Datto ZR Series Network Storage and Offsite Backup Lightning Review

The Gadget: An updated version of Datto's previous backup system, which still has the offsite network backup, but adds Gigabit Ethernet, RAID and ZFS (among a few other things). It's targeted towards home businesses, professionals and small offices where they need a convenient internet backup service that's automated and easy to use, and can deliver their files back to them quickly when their drives fail.

The Price:

The Verdict: Good, but expensive. The Z-series has all of the online features as the previous version, but improves the hardware with a few important changes. Most notably, the really loud fan has been swapped out with something that doesn't annoy the hell out of you. There's also Gigabit Ethernet (real nice), and RAID (only on some versions). The web interface is also refined, allowing you more options to tweak backup times and how much bandwidth you're allocating so you don't slow down everyone else on your connection.

So yes, it's a pretty good setup, but that price point is really high. You can get a standard 1TB NAS elsewhere for about half the $US1149 Datto's charging ($US899 if you don't want RAID). But the real draw is how easy the online backup is. You don't even have to think about it—the unit just takes care of everything right out of the box. While the unit cost and relatively high monthly fee may be too rich for regular consumers, businesses and professionals who really need to keep their data secure might just think it a small price to pay for peace of mind. [Datto]

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