Over the past few years we've tested a handful of Network Attached Storage (NAS) products, and while most of them were very impressive, they all had one common hazard: they were extremely expensive. So expensive, in fact, that they are little more than a pipe dream for the average user.
For example, we tested the powerful Synology Disk Station DS-409 + about two years ago, which costs a cool $ 600 with no hard drives installed. The QNAP TS-809 Pro later hit our radar with a starting price of $ 1,700, which is considerably more than most spending on their primary PC.
More recently, we reviewed the Synology Disk Station DS410j, a value-added 4-bay NAS device, but it was still $ 370. We estimated at the time that adding four 1TB hard drives could add the total cost to $ 700.
The alternative to buying an expensive NAS device is to build a budget PC or purchase a second hand to use as a network file server. While this can be a cheaper and often more powerful route, it is not without its drawbacks such as higher power consumption, fewer out-of-the-box features, and the need for a monitor to make changes.
Assuming you're determined to get your hands on a NAS device, you have a number of cheaper options to choose from, but choosing the right one can be difficult. I've come across several cheap alternatives in my travels, and to be honest, they've all been a bit stupid. When LG announced they had a 2-bay model that cost less than $ 250 with a pair of 1TB hard drives, we sat up and noticed.
However, as we have found repeatedly when dealing with NAS products, there is a lot more to consider than just storage capacity and price. These devices are highly dependent on the hardware and software that power them and can either lead to a complete failure of the product. Since we recognize this, we are very curious to see what moves the LG N2A2. Let's take a closer look at that.