Freecom Dual Drive Network Center 2TB review

Alan Lu
20 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Freecom's Dual Drive Network Center isn't a bad NAS, but it's not especially fast and there are better value alternatives available



2 disk bays, 1TB+1TB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Freecom's Dual Drive Network Center is a network attached storage (NAS) device equipped with a pair of 1TB hard disks. It's an attractive NAS thanks to its simple aluminium design.

The 1TB disks can be used as a RAID 0 array providing 2TB of storage, but if a single disk fails then you'll lose all your data. Alternatively they can be used as a RAID 1 array, which halves the available storage but protects your files if a disk goes under. The disks are mounted in easily removable trays that slide out from the rear, and you can lock them to deter casual thieves. The fan is a little noisy, but you won't hear it from under a desk or in a cabinet.

Freecom Dual Drive Network Center 2TB rear

File transfer performance wasn't unbearably slow, but the Dual Drive is far from the fastest NAS we've seen. When configured as RAID 0 large files were copied at an average speed of 19MB/s, while small files were transferred at an overall speed of 8.5MB/s. RAID 1 performance was almost identical to RAID 0. It's just quick enough for most tasks, but you should leave large backups running overnight.

Configuring the Dual Drive is generally straightforward, but there are some oddities in the web management interface. Creating a user account and setting that user a quota so they don't gobble up all the available storage can be done from a single screen. There's no way to organise users into groups for easier administration, but this will only be a problem for large networks. Unlike most NAS devices where you grant each user access to particular shared folders from the user management screen, here this is done from the shared folders screen. It's a subtle change, but it's likely to be confusing if you've owned a NAS before.

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