A conventional-looking USB drive, Freecom's Hard Drive Pro eschews quirky angular shapes and calming mood lighting in favour if a functional yet smart design in a reassuringly rugged case.

Unlike some other USB hard drives, the Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB has no software pre-installed. Instead you must install the applications from the supplied CD.

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This means you don't have to burn your own setup CD if you want to format the Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB, but it also makes initial installation rather less friendly - it's certainly not automatic.

The Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB's case is fitted with a fan, but it's thermostatically controlled, so most of the time the device is very quiet.

This Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB is available in either USB with eSATA or USB with Firewire800 versions. Unlike Seagate's FreeAgent PRO you can't get all three interfaces in one device.

Furthermore, the version of the Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB with Firewire has an additional button which allows access to a protected, encrypted portion of the drive. This helps protect your sensitive data in the event that the drive is lost or stolen.

Freecom's own software suite includes encryption and password protection applications and auto-run setup application and backup software that includes support for the Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB's one-touch auto synch button.

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Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB: Specs

  • 500GB, 3.5in SATA, 7,200rpm hard drive
  • USB 2.0
  • eSATA
  • Freecom Backup software
  • fan
  • instant backup button
  • 1.4kg
  • 150x180x50mm
  • 2 year warranty
  • 500GB, 3.5in SATA, 7,200rpm hard drive
  • USB 2.0
  • eSATA
  • Freecom Backup software
  • fan
  • instant backup button
  • 1.4kg
  • 150x180x50mm
  • 2 year warranty

OUR VERDICT

A feature-rich product with a good selection of software and excellent build quality, the Freecom Hard Drive Pro 500GB lacks the designer style or extreme ease of use of some competing products.

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