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Linksys Instant GigaDrive

20GB Network Drive, Print Server, DHCP Server, 10/100 Autosensing Network Interface.
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Date: 2000.04.11 02:43
Author: S. McDougall
Category: Hardware
Manufacturer: Linksys
Product/Model: EtherFast 10/100 Instant GigaDrive (20GB) w/ Print Server [Mo.# EFG20]
Retail Price: $1,100.00
Online Price: ~$578 [Buy.com]

"... the most outstanding SOHO [Small Office/Home Office] product I've seen lately. The price/feature combination is beyond comparison. You can manage this 20Gig Network Drive with NT Server like features, and it can also serve as a dedicated print server or DHCP server. It will even send you e-mails to let you know how it's doing!"

While this unit is beyond the reach of many home users, nothing can compare to it's price/feature combination and usefulness in a SOHO environment. This unit can bring a lot of features and flexibility to your network. Besides being an easy to install network drive, it can also act as a Print Server and/or DHCP server.

The GigaDrive is very small and lightweight. You can move this unit around with you very easily (all you need is a network connection wherever you go). All of it's features (Storage, Print Server, DHCP Sever), can be used to take some of the burden away from other: Servers, File Servers, and Print Servers. The GigaDrive also supports Apple, and can be used by UNIX (through SAMBA). So, it can exist and function on a very mixed network.

As you'll see later, this unit is actually a minicomputer. It uses and Intel Pentium(I) processor and runs Linux Redhat as an OS to provide the File/Print/DHCP services.

Let's start off by taking a look at the listed features and specifications.

Linksys Listed Features:

  • Provides 20 Instant Gigabytes of External Hard Disk Space Built-in PrintServer
  • Gives Your Network One Extra Location to Attach a Fully Shareable Printer
  • Web-based Configuration and Diagnostic Interface is Accessible from Any PC on the Network
  • Can Act as a Stand-Alone DHCP Server.
  • Divert Traffic from Your Primary Server to Increase Network Productivity
  • Includes Utility Program for Easy Setup
  • Built-in Pentium-Grade CPU
  • Self-tuning and Self-repairing
  • Fully Configurable Administration Features
  • Free Technical Support

Some Features Linksys forgot to mention:

  • Can send out status e-mails about it's condition to three e-mail addresses (even over the internet)
  • Switch on the rear for selecting network cable type (straight through or crossover - very handy)
  • Gigadrive can be access from the Internet as long as public IP is provided to it.
  • Redhat Linux OS is very stable and can run for years without needing a reboot
  • Unix machines can communicate with the Gigadrive through SAMBA
  • Handy status LEDs on the front of the unit that will show you how 'full' the unit is at a glance
  • NT Server 'like' administration of: Users, Groups, and Quotas
  • Makes almost no noise

Specifications:

  • 2-Year Warranty Model Number : EFG20
  • Standards : IEEE 802.3, IEEE802.3u
  • Protocols : TCP/IP, AppleShare**, SMB
  • Network Port : 1 Auto-Sensing Dual Speed RJ-45 Port
  • Printer Port : 1 DB 25 standard parallel port
  • Speed : 10/100Mbps
  • Cabling Type : 10BaseT: CAT 3 or 5 UTP 100BaseTX: Cat 5 UTP
  • Topology : Star LED
  • Indicators : Rear: 10 and 100Mbps Mode Front: IP, HD, LAN, Status, System & HD usage (10%-100%)
  • Switches : Power, Reset, Uplink
    **The GigaDrive works with AppleShare but Linksys does not offer Technical Support for this feature.
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