A glowing network hard disk
Lacie's Network Space 2 is a network hard disk. It attaches directly to your home network router so all the computers on the network, as well as other devices such as media streamers, can access the files it contains.
Unlike most similar devices, the Network Space 2 can be connected to any computer through its rear USB socket – most network disks can only be connected through the network socket.
Transferring files over any network is slow, so if you want to make a large backup or copy lots of files, it's a simple, relatively quick process via the direct connection. You can then leave the disk plugged into the network and then later, smaller backups can be made over the slower network connection.
Like most of Lacie's products, the disk looks good. It's finished in sleek black plastic with a discreet blue light that shines from beneath the front panel when it's active.
The supplied software found the hard disk quickly on our network and allowed us to set it up, although it could have been clearer to make Windows automatically recognise the disk in future. It also comes with the basic but thorough Lacie backup software.
Speeds were what we would have expected - the Network Space 2 managed to copy about 700MB per minute over a standard network. If you have access to a faster Gigabit network (few home users do) this will increase.
USB transfer was just under twice as fast as the standard network connection. Some similar disks can be noisy because of the fans that keep the disks inside cool, but Lacie has managed to avoid this through judicious use of ventilation - the disk whirred quietly away, whining once or twice but it should not be audible in most houses.
There is a USB input port on the front of the disk so users can plug in USB keys and some cameras and other devices - the disk can be set to automatically back up the files on such disks.
There are several sizes available. The 1TB version we looked at costs £130. It's more expensive than a standard USB hard disk, but not by much, making the Lacie Network Space 2 good value.
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A good network storage device that is flexible and not too expensive Good points Good value; looks great; not too loud Bad points Setup could have been clearer
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