We talk about the benefits of NAS servers a couple of times a month around here. It really doesn't matter if you are storing a collection of family photos or your businesses tax returns, it's all important data that you wouldn't want to lose. The more data you have to store, the more expensive a NAS server can be. For home users a four to five drive NAS tends to be the optimal balance of protection and speed, but the cost can be as much as a new complete computer.
For single computer families a NAS server can be cost prohibitive. Enter Direct Attached Storage or DAS servers. DAS servers can connect to your PC through USB, Firewire or eSATA and offer the redundancy of a full NAS, but at a substantial cost reduction.
The Promise DS4600 has the specifications of a NAS server that costs several hundred dollars more than what it is offered at. Newegg currently lists the DS4600 for 324.99 USD, quite a bit lower than the Thecus and QNAP NAS servers we review here every couple of months. The DS4600 uses four hard drives (that you must provide later) and supports the usual levels of RAID that keep your data secure.
Before I get too far along into the specifications, let's move on to the Specifications section of this review.