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Linksys Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 review

Good looking, but that's about it

Our Verdict

Proof that a lot can go wrong between a good idea and a finished product

For

  • Attractive

Against

  • Slow
  • Obscure formatting needs
  • Contrary to the whole point of USB

Providing a network bridge between an external disk and a home network is a welcome idea, offering anyone who has already invested in one or more USB storage devices a way to network their files, but Linksys' Storage Link is badly conceived. It's an attractive device; small, ergonomic and easily concealable.

However, a connected drive must be formatted to the Linux EXT2/3 format before use, resulting in the drive's total incompatibility with a Windows PC.

Drives also aren't hot-swappable, going against the very nature of the USB specification, and there's no support for networking a USB printer. The final blow is the Storage Link's lack of a gigabit Ethernet connection. As a result, copying a 1GB in our tests took over five minutes