The Linksys Media Hub NMH305 offers an easy way to back up your data without the need to own separate PCs for the task, and without needing to keep your main machine on all the time. The Media Hub makes for easy access and organization of your files, be they videos which you need to access quickly without needless trawling, music, or any other type of file.
Developed by Cisco, it allows you to easily set up one single central unit so you can access media with your console for instance, or simply keep it as a backup solution next to your main PC. It has a variety of features but falls slightly short of some as we will see.
The Look (4 out of 5)
The unit is generally well designed, both aesthetically and functionally, with a black glossy finish and grey-panels at each side. The unit is quiet and won’t disturb your working or playing environment very much, but the combination of both the PC’s fans and the Linksys’s internal fans might combine to prove slightly annoying.
Removing or adding a drive is simple – just press the button which opens a lid and slide in the new drive which will be automatically detected and set up with the secure "mirrored mode."
Performance and Features (3 out of 5)
Everything you would expect of a media-aggregation server is generally there: an LCD display for ease of navigation, USB ports and memory sticks, automatic backup functions and specific folder-monitoring. However, the automatic backup function will not work with the Macintosh OS X system, although it supports the O/S fully.
It supports DLNA 1.5 and Universal Plug and Play, and you can set up external storage by opening an account with Linksys. The latter is only possible through its own browser, however, which proves problematic.
Although mainly average in terms of performance, the NMH305 falls short in some ways. It doesn’t support drag-and-drop, which means you need to use the internal uploader method to transfer files. This becomes annoying and tedious at times. The unit also has problems with some browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, and it displays icons incorrectly.
The transfer speed is fairly good and you can switch between RAID 1 and RAID 0 should you wish to.
In Summary (3 out of 5)
The NMH305 is quite easy to set up and, although backup can sometimes prove tedious, the automatic file-importing features and 500GB space can come in handy. Although the price is a bit steep at about $600 and it isn’t without its faults, it is an OK unit to own, particularly if you aren’t experienced with backup solutions and media storage.