Dutch storage vendor Freecom has launched a new RAID storage box for consumers looking for a simple alternative to tangling with complicated backup software and scheduling.

As its name suggests, the Dual Drive Network Center [PDF] is a two-drive Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive that comes in 2Tb, 3Tb and 4Tb capacities, configurable in RAID 0, 1 and 2. The redundant option is RAID 1 where everything on one drive is mirrored on to the second drive which halves capacity but offers maximum data security for this class of device.

Alternatively, to use the full capacity of the drive, RAID 0 configures the two drives a single logical volume while RAID 2 sets the drives up as separate volumes. Users can also buy the enclosure on its own and just add their own drives.

As an alternative to backup, the drive could be used as a single drive for valued files, safe in the knowledge that each was being copied automatically. If one drive fails another identical one can be slotted into the enclosure even if the drive is turned on at the time.

As well as backup the Network Center can also function as a download system, running the supplied BitTorrent client and it will also work as a UPnP/DLNA box for media streaming. Inside, the Network Center runs Linux on an ARM 9 chip with a Gigabit uplink.

Unlike some network-attached storage drives, the Freecom claims to be quiet and frugal in terms of power consumption.

“The different configuration options let users set up a system that works best for them, whether it’s to safely backup precious photos or maximise the amount of storage capacity they have for movies and music,” said Freecom’s managing director, Axel Lucassen.

In truth, home NAS drives are ten a penny nowadays and price and capacity are often the major selling issues. Ease of use is often an unknown but Freecom says it has included simple wizard configuration to guide the inexpert user.

The Dual Drive Network Center costs £299.00 (2TB), £379.00 (3TB), and £459.00 (4TB). The enclosure on its own costs £119.