capsule review

Ximeta NetDisk

At a Glance
  • Ximeta 120GB NetDisk Portable NDAS (Ximeta-NDU10120)

Ximeta NetDisk
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The Ximeta NetDisk is a portable, dual-use drive that can connect to your network via ethernet or directly to your computer via USB 2.0. While its speed in our tests was excellent, cross-platform usability issues make it best suited for networks consisting entirely of Windows XP or Windows 2000 machines.

The clear setup guide and software utility made installation of the NetDisk straightforward. Unlike the other models we tested, the NetDisk does not use standard network IP protocols to send and receive data; all client PCs must install a special driver to connect to the drive. The NetDisk also does not allow password protection for individual shared folders.

The NetDisk has two modes of operation: Multi-OS and Multi-Write. Multi-Write allows Windows XP and 2000 clients to have write access to the NetDisk simultaneously. In Multi-OS mode, Mac, Linux, and other flavors of Windows can connect, but only one user at a time can have write access to the drive. This inconvenience forces you to keep switching from read-only to read-write access in the NetDiskAdmin utility whenever you need to save a file.

Unattended backups can be problematic if you are using Multi-OS mode and the included Symantec V2i Protector software: You'll have to make sure that you have write access turned on at the time of the scheduled backup.

As for performance, the NetDisk was top of the class overall, thanks to its special network transport protocols, which Ximeta calls NDAS (Network Direct Attached Storage). It ranked number one in our virus-scan, search, and large file-copy tests, and a close number three in the rest of our tests.

Switching between the USB and ethernet connectivity is relatively painless, due to an autosensing feature. However, if you connect both USB and ethernet cables at once, the device can't decide which to use, so you'll have to physically disconnect and reconnect one cable or the other each time you want to switch ports. We'd prefer a software switch. That said, the USB 2.0 is a nice feature.

Though the NetDisk is easy to install, delivers excellent performance, and comes in a handy portable size, it's clunky to use in multiple-OS environments.

Becky Waring

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At a Glance
  • Ximeta 120GB NetDisk Portable NDAS (Ximeta-NDU10120)

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