Proware DN-500A-CM NAS device
Proware's NAS device has fast throughput speeds but is difficult to use.
- Fast throughput speeds, comprehensive connectivity, hardware is expandable with some DIY knowledge
- Slow Flash-based Web interface, messy interface design, noisy, difficult to setup and maintain
ProWare's DN-500A-CM is a utilitarian NAS device built for the technically adept. It can be difficult to configure, but it has fast throughput speeds and a lengthy feature list.
Price$ 1,599.00 (AUD)
Proware's DN-500A-CM isn't a NAS device for the feint-hearted. It looks and feels like a home-made attempt at network-attached storage construction wise, and it is also difficult to configure and maintain. If you are up to the configuration challenge, this device offers expandable storage options and has fast throughput speeds, as well as comprehensive RAID configurations and good media server features.
The DN-500A-CM NAS device is nothing exciting design wise with its boxy shape and grey colour scheme. On the front, it has status LEDs and an LCD screen to display network and RAID information. It also has five lockable and hot-swappable drive bays for 3.5in SATA II hard drives. Above the drive bays, a SATA II CD/DVD burner can also be installed and used to backup data, though it requires you to tinker with the internal components.
The back panel features connections suited more to a desktop PC than a NAS device — including D-Sub, serial, and PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, as well as 3.5mm headphone, microphone and line in jacks; an eSATA port allows you to attach external hard drives. There are also two available Gigabit Ethernet ports, which support both failover and load balancing.
Powered by an Intel Celeron 420 1.6GHz CPU, the DN-500A-CM NAS device doesn't have quite the same grunt as the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU found in the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS but it is adequate for this 5-bay storage device. Two DIMM slots support between 1GB and 4GB of DDR2 RAM. The CPU fan is very audible, and perhaps the biggest shortcoming of the Proware DN-500A-CM's build quality.
The initial setup of the DN-500A-CM NAS device can be very time consuming to work out, as well as confusing and complicated to understand. Even though its DHCP server is automatically disabled by default, our review unit assigned itself an IP address and separate gateway from the router, requiring us to reconfigure the rest of the network to suit. We also had to map the network drive manually as well, further evidence that this NAS device isn't easy to configure.
As found in other NAS devices we've tested Linksys by Cisco Media Hub NMH-405 Proware uses a Flash-based Web interface, but again this isn't easy to use. Large icons and a tab system make the interface easy to navigate but the individual NAS functions are scattered somewhat illogically within these tabs. Using Flash slows the interface as well, so we would have preferred a similar system built on HTML or AJAX.
The DN-500A-CM NAS device supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD drive configurations, but we performed all our tests using RAID 0. It has Web, FTP and DHCP servers. Furthermore, you can configure an iTunes, DLNA or photo server with a customised share location. This is a positive feature of the DN-500A-CM considering most NAS devices have a pre-configured source that can't be changed. It also has print server capabilities and a BitTorrent download interface although there are no scheduling options.
Individual users and user groups can be configured with quotas and specific share privileges. Unfortunately, each share volume has to be individually configured to work with Samba, NFS, AppleTalk and RSync file transfer protocols.
In the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit High Definition playback tests, the DN-500A-CM NAS device averaged a read speed of 56.5 megabytes per second (MBps) and the device was able to capably play back and record 720p video files simultaneously at a rate of 68MBps. Directory copy tasks, which are typically slower than other tests because they use more files, slowed to 11.8MBps for writing data and 28.2MBps for reading data.
We transferred 20GB worth of files sized at 3-4 gigabytes per second each between the ProWare DN-500A-CM NAS and a test PC running an Intel Core i7 965 and a Western Digital VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) hard drive. In this test, the DN-500A-C wrote at 43.5MBps, read at 40.4MBps, and performed a simultaneous read/write test at 19.4MBps.
A more intensive benchmark — transferring 3GB of individual 1MB files — was still reasonably fast too. It wrote at 33.3MBps, read at 31.6MBps and performed a read/write simultaneous task at 16.7MBps. These speeds aren't the fastest for a NAS device but are definitely competent for a 5-bay NAS device.
We certainly can't recommend the Proware DN-500A-CM to technical novices. It is confusing to setup and use, though the resulting performance is noteworthy. If you're looking for something to tinker with and expand, this NAS device is a reasonable choice.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- EC says LCD screen cartel is active globally
- Sharp to increase LCD panel production on higher demand
- Dick Smith report says Australians keen to switch to digital radio
- Samsung, Numonyx to develop PCM specifications
- Faster SD cards could reach devices next year
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- CCSolution Architect - VMwareVIC
- CCSAP Billing & Invoicing ConsultantNSW
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT
- CCDesktop RolloutVIC
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global BrandNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- CCPega DeveloperNSW
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- CCProject Manager - Telco Networks EngineeringVIC
- FTSenior Database AdministratorVIC
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - Tivoli Storage SpecialistNSW
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- FTHR Payroll ConsultantQLD
- FTMobile Gaming SupportQLD