LaptopMag: Linksys by Cisco Media Hub (NMH405)

LaptopMag: Thanks to the Gigabit Ethernet port and fast hard drive in the Media Hub, streaming quality was excellent. With the Media Hub connected to an 802.11n router, we streamed a high-def MPEG-4 movie (Australia) to a notebook with 802.11n Wi-Fi; the film played smoothly, without any stuttering. You can even stream three HD movies for three users at the same time, without the usual stuttering. In one test, we copied the same movie into three different folders, and streamed it to three different laptops at the same time; all three streams worked without any stuttering. Our only gripe is that the media browser runs fairly slow: just loading the movie Firewall-which uses the built-in QuickTime player-took about five minutes.

The Media Hub supports DLNA 1.5 and UPnP (technologies that let networked devices share content with each other), so once the drive is configured, you can see it and access files from a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Linksys media streaming gear (such as the new Linksys by Cisco DMC-350 Conductor Digital Music Center), or your laptop. We streamed the movie Domino over a Wi-Fi network to a PlayStation 3 with no problems.


In the past, network-attached storage has not rarely been considered consumer-friendly. The $279 Linksys by Cisco NMH405 Media Hub, which acts more like a Web-based version of iTunes, will help change that perception. This smart network drive is simple to use, serves up media to any connected user, and supports a wealth of file formats. We'd prefer faster disk transfer speeds, but it's hard to complain when all of your media is always a click away.

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