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Item#: N82E16822240105

Drobo Network Attached Storage - 5 bay array with mSATA SSD acceleration - Gigabit Ethernet port (DRDS4A21)

  • 5-Bay
  • Usage Backup & stream media through personal cloud
  • Diskless System
  • 1 x 10/100/1000M

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the Drobo Drobo 5N (DRDS4A21)

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Drobo Drobo 5N (DRDS4A21)

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  • Moshe L.
  • 3/7/2016 11:39:38 AM

1 out of 5 eggsUnreliable

Pros: Great way to loose your data

Cons: - Unreliable hardware
- Unreliable software
- Don't get me started about technical support...

Other Thoughts: Couple of years ago when I was considering if I should get one, I read a review that advised against buying it, since it has a proprietary file system which means that if the hardware fails, you'll have to buy a new hardware from Drobo otherwise you will loose your data. I understood it, but thought what are the chances that the hardware will break? its not the disks themselves that have moving parts, its the box itself. What are the odds? Big mistake, big, huge.

About two years later occasionally the Drobo start complaining that one of the disks is out, every time a different disk. Then it started spontaneously rebooting.
Initially every couple of days and the cycles got shorter and shorter. Quickly it didn't manage to complete a boot.

Time to think: Should I give up on my data and buy a (more) reliable brand or should I consider my device as a lemon but keep my trust in the brand?
The drobo is out of warranty and buying a warranty is a significant percentage of the device. I decided to give my data a chance and bought another device. Mistake #2, an this one without an excuse. I should have known better.

The new device arrived and looking at the instructions about transferring disks to a new device (in cases where the previous device suddenly dies) require technical support. Not a good sign. I should have looked at it before I ordered the device, any way I contact support and they answer. To cut a long story short, more than two month later and couple of special firmware installed, I don't have my data. Drobo's best suggestion is that I would buy a drobo 5D, then perhaps they will be able to save my data, transfer it back to the 5N, and then I'll return the 5D and get a partial refund.

Your read me right, after their hardware failed. After their software failed, they want more money. The whole purpose of the device is to keep my data. You buy raid device to keep your data safe even in cases of hardware failure. Indeed I had one disk with errors, but that the whole purpose of the device, that once I put a new disk my data will be available.

As I started, the hardware is not reliable, the software is horrible (a raid software that cannot recover from a single disk partial failure), and the technical support has the nerve to ask for more money in the hope of saving my data.

So my advise: Don't buy it, and if you get it as a present, re-gift it to someone you really don't like.

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  • Anonymous
  • 1/10/2016 2:44:22 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsHome use on local LAN with Cat5 tie-in.

Pros: Easy setup.

Cons: Their application library is limited. Sometimes takes forever to find drive. Mostly the streaming is not constant with stalling during playback.

Other Thoughts: I'm not sure yet. Have had no problems but see above cons.

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  • Wayne W.
  • 8/17/2015 3:58:53 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsMore dribble from Drobo

Pros: None I can think of.

Cons: Does not work as advertised.

Other Thoughts: Bought this brand thinking it was good. Boy was I wrong! When connected via USB, the provided dashboard works as expected but don't bother to try to use as a NAS. It has all the ports and such but the dashboard will NEVER find your product.

Same issue as last item I bought and same response from their useless tech support; "I'm doing something wrong". I have more tech degrees than all the professors at MIT combined, yet I am too stupid to make this thing work. HA!

Don't buy Drobo! Don't do it.

0 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Ryan M.
  • 7/5/2015 11:22:38 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsFails and warranty unhelpful

Pros: It looks pretty - their marketing team does a good job, and it works fine for maybe a year. The Drobo apps seem interesting, but they don't really work that well, and there aren't very many to begin with.

Cons: It only works for maybe a year and then stops working, and the only way out is to contact support. Drobo support is the worst tech support I've ever had to deal with and I really am not exaggerating. I have never been put through such a frustrating runaround in my life. They constantly try to sell you extended Drobo support even though they agree that your device is still be under its original warranty. Actually honoring your warranty and fixing/replacing your Drobo must be the absolute last resort to them, so they are extremely reluctant to actually help you. If you care about having a reliable data backup system, please don't make the same mistake I did by buying this and look elsewhere for a better solution.

Other Thoughts: I would feel safer by simply putting my data on a simple spare external hard drive than trusting Drobo ever again.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

1 out of 5 eggsCompletely unreliable

Pros: Plug n play

Cons: This thing reboots all the time when you transfer large loads of data. Oh, did they tell you that the data on the disk is in a proprietary format. That's right, when your Drobo dies, you MUST buy another Drobo to get your data!!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Trevor T.
  • 5/14/2015 3:30:16 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsUpdate - Rebuild Experience

Pros: Easy to use. Can use varying drive types and sizes. Many different apps available. Compact. Quiet. Large capacity. Fast enough for HD media serving. Friendly rebuild process.

Cons: Not really for full time business use, with multiple users read/write simultaneously. Proprietary RAID system. Not as fast as it probably could be, considering the Gigabit LAN and SSD feature. Software is very basic. Can be confusing to update firmware. Use the CAT6 cable it ships with! (wasted a lot of time with my own bad cable)

Other Thoughts: Update from previous review:
I've had my Drobo 5N for 18 months now, with 5 x 4TB Seagate 5900RPM desktop drives (ST4000DM000). After about 2 weeks, the bottom drive started displaying a "Warning" in the software, but things seemed to work fine. Onboard diagnostics identified a few bad blocks on the drive and the RAID software mapped around them. I continued to use the Drobo, filling it up with over 9TB of data. The average speed for large file xfers is about 80MB/s, up & down.
NewEgg recently had the ST4000DM000 drives on sale, so I finally bought a replacement for the "Warning" drive. I backed up EVERYTHING to single volume drives, powered down, cleaned the unit out, replaced the drive and powered up. It took about 15 HOURS to rebuild (which was completely expected), and all the data was available during that time. When I started the unit, the Drobo service on my PC notified me about the rebuild process. When it finished, a similar prompt appeared.
You could build a faster and more sophisticated NAS yourself if you want, and that makes sense for a business, but for simple large scale personal backup, the Drobo 5N is a great solution.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • David N.
  • 4/28/2015 3:13:08 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsBest NAS

Pros: I use my Drobo 5N for storing ripped and streaming Blu rays, Dvd's and all of my personal documents and photos. It is perfectly capable of streaming high bit rate files to any of my HTPC and even multiple PCS simultaneously. This is all done without using the msata SSD option which I will be upgrading this coming week.

Cons: Costs money?

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Richard D.
  • 3/15/2015 11:28:19 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsNot for advanced users

Pros: LED lights indicating which drive is good/bad

Cons: Performance is literally the worst. It is worse than a single drive when in RAID6. It just is not very powerful. It's also way over priced for what you get. I built a WAYYY better array for less than this. If you're an advanced user, get a good RAID card and a case with a lot of drive bays.

Other Thoughts: Do yourself a favor and just build your own RAID system with a PC. There are soooo many options and you'll get way more than you pay for. If something goes bad you can replace it, you can troubleshoot a lot easier. I have 8x2TB drives in a RAID5 and the read/write speed is like 360 MB/s. The card was only $150 too and I can run Windows or Linux if I want.

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • James H.
  • 12/17/2014 7:36:24 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsDrobo 5N

Pros: I have used the Drobo 5N for about a month now and have added drives and removed drives to see how well it works and I am VERY happy with it. I ran into a problem one day and not sure if it was a NEW drive I ordered or the Drobo. I ran a report on the Drobo and uploaded it to them and had a response within a day.

Cons: Kinda of pricey

Other Thoughts: I like the Drobo Raid but in case the Drobo fails I will not be able to take my drives to another computer to read them, but I knew that before I bought it, but it would be nice to be able to read them on another computer.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Mr. T.
  • 12/8/2014 6:47:02 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsVersatile, User Friendly, Dare I

Pros: I definitely like how easy this is to deploy and configure to your needs. This would definitely be a highlight for any novices out there. Allowing different disks is a plus but keep in mind it could slow down your total performance (I am not sure if this influenced negative reviews, but this is the case with mixing disk speeds / types). Additional Drobo hosted apps such as Plex are cool, I still have yet to fully utilize these but the addition is always a nice bonus.

The accelerator bay is a great addition for those who might have a lot of sharing going on with the unit. There are some model limitations but still an amazing feature without consuming a drive.

Compared to my old home server this is quiet, low profile, and looks amazing. You can tell some thoughtful engineering went into the entire design from beginning to end.

Cons: The price is more than some bare bones systems out there, but you truly get what you pay for. It is worth shelling out the extra cash for something this well engineered.

Other Thoughts: I have worked with a lot of additional storage units for personal media storage and backup. So far this has taken the cake and will make management of the health of my array much easier. I work with storage array networks as part of my job in IT and while this is not a SAN, I would consider looking at their products for entry level business devices in the future based on my impressions of Drobo.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16822240105
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