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This low cost 4-drive eSATA RAID enclosure is now the central store for all our music, pictures and video. If you are not familiar with RAID it is a technique for using more than one hard disk to protect against data loss due to hard disk failure and/or improve performance. For those of you who are familiar with RAID this neat box supports RAID 0,1,3,5 and 1+0.
It takes up to 4 3.5in hard drives (they must be the same capacity and preferably the same make and model) and each drive can have a maximum capacity of 2TB.
We have it filled with 4x2TB drives using RAID 5 for its data protection qualities and we get a total capacity of 5.45GB that is safe from any single drive failure.
Its USB2 and Firewire, it has a built in fan with 3 settings that is quiet and when set to "auto" hasn't got past setting 2 even though it is in a Hi-Fi unit.
It comfortably streams movies to our PC for display on our TV. Of course performance will depend on the drives you install into it, we went with 4 "Hitachi Deskstar 2TB Hard Drives SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache" which are fine but there may be better options out there now.
You'll need to factor in the cost of the drives. I recommend you go for the biggest drives you can afford since you cannot adjust the configuration without it cleaning the drives and deleting their contents.
During set up I experienced some problems but was helped by a friendly StarTech technical support guy over web text chat. He was very helpful and understanding. The problem turned out to be a faulty hard disk I bought to put in the enclosure - so good support and no problems to date.