LaCie d2 Network (1TB) review
The last LaCie NAS drive we welcomed into the PC Pro Labs, the Network Space 500GB, wasn’t particularly impressive. It was cheap, but performance and the range of features were disappointing. The French firm’s latest offering, the d2 Network NAS drive, sees the storage specialists looking to redress the balance.
It makes a good start, with a decent list of specifications. Connection is made via Gigabit Ethernet, there’s a comprehensive browser-based management interface and the usual attractive design from Neil Poulton – the drive is encased in a really solid-feeling aluminium box you can stand up on end or lay down flat.
The sleek silver chassis, which also works as a heatsink to dissipate heat from the drive within, also manages to keep the noise down from the small internal fan, so it’s the ideal candidate for a living room storage drive. On the rear are eSATA and USB ports, which allow you extend the drive’s capacity or back up from the NAS drive using the blue snapshot button on the front.
Both SMB and AFP network protocols are supported, offering access to both Windows and Apple machines, there’s FTP, a BitTorrent client, a tool for scheduled backups plus user and group permissions. Meanwhile, on the media front, you get iTunes and UPnP compatibility and the device is DLNA compliant.
There’s no printer or email server support, however, and the d2 can’t be used as a web host, unlike the QNAP TS-119 Turbo NAS, which is one of the best-specified NAS drives we’ve seen.
While the list of features points towards an accomplished drive, however, performance was less impressive. Testing the drive over a Gigabit network, we found the LaCie to be slower than most drives we’ve tested recently.
Our file transfer tests, involving 3GB of 1MB small files, the d2 returned read speeds of 16.7MB/sec and write speeds of 8.9MB/sec. While it’s an improvement over the LaCie Network Space, which was the slowest drive in our last Labs test, it’s no better than its rivals, such as the Buffalo LinkStation Live.
Performance was more assured when handling larger files. When tasked with three tests – a single 650MB file, a single 1.5GB file and a group of three 1GB files – the LaCie consistently read at around 25MB/sec and wrote at about 11MB/sec. That read speed is decent, but the write speed again lets it down – it’s slower than all our favourite NAS drives.
With mediocre performance, the LaCie has to offer good value for consumers, but at £196 exc VAT we don’t think it does. The Buffalo LinkStation Live offers a similar range of features to the LaCie but is considerably cheaper. At the other end of the scale, the QNAP TS-119 Turbo NAS is £22 more (plus the cost of a disk) but has a broader range of features, including media player, print and web server capabilities, iSCSI and much better performance. With rivals besting it at both ends of the market, the LaCie can’t be recommended.