Review: NETGEAR SC101 Storage Central

In Use, Continued

After connecting power and data to the SC and installing the software, you use the Storage Central Manager Utility for all drive management. The instructions say that the Utility must be installed on any computer that will access the SC, but I found this to be partially true. The Utility is the only way to create, delete or change the drives themselves, but once a drive is created, you can go to any computer running the utility and use the normal Windows sharing controls (found in the drive's Properties) to create a network-shared or mapped drive. Of course, since that computer is now creating the networked share, it must be on in order for other computers that are not running the SC Utility to access the share. But I was able to mount the shared drive both in Windows and even in a machine running a Knoppix live CD!

I used the Wizard Setup mode most of the time (Figure 6), which lets you accomplish the most common tasks.

Figure 6: Wizard options
(click image to enlarge)

I poked around a bit in the Advanced mode (Figure 7) and used it to add capacity to a drive I had created in Wizard mode. While you accomplish the same thing in Wizard mode, Advanced mode lets you specify the physical drive to use, while the Wizard makes the decision for you. Note that each physical drive you install gets its own IP address, which must be assigned by DHCP.

Figure 7: Adding capacity in Advanced mode
(click image to enlarge)

I found the Utility to be generally fine for drive management, but with a few annoying features. You do need to click through a number of screens to get things accomplished, and it will annoy you with "are you really sure" pop-ups if you decline to check for updates or choose to not password-protect a drive you've created. By the way, a port scan revealed an HTTP service running on Port 80 of each drive, but I got only a blank page when I pointed my browser there.