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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth 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
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.
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.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer - IP routing & switchingNSW
- TPProject Manager | Applications and Project InitiationQLD
- FTsolution ArchitectNSW
- FTUrgent -Java Developer (Programmer). 3 different positionsACT
- FTUrgent -Java Developer (Programmer). 3 different positionsNSW
- FTSystem Engineer - VMWare, UCS, NetAppVIC
- FTReport Developer and Visualisation AnalystQLD
- FTImplementation Engineer - Cisco UCSWA
- FTManager, DevOpsQLD
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Dept of CommunitiesQLD
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- FTLead ArchitectVIC
- FTDemand Release ManagerNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTLead Drupal DeveloperQLD
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- FTTest AnalystSA
- FTSenior React DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW