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How Has SmallNetBuilder Helped You?

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Mr. Easy
Staff member
My partners over at NetShelter asked me if I could give them any testimonials from readers who have used SmallNetBuilder to help them with their purchase decisions.

So, if SNB has helped you, particularly if you're a small business user, admin or VAR, could you please post a short note describing how we helped? It doesn't really just have to be with buy decisions. Anything that we've helped with is interesting.

I'd appreciate your help, since this will help to attract advertisers, who make it possible for us to do what we do!

C'mon folks. Throw me a bone here, please.
SNB helped me in two ways. First it made me realized that adding a USB hard drive to a Linksys WRT610N would probably only be good for occasional (low speed) NAS usage. Although, my thoughts and desires for multiple users and fast transfers would require another solution.

Next the "Build Your Own Atom-based NAS" Parts 1 & 2 really helped me find a low cost NAS / Media Server set-up that works great for me. The articles really gave me some direction and allowed me the opportunity to build a similar system to meet my needs. The forums here have since been a great help as I fine tune the set-up and features of my system.

I learn a lot from Small Net Builder when it comes to figuring out what new networking technologies I might be able to use to improve the performance of my network. It also has shown me many new items that would simply be a waste of money because overall or in a situation similar to mine they would offer no performance advantage over my present hardware.
I have learned a ton of useful information about wifi and getting the most out of it. Now if D-link would release some decent firmware. :D

I have gained vast knowledge of NAS boxes and plan to purchase one in the coming year. This was something I had little or no knowledge of before.

Your how-to articles are excellent, and your reviews are helpful in making good purchase decisions.

This site is an untapped source of great info.

Keep it up!!
Technical Info

I am using the site right now to evaluate NAS systems. I am ready to purchase now and I am just doing the homework to make a decision.

Solid technical information can be hard to find on the web for some things, and this site has been very helpful in both getting educated and then making comparisons.
Just wanted to thank those of you who responded to my request.
A simple matter of trust

In my case, I've followed your site and for years. Occasionally I could realize I was sharing exactly your view on a specific subject I had some knowledge of. This, with the -IMO- consistent yet practical methodology (I'm thinking of wifi, here) used when testing products, made a follower of me.
I also want to add that the site seems free of Apple/MS/Google/you-name-it bashing, which clearly is refreshing in today's Internet.

I won't buy a product/technology that receives a bad review from Smallnetbuilder. When a product gets an A I may buy it, and most probably I will recommend considering it when I am asked for advice.

I realize this is a bit laudative :) But I assure you, SNB is a long-time favorite.

EDIT: You wanted examples.
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30040/51/ (a positive. I use Dell switches now)
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/26843/51/1/1/ (a negative. I switched to netgear stuff)
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/24688/51/ (a positive. I did set on m0n0 years ago, thanks :)
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30103/82/1/5/ and
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30522/77/1/7/ (on the consumer side)
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I just signed up to tell you what an awesome site you have! SNB helped me by stating definate facts about routers and providing useful test data and conclusions based on that data. I dont have to trapse through manufacturers pages wondering if its simultaneous dual band or single band etc, ive slowly learned that if the page dosent say then it probably isnt. Also i dont have to look at other forum posts where users post they think its dual band and theyre not really sure etc. So in other words its cleared things up.

In the end i decided not to buy a draft N router, i was dead set on the DGN3300 then the dir-855 then WNDR3700 but if i wont get that much range over my current G setup theres no point yet and moving my current DG834Gv2 out from under the bed helped quite a lot anyways, all i needed was a longer RJ11 cable for that which was £4.

In short you've saved me cash and cleared things up for when i do need to upgrade :)
Thanks for your post, Maximilian. Helping you cut through the marketing hype and be an more informed consumer is our mission and it looks like we've come through for you.
I have used SmallNetBuilder.com extensively as one of my main sources to decide which NAS I was going to buy, some other sources were the respective sites and forums of all the NAS brands that made it onto my shortlist (Thecus, Netgear, Synology and QNAP) and the many reviews on the net.

The reviews and the interactive NAS charts are excellent and helped me greatly with my decisions, and I have referred to these charts already several times on other forums. So it's important that you keep these charts regularly updated with new models and brands.

Also the many background articles were (and still are) great resources.

More concrete: (mainly) thanks to this site I am now a very happy owner of one of the best 5 drive bay NAS devices on the market, the QNAP TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS! Also, it was on this forum that I first read about the RAM upgrade that is possible on this NAS!

Also thanks to this site (because I'd read so many good things about it on your forum) I bought a HP ProCurve 1800 smart switch because of its excellent 802.3ad LACP implementation.

Lastly I have also used this site as one of my sources to purchase a D-Link router. So yeah, you could definitely say this site has helped me, thanks for that! Keep up the good work!
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Tim, originally I found the site when looking for NAS solutions to experiment with video editing over gigabit. Since then it's been a logical place to share some of my findings as some of the technical explorations have unfolded. As you know, a lot of products don't work exactly as advertised when put into real-world environments so it's important that folks talk about them here, and indeed provide incentive, where appropriate, on manufacturers to address issues that are discovered. It's through my posts here that two major manufacturers have directly contacted me to check out new products etc. Because I run a company (Cinevate) that manufactures and sells products, I can appreciate what forums and honest customers can do to contribute to the success of companies. Our own forum is a busy place where filmakers post their work, provide feedback and yes, sometimes complain about things they don't like. The opportunity to respond to those requests are what ensures our success.

Your reviews here are as good as it gets so my only complaint is that every new product on the market isn't reviewed immediately and posted here :)

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I found smallnetbuilder.com while I was attempting to increase speeds on backing up files over my wireless network. Reading through smallnetbuilder convinced me to abandon my wireless solution for a wired solution that was almost 100x faster, and in the end using a helpful guide I was able to configure my wireless router to integrate with my network for wireless clients.

Now my backups are automated and done in a timely manner without worry of stalls and timeouts or wireless interference, and I have a nice wireless solution for non-critical things like iphones and guests on my network. I spent a little more money with this solution but it is either 10x or 100x faster than the solutions I would have come up with on my own depending on my choices. Thanks.
Thanks SmallNetBuilder!!!

Earlier this year, the church I am involved in decided to redesign what was then considered to be a spidernest of a network. By December, we had re-wired the entire building into a structured wire setup, optimized network hardware usage and implemented a NAS and backup strategy.

SNB was a great resource as I studied the many NAS units available to the small business consumer. The performance charts, forums, and reviews assisted in wading through the choices. In the end, a Qnap TS-239 Pro was the chosen NAS.

Without the SNB resource, I couldn't say how the project would have gone. Thanks!
I found you series of reviews on netbooks immensely helpful. It was the single biggest factor in my choosing the HP Mini 2140.

More recently the review of the meraki mesh wifi gear was very timely. It was published just days after I decided to buy similar, but cheaper gear from Open-Mesh.com. It reinforced my purchase decision.

Tim and SNB helped introduce me to Zyxel a few years ago. I've been real happy with their products and recently deployed a USG200 and couldn't be happier. The triple WAN load balanced connection works beautifully, my users have never had such a good Internet experience. Triple WAN, SSL VPN, VLAN, great logging and alert reporting...wow this thing is great.

And, the USG200 is only one great decision I made thanks to SNB. Tim helps users weed through the plethora of retail products and make smart purchases. Wifi routers is a segment that comes to mind. Tim has helped me gain better focus on which products to give respect and which to forget about. SNB has saved me some $$. :)

Tim is a fabulous writer and does a great job of helping make a complex subject such as networking make sense to those who don't have a masters degree in it. I really look forward to my daily visits to SNB to see what new.

Tim and crew. Thank you!

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Tim and SNB are just a MUST SEE and USE.

I had been looking for information to better understand what I needed to pay attention to, in order to implement a Home/Small Office network. This site was invaluable in understanding the numerous choices out there. It helped me sort through what made the most sense for my particular needs.

There was a vast amount of information covering the necessary "Basic's" with very informative guides and "Do's and Dont's" , versus "Want's and Need's". It helped me refine which components and feature sets would be my immediate focus; while ensuring scalability to incorporate at a later stage. Some of the information was very technical, but I found it well presented so that you could make sense of the key points ;)

It has also taught me to PLAN the various components to ensure compatibility, rather then just selecting "top-of-the line". There is no doubt that the information I found, from SNB and its user community, has saved me money and headaches:):):) It forced me to consider the interoperability and features of the various components, before just buying what "sounded best".

I was most pleased with everything I found from SNB. I have this site, and its forums, marked in my favorites. I will absolutely be visiting often as my SOHO network evolves.

This is an excellent site and I have been raving about it to all my friends.
A lot of web based information concerning AP and Wi-Fi have subtle conflicts of interest. Other sites that push 'general information' are unnecessarily wordy.

SNB seems free of such biases.

Other review sites do not delve into the technical aspects of Wi-fi, and seldom focus on real world issues:

  1. Wi-fi speeds diminish with distance, or obstructions, and that despite standard spec such as 802.11, differ from maker to maker, so reviews should really take into account performance through a range of distances and obstructions
  2. Top brands are not free of installation issues
  3. Actual throughput is rarely discussed, and often confused with bandwidth
  4. SNB is the only site I've found to consistent dissect AP and routers
  5. Finally, Alexa rates SNB highly in its field.
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