Summary: Power Consumption (based on actual measurements using P3): NLSU2 + 320GB Drive = 13W (or 9.522kWh monthly), about $1.58 per month in electricity. A barebones AMD Sempron file server = 76W (or 55.384kWh monthly), about $9.20 per month in electricity costs.
Pros: I got this unit to run as a backup NAS drive and it is perfectly suitable for this purpose, especially since I keep it running 24x7 (it uses very little power). I have this currently attached to a 320GB WD drive (in a Rosewill RX353-S enclosure) and have been using it for a few days now. The spee...
Cons: Unit is shipped under clocked and as others have mentioned - th e firmware has not been updated for years. The current setup is configured with firmware release 2.3 R63. (unofficial release is R76 but not easily available since it is unofficial).
Summary: I know many people who have their lives on a desktop or laptop hardrive. They are one crash or one theft away from losing it all. They don't get backups, and they will regret it.
Pros: Cheap. Easy to set up, convenient to use. Without modification, it does exactly what it is supposed to. Allows backing up one attached hard drive to the other - not as good as RAID mirroring, but still decent redundancy. Reliable, uses very little power.
Cons: Cut power to it for very long, and it loses its settings requiring you to set it up all over again. Very slow reads from attached hard drives. Writes are faster.
Summary: Don't stack the NSLU2 on top of its USB hard drive (unless you set the NSLU2 vertical using the supplied stand) as the hard drive may overheat. I bought the NSLU2 in order to have an always-on server for sharing files, sharing a printer, and hosting a small personal web site.
Pros: Very low power requirements, reasonably fast transferring data over the network, very stable.
Cons: I wish it came with more RAM or a RAM expansion slot. Still, it manages to do everything I need it to.
Summary: Recap: Good for basic home networking, especially if you have an external hard drive or two available. This way you can, for a low price, get a small home network up and running.
Pros: Great little home network device. It's not the fastest thing in the world but for our purposes it is fine. We had 2 350G external hard drives attached to 2 different computers. We used the NSLU2 to network the drives together so the computers all see the same things now (My documents/pictures/Qui...
Cons: Data moves a little slow,especially when you are backing up large files. It's a good idea to do back ups like that at night!!
Summary: Sorry, I meant to speak to this before. Regarding heat: I've got one slug, with a very warm running hard drive (and other things, but that's the main heat producer) on a shelf in a closet, the doors of which are normally closed. The shelf's dimensions are approximately 1 foot by 8 inches by 2 feet.
Pros: Cheap, and just tuns of way-cool geekasoid fun!
Cons: Slow, but it's reasonable and still quite capable.
Summary: Another group at work has taken notice, and I'm about to start working on another project for another manager to hook up ALL the consoles of ALL the servers (HUNDREDS of them) in one of our labs to these things.
Pros: Please see my 2 previous posts, but in short, I've taken to using these for very inexpensive, but exceptionally good term-servers to log and serve the serial consoles for the servers in our labs. I reload the slugs with Debian, run them diskless, and use "conserver" free software to manage and lo...
Cons: These things are still shipping underclocked. I've now bought 7 of them over the last year (either for myself or my employer), and every single one had to be de-underclocked. Just put the words "nslu2" and "de-underclocked" into your favorite web search engine if you don't know what I'm talking a...
Summary: I still have 1 native USB port free, and I want to put another USB hub and 4 more drives on it, if I can figure out how to get them to spin down. Also this is SOO worth it for an embedded dev board, the prices for those things are astronomical!
Pros: The default Linksys firmware works OK, its a bit odd with NTFS and FAT32, but since it DOES run linux you are better off using EXT2, that means using the NSLU2 to format yer drives. - NOW on to the GOOD part .. its pretty easy to install Debian Linux on this baby (follow the instructions) I am us...
Cons: Cannot spin down the drives, the USB controller has dominion over that, not really Linksys' fault. Some units are underclocked at the factory to 133mhz.