The Welland ME-747ANS attaches one disk to your network but only at 100Mbps, not the standard Gigabit. For that reason alone I rejected it. When they have a Gigabit version, it might be worth a look.
You get a LAN cable, a USB cable, and an eSATA cable in the box. You also get a CD and, if the Welland is like all the other NAS boxes, you do not need the CD because you can allocate an IP address to the device using the DHCP in your router. You can then access everything through the Web.
Some of the features are good.
- File System: XFS
- SAMBA and FTP file transferring protocol
- eSATA Interface
- USB Interface
- USB Printer Server
- Compliance with UPnP embedded devices
- Firmware upgradable
Some of the features are meaningless because you do not install NAS for those features or worthless because there are better options.
- iTunes Server
- LAN Speed 10/100Mbps
- File System: FAT32, NTFS Read Only
- BitTorrent download
The manufacturer's page is www.welland.com.tw/html/network/747ans.html.
Update: There is now a gigabit version: www.welland.com.tw/html/network/752gns.html.
The network connection is too slow so do not use it as a NAS. If you have a slow network then you will have to upgrade your network to carry NAS traffic at a decent speed.
You might use it for slow speed backup. You could use it as a print server for a USB printer. You could then make a habit of copying documents to the device for later reprinting. If you product lots of material that is freely reprinted by other staff, they could find it on the NAS and easily send it to print. Just note that the data will go across the network twice, once from your NAS disk to your computer, then again from your computer to the printer. With modern disks and printers, both will flood a 100Mbps network.
When you mix 100Mbps devices with Gigabit devices on a Gigabit network and use some of the cheaper hubs, switches, and routers, you will slow down all network traffic.
Modern disks are faster than a 100Mbps network. Look for a NAS device with a Gigabit connection.