Pros Fast data storage, 3 Usb ports for Printer sharing and extra external HD's, runs very cool, the price is very reasonable
Cons limited to 1.2TB's,
Summary I did some research and wanted to originally get a Western Digital MyBook external harddrive, but I needed something that I could use when my laptop was docked or not and could be shared among the 3 computers + Xbox360. So a little research found that the market had harddrive servers available at a reasonable price. I looked at the competition and it really came to performance, price and design. The models I compared were the Netgear Storage Central and Buffalo Tera Station Home Server. The HP model looked better than the others and had less problems setting up (as per the reviews on this site) than the NetGear storage central and was more functional and less expensive than the Buffalo Tera station. I am able to connect my external HD to the back of the unit and pop in my usb flash in the single front port. I like the unit so much I am looking to purchase another model and expanding my network to have a hub primarily for the HP media Vaults. The only downside (and that is not enough to thwart buying the unit because the price and function is way above average) is the limit to 1.2 terabytes which includes the USB connection of external harddrives. Through the years I have attained many external harddrives. So that limit will be maxed out once I upgrade the available slot to a 700Gig SATA HD. Other than that it is an excellent buy and extremely easy to setup and use. "It was not easy to find locally though".
Pros you are warned
Cons defective design
Summary The operating system for the media vault is a unique proprietary linux variation which only hp uses for this particular product, nothing else. The implications of this are as follows:
Within two days of receiving this product, the filesystem of the hard drive became corrupt. What that means is that there was nothing wrong with the hardware, only the software. Unfortunately this software cannot be fixed. Hp's solution is to send you a new hard drive because the original hard drive was useless.
If you have any data on the original hard drive, it is lost.
You do not get any tools to rescue it, to restore it, to recover it. None. HP can't help you.
The product comes with software to restore your own computer's hard drive but nothing to restore the harddrive of the media vault.
Even more absurd, the media vault allows you to install a second hard drive. However if you put the original media vault hard drive into the second slot and then install a new hp hard drive into the first slot, the device still will not be able to read the data from the original drive.
This product does not meet the reasonable expectations of its customers. It cannot do what computers have been able to do for twenty years, namely use rescue tools on disks, like fdisk for windows and fsck for linux. No tools work on the hp drives. And both windows and linux computers allow you to put a corrupted hard drive as a slave in your computer in order to read the data. You cannot do this with a media vault. You cannot even put the media vault hard drive in a linux computer to read the data. It won't work because of the proprietary nature of the operating system for the media vault.
For the first time in using computers for twenty years, I have lost data. I am very upset at hp for the very short sighted design of this product. You are warned.
Pros Simple Setup; Media Streaming; You can add storage as you need more; Good performance
Cons Had to disable Firewall temporarily for the installation
Summary I was looking for a way to add storage and setup a simple backup for multiple PC's in my house. I looked at USB hard drives, but I didn't want to have to deal with moving a USB drive around from PC to PC. I knew I wouldn't do backups regularly if I had to move from PC to PC. The HP Vault sounded easy to setup and it got some good reviews. I found it to be very easy to setup, except on one of my PC's I had to disable my firewall software to get through the installation. Now all 3 of my PC's get backed up every night, and I don't have to do anything. I also have all of my photos and my music stored on the HP vault so they can be accessed from any PC. I just added a D-Link media player, and now we can listen to the music and view the photos on our Big Screen TV. My wife loves it, and we don't worry about losing our photos or music anymore.
The best part is that the HP vault has an easy way to add another hard drive if we fill up the 300GB. We're already close to filling up the 300GB at my house.
Pros Great backup software, user friendly and flexible, great price
Cons HP supplied drive cannot be swapped with user purchased drive if HP supplied drive fails. HP supplied drive replacment cost over $1000 including shipping, if out of warranty
Summary This is a great device if used fully aware of its limitations for backing up data. If you plan to purchase a second drive, do not use a Raid 1 mirror as the only backup of your data. A mirror is not the proper way to backup data that is not saved on another device or disk. I lost over 50 hours of work when the HP supplied system disk file partition became corrupted. Although, all folders could be seen, some were mysteriously empty. The used space on the disk indicated the data was on the disk, but the data was not accessible.
The HP supplied system disk cannot be swapped with the user purchased disk to retrieve the data, because the system software does not get mirrored. You must get a replacement disk from HP that takes about two days for delivery, free of charge only if the device is under warranty. Otherwise, a 500GB replacement drive (for the MV2020) cost over $1000 including shipping. So purchase a 2 year extended warranty if you plan to keep this device for more than a year.
After installing the new HP supplied replacement system drive I was able to access the mirrored drive only to find the file corruption had been copied to the backup mirrored drive also. DO NOT USE A MIRROR TO BACKUP DATA THAT YOU DON'T HAVE BACKED UP ELSEWHERE.
To learn more about the limitations of this device before you purchase, read Lee Devlin's review found at:
Pros Fast. Also works as printer server. Great user community.
Cons No easy virus protection; so-so as a media center
Summary I've had this for 5 months and it works great. Now I can backup and print from any computer on the wireless home network. It works well as a remote drive to store music and photos but you'll need to connect through another computer on the home network in order to use it as a media server for iTunes or sharing of music and photos with your Xbox360.
The user community is very helpful and there is a lot of support info on the internet (e.g. http://www.k0lee.com/hpmediavault/index.html)