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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [09.28.06]
Manufactured by: Vantec


Software Setup

The software setup like the hardware setup is pretty much foolproof.

If being used in USB mode, simply plug the unit into any Windows 98/Me/2000/XP or Mac OS 8.6+ machine and it will be picked up automatically as a storage device.  If you're using Windows 98 you'll need to install the included drivers first. If you're using Windows 95 or MacOS prior to 9.1 though you're out of luck.

In terms of Network Setup, the device is pretty much plug and play out of the box if you're running a standard home network environment.

Basically after plugging the device into your network all you have to do is type STORAGE into an Internet browser to access the NexStar's control panel and log in using the default username and password. (If you're using a MAC you have to type in the units IP address as assigned by your DHCP server)

The default status screen has options that let you change the device host name, workgroup name, admin logon info, date/time and language. The units IP address is also displayed along with attached disk information.  There is also an option to use the NexStar LX as a DHCP server in case you're one of the few people left not using a DHCP enabled router on a high-speed Internet connection.

Something to note here is that the NexStar LX only supports a single FAT32 partition.  Anything NTFS will not be recognized nor will anything beyond the first partition.

Advanced Settings

The IP Config page allows you to specify whether or not the device is to pick up an automatic IP or to use manually entered IP and DNS information

The Maintenance Screen contains a web based firmware update option in case new features/bug fixes are added in the future. It also has a system reboot button for when those weird unexplainable things happen as well as a factory default reset button in case you happen to forget that uncrackable password you used.

Under the SMB Server settings you can create, rename and delete folders located on the attached drive.

You also have the option here to set which folder are visible to SMB server users, as well as password protect each visible folder.

For users to connect to the SMB server they simply have to enter \STORAGE at the windows CMD prompt, or in any windows explorer path window.  For ease of use, most users will most likely simply map a network drive letter to the folders they use most frequently.

The FTP server setup is similar to the SMB server except that you are first able to create FTP user logon accounts.

There is also an option to allow anonymous access. You have the ability to set which folders on the drive each account is able to view/access, however you cannot set different R/W permissions for individual folders.

The chance of users on your local network wanting to connect to the device via FTP are slim, particularly when it is so much more easily done through SMB. However if you do have a router with port forwarding capabilities, you can use the NexStar LX as an FTP server to easily share the latest Emo rock band with all your Myspace internet friends.

The final configuration section is the disk utility that allows you to format the attached drive as well as check it for any errors using a scandisk utility.

There is also a Sleep Time option that basically spins the drive down after a set time of inactivity in order to save energy when the device isn't in use.

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