NETGEAR Stora Home Media Network Storage MS2120

The NETGEAR Stora MS2120 is an easy to use hard drive storage device that contains one 2 terabyte hard drive and allows another slot for expansion for a fantastic home network storage solution.

Ease of Use, Performance: 22/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
Features 24/25
How much I enjoy 23/25

Total: 92/100

NETGEAR Stora Home Media Network Storage

NETGEAR manufactures a wide range of computer network solutions for both business and home use with routers, storage and other network related products since 1996. The NETGEAR Stora line is a hard drive enclosure that connects to a network using the Ethernet connection and can hold two hard drives for home and small business network storage.

The MS2120 Stora includes the 2 terabyte hard drive along with the enclosure, power adapter, Ethernet cable, spare fuses, instructions and a CD with drivers and the Stora Application. The hard drive is very easy to install and requires no hardware for mounting, just slide the cover off and push the drive in place, the enclosure can fit both slim and regular 3.5 inch hard drives.

To install the Stora on your network you simply install any 3.5 inch SATA hard drive you want to use with the Stora and plug the Stora into the power adapter and the network with the Ethernet cable. You need to connect the Ethernet connection to your router or network switch so the Stora connects to your network directly then run the Stora Setup from the included CD.

Whats in the Box

Once you set up an administration account you can add both admin and user accounts that will be able to administer and connect to the drives depending on the account types. The admin accounts will be able to add or delete user accounts as well as setup the system on your network along with other preferences.

Setting up the drives gives you three separate areas on the same drive which you can delete or rename if you want, by default the drives separate into three file folder systems. My Computers and Family Library are single folders while My Library is further divided into My Documents, My Music, My Photos and My Videos.

Once you have these network locations you can add more folders or delete them if you want and they should show up immediately as locations under Network Locations in your Computer. If you want to set up other computers with the same locations or just one or two of them you can simply use the Map Network Drive option on your Computer options, locate the hard drive and create a shortcut icon.

Front Cover and Drive Slots

This works along with the user name and password you create for your users and once you insert the user name and password you will continue to have these locations available from that computer. I have done this on a Windows 7, Windows XP and a Windows Vista system and have had no problems setting up and connecting to the network drive.

I did have my computer crash during the review and had to install the application program again but did not have any problems with this. I just searched for network locations and the three drive locations were added to my network locations without me having to add them using the Map Network Drive option.

Of course you need to make sure you save the admin user names and passwords of accounts to get into the system and for further troubleshooting if you do have a problem down the road. Once during the review I could not log into the network drive and all I had to do was reboot the Stora drive and allow the system to reset to get back into it.

Rear of Stora

I only had the one problem with the drive or application where I could not log in and after that I have had no problems with the Stora drive or applications. I have only had the one problem with using the Stora drive or application, actually it has worked very well and even with the one problem was easy to get back up and running.

I am very impressed with how simple even when things go wrong that the NETGEAR Stora network storage device has been and I am very happy with how simple it has been to use. While some network devices can be hard or even frustrating to use the NETGEAR device has been very easy for this type of device.

The Stora also has an online component that allows you to store and retrieve anything you save from anywhere you can get access to the internet from but this does cost extra. Whether using your PC or mobile device like a smart phone you can store data and other media like videos from camcorders while away from home as long as you subscribe which costs an additional $20 a year.

Stora Application

This extra service worked just fine for me with the trial version I used and is as simple as logging into the My Stora website with your user name and password and entering your network from wherever you are. This does give you access for both retrieval and storage of your data and media when you’re away from home but you need to make sure you have a decent router with active security and a firewall.

The Stora also has a front panel USB connection that allows you to use USB flash drives or hard drives that use USB connections to connect and be accessed just like a hard drive. While you may have to go through the already setup folders to access content of USB drives it works well and adds a front connection to add even more storage to your network drive.

You can connect a USB hub to the front panel USB connection and connect other drives to this or even a printer but it has to be a single function printer and not one of the multi function printers. A single function printer worked just fine but my Printer/Fax/Scanner did not, the HP printer I connected worked just fine as a network printer.

You will have to load drivers for each computer you want to use with this printer and you do have to know about sharing devices on a network if two people are trying to print at the same time. Network printers work well most of the time and with the Stora I had no problems with printing but a few times with network printers I have conflicts with ownership of the printer and multiple print jobs.

This is not a problem of the Stora, just that more than one person is trying to print at the same time or the printer has problems when several computers are trying to send information to the printer. This is a common part of networking and dealing with more than one device trying to be used by several people at or close to the same time.

The NETGEAR Stora is a great and easy to use network storage drive that also has a simple backup option in the application that works just fine but is a basic backup option. The NETGEAR Stora worked just fine and even with one problem it was easy to get working again by simply following the troubleshooting on their website and manual.

I highly recommend the NETGEAR Stora for a low cost solution for network storage that works well and is easy to use for beginners and advanced users. The Stora one 2 terabyte hard drive model costs about $285 is available at several online stores like Amazon and Newegg, you can also buy the model that comes without a drive for about $120.