Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 review

Price when reviewed

The BlackArmor is Seagate’s first business NAS appliance. It focuses on SoHos and SMBs with value, easy management and data protection as key features.

The NAS 440 is a four-bay desktop box with a pair of 1TB SATA drives. These were configured as a mirror, but it also supports stripes, RAID5 and JBODs. Drives are hot-swappable and the NAS 440 incorporates a user-replaceable power supply and fan assembly.

Installation is easy. The BlackArmor Discovery utility hunts the appliance down on the network and provides quick access to share-mapping and backup tools, as well as the main web interface. Compared with Synology’s and QNAP’s swish Ajax-based interfaces, the NAS 440 is a sparse affair, but it does make for easy access to each feature.

For access security the appliance has its own local user database and can integrate with an AD domain. Along with share access restrictions you can apply quotas to limit disk usage, and Seagate’s Global Access service allows shares to be accessed remotely over the internet.

Users can associate their Global Access account with their username. From the Global Access website they can access their own shares remotely and upload and download files.

Seagate includes its BlackArmor Backup, which is based on Acronis’ disk-imaging software and includes ten user licences. This is for workstation backup only and doesn’t support Windows Server systems.

Its one-button backup routine secures the system volume and MBR to the appliance. It found the NAS 440 automatically, created a new folder using our Vista system’s computer name and copied the data across.

Along with scheduled full and incremental disk and partition imaging, the software provides disaster recovery for bare metal restores. To test this we backed up the system partition and MBR to the NAS 440 and then created a bootable CD. The hard disk was then replaced with a new one and the system booted into the BlackArmor Backup environment. This provided a GUI that was identical to the Windows version, and from there we browsed the network for our backup files on the appliance and restored them to the new location. An hour later and we had the Vista system and all its applications fully reinstated.

For general network performance the NAS 440 isn’t the fastest in its class, but it’s no slouch. A 2.52GB video clip from a Broadberry dual 2.8GHz Xeon X5560 server returned average read and write speeds of 47MB/sec and 27MB/sec. FTP speeds were in the same ball park, with the FileZilla client utility reporting speeds of 45MB/sec and 23MB/sec.

Compared with Buffalo’s keenly priced TeraStation III, the BlackArmor is great value, costing over £100 less. Businesses that want an easy-to-use NAS appliance that provides solid data backup and recovery facilities should take a closer look.

Basic specifications

Cost per gigabyte26.0p
RAID capabilityyes
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


FTP server?yes
UPnP media server?yes
Other media serversiTunes
BitTorrent client?no


USB connection?yes
eSATA interfaceno


Dimensions160 x 269 x 207mm (WDH)

Security and administration

Admin support for usersyes
Admin support for groupsyes
Admin support for disk quotasyes
Email alertsyes


Software suppliedBlackArmor Discovery, Backup

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