Freecom's Network Drive Pro 500GB is a simple, portable network attached storage (NAS) device.

In exterior form the Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB is very similar to the USB/FireWire model - and just as portable.

Obviously, with the Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB being a single drive product you won't get RAID protection, but, it too is expandable via USB to allow the sharing of addition disk drives or printers.

If you were to run out of the Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB's disk space, you could easily add one of Freecom's USB–attached drives and keep things tidy with a consistent visual appearance.

The Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB's installation software looks slick. It isn't quite as simple as we'd like - you really do need to follow the printed guide. However, give in to reading the manual and all will proceed smoothly.

Like many other other NAS products, the Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB is administered via a web-based interface. It's a very clearly laid-out control panel with plenty of advanced features, such as FTP and HTTP servers, printer sharing and even a Bittorrent client which can take care of those overnight downloads while your PC is turned off.

Individual users can also connect to the Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB via the web to gain access to their own files, via a similar browser-based interface.

Backup is provided by NTI Shadow Backup software, which can be configured to run automatically or at the touch of a button.

OUR VERDICT

A small, neat yet expandable product, the Freecom Network Drive Pro 500GB allows you to share files on your network and provide a centralised backup solution at a low cost.