Netgear Storage Central SC101 review

Netgear's Storage Central - Model SC101 (£79.98 inc VAT) is a hard disk enclosure with built-in disc controllers and networking features. This device emulates one or more logical drives using one or two physical IDE or PATA hard disks and provides a shareable storage facility accessible by all windows computers on a DHCP enabled network.

A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a collection of storage devices linked to the local area network which are accessed and administered as one central pool, such storage does not require a specific computer to be running for file sharing.

The device is attached to the network switch or router and acts like a file server for all the windows computers. However, unlike most other network storage devices, this one requires a client to be installed on each computer in the network.

The basic unit is supplied with 0, 1 or 2 drives costs £68 + VAT in the U.K. for the empty box and £92 + VAT to include an 80gig hard drive - the storage can be bought separately, or you can add your own existing hard drives to the ‘empty’ box.

Product Description:
This unit provides both Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) level 0 & 1 and can be expanded indefinitely. SmartSync Pro advanced backup software is included which creates real-time copies of stored data from the clients.

This product is well suited for sharing and back up with the simplicity of using a local drive. Easy to set-up and install, connect to any wired or wireless router (54G Wireless Ethernet Adapter) or switch.

This is very basic storage area network type implementation but it is not a network attached storage device, so each computer on the network must have its own client software installed. There is no ability to connect to the device, using its native file share method and there is no platform-independent file-sharing support. (As opposed to the standard situation where a NAS device will offer a shared file system that can be mounted in the OS's native method.)

You MUST use the included software. Although the device is capable of listening on port 80, there is no web interface to configure it. The included software only supports Windows.

Data transfer (read or write) about around 3MB/s. (this should be more like 10MB/s. This unit only supports simple security, ie a single password for each "logical drive" configured during set-up, probably because this is designed for the home market.

Added: December 16th 2006
Product reviewed: Netgear Storage Central SC101
Reviewer: Michael Hart
Score: 7.5/10
Page: 1/4

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Comment #1 posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-13 23:02:39
This product is unrelaible, at best. Gets very hot and does a poor job of disipating the heat... In the end it wound up cooking 2 perfectly good 120 GB baracuda drives....

I would not recommend use of this product if you value your data.

Comment #2 posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-18 14:39:41
A real piece of junk. Mirror breaks frequently - both HD's are fine!
Trying to work using 1 of the HD's & creating 1 drive - still no joy as it keeps losing the drive letter half way through transfering data to it.
I've upograded the firmware & tried several times to copy data across & now I have to say I'M GIVING UP!

Do not buy this product at all... it really is not worth your time!

Comment #3 posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-13 21:30:20
Worst piece of tech I ever purchased. Not fit to be used for any purpose whatsoever. If you are using one should just backup to external drive, remove the internal hard drives and use for some other purpose and throw enclosure away before you are sorry. It gets at least a 2 just for being one of the first such designs on the market, that is also why it probably just gets a 2.

Comment #4 posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-07 21:24:13
I have spoke to Netgear on mine. My box shows "works with Vista" and has a "Vista capable" sticker. Only to find out not my flavor of Vista. This is just plane deceptive. I don't care to much for Vista (64-bit) but it's what came on our laptops.

I already spoke with Pat Lo and Feman Kalaw. is my next hope then go to small claims for a fix or refund. It's only 6 months old.

Comment #5 posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-30 16:20:27
Worked fine for a couple of years until Vista came on the scene, updated to latest firmware from Netgear, and now I have lost both drives, the IP still shows, but I cannot for the life of me access the drives, even though they are still showing, let me say that I know all about computing, as a senior it manager I have had very poor (non existent) support on this product, I have tried all the utils that are available UT_exe z-scan all to no avail, going to buy a lacie drive that plugs straight in, and keep the netgear unit on the shelf until someone comes up with a solution

Comment #6 posted by DataDoc on 2008-11-27 03:20:48
The little piggy, or if you prefer, toaster, is nifty product when used as intended. Sure Netgear has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous reviews for the kinks it has yet to iron out. In all fairness, though, where can you get such a versatile storage device for that price?

Once you realize that this isn't a NAS, and isn't enterprise level storage, the battle is nearly won. How many race car drivers use unleaded regular gas in their Indy cars? People, this is a consumer product! Don't try running your fortune 500 company on it!

One of the big failings in the product, however, is the lack of Mac compatibility. Well no more! A company named Newt Data Systems has a storage manager package that allows your Mac OS X system to work with your SC101 or SC101T. Files and volumes created with Netgear's SCM can be accessed and shared on any Mac running OS X Tiger or Leopard. In addition, there are a number of features in Newt's Mac Storage Manager that Netgear forgot to include in SCM -- like the ability to recover from a "broken mirror".

Check them out at

Comment #7 posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-23 16:36:35
It arrived in my life so innocently, perfectly formed body, such poise such promise the answer to my dreams, little did I know the evil resentful feelings of hate it would invoke in me……I’m in therapy now and want to be a tree………………………………….

You have been warned for pity sake run while you can..........................

Comment #8 posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-25 15:54:21
Took me two whole nights to archieve nothing from this toaster looking thing, not worth a space on my network..
Get netgear to get this garbage out of the market for christ sake..
A real piece of sh#$#T

Comment #9 posted by eddie94603 on 2008-06-02 23:41:40
Biggest waste of money I have ever purchased. A case of leaping before I looked. I should have done my research. I happen to have a Dual Wan Netgear Router and I love it. I thought NetGear was reputable and I trusted them. So ok - they are allow one or two lousy products and the SC-101 is the WORST!!!

Comment #10 posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-25 01:15:09
1. DO NOT BUY --
2. NO, or actually ANTI-Support
3. Extremely slow
4.Shows up as local HD causing Backup problems
5. does not support HD over 250gigs
6. Quirky (counter-intuitive) interface or management console
7. Data-plow file system(?!?!)

Comment #11 posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-20 19:13:10
Without question the biggest pile of poo I've ever purchased. Plus their support is, well, a joke, and that's being knid, clueless twats. Shall not be buying any other netgear stuff. They can't be in business for that much longer.

Comment #12 posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-25 22:04:03
Unfortunately, you cannot give a zero score.

Do not under any circumstances buy this product if you want to retain your sanity.

Mine did all the nasty things others have described - including stopping windows closing down properly.

Support is so bad you cannot even call it a joke.

Netgear should take this product off the market. Of course, by the time you've struggled optimistically to try to get the the device to work, it's probably too late to get the seller to take it back. Must be why Netgear still manage to sell them on the basis of low returns.

I bought a Mediacase Landrive to replace it. On the face of it, a much less versatile device - only one drive. But, for purely domestic use, a lot cheaper, uses windows compatible file system (OK FAT32 at best over a LAN, but as a network drive I'm not going to be transferring and storing huge files, although it also has a USB2 connection which would make that more feasible, and, according to the literature, has a method of transparently splitting files that are too large for FAT32)
Best thing is it worked out of the box - no special drivers or software to set up, and if all else failed, I'd have a drive in it that I can read in other ways.

Comment #13 posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-19 19:21:50
Yes, we've all had our share of problems with this little toaster. I purchased this for one reason have networked storage capability, using only one hard drive. I don't need mirroring, shares, passwords, etc, etc. And, yes, my unit also crashed at the beginning. However, I was smart enough to backup everything onto CD and DVD. I'm employed as a computer technician and have no problem getting into the "nuts and bolts" of this unit. Once I did my research and upgraded to the latest firmware and software, I've had no problems using the SC101 for my intended purpose: as a simple networked storage box. I don't really care if it uses a proprietary file system to access the drive. Reading abouth this file system sounds just fine to me anyway. As for transfer rates, what are you expecting?!! The maximum theoretical data transfer over a 100mb network is only 12.5MB/ss and 125MB/s for a 1000mb (gigabit) network. Yes, that's incredibly slow compared to a USB 2.0 drive with up to 480 MB/s transfer rate. Next, everyone must realize that you should be using drives with ATA6 specification, which corresponds to UDMA133, NOT UDMA100. I use Hitachi PATA hard drives, as I know they are ATA6/UDMA133 compliant. I even went so far as to replace the 40-pin IDE cable in the SC101 with an 80-pin UDMA cable for better signal integrity. Yes, this means I can only have one drive in the case, but this is of no concern to me. Finally, with the latest firmware, my drive does spin down and never gets more than just WARM to the touch. My advice to everyone using the SC101 is to understand that you get what you pay for...and that this really is an inexpensive unit. All the other NAS devices I've read about, of which the SC101 truly is not an NAS, has negative aspects as well. Some will only allow formatting as FAT32! My advice? Backup all the data on your SC101 to a folder on your computer, upgrade to the most recent software and firmware, install a UDMA133 hard drive (if yours isn't already) and start fresh. A bit of a hassle? Possibly, but this is what it takes to make it work properly. I mean no disrespect to all other users and hope that some of you might benefit from this.

Comment #14 posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-17 18:15:08
Seriously - do not buy one.
I've lost track of the hours I've spent trying to get this thing to work reliably. Had all the symptoms others have - drives disappearing which cannot be ressurected being the main one - oh, and data corruption whne it was briefly working. The support provided makes you even more bad tempered. Just passed around from one person who didn't know what they were doing to another the same. It comes to something when you have to edit the registry manually to try to get the thing working. Have given up totally with it.

Comment #15 posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-06 11:16:21
I give it a 2, simply for the materials used.
For the rest, only works on Windows (NOT Vista), due to drivers only written for that OS.
No compatibility whatsoever with other filesystems (not Fat32, not NTFS, not even Ext3.
Worked well, till they did their firmware and program update, suddenly one hd can be found, but refuses to be connected. Their support on the site is good, and well worth the read, IF you are still working with software version 1.5.6-7, as their solutions do not work with the software they themselves have written.

Not as publicity, but as comparison:
If they can do it, why can't Netgear..???

Comment #16 posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-06 08:57:48
It does make a nice (and expensive) 25 Watt room heater though.

Comment #17 posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-06 08:56:22
Yes I wish I had read this forum before I bought.

At first it worked sort of OK. You could copy stuff on it but I was struck by how slow it was compared with a USB external drive.

THe a day or so after Windows Explorer started crashing. By this time I was realising that things were not right on the system.

After the infamous firmware upgrade I have now lost the drive letter. Will it return. I'll keep you posted.


Comment #18 posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-18 04:55:55
I cannot give a negative score.


It is unreliable, gets scorchingly hot, and the latest firmware has a nasty habit of simply killing it.

Combine with Netgear's woeful support, and total lack of interest in providing Vista drivers, this is the worst $180 I have ever spent on my PC. Complete waste of money.


Comment #19 posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-07 01:14:55
I just beat the crap out of mine with a hammer....good for stress relief - not good for much else....

Comment #20 posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-27 16:51:50
Given that it is a SAN not a NAS does anyone have some feedback on how it performs as a SAN? Proprietry fs is a worry - why not use a linux standard? Any other feedback?



Comment #21 posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-20 16:55:58
Worst Product Ever Made. DO NOT BUY if you don't believe me go to netgears forums and look at the amount of problems people are having. The device uses a proprietary file system that cannot be viewed by any other OS so if you have problems accessing the drive you can basically kiss your data goodbye. Also you have to install software on your computer in order to access the device. THIS IS NOT A NAS DEVICE.

Comment #22 posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-01 14:27:51
This does not work with Windows Vista, has some serious install problems, and you get non-English speaking technical support that is a complete waste of time. I am not sure what might be a better product to instead buy but I am sure there is one out there.

Comment #23 posted by Anonymous on 2007-02-11 03:36:01
This is a pile of crap. Their pitch for it is deceptive. You cant even use a preformatted drive in it. I have 2 full 500 gig drives and nothing to connect them to. Bought this thinking I could just pop them on the network...and I can, if I want to lose everything on them.

Farking ridiculous....It's going back tomorrow.

Comment #24 posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-26 20:09:29
Whatever you do: DO NOT BUY ONE !!
I had one, threw it out after about 3 months.

Comment #25 posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-18 17:04:39
Before you criticise others for being unable to write, it may be worth taking basic grammar and spelling lessons yourself.
Maybe you just need to learn to type. Yes it is annoying isn't (Is Not) it. TB

Comment #26 posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-11 19:18:27
I too think this is a shocking product, way to loud for my liking!

Comment #27 posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-17 17:24:50
had this awhile back, awful product that would release my drive and just google it for all the other issues ppl are having

Comment #28 posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-17 00:29:01
You cant even take good photos and you don’t know what your talking about.

Please in future, learn to write before you contribute articles. It inly goes to show a lack of dedication, interest, and knowledge to both the product, and the industry as a whole.

- Cam