Another storage products family from Western Digital delivers a fitting solution to the small to medium sized businesses. Specifically, I’ve had a very good experience with the MyBook series of products. Setup is almost non-existent: plug in the device and its ready to go. As long as all you need is basic storage, without any deeper level of security and account management, MyBook gets the job done. It would be nice to have the default admin password (either 123456 or admin) documented, but there are enough sources online who’ll share that info with you. The web interface is easy to operate and allows you to configure various options, such as user access, shares and RAID options. If you are an average user, I doubt you’ll need to change these options.
The main weakness of this product its lack of support of Active Directory permissions and alike. I just don’t think it makes sense, especially for customers of the 1TB-2TB range, where most small business are. If you really need to connect it to an Active directory, have a look here, its pretty detailed.
I won’t go into the details of what a Firewall actually does, but I will recommend one. Specifically, one that fits the small/medium size companies that really don’t have the time or resources to start geeking around with more complex setups.
Checkpoint’s Safe@Office 500W has everything a typical business network needs these days: ADSL Router, wireless capabilities, DHCP, VPN and a rule based Firewall package (which is usually left at its default setting).
I found three features to be most helpful in setting up this device: First, the web interface is very easy and intuitive. Essentially you log on and all the information is available in clearly defined menus. Secondly, the SecuRemote client for VPN, which comes as part of the package (and can also be downloaded from the web) is very easy to work with. Lastly, the OfficeMode, which allows the Firewall to assign IPs to users connecting via VPN, is very simple to configure. The only downside I found is that the documentation was somewhat lacking, especially in regards to “known problems” with various network configurations. Eventually I found what I needed on the web but I do think that for the target audience of this product, adding this type of information to the manual is important. Even if I take this issue into account, it is still highly recommended.