• Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good

  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: Nov 9, 2013

Review Summary:

PROS: Very easy to set-up and use. Built-in drive failure protection. Can utilize different types of hard drives. All the needed cables included.

CONS: Uses USB 2.0 and FireWire 800, instead of newer technologies. Limited speeds which make this product not comparable with new generation of RAID systems.

Drobo scr1 You’ve probably heard all about the importance of having a reliable backup solution, and hopefully you’re using one. Regardless if you use Mac OS X and its Time Machine, or a Windows with built-in backup system, you still need an external drive big enough to save all of your data. Many people think that this is somewhat complicated to choose, buy, set up, and maintain, so many turn to traditional solutions. These solutions are choosing your important files and keeping them on a USB or external hard drive, or even burning them to DVDs. Even though this is somewhat safe solution, it does take a lot of time and effort to transfer your files and add new ones from time to time. This is why there are modern RAID solutions which are usually an investment, but which are probably the safest and the most reliable backup solution for Macs and Windows PCs.

In this article we are bringing you a review of Drobo, a well-known backup storage array. It’s been on a market for a while now and during that time it offered several generations of products. It wasn’t particularly popular at the beginning, but the latest generation can pair up with some very serious competition. Drobo is actually a product line divided into two categories: products made for personal use, and the other are those intended for professionals. We will be reviewing basic Drobo, which is the most affordable one. Besides this one, there’s Drobo Mini, 5D, and 5N which are all more powerful, as well as much more expensive models.

Drobo scr2

Basic Drobo is a storage array which feature four hard drive slots, which is just enough for a home users. It supports up to 16TB of storage space, which means that you can place 4 hard drives with 4TB each. You should know that you won’t have 16TB of free space, since Drobo uses some space as a security protection and formatting, which will leave you with 10.89TB. This is not unusual, since most backup solutions operate the same way.

It is very easy to set-up Drobo. All you need to do is to open the lid, located on its front side, and you will see four empty slots. Probably the best thing about this product is that you can place four completely different drives, and it will still works flawlessly. This means that you can freely combine different drives with different storages, speeds, and even completely different types. You can also remove a drive and add a new one while Drobo is in use. It will let you how much free space you’ve got by a bar of small LEDs, and it also features four large LEDs for each of the drive in use.

Drobo scr3
It is very easy to set-up this Drobo, and to use it as well. You can easily program it to work with Time Machine, and you can use some of its space as an external storage. The only problem is that is uses USB 2.0 as well as FireWire 800 instead of Thunderbolt or USB 3.0, which greatly limits its speed and performance.


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