Pros: Good performance; attractive price; very ease to use with a well designed user interface.
Cons: 1TB storage might not be enough for some people and some business users will prefer an extra-secure RAID option.
LaCie’s Network Space 2 is well priced, neatly designed and easy to use. It’s currently only available with 1TB of storage, but that should be more than adequate for small studios looking to share projects. There’s a USB port on the front of the unit that allows you to connect another hard drive if you need more space for your work.
Interestingly, there is a second USB port on the back of the drive, but this is used to connect it directly to your computer if you need to – and you can even partition the drive to reserve some disk space just for use over the USB connection. However, its compact, glossy casing houses a single hard drive, which means that there’s no RAID option. Creatives who want the extra security of a RAID drive will prefer rival models.
The real strength of the Network Space 2 is its ease of use. LaCie’s Network Assistant program displays a little drop-down menu in the main menu bar on your Mac desktop that makes it very easy to set up. As well as automatically connecting to the drive, this menu also allows you to specify that individual folders on the drive will be displayed on your desktop.
For more detailed configuration settings the Assistant opens up a well designed, easy to use web interface. The Network Space 2 performs well, completing our backup test in a snappy 17 minutes. Some business users will prefer a NAS drive that provides RAID security and a wider range of features – but the competitive price and admirable simplicity make it an excellent choice for smaller design studios.