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Freecom Network Drive XS 500GB review

Alan Lu
27 Mar 2011
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.

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Specifications

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 10.1.2.17 in our tests.

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