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Seagate BlackArmor NAS 220 4TB review

Alan Lu
3 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
212
inc VAT

Lots of storage at a low price, but make sure you can live with its limitations before you buy.

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Specifications

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

Seagate makes the hard disks that are fitted inside this NAS, which perhaps explains why the company is able to offer 4TB of storage for just £212. That's just a little over 5p per gigabyte, making it the most economical NAS we've ever seen.

The pair of 2TB disks can be configured as either RAID 0 or 1. Advanced users will be disappointed to discover that the BlackArmor isn't designed to be user serviceable. If a disk fails, you'll have to send it back to Seagate for servicing – attempting to do so yourself will void the lengthy three year warranty. This means there'll be a delay in getting back up and running after a hardware failure. Although less tech-savvy users may be happy to let Seagate do all the hard work, it's a shame the case isn't more easily accessible for more confident users willing to take the risk.

Seagate BlackArmor NAS 220 4TB

File transfer performance wasn't as quick as we had hoped. When configured as RAID 0, large files were transferred at an average speed of 12.5MB/s, which isn't especially fast. Small files were copied at a sluggish overall speed of 5.8MB/s. When configured as RAID 1, large files were transferred at a painfully slow average speed of 11MB/s, while small files were copied at an unremarkable overall speed of 6.5MB/s. You'll need to be patient if you regularly copy lots of data to and from the BlackArmor.

Setup is straightforward but the web administration interface could be better. The grey-on-white text can be a little hard to read, while the interface itself can be slightly confusing. It's possible to create user accounts and organise them into groups, but the process is a little convoluted, with the controls for giving users storage quotas and deciding which folders they can access spread over multiple pages.

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