Freecom DataTank Gateway WLAN 2TB review

£480
Price when reviewed

Freecom’s DataTank Gateway WLAN comes as a welcome change from the legion of dour, black, workmanlike NAS drives.

Look at the rear and the Freecom reveals a unique talent too: a built-in wireless router. Twin antennas provide 802.11bg wireless with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption. Four Gigabit Ethernet sockets at the rear are complemented by a WAN port for hooking up to an ADSL or cable modem. The WLAN option makes it easy to access files stored on the Freecom from any wireless-enabled PC.

The web interface is a great example, too. Clean design and a sensible menu structure make it easy to navigate the Freecom’s myriad options, and also allows users to access and download data stored on the DataTank.

The TwonkyVision media server doesn’t come with iTunes support, but the Freecom has very little missing elsewhere. Web hosting is on the agenda, with MySQL and PHP support present, and there’s a BitTorrent client.

It isn’t perfect, though. The twin 1TB drives provide plenty of storage and RAID0 and RAID1 are supported for striped or mirrored arrays. But replacing a faulty drive requires the unit to be shipped back to Freecom. Performance is a problem too. Transferring 3GB of large files to and from the DataTank saw speeds of just 12MB/sec and 13MB/sec respectively. Small files saw those figures drop even further.

Despite this, it isn’t the end of the road for the DataTank: if you can take advantage of its extensive range of abilities and don’t mind the sluggish performance, it just about justifies its price tag.

Basic specifications

Capacity 1.00TB
Cost per gigabyte 18.0p
RAID capability yes
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
Default filing system EXT3

Services

FTP server? yes
UPnP media server? yes
Other media servers DLNA
Print server? yes
Web hosting? yes
BitTorrent client? yes
Timed power-down/startup? no
HIbernate on idle? no

Connections

Ethernet ports 2
USB connection? yes
eSATA interface no

Physical

Dimensions 200 x 96 x 124mm (WDH)

Security and administration

Kensington lock slot? yes
Admin support for users yes
Admin support for groups yes
Email alerts no

Software

Software supplied Acronis TrueImage Home 10

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