LAN STORAGE 650 BT Network Attached Storage (NAS)

650BT


What is it?

Features:
Why?




What's In The Box:

Pieces







End View
End











Inside View

Inside























MISC Details:
There is no brand or manufacture name anywhere on the unit. Just LAN STORAGE Model 650BT. Made in China of course. From markings on the circuit board, I believe the manufacture is: WLX  Shenzhen Wanlongxin Electron Science CO.,LTD
The device is sold by Cubeternet and probably others. Offered on E-bay and Amazon from Cubeternet and others as well. I have seen this for sale with black case.

The firmware running inside is a chopped down Linux operating system.  It is not necessary to be a Linux guru in order to operate this server.

Firmware can be updated but I can not find any link to download it. I inquired at Cubeternet but they replied saying that the latest firmware is stable and they would send me a link if a newer version became available. Not holding my breath.... I have since flashed the firmware with Snake OS which is supposed to be more stable. DO NOT attempt to update the firmware unless you have the firmware .BIN file ready. You could 'brick' the device and render it useless. If you change your firmware to Snake OS the read the instructions carefully....Use the correct firmware 'from original' the first time you change firmware. Note you cannot go back to original unless you can find the original .bin file. If you find one please let me know. E-Mail me
 
Note that this web site is being hosted from my LAN Storage 650 BT NAS.

This device can be either a network drive / server OR a USB2.0 attached disk drive. Not both at the same time. The unit can be switched from one to the other at any time by simply powering down and changing the cables.

It was not really clear to me what all this device can do when I bought it. I was just looking for a network drive to run backups on my various home desktop and laptop computers. I considered a USB only backup drive set up with a share and that would have worked for just a backup drive as long as the system it's attached to is always on.

One Bad FYI:
Did not work well on my WIFI 'G' network (WPA2). It's actually Windows that does not work.  Works much better on higher speed 'N' network and no problem at all on wired network connections. See Wireless Networking Issues below.


Drive Installation:
Disk
  1. Remove 4 screws from Bottom (side without fan)
  2. Remove 1 screw each, on ends of plastic side covers and slide out of rails.
  3. Install power and data cables to drive
  4. Install drive using 4 supplied screws
  5. Install power and data cables to circuit board
  6. Re-assemble
Note: If the ultra bright blue Power and Link LED's bother you then you can remove the LED connectors from the board. They are the 2 connectors with the white wires.











Formatting the Hard Disk and/or Attached USB Drives

The firmware has a format utility but will only format FAT32 (Original firmware) or EXT3 (SNAKE OS).

If you want to be able to store large video or audio files > 4GB on the drive then the choices are NTFS (Windows) or EXT3 (Linux).

The device also supports older Windows formats FAT32, FAT16 etc.

If you want to format your drive with anything other than what the firmware will do, then you must connect the device via USB and format on a system which supports the formatting type that you want. Your drive could also be connected to a controller in your PC as a 2nd drive and formatted there.

Drives which are already partitioned and formatted on other systems will work as is.


NTFS
PROS:
CONS:
(Since my drive is formatted NTFS, I solved swap drive and FTP problems by attaching a 4GB 'thumb' drive to the USB pass through formatted EXT3 then setting my FTP root and swap file to use the 'thumb' drive.


EXT3
PROS:
CONS:
 

Formatting Summary
I was a bit confused when researching the EXT3 vs NTFS issues. I had first thought that EXT3 format would not be usable in Windows when used as a NAS but that is not the case.
I ended up formatting my 2T Western Digital drive as NTFS. Took over 5 hours to format.


Firmware:

Original Firmware Functions:
A manual for the Original Firmware can be downloaded here.


I have abandoned the original firmware and installed Snake OS on my device.
Most of the reason that I changed was because the original firmware seemed to lock up a lot.
My problems could have been because of the WIFI issues I was having before switching to my N router.
Note Snake OS works on some other NAS models with the same chipset and memory configuration. WLX-652 and NS-K330 These are NAS devices which do not have the internal hard disks. Check the Snake OS web site to be sure your model number will work. Do not attempt to update firmware on an unsupported device. You will most likely 'brick' your device.

The biggest difference between the Original firmware and Snake OS is that Original has UPnP (DLNA) where the Snake OS does not.
Do not change to Snake OS if you want UPnP for your TV, game console etc.
Also the Snake OS has the Web Server where Original does not.
Snake OS has a swap file to help out with the limited RAM space on the board. Can be configured to use the internal or any attached disk.  Not recommended for use on an NTFS drive. I attached s 4GB 'thumb' drive formatted EXT3 and set my swap file to that.
Don't know if Original firmware uses a swap file? If it does it's not visible or configurable.


Snake OS V1.3.2
Download Snake OS manual here.

When used as a network drive, the networked server provides the following services which can be enabled or disabled and configured via the web GUI.
Other functions and utilities in Snake OS:
When attached as a USB drive then this device functions as any USB drive  (None of the services above can be used)
The USB HOST pass through is not functional when connected as a USB drive.

Firmware Comparison
 Original vs Snake OS V1.3.2

Function
Original
Snake OS
File Server (Samba)
Y
Y
FTP
Y
Y
SFTP/SSH
N
Y
Swapfile
?
Y
Telnet
N
Y
BitTorrent
Y
Y
Web Server
N
Y
DHCP Static
Y
Y
DHCP Client
Y
Y
DHCP Server
Y
N
NTP
Y
Y
Share User Service
Y
Y
Firmware Updater
Y
Y
UPnP (DLNA) Server
Y
N
DDNS
Y
Y
Disk Format Utility
Y (FAT32)
Y (EXT3)
SYS log
GUI only
GUI + external
SYS Monitor
N
Y

Note: I do not know how well each of the above functions are supported by each firmware. I am more familiar with the Snake OS as I did not use the Original firmware very long.


Setup Hints:


Wireless Networking Issues:
I have the 650BT device with a 2TB drive installed and formatted NTFS.
My swap partition is on a thumb drive connected to the USB port on the 650BT. 4GB formatted EXT3
 When my PC's were connected via G WIFI, I had these problems:

I have two XP and one Win 7 computer connected via wireless G - WRT54G route.

- During large file transfers (~200MB) either to NAS OR from NAS to computer. File transfer just stops sometimes with explorer.exe crash.
- Frequently when just 'drilling' down through directory structures several layers -  Windows Explorer will also freeze and crash.
- When playing large MPG files stored on NAS to Windows media player. WMP will stop playing and complain about lost connection or missing file etc.
- Also after failing file transfer Windows explorer.exe will sometimes halt and reboot itself (both XP and 7). (All the desktop icons disappear and then reappear).
- Have same issues using the NTFS drive AND when using the EXT3 thumb drive.
- Had the same issues with original firmware and latest Snake OS.
- The NAS (Snake OS) does not crash at all. Happily running before and after with no problem when the above issues happen. My original firmware crashed and I had to reboot the NAS but not sure if related.

When my laptop computer is connected to my router via hardwire CAT5 cable then I DO NOT see any of the above problems.
I have now changed to a new router Linksys 400N  and wireless N network. The problems seem to have mostly gone away when using the higher speed N wireless. Problems still happen on my laptop with G wireless but then computer is close enough to my router that I can easily connect via cat5 cable instead.
OK I have also notice the problem one time so far when using my N @ 5 GHz but at the time there was low signal strength / throughput.
Note I have not done extensive testing yet using the N wireless.

Note That similar problems above are reported on many forums using various commercial NAS devices as well but no one has specified what type of network they are running, G or N or wired. Do a Web search: [explorer crash NAS] or [WIFI crash NAS] etc.
Some report better results when changing from WPA2 to WEP.




Questions Comments? Email me here.