Advertisement
Advertisement

Seagate BlackArmor 440 2TB review

Alan Lu
13 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
565
inc VAT

Seagate's BlackArmor NAS is fast, has plenty of storage and is good value.

Advertisement

Specifications

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

The BlackArmor is the first network-attached storage (NAS) device we've seen from hard disk manufacturer Seagate.

It's aimed at home office and small business users rather than home users. Everyone can appreciate its low cost per gigabyte of 26p, though, which is good value for an expandable 2TB NAS.

The BlackArmor comes with two 1TB hard disks, and has space for a further two disks. Surprisingly for a NAS aimed at businesses, the BlackArmor's four easily accessible disk trays can't be locked to deter thieves. In RAID 0 configuration, 2TB of storage is available, but if a disk fails, you'll lose all your data. Using RAID 1 halves the available storage, but if a disk fails, your data remains safe.

File copying was consistently quick in both RAID 0 and 1 configurations, placing this NAS device among the fastest we've seen. Like QNap's TS-439 Pro, it supports RAID 5 if you add more disks. With four disks fitted, you can use RAID 10, where two RAID 1 arrays combine as a single RAID 0 array. Only half the total disk capacity is available for storage, but both disks in either RAID 1 array must fail for you to lose any data. RAID 10 is meant to be a little faster than the similar RAID 6 (again, see page 42) but we've never seen a NAS that supports both to make a proper comparison.

Configuring the BlackArmor is easy thanks to the uncluttered and logically organised web configuration interface. Creating user accounts and organising them into groups takes longer than it should, though. The controls for assigning storage quotas for users and to set which folders they can access are in two further pages.

The small, front-mounted display allows you to check essential information quickly, such as the BlackArmor's IP address. You can set the device to notify you of any problems automatically by email. There's also UPS support, so the 440 can shut down safely without the risk of data loss in the event of a power cut.

We had no trouble using the BlackArmor to share a USB printer or the contents of a USB disk across our network. You can even determine who can use the USB ports. Although it's a business NAS, Seagate has included iTunes and UPnP media servers. The iTunes server refused to work, while the UPnP media server worked only when we changed the name of the designated media folders as prescribed, for example, renaming 'Shared Music' to 'Our Music'.

A sophisticated backup program is included, allowing up to 10 users to back up their files to the BlackArmor. It's based on Acronis TrueImage and can back up a user's entire PC, or just a specified number or type of files, according to a schedule of your choice. You can set it to copy only those files that have changed since the last backup, which saves a lot of time. It's one of the best backup programs we've seen bundled with a NAS device.

Files stored on the BlackArmor can be accessed from any internet-connected computer through a web browser. Users can even upload files, although uploading multiple files using the webmail-style interface can be tedious. Controls allow you to set which remote users can access which folders, but these are separate from the main folder access settings. If you want the two to be the same, recreating the access permissions can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of remote users and folders.

Considering this is Seagate's first NAS, the BlackArmor is impressive. The media features feel like an afterthought, but the cost per gigabyte, good backup software, fast performance, quiet operation and generous three-year warranty make up for it. Less-demanding users will be satisfied with Western Digital's My Book World Edition, but if you need plenty of network storage, with room to add more, the BlackArmor is a great choice.

Basic Specifications

Price£565
Rating*****
AwardBusiness Buy

Storage

Capacity2x 1TB
Formatted capacity1860GB
Default file systemext3
Price per gigabyte£0.28
InterfaceSATA 300
3.5in drive bays4
Free 3.5in drive bays0
RAID modesRAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6

Interface

Ethernet ports2
USB direct access ports (front/rear)0/0
Other USB ports (front/rear)1/3
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Other portsnone

Networking

Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
UPnP media serveryes
iTunesyes
Print serveryes
USB disk serveryes
Web serverno
FTP serveryes
Protocols supportedTCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, FTP, NFS

Miscellaneous

Size206x162x255mm
Weight6.0kg
Vertical positioningyes
Ethernet cable includedyes
Additional featuresremote access
Power consumption active30W

Buying Information

Price£565
Warrantythree years collect and return
Supplierhttp://www.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.seagate.com

Read more

Reviews