Preview: Shuttle OmniNAS KD21

Shuttle, the company responsible for the XPC mini-PCs, also began making NAS devices fairly recently. About a year ago we tested the OmniNAS KD20, and today we take a closer look at the successor, the KD21.

That Shuttle is a true hardware manufacturer is obvious as soon as you pick up the Shuttle OmniNAS KD21. It feels very solid and has a quality finish, you won't find any plastic edges here you sometimes see even on expensive models from other brands. The chassis is made from aluminium and the front has a door hiding two sturdy, metal hard disk trays. At the bottom you have two USB 3.0 ports and a memory card reader. The back has a network port and a USB 2.0 port, for a printer for example. The outside is designed the way you want, in other words.

The dual-core 750 MHz processor used in theKD20 has been replaced by a Marvell 88F6707 processor, one we recently saw in the D-Link DNS-327L. It's not the fast processor in the world of NAS devices, but it's powerful enough for all but the most demanding activities.

This is reflected by the firmware. It's very well-organised and comprehensive, and the installation runs via an easy to understand web interface. In the web menu there are plenty of options for creating users and for downloading torrents. There is basic support for IP cameras as well.

The OmniNAS has a built-in Sharebox for remotely accessing your NAS from the internet or from Android and iOS mobile devices. Interestingly, the installation adds the iTunes server by default but not the UPnP DLNA server, but at least it's specifically mentioned. In the package the NAS comes in a full version of the back-up package Acronis True Image HD is included.

The Shuttle OmniNAS KD21 is not the fastest NAS, especially with writing. Reading goes very fast, however. You can read the rest of this preview on