The Bottom Line
Personal storage covers a wide range of solutions from your standard portable drive using USB or more recently Thunderbolt, to multiple bay solutions in the DAS and NAS market. With storage needs growing everyday many are looking for cost-effective solutions where they can store media such as images, video and at times music.
FileGear is a small form factor solution that aims to take care of all your personal storage needs. Built from the ground up, FileGear allows you to access your stored files from anywhere using their wide range of app platforms. Adding to this, FileGear One and One Plus support USB 3.0 storage along with Secure Digital. One Plus adds to its arsenal 2.5" SATA support with an expandable USB-C enclosure.
Setting the FileGear apart are its features such as automatic organization, file replication and deduplication to name a few. Adding to this FileGear can easily let you share your files by sending a link from the app or QRCode with advanced security allowing you to add a password or expiration date.
FileGear is offered in two SKUs. We have the FileGear One that is the entry-level model, Intel Atom Z8350 with 2GB of memory, gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac, USB 3.0 and SD support. MSRP of this model is $149.99. The FileGear One Plus uses the Celeron J3455, a CPU we see in much larger NAS appliances like the DS718 and 918+ from Synology. This is paired with 4GB of memory, gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac, USB 3.0 and Type-C support along with microSD. The One Plus does come with a stackable drive bay for 2.5" SATA support. MSRP of the One Plus comes in at $249.99. Warranty is listed as one-year for both models.
Packaging is quite simple for the FileGear One Plus, we have an all-black box with logo.
Included with we have the VESA mounting plate, power adapter and manual. To the side, they did include an HDMI and ethernet cables.
The FileGear One Plus shares the NUC or MiniPC form factor, black box with blue colorway and logo on top. When the unit is powered on a blue LED ring will illuminate the exhaust around the edges of the enclosure.
The right side of the enclosure houses the power, microSD and USB ports.
The backside offers power input to the left followed by USB A and USB-C. We then have HDMI, Gigabit and 3.5mm audio output.
For the FileGear One Plus, the two units separate with a locking mechanism. The connection between these is USB-C, and the unit does support 2.5" drives SSD or HDD. Of note here, is you do not lose VESA compatibility with the drive bay attached.
Software and Setup
FileGear setup is quite simple. You do need to create an account on their website and then verify. You would then go through hardware setup, plugging in the ethernet and power to the FileGear unit. Give it a few minutes to boot up and then hit the website again and go to log in, you should see your device come up in the list, clicking on it starts setup.
For my testing, I had a spare SSD, so I just tossed in it in FileGear, for most you'll be adding higher capacity HDDs. Here we simply select the drive and add it to the storage pool.
If you have existing files on the drive you added to FileGear; it will then ask you to import those files. You can choose not to and just format the drive in the menu after setup.
After importing files, they link you to their apps for setup on your mobile devices along with the user guide and support if you need help.
Once setup is complete, you will see the dashboard. From here we have several menus a full sidebar on the left to sort your files and icons across the top for media types.
The folder menu gives you bare access to the actual media while switching to a file type using the icons will show you a sorted view of your media.
FileGear uses two apps, the utility app to update firmware and diagnostic and FileGear for access to your media.
Looking at FileGear through iOS, the basic menu system categorizes your media as seen above. You can have bare access to the files or a sorted view just like the WebGUI with the appropriate tab.
The sorted interface on the app gives a date along the right side for images and similar for videos. Music will be sorted by artist, album etc.
Performance and Final Thoughts
Performance testing was done over Samba using Windows 10. For this test, I was just looking for peak performance transferring a file to the device. That said, I was able to reach 75 MB/s transferring a Linux ISO file.
FileGear and more specifically, the One Plus offers an enticing set of features and an ecosystem that for home users might be perfect. It offers plenty of performance with hardware specs that match 5 and 6 bay appliances from Qnap, Synology and Asustor paired with an easy to use and navigate OS that offers the ability to upload and share your media with advanced security controls.
As mentioned previously, FileGear does include auto-categorization for images and video and has the ability to replicate files on separate drives connected to the device. This ensures you lose no data in a failure event. On the flip side, if you have a bunch of drives with random images or files, you can import them to FileGear and have it deduplicate removing copies with its bit by bit detection.
Build quality and performance of the FileGear One Plus are quite good. The enclosure is top to bottom plastic, so it does make for a lightweight solution, but the added hard drive bay with a drive installed does help it maintain its place on the desk. Connectivity options rival much larger appliances with USB 2.0,3.0 and Type-C available with gigabit, WIFI, and HDMI.
Closing this out, I have gone back and forth on the FileGear One Plus, I'm a NAS guy through and through and moving to this FileGear platform was a bit of shock just like any change can be. That said, I've actually had this unit for a good bit of time now and have grown with it through the many updates they have been pushing the last few months. This includes SMB support which was really the break-through for me. Having raw file access behind any app interface is most important for me. FileGear also has plans to add more file server features, so I'm curious to see this platform as it matures over the next few months.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: Filegear has managed to put together a solid platform with features and hardware only seen in much more expensive solutions.
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