The LaCie 2Big NAS looked familiar as we pulled it from the box. True, this clean and consumer friendly design has been around for a while. LaCie is recycling a look that’s been in circulation since 2007. But that wasn’t it.
The 2Big NAS looks a bit like the automated turrets that are dotted throughout the legendary 3D puzzle game Portal. It’s a lovely object to have sitting on your desk and one of the best looking units in this round-up.
In common with most of the enclosures we looked at, the 2Big NAS ships in different configurations. We tested a device with two 3TB drives installed, in mirrored RAID 1 configuration. That gives you 3TB of storage and 3TB of safety in the form of a redundant back up. For consumer use you may be happier configuring the unit to use the full storage capacity of both drives.
Getting started wasn’t quite plug and play. You’ll need to install the bundled LaCie Network Assistant on your Mac to connect to and access the drive. When you’ve done that though, the server’s default configuration gives a Public shared drive, available on your network. It should show up as a network device on your LAN, so you can easily connect other computers.
You have several other options for accessing the drive over a network including a clunky but serviceable OS app that enables you to connect from iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. There’s also remote, browser based access, which requires signing up for LaCie’s MyNas service.
Centralised media playback’s a good reason, but not the only reason to invest in a NAS. Back-up is another key use, especially if you’re a business owner or Mac based media producer.
Like all NAS drives, the 2Big NAS is essentially a small computer. As such performance is affected by factors like the onboard CPU, RAM and operating system. In this case running has a 2GHz ARM processor and with 512MB of onboard RAM. The specs say that’s enough to deliver speeds of 100Mbps, but that’s just data transfer. Read and write speeds will depend on a variety of factors, including the specs of the drives you have installed.