We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Storage Devices Reviews
15,512 Reviews

Promise SmartStor DS4600 review

£699 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Promise Technology

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Promise SmartStor DS4600 is a fast, reliable RAID system for creative professionals and small businesses.

The Promise SmartStor DS4600 is a RAID system for small businesses. Our colleagues from Macworld tested the SmartStor DS4600 for Mac OS X; a PC version is also available.

Promise is best known for producing high-end RAID systems for large corporations - in fact, some of its products cost in excess of £10,000. However, the Promise SmartStor DS4600 is an attempt to cater for individual users in smaller businesses, such as photographers, video editors and other creative professionals.

Housed inside the stylish box is a four-bay RAID storage system. In the UK, Promise primarily sells the DS4600 through the Apple Store, where it comes pre-configured with four 1TB drives for £699 or four 2TB drives for £1,049.

Round the back of the unit you'll find no less than four separate interfaces for connecting the unit to your system: USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and eSATA. However, the DS4600 is specifically designed for use with individual computers, and doesn't have an ethernet interface that would allow you to share it with others on an office network.

Our first impression wasn't entirely favourable, as the chassis is constructed out of lightweight plastic and the plastic holders for the internal drive units were particularly flimsy. We also had problems installing the SmartNAVI software supplied on CD and had to locate the latest update on the Promise website before we were able to install it properly.

Fortunately, are experience with the Promise SmartStor DS4600 picked up after that. Once installed, the SmartNAVI software works well and includes a single-click option that will automatically configure the unit for you, as well as manual configuration for more experienced users.

The Promise SmartStor DS4600 supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 1+0 modes, and works with Apple's Time Machine as well as providing its own SmartSync backup feature. It also includes a number of additional options, such as the ability to monitor the unit's internal temperature and send you a warning email if any faults develop.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Group test: what's the best SSD?

Group test: what's the best NAS drive?

Group test: what's the best desktop PC?

Promise SmartStor DS4600 Expert Verdict »
4-bay hot-swappable enclosure featuring 7,200RPM SATA 3Gbps drives
4TB storage capacity (4 x 1TB) and Pre-formatted in HFS+ File System
FireWire 400
2 x FireWire 800
USB 2.0
eSATA 3G
RAID 0, 1, 5, 5 with Hot Spare (One volume per DS4600)
Power Consumption: 15W in Standby, 36W Idle and 40W Full Load
2 Year Warranty with 1 Year Limited on Fan and Power Adapter
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Promise needs to pay a little more attention to detail, as the build-quality of the Promise SmartStor DS4600 and the buggy software installer both create a rather poor first impression. However, the SmartNAVI software is attractively straightforward to use, and the DS4600 is quite reasonably priced compared to similar business-oriented RAID systems. Overall, it’s a good choice for creative users who need a fast and reliable storage system.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Iomega StorCenter Pro 150D NAS review

    Iomega StorCenter Pro 150D NAS

    The Iomega StorCenter Pro 150D NAS is what you expect of a business-focused NAS device: a big boxy chassis that dwarfs its rivals, dull looks, a noisy fan, and support for enterprise-level technologies such as Microsoft's Active Directory.

  • Iomega StorCenter 150d 1TB review

    Iomega StorCenter 150d 1TB

    Like the Buffalo Terastation Live 1TB, the Iomega StorCenter uses four individual SATA hard drives which can be formatted into a variety of RAID configurations.

  • Synology DiskStation DS1511+ review

    Synology DiskStation DS1511+

    The Synology DS1511+ is a five-bay NAS, with disks slotting into the front in push-to-release caddies.

  • Synology DiskStation DS412+ review

    Synology DiskStation DS412+

    The Synology DiskStation DS412+ is compact but powerful four-bay NAS drive with sophisticated features and services, while still remaining accessible to non-specialists.

  • Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 review

    Iomega StorCenter ix2-200

    The Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 is a 2-bay NAS that offers a comprehensive range of sharing features. Here's our Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 review.


IDG UK Sites

Android One vs Android Silver vs Google Nexus: What is the difference?

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

Thinking robots: The philosophy of artificial intelligence and evolving technology

IDG UK Sites

How to shoot a robot rom-com in three days