The ND520 is a 20GB Windows compatible disk drive that you plug
into your Ethernet hub or switch vs. installing into a PC.
It also comes in a less expensive 8 GB size (the ND508). It was
larger (and heavier) than I expected it to be, measuring 13 x
10.5 x 1.7 inches.
Installation is very easy if you have a DHCP server
on your LAN. You connect it to your hub or switch, plug
it into an AC outlet and turn it on. It will grab IP address
info and appear in Network Neighborhood after about a minute or
so. If you don't have a DHCP server on your LAN, you'll
need to run the Windows utility on the CD that assigns an IP address
to the ND520.
The drive comes with two folders: "Public"
which is intended for user files; and "Setup".
"Setup" contains a web page that when opened
redirects you to the built-in web browser based administration
interface. It also contains a "Utilities" folder,
which has copies of a few things that may come in handy for setting
up and using the drive.
The web admin interface is pretty elementary.
About all you can do is set a password for the admin interface,
create new folders and password protect them. There's no
ability to set disk quotas or set user-based folder permissions.
There are also no maintenance utilities, including the ability
to remotely shut down or reboot the drive.
My biggest dislike about the ND520 is its fan
noise. There are three fans (two externally visible on the
rear and side, one mounted on the CPU chip) and the total effect
is noticeably loud...louder than any of my three desktops!
This may seem like a small point, but I think the noise would
drive me nuts if I had to listen to it all the time.