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Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)

B&H # DRDDR3A21 MFR # DDR3A21
Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)

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Product Highlights

  • 4-Bay Desktop HD Enclosure
  • Holds 4 x 3.5" SATA HDDs (not included)
  • USB 3.0 Port, Cable Included
  • Mixed Drive Size Utilization
  • Thin Provisioning
  • Hot Swappable
  • BeyondRAID Features
  • Mac and Windows Compatible
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You Pay: $269.00

What item is right for you?

Ask our Experts!

The third generation 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array from Drobo is capable of holding up to four 3.5" SATA I/II/III hard disks from a variety of manufacturers, with differing capacities, speeds, and memory allocations. You can install each drive without the need for additional tools or accessories. Each drive bay is also hot-swappable allowing you to replace drives without shutting down your system.

The Drobo storage array comes equipped with one USB 3.0 port to plug it into Mac computers running Mac OS X 10.7. or higher, and Windows computers running Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit), or Windows 8/8.1 (32- or 64-bit). Once connected, you can take advantage of the HFS+ file system for use with Mac computers and the NTFS file system for use with Windows computers. Additionally, you can see the status of the Drobo as represented by the drive bay indicator lights, the capacity gauge, and status lights to ensure your Drobo is functioning properly.

This Drobo storage array comes compatible with Apple Time Machine allowing you to create complete system backups directly from your Apple computer. You can even allocate a specific amount of data you wish to use for each system backup. Additionally, the included Drobo Dashboard software provides an intuitive user interface to manage all aspects of your Drobo from monitoring the status of the drives, to administrative tasks, and more.

Data Protection Made Simple
This third generation Drobo storage solution is built upon the enhanced BeyondRAID technology. BeyondRAID can be configured to protect against one or two simultaneous drive failures with just one click, automatically protecting your data without any user intervention. In addition, you can purchase the capacity that you need now and increase space by adding drives into empty slots, or by swapping smaller drives with larger ones. When you do, the additional capacity is instantly available.
Investment Plan
You can increase drive capacities with no downtime by adding or swapping in larger drives. You can also seamlessly upgrade to the latest platform Drobo has to offer by removing the existing disk pack from your previous generation system and moving them to the new Drobo. Upgrading to the latest technology not only provides an instant performance boost, it also delivers all the new features and benefits offered by the new Drobo.
Enhanced Time Machine Support
Apple's Time Machine can consume all of the capacity of an external storage system without a simple way to set capacity limits. By utilizing Drobo Dashboard users can easily allocate a specific amount of capacity to be dedicated for backups and preserve the remaining space for data storage.
Designed for You
This Drobo device has been designed to provide high capacity without taking up a lot of desk space. Its compact design is made possible through the use of Drobo's carrier-less drive bay design allowing drives to be installed very close to each other.
Power Protecting Your Critical Data
With integrated battery backup technology your data in memory or cache is protected. When power spontaneously goes out, Drobo moves any in-flight data to onboard flash in your Drobo so it will be protected. The protected data will be moved to your disk drives once power is restored. This ensures your important information is safe and sound. Additionally, the battery recharges itself and is designed to last for the life of the Drobo.
Drobo Dashboard
Drobo Dashboard is the single tool used to centrally manage all of your Drobo devices. Drobo Dashboard displays status as if all of your Drobos were right in front of you with the same status lights and capacity gauges that are on the front panel. All administration tasks are a single click away.
Integrated LEDs
Lights on the front panel tell you what's happening. Each blue LED along the bottom represents 10% utilization letting you know exactly how much capacity is consumed. Green, yellow, or red LEDs keep you informed of each drive's status at all times. You can also take off the magnetic cover to see exactly what each LED indicator means.
Drives Up to four 3.5" SATA I/II/III hard disk drives or solid state drives
Drives of any manufacturer, capacity, spindle speed, or cache
No carriers or tools required
Expandable by adding drives or hot-swapping drives with larger ones
(Drives sold separately)
Connectivity 1 x USB 3.0
Operating System Support Mac OS X 10.7. or higher
Windows 8/8.1 32 and 64 bit
Windows 7 32 and 64 bit
File System Support Mac OS X: HFS+
Windows: NTFS
Management Drive bay indicator lights, capacity gauge, status lights
Drobo Dashboard version 2.6 or later
BeyondRAID Features Thin provisioning
Instant expansion
Mixed drive size utilization
Automatic protection levels
Dual disk redundancy
Virtual hot spare
Data aware
Drive re-ordering
Power Requirements External power supply
AC Input: 100-240 VAC-2A, 50/60 Hz
DC Output: 12 V, 12.5 A, 150 W max
Fan Single, fixed, variable speed cooling fan
Additional Software Features Drive spin down
Dim lights
Hardware Features Carrier-less drive bays
Power fail protection
Kensington lock port for security (lock not included)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.0 x 6.3 x 10.7" / 152.4 x 160.0 x 271.8 mm
Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)
  • 6.6 ft / 2 m USB 3.0 Cable
  • 6.0 ft / 1.8 m Power Cord with Power Supply
  • Limited 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Drobo4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation)
     
    4.1

    (based on 25 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (14)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (3)

    82%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Quiet (13)
    • Attractive (12)
    • Easy to set up (12)
    • Easy to use (12)
    • Large capacity / good size (11)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Back-up (18)
      • Photo storage (12)
      • Additional storage (11)
      • Video (5)
      • Large projects (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Power user (16), Multimedia professional (4), Tech savvy (3)
        • Primary use:
        • Personal (12), Business (10)
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac (19), PC (3)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Drobo finally gets it right!

      I own two 2nd-generation Drobo 4-bay devices, and I've definitely had a love-hate relationship with them. Both Drobos had to be replaced at one point because of issues with the Firewire connections. ...Read complete review

      I own two 2nd-generation Drobo 4-bay devices, and I've definitely had a love-hate relationship with them. Both Drobos had to be replaced at one point because of issues with the Firewire connections. Fortunately Drobo's customer service did a good job of working with me (the second time around at least), but it was still a frustrating experience.The biggest problem by far though with the first two generations of Drobos, and a constant source of frustration for me, was the speed of the devices, or the lack thereof to be more precise. Both of my Drobos were ridiculously slow for both write and read speeds. I quickly realized I would only be able to use them for backup and storage of music, photos, and video footage (and NEVER for video editing), and cringed every time I had to make a large file transfer to or from my Drobos.Then I got an e-mail a month ago from B&H offering me $50 off a new 3rd-generation Drobo (since I was a previous Drobo purchaser), with the new Drobo claiming to have a new architecture three times faster than the last generation. I of course scoffed at this, remembering claims of increased speed in the 2nd-generation upgrade with the new Firewire connection, which never even came close to reaching the full potential of Firewire speeds (in fact the Firewire connection on my devices never surpassed USB 2.0 speeds). At the same time, I will admit I was a bit curious about the claims, and very much wanting them to be true. Not finding a single hands-on review of the new Drobo online to back up the new speed claims, I decided to be the guinea pig and pre-ordered one from B&H, thinking that if the speed claims were false, I could always return it (a dangerous assumption since the hard drive migration process is only one-way and I would not have been able to migrate my drives back to my older Drobo, something I'll get to in a moment). My new Drobo arrived yesterday afternoon. Drobo claims all you need to do to migrate your hard drives from an existing Drobo 4-bay to the new Drobo 4-bay is to make sure the firmware on both Drobos is updated, then with the power off on both devices just move your hard drives from the old one to the new one. I did this, powered up the new Drobo, gave it about 5-10 minutes for hard drive activity to die down a bit (the Drobos have different firmwares and different "architectures", so I figured it would need a little time to reconfigure things internally), and then ran my speed tests (which I also ran on the old Drobo right before migrating, and also periodically over the lifetime of the Drobo).I ran my speed tests with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test (and checked results with iStat Menus disk usage menu) with stresses of 1TB and 5TB (and ran the tests several times). For reference, these tests were run on four identical 3TB Western Digital Green drives with a combined usable capacity inside the Drobo of 8GB, of which I was using almost 6.5GB (so they were pretty full, which partially explains the super slow speeds on my old Drobo, though the speeds weren't much better when the drives were mostly empty). These were also tested on a 2013 15" Retina MacBook Pro (using Firewire connection of 2nd-generation Drobo and Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter... which I've actually gotten slightly better results out of than connecting the Drobo Firewire directly to my 2009 MacBook Pro). I migrated these hard drives from the old Drobo to the new one, and ran identical tests before and after the migration. These are approximate AVERAGE speeds:Drobo 2nd-Generation results (before migration):Read: 15 MB/s (peak 30MB/s)Write: 10 MB/s (peak 22MB/s)Drobo 3rd-Generation results (after migration):Read: 130 MB/s (peak 200MB/s)Write: 80 MB/s (peak 180MB/s)Again, I did nothing else to these drives but move them from the 2nd-generation Drobo to the 3rd-generation Drobo, and I was seeing way more than just Drobo's claimed 3x performance improvements. I'm not claiming that everybody will see such drastic improvements (though I hope they do), as not everybody may have been experiencing such horrifically slow speeds on their 2nd-generation Drobos. And of course there are a ton of other factors to take into consideration.The main point here is that this new generation of Drobo does seem to be a vast improvement over the previous generation in terms of speed, and it's clearly internal architectural improvements and not just the addition of the USB 3.0 port (as the Firewire connection was not the limiting factor on the last generation of Drobos). It took them long enough, but it seems that Drobo have finally gotten it right this time with their original namesake device!IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PEOPLE MIGRATING TO THIS NEW 3RD-GENERATION DROBO FROM EITHER 1ST-GENERATION OR 2ND-GENERATION DROBOS: If like me you are interested in buying one of these new Drobos for performance improvements over your current Drobo and want to migrate your hard drives, based on the migration charts on Drobo's website this is a one-way road... i.e. once you take your drives out of your old Drobo and install them in the new 3rd-Generation Drobo, you WILL NOT be able to migrate these drives back to your older Drobo.Also, for people wanting to migrate drives over from another type of Drobo (i.e. not the standard 4-bay Drobo) to this Drobo, you are out of luck, but interestingly you can migrate drives from this new 3rd-Generation Drobo to the Drobo 5S if you are considering moving up to the 5S in the future. Here is Drobo's official migration chart that shows which devices you can migrate drives to and from drobo. There are a few other things I've noticed about the new Drobo. First of all, there is a new feature that lets Mac users format part of the Drobo for use specifically with Time Machine (this way Time Machine won't eventually use up the entire Drobo capacity), but this option seems to only be available when you are first setting up new drives in the Drobo... i.e. this option is not available for people migrating drives from an existing Drobo. There are also a handful of new features in Drobo Dashboard (that only appear when a 3rd-generation Drobo is selected) that may be useful in some cases. Under 'Status', there is now a drop-down menu that gives you two extra displays on top of the original 'System Information', one of which is 'Drive Information' that allows you to check the status and info of your hard drives in each individual bay (it even displays the serial number and firmware of each installed hard drive), and a 'Performance Load' display that shows read, write, and IOPS speeds. Under the Tools menu, the 'Standy' button for older Drobos becomes a 'Shutdown' button for the new Drobo, which ejects your Drobo from your computer and then turns it off (rather than leaving it on in standby mode like it does with older Drobos). And a new option now appears on the left column called 'Drobo Settings', which gives you the option to rename the Drobo (but only for internal naming in Drobo Dashboard... it will not change the name of your Drobo in Finder), a new option called 'Dual Disk Redundancy' that takes up more space for backup (doesn't say how much, so not sure if this is similar to a RAID 1 setup) so that you can have up to two drives fail at once and still be able to recover all your data. This is grayed out for me because I migrated an existing disk pack... you would have to set this up when you initially install your drives in the Drobo. There is also a 'Disk Drive Spindown' option that will spin down the disks after a period of inactivity (again, it doesn't specify how long, and doesn't allow you to set this) to save power and disk life. And lastly there is an option to dim the lights on the front of your Drobo, and this one you can adjust, using a slider that goes from 1 to 10. These are the only additions for the new Drobo that I've run across in Drobo Dashboard.On top of the above additions to the new Drobo, there is also new battery backup technology included in the Drobo, but only time and bad electrical wiring in my house and neighborhood will tell how well this works.The exterior of the new Drobo is nearly identical to the old one, having the exact same dimensions and almost same materials. The only noticeable changes are the addition of a much-needed power button on the back of the Drobo (I always had to unplug my old Drobos if I didn't want them to stay on in standby mode all the time), and the presence of only a single USB 3.0 port compared to the two Firewire ports and one USB 2.0 port on my old Drobos). Overall I'm very pleased with the performance of my new Drobo, with even a simple task like browsing files on the Drobo in Finder feeling almost as snappy as viewing files on my internal SSD (a huge improvement over often waiting several seconds for a folder to open on my old Drobos). And obviously transferring large files to and from the new Drobo will be a delight compared to days of yore. Lets just hope that this Drobo is more reliable and durable than my last two have been.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      mixed feelings

      I used a Drobo 5D for the past 13 months to back up my photographic files. I do not keep files on my MacBook Pro running 10.9.4 since the SSD is not large enough....Read complete review

      I used a Drobo 5D for the past 13 months to back up my photographic files. I do not keep files on my MacBook Pro running 10.9.4 since the SSD is not large enough. Working from the 5D via Thunderbolt was as fast as working from the hard drive of the laptop. Wonderfully quick. Six weeks out of warranty the Drobo quit mounting on the desktop and access to my files was impossible. Drobo support prefers to work through emails. Trading one email a day with me was too slow and accomplishing nothing. I eventually got them to talk to me on the phone. After almost 10 days working together we were able to temporarily mount the unit. I bought the Drobo 4-bay so I had somewhere to move the files off the 5D. It's USB3 and not nearly as fast. I eventually got most of my 7 TB of work off before the 5D stopped working again. I could not face spending more time with support and let the rest of the files go. Drobo is currently evaluating the 5D to repair or replace. The 4-bay is not as fast but working fine mostly. There are still times when it'll suddenly disappear from the desktop and require a restart. The 4_bay also makes a slight rumble/rattle at times as the drives spin. The fan is quieter than the 5D.
      ...Drobo support-decent but not fast
      ...Drobo 5D fast and great until it isn't.
      ...Drobo 4-Bay, not as fast and only fairly reliable.
      Drobo's 4-Bay is not very expensive and will be fine until I get something else.
      I'll use it and the 5D to back up my back up.

      Reviewed by 25 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-20

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      4.0

      Easy as can be

      By EJRStein

      from Washington, DC

      About Me Power user

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Incredibly Easy

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Additional Storage
        • Backup
        • Photo Storage

        Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

        Easy setup, simply insert drives and the Drobo does the rest. The hard part will be keeping my kids from cluttering it up. It is always wonderful when something works so easily and seamlessly. I would definitely recommend Drobo for anyone who needs a mas storage/backup solution

        • Primary use:
        • Business
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Drobo Greatness

        By Edibro

        from Springfield MA

        Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

        This drobo is even better than my first gen. It's super easy to setup. I just turned it off, popped in my drives from my old drobo, and started it up. Bam! All my data was back! Quiet and efficient.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage

        By Robert

        from Saxonburg, PA

        About Me Power user

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attractive Design
        • Compact
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Easy to use
        • High Capacity
        • Quiet

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Additional Storage
          • Backup
          • File Transfer
          • Photo Storage
          • Video

          Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

          Excellent storage for photographer that needs to have large storage for photos. Expandable.

          • Primary use:
          • Business
          • Computer Platform:
          • PC

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Drobo 3rd Gen

          By George

          from Texas

          About Me Power user

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Set Up
          • Easy to use
          • Quiet

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Additional Storage
            • Backup
            • Photo Storage
            • Video

            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

            Using for backups & Time Machine.Easy to setup and USB 3.0 fairly fast for file transfers.
            Had some problems and the tec staff helpful.

            Had a problem when I took out the smallest drive and inserted a larger one. The machine went into a loop and the only way to get it going again was shut it off - pulled the drives out and reformated them on my windows machine. Reinserted the drives and went thru the the setup again. Everything has working good since.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Much faster!

            By EVH

            from Tuscaloosa

            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

            The USB 3.0 Drobo is far faster than the Drobo 2 it replaces. I migrated four drives from a Drobo 2 and noticed immediate speed gains. It lacks the M-SSD slot for adding gigabytes of cache that the 5D has and only has 4 drive bays to the 5D's five bays, but it is nearly as fast as my 5Ds. The build quality is solid and hefty and the setup is pretty strait forward - however be extra careful when migrating disks from one Drobo to another. All the disks have to move together or you could destroy all your data.
            Drobo has been improving on speed with each new generation but keep in mind they are meant to be offer quick, easy and redundant storage management but they are not RAID 5 machines (they are configured in a proprietary Drobo setup that mimicks RAID 5 yet is not as fast but is far more flexible). The speed isn't that much faster than lone drives and if you need ultra fast storage for video production and editing this isn't it. It is pretty good for other storage however. Ian giving t four of five stars for good speed and good build quality but holding back the fifth star because it doesn't compete with RAID 5 speeds.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Best backup that exists

            By Paul

            from Dallas, TX

            About Me Power user

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attractive Design
            • Easy To Set Up
            • Easy to use
            • High Capacity
            • Quiet

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Additional Storage
              • Backup
              • Photo Storage
              • Video

              Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

              The great thing about the Drobo is that you can add drives, swap drives, change drives, etc, and still continue to use it and access files. There is no other device out there that works like a Drobo. The 4 bay gets you in the door, but take your pick, there are other versions out there, 5 bay on up, that work mostly the same way, except for how you hook to the computer; USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and everything in between. I had a drive go out in my 2nd generation one and it was so easy to continue working until another came to swap out. I highly recommend this device to everyone.

              • Primary use:
              • Personal
              • Computer Platform:
              • Mac

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Great Security - Good Price

              By Ernie

              from Texas

              About Me Power user

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attractive Design
              • Easy To Set Up
              • Easy to use

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Additional Storage
                • Backup
                • Photo Storage

                Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                I'm using the DROBO to store my image library. I have it backed up off site but I really like the failure protection the DROBO provides. I started a 250GB and two 40GB drives - Just what I had on hand.. That didn't give me much space so I pulled the 40's (one at a time) and replaced them with 1TB drives - the DROBO rebuilt my data fairly quickly - now I have three 1 TB drives and the 250GB - I have it configured to be able to handle two drives failing -- I really like the product - the only negative I can find is it does have some fan noise - I moved to a corner of the desk and now don't notice it -- great product

                • Primary use:
                • Business
                • Computer Platform:
                • Mac

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Drobo Gen 2 upgrade to Drobo Gen 3

                By Zerocool

                from Orlando, FL

                About Me Power user

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attractive Design
                • Compact
                • Easy To Set Up
                • Easy to use
                • High Capacity

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Additional Storage
                  • Backup
                  • Photo Storage
                  • Video

                  Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                  My Storage Solution of choice. The USB 3 is a huge improvement in speed, and I expect the same service Ive gotten from the Gen 2 for 3 years. Great option for anybody.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal
                  • Computer Platform:
                  • Mac

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Safe archive for Photos

                  By Big Bill

                  from Austin TX

                  About Me Power user

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attractive Design
                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Easy to use
                  • High Capacity
                  • Portable
                  • Quiet

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Additional Storage
                    • Photo Storage

                    Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                    I moved up from a Generation 1 to a Generation 3 4-Bay Drobo and could not be more satisfied with the improved Dashboard. The service support for Drobo is outstanding. I know my Raw files are safe when stored on the Drobo

                    • Primary use:
                    • Personal
                    • Computer Platform:
                    • Mac

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Love my Drobo!

                    By Chad H

                    from Nashville, TN

                    About Me Power user

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attractive Design
                    • Easy To Set Up
                    • Easy to use
                    • High Capacity

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Additional Storage
                      • Backup
                      • File Transfer
                      • Photo Storage

                      Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                      After owning a 2nd gen Drobo for over 5 years, I decided to upgrade to the 3rd gen. Not only does it have a faster USB interface, it has some other nice features as well. Upgrading was a snap. Pull out the drives from the old Drobo, and install them in the new Drobo. No drama. I've also been updating the drives one at a time. Simply remove one of the old drives and slide in a new one. In a couple of hours you're all fault tolerant again.

                      I've never had anything but great luck with my Drobo. This is not the product for you if you are looking for an uber customizable RAID solution. The Drobo is a plug and play affair and it chooses the best RAID level for your configuration. I work in IT and have managed large SAN storage solutions for years. The last thing I want to do at home is more of the same. For my needs, Drobo is perfect.

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal
                      • Computer Platform:
                      • Mac

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Wonderful and reliable.

                      By Nick

                      from Seattle, WA

                      About Me Power user

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attractive Design
                      • High Capacity
                      • Quiet

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Additional Storage
                        • Backup

                        Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                        Quiet machine, even with 4 drives. This is my second USB 3.0 version, bought specifically to back up clients over the internet. I recommend Drobo highly. The desktop software interface - Drobo Dashboard - could be better.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Business
                        • Computer Platform:
                        • Mac

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        it just works!

                        By Chris K.

                        from San Jose, CA

                        About Me Power user

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attractive Design
                        • Compact
                        • Easy To Set Up
                        • Easy to use
                        • Quiet

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Additional Storage
                          • Backup

                          Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                          At the sale price this is quite a great deal...I've considered a Drobo for a while now (and considered a number of other NAS/SAN solutions) and when I bought and configured mine, I was impressed enough to get a second one! It is reasonably quiet and unobtrusive too.

                          • Primary use:
                          • Personal
                          • Computer Platform:
                          • Mac

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          Buy it! You wont' regret it...

                          By geraldpdavid

                          from calgary, alberta, canada

                          About Me Power user

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attractive Design
                          • Easy To Set Up
                          • Easy to use
                          • High Capacity
                          • Quiet

                          Cons

                          • Bulky

                          Best Uses

                          • Backup
                          • Photo Storage

                          Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                          I use the product for both backups, as well as general storage.

                          It's fast, it's easy, and it has easy software to go with it. I love the beyondRAID technology.

                          It is bulky. If you are not sure about that, buy the smaller, 2.5" drive one.

                          • Primary use:
                          • Personal
                          • Computer Platform:
                          • Mac

                          Share this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          1.0

                          Don't waste your money

                          By Ed S

                          from Loveland, CO

                          About Me Power user

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • When It Works It Is Good

                          Cons

                          • Terrible Software
                          • Unmounts Randomly
                          • Unreliable

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                            This is my 4th Drobo of various types. I can state from my experience that the USB Drobos DO NOT WORK. Don't get one! They disconnect randomly; the terrible Drobo software cannot find and mount them. You usually have to reboot both the Drobo and the computer, maybe several times, to get it to mount. Something simple like disconnecting/reconnecting seldom works. It causes my Retina iMac to reboot randomly. I specifically got this one to work with Time Machine, figuring that by the 3rd gen they had the problems worked out. DON'T DO IT! Tech support has been helpful, but they can't fix a bad product. Thunderbolt and network Drobo's work pretty well. The company also discontinues support for old products that could still connect to current computers. That makes your $ product a brick because it is more convenient for them.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal
                            • Computer Platform:
                            • Mac

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Lots of storage!

                            By Yipdog

                            from Mesa, az

                            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                            Bought with four 4TB WD red drives and so far so good.
                            Did take a while to set up using their software

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                            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            1.0

                            Great ID, but doesn't work

                            By yspm

                            from Northern VA

                            About Me Power user

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attractive Design
                            • High Capacity
                            • Quiet

                            Cons

                            • Difficult To Use
                            • Unreliable

                            Best Uses

                            • Backup
                            • Photo Storage

                            Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                            I saw similar complaints but regrettably failed to heed them.

                            Positives first: What stunning industrial design. This product is beautifully designed and handsome, mechanically it fits together superbly and has a sublime high-quality look and feel. Here endeth the praise.

                            After struggles to get my Drobo to speak with my PC at all, I finally got it going and backing up. Then the event I was preparing for happened, my PC had a catastrophic failure. Thak goodness for backups, right?

                            It is 2 months later and despite several emails and calls each week with Drobo, I have been unable to get the unit working with the new PC. Fos some reason it is obnoxiously finicky about USB3.0 interfaces. They have had me updating drivers and switching cables ad nauseam, nothing works to allow the unit to boot up on USB3.0. (With the volume of image data I have, USB3.0 is mandatory for me.)

                            As stunning as the Drobo's ID is, the real design engineering is lacking. Who can't make a rfeliable USB interface, I mean really? It is a great looking package with good features at a good price, but like my Granpappy said, the right thing at the wrong price is better than the wrong thing at any price. Mot recommended.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Business
                            • Computer Platform:
                            • PC

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Rugged, Solid Backup

                            By Ron

                            from Columbus, OH

                            About Me Power user

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Set Up
                            • Easy to use
                            • High Capacity
                            • Quiet

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Backup

                              Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                              This is my second Drobo, the first having run continuously for 4+ years. I had to upgrade to a new case because the old fan and heat sensor was failing. Purchased the new case and slipped in the previous drives and, viola! Back up and running without missing much of a beat.

                              I primarily use the Drobo as a Time Machine unit. Now that it has a USB-3 connection, the backups are quick and painless.

                              • Primary use:
                              • Business
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • Mac

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                              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              1.0

                              Formats only to a single volume

                              By Jamie in Ottawa

                              from Ottawa, ON

                              About Me Power user

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                • Single Volume Only

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                                  For some reason this version of the Drobo will only format to a single partition. My other Drobo 5Ds are partitioned as multiple 2Tb volumes, and this 4Bay version will not. I have not need of a 16Tb volume.

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Business
                                  • Computer Platform:
                                  • Mac

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                                  5.0

                                  Great Backup solution

                                  By Moshe

                                  from Burbank, CA

                                  About Me Casual user

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attractive Design
                                  • Easy To Set Up
                                  • Easy to use
                                  • High Capacity

                                  Cons

                                  • Noisy

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Backup
                                  • Photo Storage

                                  Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                                  I am using Drobo to back up my lifetime photos, I have over 30k pictures and losing this will be impossible to replace.
                                  Setting and hooking up was very easy and fast.
                                  the software is very useful to track your remaining space available.

                                  Awesome product

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Personal
                                  • Computer Platform:
                                  • Mac

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                                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  DROBOs ROCK!

                                  By Kirk

                                  from Cincinnati, OH

                                  About Me Power user

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attractive Design
                                  • Compact
                                  • Easy To Set Up
                                  • Easy to use
                                  • High Capacity
                                  • Portable
                                  • Quiet

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Additional Storage
                                    • Backup
                                    • Photo Storage
                                    • Video

                                    Comments about Drobo 4-Bay USB 3.0 Storage Array (3rd Generation):

                                    This is my fifth purchase of a DROBO enclosure (3 for office and 2 for home) Needless to say, if I wasn't satisfied I wouldn't keep buying them.

                                    We have a Drobo 800 as our main video storage drive at my office. It is currently filled with approximately 24 TB worth of drive storage and we replace with larger drives as needed. We also have a Drobo 5s and this Drobo 4 for individual storage of ongoing projects.

                                    I also have two Drobo 5n enclosures at home. One is specific to storage of digital movies and the other photos and other stuff.

                                    The main draw to the Drobo was the infinite storage capacity which has been wonderful. Their support is top notch and extremely quick in the rare case that there is an issue we can't figure out (usually caused by us).

                                    I highly recommend Drobo for everyone's storage needs.

                                    • Primary use:
                                    • Business
                                    • Computer Platform:
                                    • PC

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