Enthusiast Storage and Networking (10)
Storage and Netowkring products
802.11ac wireless was introduced at CES 2012. Unfortunately when the devices were launched there were no adapters to support it. This meant that people were buying expensive wireless products without having any way to support the speeds they were capable of. Fortunately at CES 2013 a couple of manufacturers started releasing 802.11ac adapters. However, there are two schools of thought about how to implement these adapters. We will be taking a look at both in the next couple of weeks, but we will kick things off with a look at the USB 2.0 NETGEAR A6200 Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi Adapter. Let’s dive in and take a look.
Mobile devices are great. All of us use them in the form of phones, MP3/4 players, tablets laptops etc. The problem with a large majority of them is that they never seem to have enough storage to do everything you want. To combat this trend some manufacturers have started dropping in large capacity HDDs, but to keep inside the expected power curve these drives are very slow and end up slowing the system down as well. The alternative of dropping in a Solid State Drive can speed things up, but can also leave you with limited storage space unless you spend a ton of money. Kingston came up with an interesting little concept that takes care of the storage problem and also gives you some high-speed storage that you can move between your portable device and your desktop. So let’s take a look at the 512GB Kington HyperX Predator USB 3.0 thumbdrive.
We have our third victim… um test subject in our continuing Network Attached Storage (NAS) device reviews. This time it is from a company with a fair recognizable name in the industry, NETGEAR. For many the name NETGEAR means low cost consumer networking products and maybe a lower reliability rating. We have to agree that some of that reputation was rightfully earned in the past, but they have since changed things around and are now making some fairly solid products for the consumer, SMBs and the enterprise. We have already covered their ProSafe WNDAP360 wireless access point and found it to be a well put together product. Now we are going to dive into their pro line of NAS products with the ReadNAS Pro 6. This is a 6 bay device that can support up to 12TB of RAW storage and has more than its share of features to boot. So let’s take a look at what you get with the ReadyNAS Pro 6 from NETGEAR.
Solid State drives are what the enthusiast market wants for storage. This has been the case since the first SSDs hit the market a few years ago. However, the drives were too expensive for most and ended up being available to very few. In the last year or so the price per Gigabyte has dropped to almost $1 making the SSD a more viable option for not only the enthusiast but also for the regular consumer market. Additionally with the introduction of high-performance, low cost SATA 3.0 Controllers for SSDs the performance of these drives has made them almost too good to pass up. As far as completion and variety the SSD market is also better now than the traditional magnetic media market. There are simply more companies making SSDs than there are making HDD. We have already taken a look at a few of these in the past and are now working into the new line of SATA 3.0 drives complete with the SandForce 2281 SATA 3.0 controller. Today we have one from Patriot Memory, the PyroSE 120GB solid state drive. Let’s see just how fast it is.
After our first run through with the Kingston HyperX SH100S3B 120GB SSD we had more than a few comments stating that 120GB was just not enough to work with. Although your typical 120GB drive is intended to be used as a boot drive with some basic applications installed on this drive it is not meant to be the only drive. Well people still did not want to hear about that so we managed to arrange to take a peek at Kingston’s next upgrade kit, the HyperX 3K 240GB upgrade kit which comes with a HyperX SH103S3 240GB SSD drive along with pretty much the same goodies you saw in the 120GB kit. So let’s take a quick look at what you have and then dive straight into performance.
Here at DecryptedTech we have always had covered a very wide range of products (as well as technologies). However, there is one item that we have never really gotten too deep into. This is direct attached storage and in particular Solid State Drives (SSDs). It is true that we do show you their performance in almost every motherboard review that we do here on the site, but we have never reviewed any SSDs exclusively. We have had many reasons for this not the last of which is there is still debate on how to properly test an SSD or HDD. While some feel that IOPs (Input Output Operations per Second) are key others want to know exactly how fast their data moves into and out of the drive. We sat down and have come up with what we hope is a good balance of synthetic and real world tests that will give you the best idea of how an SSD performs. So with that in mind we are going to dive into Kingston’s HyperX SH100S3B/120G 120GB Solid Sate Drive Upgrade Kit.
As the devices we carry around with us get smaller and smaller there is going to be an increasing want (or need) for larger and faster portable storage devices. We have watched over the last few years as the storage capacity of USB flash drives (Pen Drives, Thumb Drives etc.) has grown rapidly. It was not that long ago that a 1-2GB drive was something to have. Now we have small flash drives in the 64, 128 and even 256GB range! Kingston has been one of the companies on the forefront if this charge into larger capacity and faster performance. We have tested out multiple products from them from encrypted storage devices to the hefty DTUltimate G2 32GB USB3.0 thumb drive. Now we have a new product on the bench from Kingston. This one is being sold under their performance name HyperX. The Drive boasts 64GB of storage and 225MB/s of read performance! If the paper is to be believed this is almost twice the performance of the DTUltimate G2, which topped out at around 116MB in our testing. Let’s dive in and see if the paper claims match the real world performance.
One of the nice things about the latest generation of the 802.11 wireless specification (802.11n) is that there is a lot of headroom available in it before there is a need to move to a new generation. When 802.11n first hit the market it was limited to around 150Mbps. This was due to quite a few factors, most notable of these was the use of spatial streams (breaking the signal into separate streams and reassembling them in proper order at the far end. Once this was combined with MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) things really took off. Now we are hitting the upper edge of the 802.11n spectrum with the 450Mbps routers and adapters. This new line is getting up there and finally pushing the upper limits of what you can do with this latest revision of the 802.11 protocol. We have another one of TRENDNet’s 450Mbps wireless routers in the lab. This time it is the TEW-692GR a 450Mbps concurrent dual band gaming router with a price tag of around $135. So follow along as we find out if this is really worth your time and money.
The launch of the 450Mbps segment of the 802.11n specification was sort of backwards. We saw some of the first routers last year in the September – October time frame. Then at CES we got our first glimpse of one of the new 450Mbps wireless adapters. This was the TRENDNet TEW-687GA that we just finished testing. But we are not going to stop there as we have another 450Mbps adapter from TRENDNet in the lab. This one is more PC specific and connects over USB 2.0. You lose the universal appeal that the 687GA had but gain more on portability. So let’s introduce the TRENDNet TEW-684UB 450Mbps Dual Band USB wireless adapter.
Home networking is something that everyone knows a little about. Often times what they know is not accurate (to put it nicely). I have heard some of the most bizarre “facts” about home networks, wireless networking and pretty much everything under the sun. We here at DecryptedTech are officially kicking off our networking section with a review of the TRENDNet TEW-687GA; this is a 450Mbps wireless adapter (sort of). We first saw this back at CES when we had our meeting with Zak from TRENDNet. It is a rather large adapter that boasts the full Duplex speed of 450Mbps at a price of $94.99. Let’s take a look at this product and talk a little about wireless networking in general.