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Best Device Servers 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated June 1, 2019
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Maurice TurnerI’m Willow Maurice Turner. My friends call me “stone” and it just kind of stuck. One of the most important sections in the article – the comparison charts for best device servers in 2018!

Just read here for my top 3 recommendations. Why are these 3 device servers on top of my list? Well read on… Like most products, some outdo others, so use my top three list below to get started on your search for the best device servers of 2018.

Best Device Servers of 2018

Come with me. Many brands have introduced device servers on the market. These brands have resulted in a variety for the user. These require that the consumers be well aware of what they are buying so as to make the best choice. After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. The “Total” indicates the overall value of the product.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
5 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
Awards 1
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№1 – Silex DS-510 – Device Server – 2 Ports – 10MB LAN

Silex DS-510 - Device Server - 2 Ports - 10MB LAN

High-performance data throughput due to optimized performance and Gigabit connection: extremely powerful CPU (800 MHz) and two USB Hi-Speed Ports (Type-A)
Energy saver mode – when the Device server is not used for a certain period of time, the power supply to the USB bus is turned off to save energy.
Everything is OK.

Why did this device servers win the first place?

I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.












№2 – StarTech.com 1 Port RS232 Serial to IP Ethernet Converter / Device Server – Aluminum Serial over IP Device Server – Serial to IP Converter

StarTech.com 1 Port RS232 Serial to IP Ethernet Converter / Device Server - Aluminum Serial over IP Device Server - Serial to IP Converter

Form Factor: DIN rail mountable
Localization: North America, United Kingdom, Europe
Data Link Protocol: Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, RS-232
Hard to use.
A little on the heavy side.

Why did this device servers come in second place?

Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.












№3 – Hawking Technology Wireless Multifunction w/AirPrint support USB Print Server

Hawking Technology Wireless Multifunction w/AirPrint support USB Print Server

Easily connect and share your USB Printer, multifunction all-in-one printer or standard printer, to a network
Print from any computer over the network.All printers are supported by the product for Windows and Mac systems
Share your USB storage devices, thumb drives, hard drives
Very expensive.
Wears off quickly..

Why did this device servers take third place?

It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!












Device Servers Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy device servers, right? No!

WD My Passport Ultra

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim will do the trick. Again, more excellent storage portable drives can be found on this list.

Now if you want to know more about storage, I invite you to read on. There are three main areas you should consider when making your list: performance, capacity and data safety. I’ll explain them briefly here. After you’re finished, for an even deeper dive into the world of storage.

Using an SSD like one of these will greatly improve your computer’s performance.


Storage performance refers to the speed at which data transfers within a device or from one device to another. Currently, the speed of a single consumer-grade internal drive is largely defined by the Serial ATA interface standard (aka SATA). This determines how fast internal drives connect to a host (such as a personal computer or a server) or to one another. There are three generations of SATA — the latest and most popular, SATA 3, caps at gigabits per second (about 770 megabytes per second). The earlier SATA (largely obsolete) and SATA (available in computers made a few years ago) standards cap data speeds at 1.5Gbps and 3Gbps, respectively.

Since 2015, there’s been a new standard called M.2, which is only available for SSDs. M.allows the storage device to connect to a computer via PCI express (the type of connection once used only to connect a video card to a motherboard) and is therefore much faster than SATA. Currently only high-end desktop motherboards support M.These tend to come with two slots. Some ultracompact laptops also have an M. slot instead of SATA. Just about the size of a stick of system memory, an M.SSD is much more compact than a regular SSD. It’s also much faster and can deliver the same amount of storage space. In the future, M.is expected to replace regular SATA drives completely.

Since internal drives are used in most other types of storage devices, including external drives and network storage, the SATA standard is the common denominator of storage performance. In other words, a single-volume storage device — one that has only one internal drive on the inside — can be as fast as 6Gbps at most. In multiple-volume setups, there are techniques that aggregate the speed of each individual drive into a faster combined data speed, but I’ll discuss that in more detail in the RAID section below.

Internal drives

Though they share the same SATA interface, the performance of internal drives can vary sharply. Generally, hard drives are much slower than SSDs, but SSDs are much more expensive than hard drives, gigabyte for gigabyte.

Though not all SSDs offer the same performance, the differences are minimal. To make it easier for you to choose, here’s our list of the best internal drives currently on the market.

External drives

External storage devices are basically one or more internal drives put together inside an enclosure and connected to a computer using a peripheral connection.

There are four main peripheral connection types: USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire and eSATA. Most, if not all, new external drives now use just USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt or both. There are good reasons why.

USB 3.0 offers a cap speed of 5Gbps and is backward-compatible with USB 2.0. Thunderbolt caps at 10Gbps (or 20Gbps with Thunderbolt 2.0), and you can daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt drives together without degrading the bandwidth. Thunderbolt also makes RAID possible when you connect multiple single-volume drives of the same capacity. Note that more computers support USB 3.0 than Thunderbolt, especially among Windows computers. All existing computers support USB 2.0, which also works with USB 3.0 drives (though at USB 2.0 data speeds).

Generally, speed is not the most important factor for non-Thunderbolt external drives. That may seem counterintuitive, but the reason is that the USB 3.0 connectivity standard, which is the fastest among all non-Thunderbolt standards, is slower than the speed of SATA internal drives.

Note that there’s no difference in terms of performance between bus-powered (a data cable is also used to draw power) and non-bus-powered (a separate power adapter is required) external drives. Generally only single-volume external drives that are based on a laptop 2.5-inch internal drive can be bus-powered, and for now these drives offer 2TB of storage space at most. Non-bus-powered external storage devices mostly use 3.5-inch internal drives and can combine multiple internal drives, so they can offer more storage space.

Currently, Thunderbolt storage devices are more popular for Macs, and unlike other external drives, deliver very fast performance. They are significantly more expensive than USB 3.0 drives, with prices fluctuating a great deal depending on the number of internal drives you use. Here’s our list of the top Thunderbolt drives on the market.

No drives or OS

Servers do not have to be massive or expensive. Take the PowerEdge T20 for example; it has benefited from a wealth of knowledge derived from the 20 years of experience Dell has building servers. While the barebones version doesn’t have a hard drive, it’s certainly cheap – in the recent past, it has been priced at less than £100 (with cashback offers, that is – it’s always well worth keeping an eye out for these).

It has a Haswell-based Pentium processor that can clock up to 3GHz and supports up to 32GB DDRECC RAM (note that this model comes with 4GB). Expansion capabilities include four SATA ports (32TB if you use 8TB hard drives), four I/O slots and USB ports. Astoundingly for a PC of this price, you also get two DisplayPort connectors, a VGA one, two PSand one serial port. Other than a Gigabit Ethernet port, the other points of interest are a 290W PSU and an Intel-based RAID controller.

No hot-swapping of disks

Compared to the barebones version, this particular model features a more powerful Xeon processor (E3-122v3) with 32GB ECC RAM and a 1TB hard disk drive spinning at 7200RPM. It doesn’t come with an OS but system administrators will appreciate the flexibility in this respect.

Fujitsu isn’t the first brand you’d think of

When you think about servers, Fujitsu is probably not the first vendor which springs to mind. And yet, the Japanese manufacturer is one of the very few (if not the only one) that can claim to be involved in anything from SMB servers to, well, supercomputers. The TX13is its entry-level, SMB-focused server and comes with some pretty solid credentials plus an unmatched, industry-leading reliability guarantee. If your server breaks down within the first year of purchase, not only will Fujitsu fix or replace it, the company will also refund you the amount you paid for the server.

Like pretty much everyone at this end of the market, it is designed to run silently 24/and offers RAID 0/1/but not This model incudes an Intel Xeon E3-122v3, two 1TB hard drives and 16GB of RAM. We like the fact that it comes with an optical drive and has two Gigabit Ethernet ports for redundancy. With four DIMM slots and four storage bays, this server supports up to 32TB of storage and 32GB of memory.

Could be quieter

One of the fastest growing segments of the server market is dominated by a single company. HP Enterprise’s Proliant Microserver Genhas successfully managed to fend off competition – thanks to an attractive feature mix and plenty of discounts – and ultimately own this market. These tiny servers have found a market well outside their niche with prosumers buying them en masse and touting their obvious advantages over NAS (network attached storage).

Despite being very small (less than 13l in volume) and light (less than 7kg), this machine packs some impressive capabilities. We’re talking support for Intel’s Xeon Efamily, up to 16GB of RAM, on system management processor, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one PCIe slot, support for RAID 0/1/10, a DVD writer, up to four hard disk drives, an internal microSD card slot, an integrated Matrox G200 graphics chip and seven USB ports. It only has a VGA port, though, and has just two memory modules.

A big machine

If you want something a bit beefier than the aforementioned servers, then consider the TS440. It is far more expensive but then again you get a server that’s in another league. For a start, it is far bigger than the previously mentioned servers with a 50 litre volume and a 25kg weight. This 5U server runs on Intel’s Xeon Emodels with Turbo Boost technology plus it offers a three-year onsite warranty.

It supports up to 32GB of RAM and its integrated RAID controller offers the four main RAID types. You get a DVD writer, four fans, a 450W PSU and one Gigabit Ethernet port. Up to eight hard disk drives can be installed and there are a whopping eight USB ports as well. There’s a lockable door, support for ECC memory, plus a serial and a VGA connector. Sadly, no DisplayPort is present here despite what the Lenovo product page says.

Optimise your storage

If you’re looking for the best NAS to store your essential files for your office, or even your home media library in 2018, we’re here to help. 

We’ve created this exhaustive list of the best NAS (or network attached storage) devices you can buy today, which includes our expert advice on what to look for when buying the best NAS device for your needs, so you should keep in mind your storage and feature needs when you decide to start shopping around.

We also have our very own price comparison tool for checking prices across the internet to make sure you get the best prices for the best NAS in the New Year.

If you don’t really know what a NAS is, they’re basically hard drives that are connected to your network via Ethernet, and act as shared storage between any and all devices that are connected to the same network. Some NAS devices even let you access the files stored via internet, essentially forming your own cloud storage – much like iCloud or Dropbox, only you control it.  Need more portable storage? These are the best SSDs

The best thing is you don’t need unified platforms to use them with all of their devices, they support almost any operating system you could dream of. However, as with any professional or enthusiast-level tech, finding the one you need can be challenging.

That’s why we here on the TechRadar editorial team have put together this list of the best NAS devices that we have tested and reviewed over the last year or so. And, as they’ve all earned our seal of approval, you can be confident that they’ll all perform the way you need them to.

Apps not great

WD has achieved quite considerable success with its unashamedly consumer-friendly My Cloud products, which can stream to any DLNA-compliant device and can be accessed via mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Labeled as a ‘personal cloud,’ it’s a NAS box by any other measure and starts at 2TB of storage (you can also get it in or 4TB). As it’s a one-bay unit, it can’t back itself up to a drive inside the unit, but it can back up to an external hard drive via a USB port on the back.

Does not come with hard drives installed

The QNAP TS-251A is an awesome NAS device that comes with more features than you can shake the included remote control at. You’ve got dual Ethernet ports, a HDMI out for connecting it up to a TV and beefy hardware including a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron CPU and 4GB of RAM (that can be expanded to 8GB) for hardware transcoding media files.

The QTS operating system allows you to easily install a range of apps, from Plex Media Server, file sharing apps and even a karaoke app, as well as run Ubuntu Linux for even more flexibility.

In short – this is a fantastic NAS device, though you’ll need to buy the hard drives separately, so factor that in to the overall cost.


This two-bay unit can create a mirrored backup of your stuff (duplicating your data on both drives), using RAID configuration. That’s quite an advanced feature for a consumer box and you do pay quite a lot for that capability and WD’s user-friendly presentation, including an easy-to-master, browser-based control screen.

This is a 4TB unit (6, 8, and 16TB units are also available). For extra peace of mind, you can also back the contents up to Dropbox.

Synology DiskStation DS216j Bay Desktop Network Attached Storage

USB 3.0 ports only rear-mounted

This great NAS is a two-bay device with a DLNA media server on board. As with the QNAP enclosure, there’s no storage included out of the box, and you’ll need to buy your own drives.

While this means it takes a little more time to set up, the flexibility of choosing your own drives means you’ll get the capacity and speed you need, while sticking to your budget. The DiskStation software will also sync with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and others, as well as different DiskStations.

Disks for NAS drives

When you choose your disks, look for ones that have been designed to work specifically with NAS boxes. NAS-optimised features include more secure construction providing more resistance to vibration, which makes a lot of sense for a drive that’s designed to be on the whole time. They also offer power management so they can adjust performance based on their temperature.

These drives also offer special features in firmware known by WD as TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery) and by Samsung and Hitachi as command completion time limit (CCTL). This optimises the error correction for drives when they are installed in a RAID array (explained below) as is usually the case with NAS drives.

The Whats & Whys of NAS

First off: What is a network attached storage, or NAS, device? In its simplest form, it’s a hard drive or hard drives in a box, connected to your router. Inside the chassis is a small motherboard, with a CPU and some memory to control its functions, plus a power supply. That’s all there is to it—like we said, a simple concept wrapped in opaque terminology.

The main benefit of a NAS drive is that anyone who is connected to the router for his or her Internet connection, either wired or wirelessly, can access the hard drive. As a result, the NAS can act as a central, local repository for files, media, and anything else that needs to be shared by multiple folks all using the same network. Advanced features in today’s routers also let you extend that file-sharing access to people outside your local network, in essence letting you host your own “personal cloud.” (That’s a term NAS makers throw around—a lot.)

The much cheaper alternative to installing a NAS is to set up file sharing directly on an individual’s computer, then configure the settings to allow other people to connect to those files or folders. File sharing in that way presents several issues and limitations, though. First, it’s possible that either the person sharing the files or the person wanting to connect to his or her computer will not understand how to do this—setting up file sharing under Windows or macOS can be cumbersome. Second, if the person sharing the files has his or her computer powered off, then nobody can access the file content on it. Third, the entire arrangement is limited by the amount of storage space the hosting party has on his or her computer.

NAS-optimized Seagate IronWolf hard drive…

WHICH DRIVES TO USE? NAS makers that sell diskless NAS drives recommend certain drive models or families that have been tested for use with their NAS drives. This might coincide with the hard drives they actually manufacture, or not. Take a look at these drive-compatibility lists before you buy. If you already own a bank of hard drives you intend to install, you’ll want to look for such validation. If yours are not on the list, it doesn’t mean they won’t work, but if you’re buying drives new, it’s best to stick with the NAS maker’s recommendations. Most “NAS certified” hard drives have been tested to run 24/7/365, which is a bit much for regular, consumer-level drives. Seagate and Western Digital are the two drive makers that specifically offer drives meant for NAS use by homes and businesses.

The designations for these drives have changed a bit in the last year. Seagate has rolled out fresh branding for some of its bare drives, and Western Digital has simplified the “colors” that distinguish the drives in its line. The drives you’ll likely want to be using in an always-on NAS unit are the ones designated for NAS use, or for “surveillance” use, if you’ll be using your NAS as a recorder for home cameras. (Surveillance-class drives are expected to be churning constantly, recording data from networked cameras, oftentimes to a NAS device.)…and Western Digital’s equivalent, the WD Red

If you are looking at Seagate drives, the NAS-class drives are called the “IronWolf” and “IronWolf Pro” lines, while the surveillance drives (available in capacities from 1TB to 10TB) are the “SkyHawk” drive series. Straight IronWolf drives are what you’re after for outfitting a NAS drive in a home or SOHO scenario; they come in 1TB to 10TB capacities, as well. IronWolf Pro drives are rated for service in enterprise or commercial situations.

On the Western Digital side, the NAS-specific drives are the “WD Red” (at this writing, available in 2TB to 8TB sizes), with the “WD Red Pro” series meant for enterprise use. The surveillance-minded designs are the “WD Purple” drives, which come in 1TB to 8TB sizes.

EDUNDANCY OR NO? As we mentioned earlier, NAS units that have more than one drive are built to offer the option for redundancy, so in two- and four-drive configurations the extra disks can simply mirror the contents of the other drive. Example: A two-bay unit with two 4TB drives would offer only 4TB of usable storage if you leave it in mirror mode, as the other drive is “invisible,” copying all the files from the other drive in the background.

Usually, the user has the option to reconfigure the drives in order to gain the capacity of the second drive, if desired. But since the data will span both drives (if configured in striping-only mode), if either disk fails all the data will be lost, so we don’t recommend this approach. It essentially doubles the failure risk. Many NAS units also support a JBOD mode (“Just a Bunch of Disks”), which lets you address each drive as a separate drive letter and save data to discrete drives within the NAS box. This is marginally safer than just basic striping, but any data you save to a given drive is still vulnerable to the failure of that specific mechanism.

NAS OPERATING SYSTEMS. Since all NAS units use roughly similar hard drives and enclosures, what really differentiates them is the operating system that controls everything.

This OS ships with the drive, and is generally accessed via a Web browser when you set everything up. Most NAS OSs are Linux-based, and are vendor-specific. For example, Synology’s consumer/SOHO NAS units use what it calls “DiskStation Manager” (DSM), which gets periodic updates. Likewise, NAS maker Thecus employs ThecusOS, QNAP employs its own software environment (“QTS”), and so on.

USB-drive copy port on QNAP’s TS-469L.

USB PORTS. Most NAS drives have one or two USB ports that you can use to connect a printer or external storage drives, letting you add those to your network. Once they are plugged in, just like everything else on the NAS, they can be shared with all the connected users. A frequent arrangement: A NAS drive will have one USB 2.0 port that is usually used for printer sharing, and a USB 3.0 port that can be used for external storage. (USB 2.0 is much, much slower than USB 3.0, but a printer doesn’t need the fast pipe, so a USB 2.0 port is just fine.)

Some NAS units also have a “copy” button on the front panel designed to make copying the contents of an external drive, such as a flash drive, to the NAS a one-button-press affair. You just connect the drive and tap the button, and everything on the external drive is safely copied to the NAS to a pre-designated location.

REMOTE ACCESS/”PERSONAL CLOUD” FEATURES. We discussed the concept of the “personal cloud” earlier. In addition to the above sharing features, most NAS drives let you send Web links to people to allow them to access remotely certain files or folders located on your NAS, making your NAS serve like your own Dropbox or Google Drive, but with way more storage capacity—and no monthly bill. Many NAS makers tout this.

IME MACHINE SUPPORT. Got Mac users on your network? Look for this. Support for the Apple spec is almost universal across NAS drives these days, but it’s best to make it a checklist item in your buy. NAS units from Synology, QNAP, Netgear, WD, and Seagate all support it, but it’s something you should specifically look for if you’re buying any NAS, as there might be specific requirements for it to work.

The current iPad line-up

Apple currently sells four iPad models altogether, and each of those offers three or four colour options, one to three storage capacities, and the option to get Wi-Fi and cellular or just stick with Wi-Fi. That’s a lot of configurations: clearly we’ve got work to do. iPad Pro 12.(cellular, 256GB): £98iPad Pro 12.(cellular, 512GB): £1,169

You’ve got one mini-size, 7.9-inch iPad, the iPad mini 4; two slightly different mid-size models, the 9.7-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro; and then there’s the super-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is the biggest and costliest option.

Budget and requirements

Your choice of the individual models will depend on how much money you’re willing to spend, how portable and powerful you need your iPad to be, how long you need to be able to use your iPad (and for it to support the latest software), and in what areas (if any) you are willing to compromise.

Let’s get started. First of all we’ll decide if you should buy a standard-size, a mini or an extra-large iPad, and then we’ll narrow down your choice from there.

Create bar charts

Traditionally, the biggest mark in favour of buying from the iPad mini range was the low price. However, since the new iPad was announced that is no longer the case. The only model of iPad mini available is the iPad mini 4, and it’s only sold by Apple in 128GB versions. The Wi-Fi only model costs £419, while the cellular version will set you back £54- the same price as the cheapest 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The new iPad starts from £339, £80 cheaper than the Wi-Fi-only mini 4.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at at a punishing £769, but note that Apple has doubled the storage allocation for the iPad Pro models – so that money gets you a very decent 64GB. The top-end models come with 512GB, and for the 12.9-inch model that’ll set you back a dizzying £1,03and £1,16for the Wi-Fi and cellular versions. We’re getting into MacBook price territory (for comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air starts at £949) and these models are clearly not for casual or budget-conscious buyers.

As we mentioned in the portability section, the larger iPad Pro is more something to consider as an alternative to a laptop. For these reasons it calls for more pre-purchase research, trying a sample out in an Apple Store and so on.

Hopefully by now it’s become clear whether a mini, mid-size or large iPad is right for you, which means you can proceed to…

Colour options

We really like the iPad in gold, as we mentioned earlier – it’s quite bronze-like in its warmth – and the pink, while a bit of an opinion divider, is nowhere near as bold as that sounds. But grey or silver are the more conservative options.

Plex Media Server Specs

When it comes to HTPC hardware, you may assume that the graphics processing unit (GPU) is the essential part. In fact, most recent integrated GPUs are perfectly sufficient for pushing 1080p and sometimes even 4K content. With a Plex server, you don’t even need a monitor. Rather than a powerful GPU, you’ll want a beefy central processing unit (CPU). Plex recommends generally an Intel Core ior better. For transcoding, you need a processor with around 2,000 PassMark for a 1080p stream and 1,500 for 720p.

Whether you’re building your own or buying a pre-built system, operating system is a major factor. Plex Media Server runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and FreeBSD.

Pre-Built Plex Server

If you’re opting for a pre-built system, you really don’t need a fancy machine. Don’t be tempted by a gaming PC, as that’s plain overkill. Unless you plan on running your Plex server off of a machine that doubles as your primary computer, you can snag something much more affordable.

Mac Mini

The ireportedly carries a PassMark just under 4,000 while the iconfiguration has a 520PassMark. An iMac Mini should be fine for one 1080p stream and a 720p, and the ishould handle two 1080p streams. Although the Mac Mini might not be the most powerful pre-built machine for the price, it makes a solid Plex server. Its small form factor means the Mac Mini may double as a home theater PC (HTPC). Plus, Macs tend to benefit from a long life span anecdotally speaking. Even the 201Mac World write up used a 201Mac Mini and found it perfectly suitable. So longevity, form factor, and little set up posit the Mac Mini as a top pre-built solution for a Plex server.

The System7Meerkat is a neat little device. It’s a Linux PC that’s ready to use out-of-the-box. The Meerkat comes with an Intel Core ior iand up to 2.TB of storage space. What makes it an excellent Plex server is its 4″ footprint and energy efficiency. Thus, the System7Meerkat provides a great option for a Plex server that won’t jack up your power bill if you have an always-on system.

DIY Plex Server

You can easily make your own server. There are nearly limitless options, but the main factors you’ll want to prioritize are CPU performance (PassMark rating), size, and energy efficiency. Though AMD typically offers a better price to performance ratio, its lower PassMark scores mean Intel is likely the better choice. If you’re going the DIY route, you may want to consider a Linux distro as your operating system since it’s free and helps to cut down on the overall cost.

Vilros Raspberry Pi Media Center Kit

PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS AND PROS — Includes easy to follow User Guide

Oh, the Raspberry Pi. Arguably the most utilitarian and functional product ever made, a Raspberry Pi is capable of performing the functions of both Plex server and client

Ways to Set Up Your Raspberry Pi as a Media Server

Which media center application should you install on your Raspberry Pi? Several options are on offer, and we’re going to walk you through them now, looking at the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each.

Read More. Most use the Pi as a client. However, RasPlex or Kodi plugins can turn the Pi into a cheap Plex server solution.

Check out Element 1for a spectacular write-up on running a Plex server off of a Raspberry Pi. For this solution, I recommend the Raspberry Pi as it’s currently the most powerful Pi board available. However, you can probably guess that transcoding will be poor. The Pi 3, equipped with its quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex A5simply isn’t up to heavy or even moderate 1080p transcodes. But for a cheap Plex server, the Pi can’t be beaten. It’s likely the most inexpensive option aside from re-purposing hardware you’ve got lying around.

ThinkServer TS140

Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 70A40037UX 4U Tower Server Intel Core i3-4150 3.5Ghz

Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 70A40037UX 4U Tower Server Intel Core i3-4150 3.5Ghz

Processor: Intel Core i3-4130 processor 3.GHz, 2C, 4M Cache, 1.00 GT/s, 65W

The Difference Between File Servers and NAS Devices

Traditional file servers and NAS devices share many features. Most notably, both let business users on a network backup, store, share, edit and otherwise work with files. Usually, the biggest difference between servers and NAS devices is power, with servers having more of it thanks to more advanced hardware. Lower cost servers, however, and NAS devices are usually pretty comparable in that regard, which is why we include NAS devices in this article.

Servers can also be used to run applications used by your office, including databases and email. NAS, not so much. In fact, servers are more configurable in general. They usually don’t even come preinstalled with an OS. That way, you can go with Windows Server, Linux Server or whatever other server OS you favor.

On the other hand, most NAS devices come pre-configured with proprietary OS software. While less flexible, there’s definitely a speed advantage here. NAS devices can be set up and backing up files in a few minutes. Servers will take both more upfront work and more consistent monitoring.

Ultimately, going with one or the other will depend on the needs of your business. Whichever you go with though, don’t dismiss the notion of also backing up your data to the cloud.

Server Backup to the Cloud

Here at Cloudwards.net, we tend favor a hybrid backup approach when it comes to storing business data. That’s to say, we suggest storing data both locally and in the cloud.  While servers are pretty convenient when it comes to speed, only storing data locally can lead to some big problems for your business. It’s because of this that most online backup experts endorse the 3-2-rule, or some variation of it.

The basics of 3-2-are pretty simple: It’s always best to keep three copies of your data on at least two mediums, with one of those mediums offsite.

The reason offsite copies of your business files are recommend is that fires, floods, viruses, accidents and other such problems are hard to guard against. Unless you’re building your own climate-controlled, secure offsite data center to host your server, keeping everything on a server without a fallback plan means putting your business at risk.

Online backup is slow, but it also provides a level of data redundancy and security that’s hard to beat with an onsite server. Thanks to plenty of competition, you’ll find some pretty good prices on online backup, too.

The top options you can read bout in our IDrive for Business review and CloudBerry Backup review. We have an article on the best server backup to help guide the way. Many of the same options can also be used to backup NAS devices. Or, you can check out another article we’ve penned dedicated specifically to finding the best online backup for NAS.

Dell PowerEdge T30

LIke the TS140, Dell’s entry-level server comes in a tower case with room for upgrades. However, it’s base configuration also packs a bit more punch than our previous entry, seeing as it comes standard with a Intel Xeon 3.3GHz Quad Core processors and 8GB of RAM.

Synology DiskStation DS916

The Synology DiskStation DS91is our top recommendation for SMBs looking for a NAS device. It’s a bit pricey and if you’re looking to save, the DS21is quite a bit less, but also only has two drives to the DS916’s four.

That means the DS21isn’t capable of RAID The DS91is and you can even scale it up to nine drives with Synology’s five-bay expansion unit, the DX51Doing so would increase your storage capacity to 72TB.

Synology also uses an AES-NI hardware encryption engine to keep your files secure. The ability to read encrypted files at speeds of over 22MBps and write them at over 20MBps is another compelling reason why it might be beneficial to your business to keep files locally in addition to in the cloud.

NetGear ReadyNAS 424

While we’d recommend the four-bay version of the NetGear ReadyNAS 420 series, as with the Synology DiskStation, there’s also a two-bay version if you don’t mind decreased capacity and data redundancy. Alternatively, you can can also pick up six-bay and eight-bay versions for a reasonable cost.

For those looking for a little more power, there’s also a 520 and 620 series. The 420 series uses an Intel Atom dual core processor to keep things moving. The 520 and 620 series both use the Intel Xeon. Both higher-end models also support virtualization, which the 420 doesn’t.


The TS-453A runs an Intel Celeron N3150 Quad Core 1.6GHz processor and comes standard with 4GB of DDR3L RAM, which you can bump to 8GB.

This NAS also supports server virtualization, including VMWare and Hyper-V. According to QNAP it runs faster than our Synology recommendation, with speeds up to 41Mbps even running AES-NI encryption. Dual HDMI outputs let you expand or mirror your storage locally.

Best of all, if you’re looking to after-work karaoke parties for your business associates, the TS-453A is your machine thanks to QNAP’s Ocean KTV app.  In fact, it’s all around great media server, making it an ideal addition to your home theater setup, too.

Dedicated units

Most older forms of electronic logging devices, known as electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) or automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), have been the dedicated-unit type. Two examples that have been available for years are Omnitracs’ MCP series and PeopleNet’s current products used by many drivers employed by or leased to larger carriers.

Many of these units provide ELD functionality in a single device package tied directly to the ECM by a cable and plug.

Like mobile phones, such units use connections to the cellular network and GPS functionality to deliver on the ELD rule’s requirements for recording location, mileage and engine hours. Data storage occurs using a combination of the internet cloud, back-office servers and the device itself.

A notable exception among devices available for years now exists in the base model of the Continental VDO RoadLog, which is limited to hours of service recording and inspection-report functionality. With no connection to the cellular network with the device, fleets and owner-operators manage data storage via a USB-connected drive to transfer records to a laptop or other computer.

Other dedicated devices may pair two pieces of hardware, bridging the gap between the traditional single-unit EOBR and the two-piece BYOD systems readily available today. In most cases, those devices are in evidence on the quick-comparison chart when a BYOD and a dedicated version exist from one manufacturer. While the J.J. Keller Encompass and Rand McNally DC200 systems both are BYOD-capable, they also are offered with company-branded Android tablets that come preloaded with software: the Compliance Tablet from Keller and the TND from Rand McNally.

Any fleet or owner-operator willing to make the investment in dedicated tablets can turn a BYOD system into a dedicated one. For years, Bill Frerichs of St. Louis-based Frerichs Freight Lines has run the BigRoad logging app on Android tablets dedicated to his trucks. Though Frerichs at press time still was evaluating his options for mandate compliance, moving all of his trucks’ tablets to ELD functionality could be as simple as signing on with BigRoad’s program for leasing engine-connection hardware to pair to the tablets.

Jack Schwalbach, who manages the private fleet of Reinders, a Wisconsin-based turf and irrigation products company, did just that with Geotab. “We have dedicated tablets,” Schwalbach says. “The tablets are used just for logging – the data plan, we have locked down. Everybody’s got their smartphone on their own, so they use that” for anything else.

Continental VDO RoadLog

VDO RoadLog has a built-in thermal printer that provides an instant hard copy that resembles a traditional paper logbook grid for an inspection officer to review. A paper printout eliminates technical issues involving transferring log data that otherwise might lead to drivers handing over their personal cell phones to an officer or having the officer climb into the cab to review an electronic logging device screen. VDO RoadLog ELDs work with VDO RoadLog Office, an online fleet management tool for automated compliance reporting designed for fast, secure data transfers and automatic online record backup. The product also helps automate IRP and IFTA reporting, as well as pre-and post-trip inspections.

VDO RoadLog is designed for easy installation and use and is available without monthly fees or contracts. Optional features include Driver/Vehicle Track & Trace, Load & Trip Management, VDO RoadLog Office Advanced and VDO RoadLog Office Premium.

Coretex Drive

The FMCSA-registered Coretex Drive electronic logging device is a purpose-built tablet-based in-cab system that links drivers to vehicles and vehicles to dispatchers. Working in harmony with Coretex 360, Drive gives drivers the information they need to do their jobs efficiently and safely. Built around a modular app framework, Coretex Drive also offers single-pane-of-glass access to turn-by-turn trucking navigation, messaging, jobs, DVIRs, checklists, fatigue information, real-time driver feedback, IFTA data collection, vehicle service management, tracking, replay and a choice of custom applications.

Geotab Drive

Geotab Drive is a FMCSA-compliant device for monitoring hours of service, DVIRs and driver identification. The app syncs data between the Geotab Go plug-in device and a tablet to provide automatic duty status changes, violation alerts and end-to-end inspection workflow, all in one user-friendly platform. Geotab Drive is compatible with the company’s Go and Go devices, IOX-USB and Android or iOS. In addition to electronic logging, Go’s capabilities include IFTA data collection, engine diagnostics, driver scorecards, safety/risk management functions and data integration for management; more custom additions are available from the Geotab Marketplace.


GPS Insight’s ELD-2000 system bundles a GPS tracking, alerting and reporting device hardwired to a ruggedized Android tablet designed with an intuitive user interface. The electronic logging device also offers messaging for drivers and dispatch to reduce the number of phone calls and streamline communications with individual drivers or the entire fleet, as well as navigation to allow management to dispatch audible and visual directions using designated truck-specific routes for each job to drivers.

Pedigree Technologies Cab-Mate One

Pedigree Technologies recently launched Cab-Mate One as the most affordable and easiest electronic logging plug-and-play device to install (five minutes). The Cab-Mate One is the third addition to the company’s FMCSA-certified ELD Chrome offering, built on the award-winning, intuitive and reliable OneView platform.

Not only are packages based on a customer’s specific needs and budget, the offerings also are developed using customer feedback and real-life applications. This means Android-ready ELD Chrome offers FMCSA compliance with options for expandability into a full suite of comprehensive business management tools, from basic ELD to trailer, equipment and asset tracking and tire pressure, tank level and temperature monitoring. ELD Chrome was designed to enable consistent real-time visibility and actionable information with reliable connectivity and a fleet manager-approved interface.

Pegasus TransTech Transflo ELD T7

Pegasus TransTech’s Transflo ELD Tis a BYOD device – smartphone or tablet – that is easy to use and available for both Android and iOS. At less than inches, the device is durable and compact. Plug in and activate in minutes without a mechanic or special tools.

Electronic Logging from Quartix

Vehicle tracking specialists Quartix’s Electronic Logging product puts its current and future customers into compliance with FMCSA’s mandate.  It can be installed on its own or partnered with the company’s comprehensive vehicle tracking services. Available on the Google Play Store and compatible with Android tablet devices, Quartix’s Electronic Logging uses simple menu screens and input fields that allow drivers to log and change their duty status with minimal effort. “Having been in the vehicle telematics industry for over 1years providing fleet owners with management reports extending from real-time GPS tracking to IFTA filing figures, we are delighted to be able to further support our growing long-haul trucking customer base with our FMCSA-compliant solution,” says Ed Ralph, Quartix chief operating officer.

UTech GPSTab ELD Edition

GPSTab ELD Edition provides a powerful suite of tools to help you manage your fleet and comply with FMCSA regulations (AOBRD option coming soon). Evaluate the product risk-free with the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee with no contract and an “If Repealed” buy-back program and free software option for 2017.

It features live GPS tracking, location sharing, document scanning, driver scorecards, IFTA accounting, messaging, flexible reporting, detention hours tracking and telematics. The ability to share live shipment locations with customers reduces unnecessary tracking-related correspondence, enabling dispatchers to manage more accounts and focus on customer service. Tracking intervals from five seconds to one hour supply fleet owners with accurate, relevant information for better fleet management. Monitor location, speed, miles traveled, route selection and other driver activities to improve overall fleet safety and operations.

Alerts help drivers prevent violations, and proof of detention time and document scanning help drivers get paid faster.

Zonar Connect

Zonar Connect is a dedicated electronic logging device-compliant tablet that also offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for dispatch, management and operational functions, as well as a camera, navigation, Android compatibility and over-the-air updates. Zonar Connect is connected even when outside of the cab, allowing the driver to submit completed documents and electronic DVIRs to dispatch without returning to the truck. The tablet recharges in its in-cab cradle and integrates with the company’s Ground Traffic Control to help provide fleets with better visibility of assets on the road.

Multiple bays

You can buy single-bay NAS units, meaning it can contain one hard disk drive, but multiple-bay systems provide more flexibility.

The more bays there are, the greater the maximum capacity, but more importantly this allows drives to be combined in various ways that provide different balances of performance, capacity and protection from drive failures.

RAID support

You’ll see the term RAID (short for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, though RAID doesn’t always provide redundancy). There are various RAID ‘schemes’ (or types), including:

In general, all the drives in a RAID setup must be the same size or space will be wasted. For example, if 4TB and 6TB drives are combined, only 4TB of space will be used on the 6TB drive(s).

If you want to use different types of drives, some NAS devices support JBOD (short for Just a Bunch Of Disks), which technically isn’t RAID but can combine a variety of disks into one big volume – though there’s with no redundancy, so the failure of one drive is likely to result in the loss of all data.

Choice of drives

It’s generally a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when selecting hard drives for NAS use. Reliability is important, so don’t try to economise by installing drives that aren’t designed for this style of operation.

Some NAS devices make specific provision for solid state drives (SSDs) that are used to cache frequently used data to improve performance.

Multiple users

As a general rule, four, six and eight-bay units have faster processors and more RAM, so they are better able to cope with the demands of RAID, heavier use by more users, and software such as web servers, mail servers, content management systems and virtual machines.

Network support

The more data you need to get on and off the NAS, the more network bandwidth required. RAID and SSD configurations may be capable of delivering data faster than a single Gigabit Ethernet port can handle, so demanding users may need to consider models with multiple ports or provision for 10GbE.

PC backup

A common use for a NAS is to provide a single backup destination for multiple computers. If the NAS includes appropriate software, that’s one less thing you need to buy, providing the bundled licence covers the sufficient number of PCs.

NAS backup

The use of RAID might give you more than one copy of your data, but that doesn’t count as a backup. All it does is protect against a drive failure – it’s of no help if the unit is stolen or destroyed in a fire or flood.

Media server

NAS devices often include media server functionality. While this is primarily aimed at home users, it can be useful at work for playing promotional and other videos in public areas, or providing background music (subject to the necessary licences).

Who this is for

A network-attached storage device, or NAS, is a small always-on computer generally used for backing up computers and serving files to devices on your local network. It includes at least one but usually two (or more) hard-drive bays, a (usually) Linux-based operating system optimized for network storage, and enough CPU power and RAM to do everything it needs to do while using far less power than a repurposed old computer. Unlike a USB drive or an external hard drive, a NAS with two or more hard drives can provide data redundancy, copying the contents of one drive over to the other automatically.

A NAS is great if you have a large media library, because you can store your files in one place and stream them locally to computers, phones, tablets, speakers, or media centers throughout your house (or even outside it). The same goes for photographers storing photos, music producers archiving music files, designers stockpiling massive Photoshop files, and anyone else who needs needs to access large amounts of data from multiple computers. Most people don’t need to store thousands of raw photo files, terabytes of raw video, gigabytes of lossless digital music, or backups of their Blu-ray collection, but a NAS is a useful tool for the people who do.

You should consider a NAS if you have more than one computer at home, since you can back them all up to the NAS rather than connect an external backup drive to each computer. And if you want to protect your data and backups from theft and natural disasters, a good NAS is capable of uploading files directly to a cloud backup service, too.

A NAS is also useful if you have too much data to store in Dropbox or Google Drive, or if you don’t trust your data to cloud storage providers. When you use a NAS, your data remains in your home and does not go to the cloud unless you tell it to do so. Many NAS devices have even added photo-management tools and file-syncing services that attempt to replicate various cloud storage offerings. While those NAS tools aren’t as feature-rich as commercial services from Google, Apple, and others, they can at least provide an adequate alternative to pricey subscriptions.

How we tested

First we set up each NAS following its included install guide, if it had one. Next we looked at the Web interface’s organization and features. We tested ease of use by configuring user and group accounts, as well as file and folder access permissions. We checked to see if the NAS offered a secure cloud service for remote access so you don’t have to mess with port forwarding and static IP addresses. We also looked at Android and iOS mobile apps for accessing and administering the NAS.

The easiest way to measure real-world NAS performance, at least for what you’re going to be doing with a home NAS, is to copy files to and from the NAS and calculate the data rate. Since 2015, we’ve run read and write tests the simplest way we can: by copying files over Gigabit Ethernet and measuring the elapsed time. For this latest update we looked at four new NAS devices alongside our previous pick, the QNAP TS-25We installed 8 TB WD Red drives in each NAS, connected each model via Gigabit Ethernet to a Netgear Orbi router, and connected a desktop PC with Gigabit Ethernet to another port. We used Windows 10’s built-in Robocopy file-copying tool to read and write three datasets to each NAS: a 32 GB music folder with 6,15MPfiles, and a folder with two large files, an 8.1 GB MKV file and a 7.07 GB Linux ISO file. We ran each test nine times in each direction: three times with encryption turned off, three times with disk or folder encryption turned on, and three times with in-flight SMB encryption turned on.

To simulate drive failure, we pulled a drive from the NAS while it was running. A NAS should beep or flash an LED to alert you that something is wrong, and the interface should show a drive-failure notification. If the NAS allows you to set up SMS or email alerts, that’s even better. If a drive fails and the NAS doesn’t produce a notification, you’re at risk of data loss if the second drive also fails.

Next we replaced the pulled drive with one of equal or greater capacity. A NAS should detect a new drive and automatically re-create the mirrored array. With each device, as it rebuilt the RAID mirror, we confirmed that all data stored on the NAS was intact and accessible.

This process also allowed us to test the quality of each NAS device’s drive bays. A good NAS has drive trays or slots that make the drives easy to remove but are sturdy enough to ensure that the drives fit tightly and securely, with no chance of getting disconnected by a random bump.

We also connected a flash drive to one of the USB ports. A NAS interface should recognize a connected drive and display its make, model, and file system. It should allow transfers between the USB drive and the NAS.

All our NAS picks have some sort of energy-saving feature. We used a Kill A Watt EZ to test the power consumption on each NAS when it was performing a task (such as a file copy), when it was idle, and with its energy-saving options enabled.

Pull Quote

Power-saving features won’t work if you enable any media server functions, because the NAS needs to be available all the time.

In our tests, the DS218+’s data-protection features worked as advertised. With the DS218+ running, we pulled the drive out of the second bay and the NAS beeped at us until we acknowledged a drive-failure notification. We also received an email notification at the address we’d set up previously. Logging in to DSM, we found another notification as well as instructions for how to rebuild the drive array in the Storage Manager once we replaced it.

The front of the DS218+ features a removable plate that hides away the drive bays, as well as LED indicators for general status, network connectivity, and the status of each drive. If you’re not a fan of bright blinking lights, you can adjust the LED brightness or set it up on a schedule so the lights dim at night. The DS218+ has three USB 3.0 ports, including one on the front for copying data to and from a USB thumb drive. It also has an eSATA port so you can expand the NAS with external drives using one of Synology’s compatible expansion units. Like every NAS we considered for this guide, the DS218+ has two drive bays. Unlike other options, the drive bays are tool-less, so you don’t need a screwdriver to install a drive.

When it came to power consumption, the DS218+ performed similarly to the QNAP TS-251A and TS-231P2, consuming between 1and 2watts during file copy, slightly better than the QNAP models. This Synology NAS used about watts while in power-saving mode, compared with the QNAP models’ watts. Power-saving features won’t work if you enable any media server functions, because the NAS needs to be available all the time; you have to manually turn off media servers and a handful of other similar services, such as cloud access and the mail server, if you want the power-saving mode to work. You can also turn the DS218+ on and off according to a schedule, and it supports Wake-on-LAN and multiple fan-speed modes, the latter of which can help reduce the overall noise of the DS218+. No NAS is completely quiet, but to our ears the DS218+ was less noticeable than the QNAP TS-251A or TS-231P2.

You can add wireless capabilities to the DS218+ with a Wi-Fi dongle. This unit also supports more than 5,000 different IP cameras, has special configuration settings for uninterruptible power supplies, and supports SSDs. The DS218+ comes with a two-year warranty, and Synology offers various support options, including tutorials, email support, and browser-based text chat.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The DS218+ is brand-new, so at the moment it doesn’t have a ton of owner reviews or a big enough install base for us to root out any potential problems with the device. It is a successor to the well-reviewed and well-received DS216+II, though, and Synology has made reliable and well-liked NAS devices for years, so we don’t expect to run into any significant problems.

What to look forward to

After releasing the DS218+, Synology introduced the DS218play and DS218j. The DS218play ramps up the multimedia features of the DS218+ but ditches the front USB port and Btrfs support; it also has only 1 GB of memory and lacks an eSATA port. We don’t think it’ll compete with the DS218+, but we may look at it for a future update. The DS218j is the budget option, with a much slower AMD-based processor and less memory, so it will almost certainly not match the performance of the DS218+.

Synology’s DSM 6.update is currently in beta and will be released to the public soon. We don’t recommend running beta software on your NAS because doing so is too risky for something that’s storing all your data, but the beta does provide some insight into what the new version will add. Among other things, it will offer an improved storage dashboard, bit-rot prevention to help you avoid data corruption, and a new virtual machine manager that will allow you to host virtual machines on your NAS—this is one feature QNAP currently offers in its NAS devices that Synology doesn’t.

QNAP hasn’t announced anything upcoming, but since the TS-251A was released in 2016, we’d expect an update within the next year or so. Other NAS makers have been playing catch-up to QNAP and Synology on the operating system front, and while those other competitors are still nowhere near the usability of either—and most still have terrible customer support—they’re at least getting closer with their operating systems. If you’re curious, nearly every NAS maker offers a live demo of its operating system on its website that’s worth checking out, including Asustor, Thecus, and Zyxel.


Craig Ellison, QNAP TS-X51A Series Reviewed, SmallNetBuilder, August 30, 2016

Chris Finnamore, QNAP TS-251A, Trusted Reviews, November 4, 2016

Jon L. Jacobi, QNAP TS-251A NAS Review: More media features than you can shake a stick at, TechHive, January 26, 2017

Know Your Server Rack Cooling Strategy

With the heat generated by current denser technologies such as Blade Servers, understanding the role that server racks play in your complete data center cooling strategy is essential. The type of rack you choose will depend on the cooling methods used in your environment. The baseline kW of heat output per rack varies widely, depending on type and density of equipment, and can be anywhere from kW-1kW or more per rack, with some experts estimating that the rise of high-density environments and designs for future equipment will result in an output of 30-50 kW per rack. (4)

Fully Perforated Server Racks: Select a fully perforated rack for maximum air flow if the primary method of cooling in your data center or server room will be ambient air cooling (fans, air handlers, blowers, and/or Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units and a raised floor).

Fully-Sealed Server Racks: Choose a fully-sealed rack if a liquid cooling unit or rack air conditioner will be used in your environment.

Rack Airflow Tips

Other ways to improve cooling include using blanking panels to manage air flow efficiency, selecting a rack with built-in channels for better cable management and improved air flow, and removing any obsolete or unnecessary equipment from the rack. In addition, consider that 3-phase power can significantly increase available amperage into the server rack, reducing the overall number of PDUs needed to power equipment and leaving more space for airflow.

Consider The Latest Power Technologies

Power Distribution Units (PDUs) evenly disperse power to servers over the entire power strip. Rack mount power strips are specifically made for server racks and mount vertically or behind mounting posts in the back portion of a cabinet. Power strips fall into two categories: standard and intelligent.

While standard power strips have some features that can provide valuable information, such as fuse replacement indicators and current output displays, they must be managed in-person and on-site. In contrast, intelligent power strips provide remote power control, which allows administrators to perform a cold reboot of servers and devices and troubleshoot problems from any location with an internet connection, reducing server downtime and getting vital business functions back online quickly. Remote power products not only provide intelligent control of attached systems, they also allow administrators to leverage leading advances in power distribution, such as 3-Phase power.

Three-Phase power technology is not exclusive to remote power management products, but many solutions can accommodate or incorporate it. Compared to single-phase power, 3-Phase power uses fewer circuits, provides a more balanced power load, reduces the overall number of PDUs needed to power equipment, and significantly increases available amperage into the server rack. As an example, in a traditional rack environment, (4) 20-amp circuits would be required for 6amps of available power (assuming a maximum 80% load). In contrast, a 3-phase circuit can provide up to 51.amps per circuit, or more than 8amps of available power, while only requiring circuits (assuming a maximum 80% load). The cost savings of 3-Phase power is beneficial, especially since experts estimate that in the future, electricity costs could rise from current levels of percent or less of IT budgets to 20-30 percent (3). Other power-related aspects to keep in mind include the number of outlets you will need, plug/receptacle requirements, and redundancy requirements.

Tailor Your Rack Design To Work For You

Most manufacturers will allow you to select from many options, so that your server rack meets the specific requirements of your environment. There are several common areas that you should be able to select options from.

Shelving: Most manufacturers offer several server rack shelf options, including adjustable or fixed server shelves with four-point mounting; sliding keyboard shelves with 2-point mounting; vented, heavy-duty, or cantilever shelves; and media shelves. Choose a server rack shelf with a depth of inches less than the overall depth of the rack-for example, if you have a 30-inch deep cabinet, choose a shelf with a depth of 2inches.

Top and Side Panels: Top panels protect equipment from foreign materials. Options include perforated slots for added ventilation, grommet holes for supplementary cable management pathways, and mounting for exhaust fans. Side panels offer security and are often available in several options: solid fixed, solid removable, and solid with vents (louvered).

Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL and 6500-E

VS-S2T-10G VS-S2T-10G-XL C6800-SUP6T C6800-SUP6T-XL C6800-8P10G C6800-8P10G-XL C6800-16P10G C6800-16P10G-XL C6800-32P10G C6800-32P10G-XL

6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T XL 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T XL 6800 8-port GE with integrated DFC6800 8-port GE with integrated DFC4-XL 6800 16-port GE with integrated DFC6800 16-port GE with integrated DFC4-XL 6800 32-port GE with dual integrated dual DFC6800 32-port GE with dual integrated dual DFC4-XL

6800 8-port 40GE with dual integrated dual DFC4-E 6800 8-port 40GE with dual integrated dual DFC4-EXL

Cisco Catalyst 9300 Series Licenses

All midcycle refresh option PIDs are available under C1-CAT-ADD-T.

The Base License for DNA Advantage is Network Advantage. As such, only the Hardware PIDs with “-A” suffix must be chosen.

The Base license for Cisco DNA Advantage is Network Advantage. As such, only hardware PIDs with the “-A” suffix must be chosen.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series Licenses

Only the 4500-E Series switches with Sup 8E and Sup 9E Supervisors are capable of SD-Access.

Table 20 and 2list the product IDs for ordering Cisco DNA Advantage licenses for the Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series. The SKU’s below will be orderable in August/September 2017.


Any Base license on Cisco Catalyst 6800/6500-E Series can be used with Cisco DNA Advantage. Note that when the Base license is IP Base, you are limited to only virtual networks.

All midcycle refresh option PIDs are available under C1-CAT-ADD-T.

Cisco Enterprise Wireless Licenses

Table 2and 2list the product IDs for ordering Cisco DNA Advantage licenses for the Cisco wireless controllers and access points.   

Wireless DNA Advantage includes term-based AP license.   

Cisco ONE Advantage for Wireless includes term-based Cisco DNA Advantage, AP license, Cisco Prime Infrastructure license, CMX Base, ISE Base, and ISE Plus. This bundle includes: ◦    

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SSH Keys

SSH keys are a pair of cryptographic keys that can be used to authenticate to an SSH server as an alternative to password-based logins. A private and public key pair are created prior to authentication. The private key is kept secret and secure by the user, while the public key can be shared with anyone.


A firewall is a piece of software (or hardware) that controls what services are exposed to the network. This means blocking or restricting access to every port except for those that should be publicly available.

On a typical server, a number services may be running by default. These can be categorized into the following groups:

Firewalls can ensure that access to your software is restricted according to the categories above. Public services can be left open and available to everyone and private services can be restricted based on different criteria. Internal services can be made completely inaccessible to the outside world. For ports that are not being used, access is blocked entirely in most configurations.

Service Auditing

Up until now, we have discussed some technology that you can implement to improve your security. However, a big portion of security is analyzing your systems, understanding the available attack surfaces, and locking down the components as best as you can.

Service auditing is a process of discovering what services are running on the servers in your infrastructure. Often, the default operating system is configured to run certain services at boot. Installing additional software can sometimes pull in dependencies that are also auto-started.

Service auditing is a way of knowing what services are running on your system, which ports they are using for communication, and what protocols are accepted. This information can help you configure your firewall settings.

File Auditing and Intrusion Detection Systems

File auditing is the process of comparing the current system against a record of the files and file characteristics of your system when it is a known-good state. This is used to detect changes to the system that may have been authorized.

An intrusion detection system, or IDS, is a piece of software that monitors a system or network for unauthorized activity. Many host-based IDS implementations use file auditing as a method of checking whether the system has changed.

Isolated Execution Environments

Isolating execution environments refers to any method in which individual components are run within their own dedicated space.

This can mean separating out your discrete application components to their own servers or may refer to configuring your services to operate in chroot environments or containers. The level of isolation depends heavily on your application’s requirements and the realities of your infrastructure.

Single or Dual Band

There are two basic types of routers, one that communicates over a single radio band, and the second that can communicate over two. Single-band routers are perfectly adequate for things like Web surfing and connecting to social media services like Facebook and Twitter. However, if you are going to be streaming video from a service such as Netflix, or connecting to an online gaming service such as Xbox Live, consider a dual-band router.

Wireless Protocols

Wireless networks use 802.1protocols to send and receive data. Devices that use the older 802.11b and 802.11g standards are limited to data transfer rates of 11Mbps and 54Mbps, respectively. These only operate on the 2.4GHz band.

802.1protocols are the most widely used WiFi protocol and it allows data rates of up to 600Mbps. This protocol operates on both the 2.GHz and GHz bands and it utilizes Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. The routers with 802.11ac have labels like  AC1200, AC1750, AC 3200, and so on. The number designates the theoretical maximum speed achievable by the router.


Routers come with all sorts of features depending on the price tag. When buying a wireless router you need to make sure to buy one that comes with at least four 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet ports which allow you to connect to wired devices such as desktop PCs, network-attached storage (NAS) drives, and home-automation hubs.

The next feature you need to look out for is a USB port, it will make it easy to connect a printer or a USB drive and share it across the network. If you want to connect both simultaneously then look for one with multiple USB ports.

Routers also come with detachable antennas. This will offer you an easy way to extend or limit the range of your router easily. To manage you WiFi usage, look for options like Quality of Service (QoS), and a guest network.

Last and most important of all is security and all routers offer some sort of it. The more you are willing to spend the better security yo can get. Routers with WPA-Enterprise security offer a higher level of security than WPA/WPA2 but require a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server to authenticate each client.

Asus RT-AC88U AC 3100 Wi-Fi Routers

The smart connection technology in the AC88U can choose the best band for your device and location. Its range can span across 5,000 square feet thanks to the antenna design. The router includes eight Gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0 port. All the LAN ports indicate that the router is ready for a business environment, but it can also be used in homes, dorms, and apartments with ease.

The AC88U also comes with AiProtection, Trend Micro software that searches for vulnerabilities, detects threats, blocks suspicious sites, and offers the level of parental control that has become a must-have for growing families. Best of all this is MU-MIMO prepared. MU-MIMO is a new type of wireless standard that allows a router to communicate with several compatible devices at the same time.

Synology Router RT1900ac Wireless Router

If you are going to be  hosting an external hard drive connected to its USB 3.0 port, the RT1900ac is indeed a formidable storage server. However, this router is great in both cases as either a Wi-Fi router or a NAS server. It is brilliant and is even overthrowing better more expensive competitors, such as the Asus RT-AC68U or the Netgear R7000.

Most of the users love its range and easy setup. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router. This router is also wall-mountable. The router is also feature reach and it is very easy to add functionality through packages that quickly install.

D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wireless Routers

This router is great for gaming and for connected homes that have high WiFi demands. The Router management is done via an app that you can access and monitor from anywhere. The only con is that the 1GHz processor is a little slow, and those six antennas may need a little extra room than a router typically requires. The antennas are also not detachable and the router is a little expensive but the pros of this device balance out the cons.

Netgear Nighthawk X4S Wireless Routers

This router is perfect for those who are looking for a powerful and dependable router that can handle gaming and streaming. Netgear Nighthawk X4S comes with great cutting edge features. It  also has four antennas and can deliver much faster speeds than a standard 802.11ac router. It also features MU-MIMO for faster results and more reliable Wi-Fi, along with an eSATA connection for linking up an external hard drive more easily. This router comes wit a 1.7GHz processor and offers boosted speeds with an 800Mbps 2.4GHz band and a 1,733MBps 5GHz band.

Nighthawk X4S also has a VDSL modem built-in. The software is pretty good too, with a simple Dynamic QOS system to make it easier to manage a home network with a massive amount of devices. However, it  Lacks 1024-QAM and before buying it make sure your hardware is capable of achieving the fastest speed that this router can offer.

This Nighthawk router also comes with smart beam features. Smartbeam can lengthen the range of the router. The built-in ports include two USB 3.0 connections and five Gigabit Ethernet ports, Which will allow you to setup even the craziest, multi-device gaming setup. Pretty much everything about this router is perfect for gaming and the only slightly awkward thing is the design.

Many experienced users even claim that this is the best router currently available in the market. It is also easy to configure and the user interface is also easy to use. This router is also quite bulky and covers up a lot of space.

Netgear R6220 Wireless Router

This router comes with 802.11ac technology, a USB port, and user-friendly management setting. Its performance is great compared to other budget routers. It is slightly bigger in size than most routers and uses a glossy black enclosure with LED activity indicators on the top panel for power, Internet, Wi-Fi, wired ports, USB, and WPS.

Most of the users find it is reliable and has great features. They like the performance and range of the Netgear R6220, especially given its price tag. Users also cite easy set-up as an added bonus.

Google TP-Link OnHub AC1900 Wireless Wi-Fi Router

The OnHub is an AC1900 router that can theoretically provide up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The OnHub had a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of eMMC flash storage, and 1GB of DDRmemory. There are also six 2.4GHz antennas and six 5GHz antennas arranged in a circular pattern for maximum coverage in all directions, a reflector antenna that boosts signal strength, and a congestion sensing radio that continually polls wireless activity and changes channels to increase performance.

This router is best for large homes that have many connected devices. However, it is not without faults, the router has only one wired port and no PC/Web browser app. It also lacks many standard management options and some features have to be enabled. But, the  Google OnHub makes it easy to bring dual-band 802.11ac networking to a large home and its discrete design is one of its greatest selling points.

Users using the Google OnHub love its range and easy setup, even if they find the price tag a little steep. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router.

Disable SSID broadcast

You need to disable your broadcast. However, this procedure is quite controversial. There is speculative debate over this measure being more a problem inducer than solver. To have an even footing where this strategy is concerned, you need to first have a little background knowledge of your router.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network incapacitates people to keep tabs on you by enabling private browsing. To activate a VPN, you need to subscribe yourself to one. This article explains VPNs dutifully. But remember to use the secure VPN else you will face the same issues getting hacked and privacy breach.

Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

This one is straight from the book. You need to have the latest Wi-Fi technologies—meaning, you need to have an up-to-date hardware and firmware. Take a look at what the computer connoisseurs out there have to say about this and then adapt accordingly.


Try out some exceptionally weird but optimistically helpful DIY hacks to gain some speed. There are tons of those out there. Most of them require the use of household items and whatnot. Cut open a can and place it around your antenna like a satellite, for example. As absurd as it sounds, people have reported this little activity provided a little bit of juice, if not a whole lot, and their routers sped up a little.

Rimsha Salam

Rimsha Salam writes on the latest tech trends. She is a self-proclaimed tech geek, bookaholic, realist, introvert, and gamer.

About Us We at MobileSiri tend to bring the latest technology updates and news at the earliest from different reliable sources. Along with news and updates, we collect the specifications, unboxing videos, pricings and other details of the latest cell phones and gadgets and present you the pros and cons of the latest gadgets.

A note on commercial vs. corporate VPN

VPN technology was originally developed to allow remote workers to securely connect to corporate networks in order to access corporate resources when away from the office. Although VPN is still used in this way, the term now usually refers to commercial VPN services that allow customers to access the internet privately through their servers.

This article (and the BestVPN website) deals exclusively with these commercial VPN services, and use of the term VPN here should not be confused with private corporate networks, which are an entirely different kettle of fish (despite similarities, and crossovers in the underlying technology.)

This setup has a number of important consequences

Your ISP cannot know what you get up to on the internet

Your ISP can only see that you are connected to the VPN server.

You appear to access the internet from the IP address of the VPN server

It is safe to use public WiFi hotspots

Because the internet connection between your device and the VPN server is encrypted. Even if a hacker somehow manages to intercept your data, for example by tricking you into connecting to an “evil twin” hotspot or packet-sniffing your WiFi data, the data is safe because it is encrypted.

Your VPN provider can know what you get up to on the internet





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Device Servers wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Device Servers



Questions? Leave a comment below!

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