Well now I finally have a working Freecom Network Drive (http://www.geekonthepc.com/2008/12/12/the-final-freecom-network-drive-update/), I thought its only fair to post a real review for it.
So, I’m reviewing the Freecom Network Drive 500GB (available from http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3402&CatID=8020&sCatID=1146266&ssCatID=1147446)
For a drive costing just under £80 plus a bit of delivery, it’s really quite good value. You get a 500GB drive, 10/100MB ethernet connectivity, USB connectivity, a local FTP server which can be made available all over the internet via port forwarding on your router, adjustable IP configuration, seperate directories, and a couple of other things you don’t really notice.
There are a few pros and cons…
- Very good value for money
- Huge amounts of storage
- Useful powersave option
- FTP (local and internet-wide)
- Generally does the job fine
- Occasionally crashes
- Powersave option doesn’t totally turn it off
- Gets quite hot due to it not having a fan
- Only capable of about 2mbps when uploading to drive which isn’t rocket speed
- FAT32 formatting means the dreaded 4GB file size limit; change it to NTFS and you won’t be able to access it over LAN (only USB)
So it does have it’s good and bad bits, but overall it does the job fine. It does get noticeably hot so beware of that but its not caused any problems so far. I believe it shouldn’t be a problem because the alliminium casing is designed to allow heat to flow through the device. On the upside, the lack of fan means electricity usage is very low.
I’d recommend it to most people as long as your not storing files more than 4GB per file.
General thoughts: Very good for most people, ideal as a home storage solution. Maybe not so useful for people who store DVDs on their hard disks, for example.
Update 3.2.09: Since I did this post back in December, Freecom have increased the price of this drive. However, the drive itself is still the same and they have not modified it.