"Good hardware & maddeningly unpolished admin tools"3.0 starson by MRMinSF
Pros: good value for dual-bay device; excellent hardware
Cons: begs to be hacked to exploit its potential... which is fine unless you're not a linux gearhead
Summary: Bottom line: gets the job done (although not very gracefully) for a decent price.
Great hardware, smaller than I expected. Physical installation nearly idiot-proof. Quiet. Relatively low-waste packaging. Probably the best value for a multi-bay NAS right now, all things considered.
BUT the admin tools are very version-1. Critical and basic oversights include inability to rename the shared disk (you're stuck with "Volume_1" like it or not) or configure email alerts for modern mail servers (no way to specify SSL or non-standard SMTP port, required by most spam-conscious ISPs). A host of other small but annoying head-slappers like that take a big bite out of the otherwise positive impression I have of this unit.
Clunky user interface reminds me of the early days of small routers before they hit the consumer mainstream and companies realized they had to hire someone to make things look right and work for average folks. Since more and more 'average' folks are indeed looking at NAS products, these admin/UI problems really need to be addressed.
The vibrant community of linux geeks/gurus out there with sites dedicated to hacking and enhancing this device is evidence of the 323's versatility and potential...and the shortcomings of its out-of-the-box features. Maybe D-Link should hire some of these talented people to exploit its potential.
Macs see and use the shared disk fine, and web-based admin tools are platform-agnostic. D-Link's Quick-Start CDROM and printed instructions are Windows-only, however, so if you're setting this up with a Mac you will have to take a few leaps of faith to get things up and running. It's do-able, but you're on your own.
iTunes server is fun in theory, but not sure it's worth the effort to set up and manage an additional music library when iTunes on my laptop shares itself just fine.
Not sure if drive mechanism would be readable in a standard USB/Firewire drive enclosure now that it's been formatted in 'EXT-2' format. That slightly concerns me should I ever need to abandon the Dlink box for some reason.
I thought this unit was unique by featuring "WAN" access. Turns out this functionality is by way of an oh-so-very-1993 FTP server. If you're going to open a port on your router to allow FTP access anyway, you may as well direct inbound SMB or AFP traffic to your NAS and access it as a shared drive. That technique will work with any NAS.
Prior to this purchase, I experimented briefly with an Apple Time Capsule and found both the admin tools and Finder/Desktop integration to be smoother for both Mac and Vista workstations. The D-Link box clearly has more features (not the least of which is a dual-bay enclosure), and I know RAID features are important to many NAS consumers. But since I already have a reliable offsite backup solution in place, if I had it to do over again, I think my modest home storage needs (and a desire for fewer electronics, cords, power bricks, etc) would be better served by the all-in-one TimeCapsule product.