I get a lot of Google searches relating to the Freecom Network Drive and Linux. They seem to relate to not being able to get it work properly, but I haven’t really posted much about the FND on Linux because… I just don’t use Linux. So for the benefit of my readers, I decided I’d take a leap of faith and download an ISO of Ubuntu just to see whether I could get it going.
And, frankly, I’m not totally sure what all the fuss is about. People seem to claim that they can’t access the drive or the config panel for it. But I didn’t have any problem at all – I just got Ubuntu working and connected to my wifi and it almost worked immediately. I could get to my network drive config panel at 192.168.1.2 (in my case, different users have different IPs) – just logged in as normal and it went easy peasy. Then as for getting to files, the Network window detected my drive most of the time and displayed all the folders and if not I could just do a local FTP and that worked just fine.
I’m not sure if people were/are having problems with other versions of Linux… but I mean it shouldn’t really make much difference. If you want to drop me a line or leave a comment with your Network Drive Ubuntu related problem and I’ll happily investigate for you. At the moment, I just don’t see much of a problem, so I need some more details.
If you are having problems, let me know and I’ll look into it for you.
I get a lot of Google searches from people who want to know the difference between the Freecom Network Drive and the Freecom Network Drive Pro. So in this post, I’m going to explain the differences.
Well, other than the price, there aren’t a huge list of noticeable differences. The first thing I can see is that there is only FTP support on the Network Drive, which means that it is only accessible via public FTP on the internet. However, the Network Drive Pro has FTP and HTTP access, which means people could access it as a normal webserver if they wanted to.
The next thing that you’ll see is that the Network Drive Pro has Gigabit LAN, and the Network Drive doesn’t. This means that the Pro will have slightly faster transfer speeds, both locally and over the internet. Gigabit LAN is capable of 1000 megabit transfer speeds (potentially, it won’t ever happen) whilst megabit LAN is only capable of 100 megabit speeds (again, potentially).
The Network Drive Pro has a cooling fan, whilst the Network Drive doesn’t. This means that the Network Drive may overheat occasionally if it is constantly used (however I have never experienced this with my Network Drive). The upside to not having a fan is that the drive does use less electricity, but I doubt there is much of a difference.
Both products come with the NTI Shadow backup system – which I hate – but some people may find it useful and it does actually work.
So, if you need to make a decision put it this way – if you need a high capacity occasional-use Network Drive for occasional internet access (but generally home use) by the Network Drive. But, if you need a faster, more powerful and more internet-accessible system, go for the Network Drive Pro.
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.
At last! A large package from CCL delivery arrived on my doorstep arrived on my doorstep today.
And thank god… rejoice… the heavens have opened, its here! The brand new drive is here, and it works!
And it’s not bad at all. It works at about 2mbps file upload and download so its not so bad. Its not Gigabit ethernet but still its relatively good.
I can stop complaining about it now!
Well after an almost unbelievable 2 months and 3 contact attempts I finally have a return slip.
I contacted them for a third time today using their online returns form and to double check I rung them up after I’d sent the RMA request to be 100% sure they got it.
Finally, late aternoon yesterday, I got a response via email. They have finally sent me the return slip. After 2 months of contact attempts!
Anyhow, I checked the RMA to make sure its all correct. All good. Sadly, the terms and conditions weren’t so excititng. Firstly, I only have 14 days to get the ruddy thing to them or the request is void and I wont get a replacement. Kinda sad? But worst of all, I have to pay postage to get it to them! They refuse to pay the postage and packaging to get it to them so I had to pay £10 to get it over to them first class.
So I’m still not really happy, but we’ll see what happens when the drive gets to them. I’ll be off to the Post Office today to send it over there.