Promise SmartStor NS4600 NAS device
Promise's SmartStor NS4600 NAS offers up to 8TB of storage
- Fast, Snapshot backup and NAS replication options, DLNA compatibility, sleek design
- Can't use external hard drives that don't have their own power supply, poor software and Web-based interfaces, flimsy drive rails
Promise's NAS device for homes and small businesses is great as a central storage device, thanks to fast throughput speeds. Unfortunately, it's let down by a poor set-up process and an odd plug-in system.
Price$ 700.00 (AUD)
The Promise SmartStor NS4600 4-bay network-attached storage (NAS) device can provide up to 8TB of storage for the home or a small business. It performed well in our file transfer tests and has an attractive design. However the configuration software and Web interface are difficult to use and its backup options could be improved.
The Promise SmartStor NS4600 is certainly one of the sleeker looking NAS devices we've seen, with rounded edges and a glossy black case. Neon blue LEDs indicate disk power and operation, as well as network and general activity. The only physical button on the SmartStor's front panel initiates the scheduled Snapshot one-touch backup function, which provides up to four restore points on a specified volume.
On the back of the SmartStor NS4600 NAS device there is a Gigabit Ethernet port, a power button, two USB ports and an eSATA port. The USB ports can be used to access flash drives and share USB printers. Unfortunately, they won't work with external hard drives that don't have an external power supply, and the USB and eSATA ports don't support HFS or NTFS file systems; only FAT32 and EXT3 support is available.
Despite the attractive design, the SmartStor NS4600 NAS device's build quality could be improved. It has a plastic feel and employs small plastic rails instead of the larger drive trays found on the Proware DN-500A-CM and QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS. Promise claims the rails prevent drive vibration, but we haven't noticed this problem on other NAS devices.
Screwing drives into the rails can be difficult and inserting and removing the drives isn't easy either; we would have preferred metal trays instead. Drive bays can't be locked individually, but you can lock the drive bay door to keep out prying hands. The drives are hot-swappable and can be configured to RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10; there is no JBOD option.
The set-up process isn't as intuitive as it is with friendlier NAS devices like the Western Digital Sharespace. The SmartStor NS4600 NAS device isn't visible on a network until drive volumes are configured, which can be done through the accompanying SmartNAVI software. The software discovers available NAS devices and provides an icon-based replacement for the Web interface. It can be used on either Windows PCs or Macs.
SmartNAVI allows you to set up the drive's volumes, configure basic media and download functions, manage user settings and set quotas, as well as share folders. Unfortunately, we often found ourselves resorting to the Web interface to make even basic changes. The DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) server and the download functions, for instance, are both disabled by default and must be enabled from within the plug-in manager, which is only available through the Web interface. The Web interface has an archaic design, but it at least provides the options that are required to get the NAS device fully functional.
iTunes and UPnP server capabilities are offered, and you can stream to DLNA-compatible devices. eDonkey and BitTorrent downloads can be scheduled, and backup options include the Snapshot feature and NAS-to-NAS replication.
The Promise SmartStor NS4600 NAS device was quite fast during our tests. In Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit it performed well in the HD playback and Restore tests, achieving read speeds of 38 megabytes per second and 65.4MBps, respectively. Write-based backup tasks were slightly slower, averaging 27MBps.
With four 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives configured in RAID 0, the NAS device wrote 20GB worth of 3-4GB files at a rate of 35.5MBps, read them at 63.3MBps, and performed a simultaneous read/write task at 19.5MBps. In a small file transfer test — copying 3GB of 1MB individual files — it wrote at 22.5MBps, read at 28.3MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write at 11.9MBps.
Though it looks sleek and is very quick, the Promise SmartStor NS4600 NAS device is let down by poor software. We were also disappointed that we couldn't back up external hard drives.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Intel's Core i9 and X299 enable crazy RAID configurations for a price
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTDigital Business Analyst | PermanentQLD
- FTAutomation SpecialistOther
- CCMultiple Front End Developers - BRISBANE - Angular 2 | Bootstrap | jQueryNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- TPSolution Architect | Azure | CRMQLD
- FTLAMP Stack Developer/ PHP DeveloperOther
- FTSoftware Engineer - Content Design NetworkOther
- FTChange Implementation ManagerOther
- FTBI BA Consultant l Microstrategy, Business ObjectsNSW
- CCSenior Automation Test AnalystQLD
- FTJunior Java developerACT
- FTSupport AnalystOther
- FTWeb Developer | 6- 12mths ContractOther
- FTPractice Director Design – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- TPBusiness Process AnalystVIC
- FTEmail Marketing Specialist/ Campaign SpecialistOther
- FTSales Lead / Sales Executive - Enterprise IT Healthcare Perm - North RydeNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorOther
- FTJunior .Net DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - eCommerceOther
- FTSolution Architect - SecurityVIC
- FTSenior Project Manager - Transmission and RAN DeploymentsOther
- FTIntegration Specialist - TIBCOOther
- FTSenior HFC EngineerNSW
- FTOnsite Helpdesk TechnicianOther