Pros Plug in and follow directions and its easy to use.
LOTS of room for expansion of storage.
Cost effective solution for home user.
Cons Not able to plug in free standing driver to copy directly to/from via eSata port.
No hard copy directions - you have to use the guide on the computer, which you can only access about half way through set up.
Not a fan of the interface for movies.
Summary I'm not sure why other folks are having such a hard time with this. I plugged it in and it has been backing up my computers with no problem. I am able to access the music files and video files from remote locations using all the included software. ... its not as graphically pleasing as I would want, but its functional and works.
I have two desktops at home, a laptop, two x-boxes and an itouch. It works with all of them as advertised.
I'm going to be VERY VERY selective in what add-ins I put on this though, as there is really no way to tell what's going to "break" the software.
For $650.00 its a resonable solution to backup and a VERY nice option for storing/streaming all of my media. But before you think that's ALL its going to cost don't forget to start including the extra drives your giong to install. :) Your really looking at a box that's going to run you closer to $1,000 with @7 TB of storage.
Pros + Operating system never crashes
+ Hardware seems pretty stable/reliable
+ Good overall system performance
+ Expanding user base and add-ins are attractive
+ Support for Mac Time Capsule backups
Cons - Included software is horribly unreliable: Twonky media server software just quits, the "automatic" conversion of decrypted dvd's fails repeatedly, the iPhone streaming doesn't work
- HP infrequently updates software
- Limited to 10 devices
Summary I have a mixed network environment, with 2 Macs, 4 PCs, Sonos sound boxes, xbox, Wii, PS3, iphone, and ipod touches. I am using the EX495 to centrally store and manage our music/video content and perform all backups. The "value added" software that is included is, unfortunately, rubbish (with the exception of Time Capsule backup). I have tversity running on an old XP box that is WAY more reliable than the flaky Twonky software, which rarely gets updated by HP. The iphone software never seems to be able to connect, my Bravia TV can't get the DNLA feed from the EX495 (but gets it from the TVersity box), etc. It is hard to get online support from HP, and they don't make it easy to contact them. I really like what Microsoft has done with WHS, though, and I do like the TIme Capsule support. My Sonos boxes can now read from the server and stream music flawlessly. Speed is overall good. The rubbish McAfee antivirus does not download updates and needs to be removed.
Overall, I had high hopes, but came away disappointed. Don't waste your money on the HP box until they fix the software. Windows homeserver rocks -- I would recommend buying one. Find good third party solutions for Time Capsule support and for Streaming video, forget about the iPhone stuff for a while, and you will be happier.
Pros The EX495 has more features that my older EX475 version. But I primarily use this WHS to perform backups. Performance is the most noticeable feature that exceeds the EX475. The "Wake Server" feature from local clients is a feature I use regularily.
Cons The power management features of the EX495 and clients does not work. The server "Wake time" always work. The "Sleep time" only works once until the next "Shutdown" or "Restart". When client backups get performed are unpredictable.
Summary Being an owner of both a EX495 and a EX475 server, I experience that my manual method of doing backups with the EX475 was more power efficient than trying to use the power management feature of the EX495. I thought we created computer to do those mundane tasks that have to be performed over-n-over :-(.
The "Wake This Computer For Backups" client feature would wake the computer just fine. But once the backup was complete, the computer would continue to run rather than "Sleep" or "Hibernate". Many times the backup would never start and the client would only "Sleep"/"Hibernate" on its power management cycle which has been OS specific.
In trying to diagnose these issues, I tried downloading the "Toolkit 1.1" and found the "Event Viewer" didn't have any information on what the status of what the Backup service what performing. The "options" for the "Backup" component was set to "Verbose", which didn't help at all.
There have been no firmware updates since Feb 2010 and I have had a case open on the "Sleep"/"Wake" time issue since 8/16/2010.
BTW, all my clients are HPs computers, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. I am really thinking about looking for a UNIX solution at this time. I also agree that one should save their money until HP/Microsoft corrects these issues.
"Amazing---"on by Catherine_1989
"Great server"on by mmv99
Pros Small and reliable
Cons Admin interface very slow
Summary This is a great buy for the money. I steam all kinds of media in the house and this server does a good job.