by February 10, 2005 0 comments



Okay, so you thought hard disks came only on IDE, SCSI and USB. Now it comes on wireless too. And the WL-HDD2.5 also doubles as an access point. So, if you need to quickly set up a file-server for your department, all you need are: a suitably sized hard disk, a power outlet and the WL-HDD2.5. The box can fit one standard two-and-a-half inch Ultra DMA 100 IDE hard disks, available in the 40 and 80 GB capacities.

Unlike most access points we have seen, this one comes pre-configured for network access. All you need to set up really are its hard disk partitions and users. The box comes with a utility (on its CD) that you can use to manage and use the hard disk. Using it is a simple matter of connecting it to a PC using an Ethernet cord and pointing your browser to it (default IP is 192.168.1.220, subnet mask is 255.255.255.0). Default credentials are ‘admin’ for both username and password. 
Take your time and set up your wireless parameters correctly. The unit supports WEP and WPA keys in both 64 and 128 bit AES encryption modes. And then
disconnect everything but the power cord, and place it on a shelf somewhere with excellent wireless visibility. That’s it.

To connect to it, you can either browse to it over your network (\\192.168.1.220) or you can FTP to it (ftp://192.168.1.220). By default, it allows anonymous access in both ways. You can set up users and permissions from the Web interface. The built-in file-share utility allows you to add shares and users and assign permissions just like on a regular file server. And, you can create routing tables, access control lists (deny clients by their MAC or IP addresses) and NAT entries too!

Want more storage? Simply buy more of these boxes, add the hard disks in them and place them all over your campus. Using the Web browser interface provided at http://192.168.1.220, logon to each of them in turn and chain them up-there is an option for this. Note that while doing this, you will need to change their IP (or they will all end up having the same address)! Now you have a freely roaming Wireless-NAS. The firmware supports both 802.11 b and g wireless and this means you have a maximum transfer speed of 54 Mbps. 

The unit comes with a 10/100 Mbps ethernet port to let you attach a PC via Ethernet for configuration. You can also use this port to connect the unit to a switch or router.

The basic USP of this product is that you don’t need any additional software, and the entire space on your hard disk becomes available for your files. 

The Bottom Line: A very good buy for the SOHO user and perhaps upto the department level of an enterprise that requires a quick and cheap NAS-type storage.

Sujay V. Sarma

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