To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Freecom Network Drive XS 500GB review

Freecom Network Drive XS 500GB
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £84
inc VAT

With slow performance, limited features and a low capacity, the XS is poor value even at this low price.


0 disk bays, 500GB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

The Freecom Network Drive XS is a distinctive looking NAS with its soft, rubberised case. The case was ill-fitting on our test sample though, with visible gaps showing the 500GB hard disk underneath. At least the gaps might help with ventilation a little. There are further ventilation holes at the top, but even so, the rubber case may cause the disk to get very hot. Unlike other rubberised Freecom products, there’s no fan, so to be safe we’d suggest keeping it in a well-ventilated place.

Freecom Network Drive XS 500GB

The XS fared poorly in our file transfer tests. It was one of the slowest NAS devices we’ve seen recently, writing large files at 9.7MB/s and reading them at 13.2MB/s. Small files were written at 6MB/s and read at 5.6MB/s. You’ll need the patience of a saint if you’re copying lots of data to and from the XS.

Unusually for a NAS, the XS has a Type-B USB port so it can be connected directly to a computer. This feature could allow you to copy lots of files to the XS more quickly before attaching it to the network in the normal way.

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the XS’s inability to act effectively as a UPnP media server. A high definition H.264 video clip stored on the XS suffered from dropped frames and a loss of audio-video sync when played using a network media player. These problems even occurred when we tried playing a standard definition video. Despite Freecom’s claims of iTunes compatibility, the iTunes server didn’t appear in iTunes in our tests.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Price £84
Rating **


Capacity 500GB
Formatted capacity 466GB
Default file system ext3
Price per gigabyte £0.17
Interface SATA2
3.5in drive bays 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0
RAID modes N/A


Ethernet ports 1
USB direct access ports (front/rear) 0/1
Other USB ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Other ports none


Ethernet connection speed 10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play support yes
UPnP media server yes
Print server no
USB disk server no
Web server no
FTP server yes
Protocols supported TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, FTP


Size 40x113x180mm
Weight 860g
Vertical positioning no
Ethernet cable included yes
Additional features BitTorrent manager
Power consumption idle 9W
Power consumption active 11W

Buying Information

Price £84
Warranty one year RTB

Read more