The Vox BlackBox NAS
The Vox BlackBox NAS
The first thing you'll probably notice about the BlackBox, despite what its name suggests, is that it is not black. In fact, it is decked in silver all over. Vox have taken a minimalistic approach to the BlackBox design and it certainly shows. There are no fancy grooves or prints, and apart from the indicator at the front, which glows blue when powered up, the BlackBox is decidedly business-like. All in all, it has a compact, Zen-like design and we think that it'll probably look compatible beside the older generation all-aluminum MacBook Pro.
The BlackBox comes right out of the box with two 500GB Western Digital hard drives configured in RAID 0. Installing the hard disks are a breeze as the individual drives need only be mounted onto racks by way of the common Phillips screws, after which they can be easily slotted into the bay. A latch mechanism ensures the drives are securely in place.
Removing the drives is equally easy as one only need a to insert a pin into the latch mechanism. This can be both good and bad, because while it is easy to install and replace drives, it is equally easy for the drives to be nicked. Users who are concerned about security should definitely take note of this since this design is meant to be practical and convenient rather than about securing your drives. Definitely not for your office, especially if you have nosy co-workers.
Latch aside, one reason why the BlackBox is so compact is the lack of an external power adapter, as Vox opted instead to use built-in power circuitry, requiring nothing more than a generic PC power cord. The drive can be turned on or off using a single switch next to the power connector. The array of connectors at your disposal is just as simple; all you get is a single USB 2.0 connector and a Gigabit Ethernet jack. Otherwise, the only other items at the rear end of the BlackBox are a pair of fans for ventilating the innards.
Like all network attached storage devices, the BlackBox is administered via a web browser interface. This however, is where Vox shows pretty much why they haven't exactly registered on our radar. The administration interface for the BlackBox is too sparse, so the technically savvy can get around but not the novice. Most newcomers will find it difficult to navigate around the BlackBox's web interface.
Fortunately, most of the important options can be easily accessed e.g. network, user and permissions management. The only other extra features provided by the BlackBox are a built-in iTunes server and Bittorrent capabilities.
This is what came with our Vox BlackBox NAS:
- Installation guide & CD
- 2 x Hard disk removal pin
- 1 x Ethernet (RJ-45) cable
- 1 x Power cord