still have an open 5.25″ drive bay for a removable drive or an optical drive.  If you are not a storage junkie, the PC-Q28 can support video cards up to 290mm in length (without the HDD cage) and PSUs up to 170mm.

Lian Li PCQ 28 19 580x258 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Cooling is handled by two fans, one 140mm fan up front and one 120mm exhaust fan up top.  There is filtered air intake on the bottom of the chassis for the front mounted intake fan.  Warm air is exhausted from the top. The top mounted fan will pull clean cool air from the front of the chassis and ensure that it passes over your heatsink and PSU cooling fan before exiting.  I would have liked Lian Li to provide a side mounted mesh guarded intake, similar to the one on top, for the PSU instead of having it compete for cool air with the CPU heatsink.

Lian Li PCQ 28 20 580x258 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

The PC-Q28 brings the fundamentals in Lian Li design to those of us that are looking for a small form factor chassis without compromise.  The front of the chassis features only the Lian Li Logo, a 5.25″ drive bay, and a well placed power button.  Two USB 3.0 ports and audio connectivity find themselves just to the right of the front panel.

Lian Li PCQ 28 3 300x338 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Lian Li PCQ 28 27 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 28 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Both sides (except for the already mentioned connectivity) are barren of anything other than removable panels, each of which are held in place by a single Phillip’s Head screw.  Additionally, the side panels are removed by sliding them up then pulling them away from the chassis.

Lian Li PCQ 28 21 580x290 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Around back, there are two expansion slots reinforced by a thumbscrew assisted slide lock.  The PSU plate is removable, allowing you to easily install and remove your power supply without having to worry about it flopping about.

Lian Li PCQ 28 4 300x368 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

The top of the chassis is home to the single exhaust fan, which rests comfortably beneath a black wire mesh fan guard.

Lian Li PCQ 28 12 300x234 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

The PC-Q28 takes a different approach to the layout of their chassis in almost every when compared to the Fractal Node 304.  While the motherboard installs flat on the bottom of the Node 304, the PC-Q28 takes a more traditional approach and the motherboard is installed vertically. The two horizontal support rails act as motherboard tray.  When installed, your motherboard is visible and accessible from either side allowing quick and easy access.

Lian Li PCQ 28 5 300x267 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 10 300x217 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

When it comes to storage, there are plenty of options for internal hard drives.  On the bottom of the chassis rests a platform that can accommodate 2 hard drives, in either 2.5″ or 3.5″ sizes.  The platform is held in place by thumbscrews and can be removed if you chose not to employ it.

Lian Li PCQ 28 25 150x150 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 23 150x150 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 24 150x150 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Just above the hard drive platform and just below the 5.25″ drive bay is a hard drive cage similar to that found in other Lian Li cases.  The cage is completely removable, utilizes rubber grommets to reduce noise, and can hold up to five hard drives (four 3.5″ and one 2.5″).  Hard drives can be installed facing left or right with plenty of room for connectivity either way.  To keep you HDDs from heating up, the cage is mounted directly behind the front intake fan.

Lian Li PCQ 28 7 300x200 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 8 300x200 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Lian Li PCQ 28 13 300x231 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 14 300x200 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

When you start putting everything together, the small case puts on a Vegas quality magic show.  You would expect that things get very cramped, but there is room to work and cable clutter is easy to manage.  There is adequate room for clean wire management; however, I do wish that Lian Li would have included some accessories like the SATA power cable SilverStone provides to make powering a large number hard drives a bit easier.

Lian Li PCQ 28 15 150x150 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 16 150x150 Lian Li PC Q28 Review Lian Li PCQ 28 17 150x150 Lian Li PC Q28 Review

Installation of our CODNAS hardware was quick and painless.  The room provided by the case means that running cables from our SAS controller isn’t as difficult as it was in the Node 304.  When compared to the alternating hard drive installation in the Node 304, the PC-Q28 makes things straight forward. The bottom mounted hard drives are close enough to use a single power connector from my PSU and using the hard drive rack, I can connect power and data without fumbling about.   Placement of the PSU allows you to tuck wires in to keep them out-of-the-way.

When it comes to small cases, Lian Li has made a big hit with the PC-Q28.  The chassis provides plenty of room for cable management and plenty of space for hard drives.  The hard drive installation is a bit easier than it was the Node 304, and the Lian Li design is just easy to look at.  The two fans do a decent job of keeping things cool and operate quietly while doing so.  Lian Li has given us a case that can accommodate up to 7 hard drives and still have room for an optical drive or removable drive tray.

When compared to the $89.99 price tag of the Node 304, the $99.99 all aluminum Lian Li PC-Q28 isn’t out of reach.  If you are building a small home server or NAS look no further than the PC-Q28.  You will not be disappointed.  Conversely, if you are looking to home top notch gaming hardware, you may need to look elsewhere.  Even though the cooling is adequate for lesser hardware, when it comes to components that cook, you may need more cooling than the PC-Q28 can deliver.

Bottom line, it is hard not to like the PC-Q28.  The small size and fantastic looks makes it a case worth looking at.

A TEXT POST

Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

New Article has been published on http://computingondemand.com/use-ipad-remote-control-wmc/

Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

I have always had an HTPC as my home theater’s centerpiece.  The flexibility that an HTPC brings simply can’t be matched by the likes of WD TV Live, Apple TV, or any Roku.  I have the ability to spin a disc, play my enormous library of music and movies, and watch live TV.  The only thing that had been holding my HTPC back from being adopted as the primary solution by my fiance was a keyboard and mouse.  In order to rid my self of our cable box, I had to find a solution that anyone could use, including my technophobe fiancé.

Having gone through various keyboard and mouse combinations, I finally settled on running things from an iPad.  I figured this is a safe bet.  After all, even my grandmother can use an iPad.

The search for the best way to control WMC from the iPad led me through applications like Logitech Touch Mouse and experimenting with various paid applications until I finally decided on my My Media Center by Ceton.  My Media Center is the only application I have found that allows me to control WMC with a remote, browse various recorded shows, peruse my movie collection, perform a search directly from my iPad, and… the best-selling feature, choose the show I want to watch on live TV by browsing a guide loaded directly on the iPad.

ipad ceton wmc 1 300x366 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

My Media Center (formerly Ceton Companion) is the ultimate Windows Media Center app for your Android, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone devices. Easily manage and control your Windows Media Center PC whether you’re inside or outside your home!

Manage your Live TV, Recorded Shows, Movies and DVR Series, along with a Full Remote Control and so much more … all at your fingertips! Please note that My Media Center does not support streaming TV to your mobile device.

When it comes to installing the software on your HTPC, the windows 7, 8, and 8.1 (Windows 8/8.1 needs media center) download is free and easy to install. Click Here for download

The installer is a series of Next clicks and a Finish.

To configuring your media library for browsing through the iPad, the application can add all of your TV shows and movies to your device’s galleries.  All you have to do is add the locations for your media to the library within the My Media Center application.  The drawback here is that I have yet to configure the application to recognize MKV.

Launch My Media Center Config (in Windows: Start / All Programs / Ceton / My Media Center Config)

Select Library, Select Movies, and Add the folder(s).  For those that store the media elsewhere, the application allows you to store network credentials.

ipad ceton wmc 4 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC ipad ceton wmc 5 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC    ipad ceton wmc 9 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC ipad ceton wmc 10 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

The rest of the configuration is pretty straight forward and somewhat geared towards a more advanced configuration.  The application can help to manage your video library and download all the metadata information for Windows Media Center as well as XBMC.  Additionally, the application can download all the artwork associated with the titles. I do not have the application configured for collecting meta data and artwork.  Instead, I use Media Center Master.

ipad ceton wmc 6 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCipad ceton wmc 7 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCipad ceton wmc 8 150x150 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

For the App on your iPad (or Android, Windows device), all you need to do is go the app store and buy it. If you don’t use the links below, you can search for Ceton.

apple Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCgoogle Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCwindowsstore Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCwindowsphone Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCamazon Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMCnook Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

Once it is installed on your iPad; performing a simple network scan is all you need to do to get the two, your iPad and the Windows application, working together.  If, in the event, you are unable to locate your HTPC from your iPad, you can manually enter the IP address to get you going.

ipad ceton wmc 3 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

The application breaks things down into 5 primary tabs.

  1. HTPC: this illustrates your upcoming recordings, recently recorded, and latest movie additions to your library
  2. Television:  You can view a gallery of recorded shows, show your TV Guide, list all the channels, show premieres, view your recorded television shows, schedule recordings, and manage your series.
  3. Movies: View your library in a gallery, show what’s on tonight, view New and Upcoming, and list Best Sellers,
  4. Search
  5. Remote:  This is a full-fledged remote control

The remote control has arrow keys, a home button, various multimedia button, channel buttons, and a series of buttons along the bottom to execute commonly used WMC shortcuts.  You can even enter text to move quickly through your library.

ipad ceton wmc 11 300x400 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

The TV Guide is laid out the way you would expect it to be.  You see things based on their time slot and color coded based on the type of show it is.  You can scroll right to see shows that are coming up and when you click a title, information about the episode or title is presented to you.  Furthermore, you can record the episode or the series from here, tune the channel, or schedule an event to remind you about an upcoming show.

ipad ceton wmc 12 300x400 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC ipad ceton wmc 13 300x400 Use Your iPad as a Remote Control for WMC

Bottom line, if you have an HTPC, or multiple HTPCs, and are looking for an easy way of controlling WMC without having to buy an iMON VFD, install a couple of applications and you are ready to go.  My Media Center by Ceton makes things easy and at only $4.99, a no brainer. The application is easy to use and has relieved me the barrage of  “I can’t figure out how to control this stupid computer”(s).

A PHOTO

Giveaway: Backup4all Professional and novaPDF Professional

Computingondemand.com has teamed up with the fine folks over at backup4all.com to offer you our…

View Post

A PHOTO

QNAP Updates QTS 4.0 for Its Business-class Turbo NAS Models with Scale-up Solution, Powerful Storage Manager and More

Taipei, Taiwan, September 25, 2013 – QNAP® Systems, Inc. today updated QTS 4.0, Turbo NAS operating…

View Post