"Tiny Box with Big Features"4.0 starson by dlmiley
Pros: Easy to setup
External Web Interface
Cons: Only 1 Drive
No external SATA interface
Summary: I bought this little wonder out of curosity since it HP offers it at a steep 50% discount when you buy one of their PC's and I needed a PC for the rec room at the same time.. I have QNAP NAS that I use for my Request system to store movies and am genrally happy with it. However, QNAP's included software for backup is clunky and primitive. So, I decided to use this device to backup my PC's "normal" files as well as media. I felt that 640gb was fairly small, so I replaced it with 2TB drive I had handy. I am not the most mechanically inclined person but with the help of technie web site's instructions, I replaced the drive in about 5 minutes. I then needed to install the operating system on the new drive using the system recovery disk. This took about 20 minutes to format the drive, install the software on the server, and install the client software on the attached PC. I then istalled the Windows Home Server (WHS) software on the other machines in my network which took only about 5 minutes for each machine. Now, to using the server! (if you don't need the extra space you will literally be using the server in about 10 minutes!). Anyway, the HP interface runs on top of the WHS and gives you the following menu items: welcome, server summary, remote access, photo publsiher, media collector, features for mac, server for itunes, server online backup, twonky media, and a Mcafee TPS add-on. For my first step, I told the server to automatially backup all of my PC data. This took some time over night to back up about 500gb of data on various computers but once the first backup is done, the process doesn't take very long since the rest of the backups are incremental backups taking only what has changed. This was my primary purpose in using the device and and the server and software performed flawlessly. The only failure was my fault because I accidentally unplugged my laptop pwer cord and the laptop shutdown during the backup - WHS informed me of this and I used the "backup now" feature, which worked. I aslo turned on the media smart feature to gather my music files onto the server - it was surprisingly fast! I actually didn't really need this feature since my QNAP NAS has everything but it never hurts to have an extra backup of your music. I also turned on the remote access and it was also very simple to use - the server did most of the work! I expected a lot of technical goofs but I had my personal web site going in about 5 minutes. I was able to access the server remotely easily - accessing my files and music was a simple process (you need to setup a user account with a strong password - the software insists upon it). I haven't used the photo publisher so I can't comment on it. The above were mostly pro's. Now to the cons: it would be nice if this device had 2 internal drives (you can step up to one of EX modules if you want multiple drives but they are more expensive and they are not discounted). I think that HP could give folks 1TB without driving up the cost too much. And the external dirve support is a bit lame with only USB connections which are pretty slow (I may still use one of them for backup drive functionality). Finally, the add-in for McAfee software really isn't necessary - you can tell one of your PC's virus software to scan your server instead of using the add-in. But these cons aside, I would highly recommend this device to the home user with 2-5 computers who wants an easy to setup device for media collection and data backup. And a big thumbs up to Windows Home Server - most folks probably never heard of it, which is a shame since Microsoft really hit a home run with multi-function easy to use system! Snap up this little wonder now - especially if you are in the market for additional PC as well.