Freecom Silverstore 2-Drive NAS 2TB

8/11/2012 10:58:37 AM

Freecom's SilverStore 2-Drive NAS 2TB isn’t your run-of-the-mill black box. Instead, its metal chassis is silver. Unfortunately, this bold move doesn't do much for its looks, but at least it feels tough. The same can’t be said for the disk caddies, as the pop-out plastic handles used to pull the drives from the device are flimsy and uncomfortable to grip. We were also unhappy with quite how much force we had to exert just to get the drives out.

Description: SilverStore 2-drive NAS 2TB
SilverStore 2-drive NAS 2TB

On the front of the device is a power switch, a bank of status lights and a USB3 port. At the back, there’s a USB port and the usual Gigabit Ethernet port. It’s a little noisier than most NAS devices, producing a low hum that vibrated through our desk until we put a magazine under it.

The NAS device showed up on our network as a storage and media device, but its hard disks didn't immediately appear as an accessible share. You must first configure it using either the device's web interface, which Windows users can access by double-clicking the SilverStore icon in their file manager’s network browser screen, or the Freecom Network Storage Assistant (FNSA) program, which is supplied on an installation disc.

The FNSA software simplifies basic configuration, such as changing the NAS device's IP address, and there are also handy tools for mapping its network share to the drive letter of your choice and even adding a USB printer that you've connected to it. More advanced configuration must be carried out through the web interface, to which the application provides a shortcut. The FNSA isn’t essential by any means, as its options are available from the NAS device's web interface, but the software is helpful and well designed.

Description: The device uses Raid 0 by default, but we also ran speed tests using the more secure Raid 1 configuration, which mirrors your data

The device uses Raid 0 by default, but we also ran speed tests using the more secure Raid 1 configuration, which mirrors your data

The web interface is also clearly designed, with its various features filed under tabs. A backup manager lets you back up the contents of the NAS device to a connected USB disk, and there's a downloader tab that's home to the device's rintegrated BitTorrent client. It supports the Tonido remote access service, which lets you access the contents of the SilverStore NAS 2TB via a web browser or a mobile phone app wherever you are. The SilverStore also has the usual UPnP and iTunes media servers, plus access and quota restriction options to limit the actions of users and groups you've set up. Unfortunately, it can’t act as a print server for USB printers.

The device uses Raid 0 by default, but we also ran speed tests using the more secure Raid 1 configuration, which mirrors your data; it provides less storage space but greater security against data loss if one of the drives fails. Unusually, the SilverStore 2TB was faster in Raid 1 mode. In Raid 0 mode, the average speed of our large-file read and write tests was 32MB/s, which rose to 39.8MB/s in Raid 1 mode. Similarly, small files transferred at an average rate of 8.6MB/s in Raid 0 configurations, and 12.1MB/s when using the Raid 1 configuration.

These fast transfer speeds make it one of the best performing NAS devices we’ve reviewed, but it’s poor value for storage. For $360 you get just two 1TB disks, whereas you get two 2TB drives in Western digital’s superior my book live Duo 4TB.


Price: $360

Details: www.freecom.com

Verdict: This slightly cheap-looking NAS device is faster than many rivals, but it's expensive for the amount of storage it provides

Network storage device: 2x 1TB hard disk, 10/100/1000Mbit/s network connection, 2 USB ports, UPnP media, iTunes, USB disk, FTP servers

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