A Non-Expandable NAS Review


LevelOne NAS GNS-1001 has a fast PLX NAS 7820 ARM11-based dual core processor running at 750MHz. Unfortunately, like most low-end NAS, it’s not expandable. Unless you hack into the kernel, you cannot install any applications nor plug-ins which limits its capability to what it was designed for.

I am a little surprised that it may provide faster read speed via Samba than QNAP TS-112 which has a Marvell 88F6281 ARMv5TE-compliant single core processor running at 1.2GHz. Again, it’s difficult to compare NAS on datasheet.

Connection Test with Different Software and Linux Command

Did you setup the Samba client for each computer? If not, be careful when you use LevelOne GNS-1001 as a Samba server. Because with different connection type and parameters, people might encounter different read / write problems.

Let’s take a look at my test result. I use OpenSuSE 13.1 with GNOME as Samba client.

Access conflicts by using different connection tools and parameters to Samba server on LevelOne GNS-1001.
Access conflicts by using different connection tools and parameters to Samba server on LevelOne GNS-1001.

To summarize:

  1. If you want to share your upload files or download from shared folders, always use mount with noperm.
  2. If you use Nautilus connect to Samba server, you won’t be able to open files without download first. You will also see error messages while copying from Samba sever to local disk.

Based on my test, I suggest to use mount as guest with noperm with LevelOne GNS-1001 all the time.

Performance Analyst

As I have mentioned in Using Microsoft Networking via Samba with QNAP TS-112 and LevelOne GNS-1001, it is much faster to use mount than Nautilus.

Comparison on Samba and FTP of QNAP TS-112, LevelOne GNS-1001, and USB HDD Box
Comparison on Samba and FTP of QNAP TS-112, LevelOne GNS-1001, and USB HDD Box

LevelOne GNS-1001 is faster on reading than QNAP TS-112 with Samba or FTP. LevelOne GNS-1001 is faster on writing than QNAP TS-112 with FTP but slower with Samba.

I didn’t include test with Nautilus because it prompts for error while copying from shared folder to local disk. Again, always use mount as guest with noperm with LevelOne GNS-1001.

Cooling System

It has a metal box which feel cool. The small fan helps removing heat, too.

Although the fan is always on and a little bit noisy compared to QNAP TS-112 or Promise SmartStor Zero, I still preferred it to Buffalo HD-LX2TU3 which is quiet but hot.

More Thoughts

The admin web interface is simple to use but needs more fine tune. For example, you won’t be able to manage user access rights on folders until you allow login. No shutdown command. Very few information about the bandwidth, memory, and CPU utilization.

BTW, please don’t use Chrome for admin web interface. You won’t be able to see the contents in [Share] tab. Something wrong with the JavaScript.

Reference

  1. LevelOne NAS GNS-1001
  2. PLX NAS 7820
  3. QNAP: TS-112
  4. Marvell: Marvell 88F6281 SoC with Sheeva Technology
  5. Wiki: Samba (software)
  6. Wiki: Nautilus (file manager)
  7. Using Microsoft Networking via Samba with QNAP TS-112 and LevelOne GNS-1001
  8. Promise SmartStor Zero
  9. Buffalo HD-LX2TU3
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