Zyxel has in the past delivered some great NAS drives. The NSA325V2, for example, was a fantastic little single bay NAS drive. Zyxel, though, has since scaled back on its home and personal devices, but this model now sees it starting to reignite that old phoenix-like fiery plumage.
The Zyxel NAS540 Review is a compact and sleek-looking design with a 1.2GHz FreeScale FS1024 dual-core processor and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. There’s a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB ports, a one-touch sync button and an SD card reader located under a flap on the front of the device.
The Zyxel NAS540 Review is labelled as your Personal Cloud Storage, which to the users means that it comes with the necessary services to allow a connection from virtually any device and any platform. You can even sync with existing cloud services such as Google Drive, Memopal, ownCloud and, of course, Zyxel’s own solution, the zCloud.
Other services are available, naturally. FTP, DLNA, iTunes, phpMyAdmin and user level file and folder sharing and security is all available through the much improved user interface, NAS Station Manager.
NSM is very much in a similar vein to that of QTS and DSM. The layout is roughly identical, as are many of the services and apps that are currently available. The only real difference here is that NSM doesn’t run quite as fluidly and as quickly as QTS or DSM from QNAP and Synology, respectively.
However, it’s certainly easy enough to use and understand, and if you’ve never used either of the other two NAS operating systems before, you’ll never know the difference. In short, it’s quick enough for most users to use without having to wait for anything to initialise for several minutes.
Setting the drive up with our four 1TB drives was easy, with the whole format and RAID taking just over 30 minutes. It wasn’t the quickest solution, but once everything was up and running, we didn’t have any problems with random slowdowns or any other speed or performance issues. But there were some niggles when we really hammered the drive with up to eight different devices, while copying a large 4GB file.
The speeds dropped a fair bit; the copying went from the network speed limit of 11.5MB/s to around 5.5MB/S. Still, that was enough to keep watching content without any problems.
There are some design similarities between the Zyxel NAS540 Review and the Synology entry, with the Zyxel version being only slightly more compact and having a single 120mm fan in the rear of the unit instead of the pair of 90mm ones in the Synology.
It’s a good design to adhere to, as we’ve already seen, because it remains looking somewhat stylish while keeping everything cool and exceptionally quiet.
We rather liked the Zyxel NAS540 Review. A good design and an effective and intuitive NAS OS make for a good unit and one that’s certainly worth looking more into.
• Manufacturer Zyxel
• Website: goo.gl/aacDnl
• Required spec:
Up to four SATA-3 drives, gigabit network for best results, any modem web browser.