Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440

Pros: LED display on drive, two Gigabit Ethernet ports
Cons: Slightly expensive
Performance: A-
Ease of Setup: A
Features: B+
Value: B+
Price: $1,200

The BlackArmor NAS 440 from Seagate is a secure, four-drive NAS that also sets up quickly and easily. It comes in a table-top box configuration, 6.3 inches wide by 8.2 inches high by 10.6 inches deep. Although shelf space tends to be as rare a commodity as rack space, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a spot for this device. The version we reviewed had four 1T drives for a total capacity of 4T.

In this GCN Lab comparison report:

NAS appliances cover the middle ground of extra storage
What Is A RAID?
A breakdown on common RAID configurations
Buffalo TeraStation III
LaCie 5big Network
Sans Digital EliteNAS
WD ShareSpace
Gaining Virtual V-locity

The BlackArmor has two Gigabit Ethernet ports that together provide port failover redundancy — if one port fails the other will take over without an interruption. There are also a total of four USB ports, one in the front, three in the back. Those ports can connect to additional hard drives or a printer, all of which the BlackArmor can share with its users.

One of the features that we appreciated was the LCD front-panel display. This standard-size, two-row-by-16-character display came in handy as we were setting up and testing the BlackArmor. It displays network settings, fan speed and temperature, to name a few variables it tracks. It even told us that the cooling fan had stopped spinning, which allowed us to attend to it before the appliance overheated.

We found setup to be easy. We just hooked up the network connection and power and then inserted the software disk into a networked computer. The BlackArmor Discovery application quickly found the appliance, and with one click, we were redirected to the Web-based administration interface. From there, we were able to create share folders and user accounts, groups and permissions. Of course, after we made it a member of a particular domain, it automatically synced with that domain’s Active Directory service.

The BlackArmor came set up with all four 1T disks configured in RAID 5, with options for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, or a JBOD (just a bunch of disks) span.

The unit comes with its own backup software, BlackArmor Backup. With it, we could schedule a backup of any files on a computer with the software installed. The appliance comes with 10 licenses, which would probably cover servers and heavy users. You can purchase as many as 40 additional licenses for BlackArmor.

In our file transfer tests, the BlackArmor's download rates were in the middle of a tight pack, at 54.13 megabits/sec. However, for uploads it fell a bit behind, coming in at 53.63 megabits/sec.

The Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 with 4T costs $1,200, which is slightly higher than we would have liked but still not a bad price.

Seagate, 408-328-2247, www.seagate.com

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.


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