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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars

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on 9 January 2014
Just got this yesterday and immediately installed 2 x 3TB Seagate Barracuda HDDs and overall it works great, just one minor potential flaw in the product - the AC/DC adapter is just 5.42 Amps output rated, yet the disk drives that I'm using are 1.5A each (5V x 0.75A + 12V x 0.75A) so 4 of these internal HDD = 6 Amps. That's more current than the electrical supply lead will allow!

Solution: replace the power supply adapter with a 12V 10A one for about £7 to £8.

This product was designed 4 or 5 years ago when Seagate and other disk drives were 5-volt @ 0.75-amps + 12-volt @ 0.43-amps, thus when this product was first launched 4 x 3TB drives would use just 4.72 Amps {(0.75+0.43) x 4 = 4.72} so 5.42 was more than ample. No longer the case though. However this is easily rectified at a small cost.

The higher 'draw' in the current on newer HDD will cause the unit to drop-off from the PC under heavy load. Current is more important than voltage or wattage ( Watts = Voltage x Amperage). Amps are very important as they represent the flow of electricity and when this is too high for the PSU = problems. Hence 4-Stars and not 5.

Anyway, that aside this is a great product. Aluminium casing (apart from top/bottom) and not plastic like others have stated. I used this non-stop yesterday for 11 hours and copied 4TB of data across and it never even became warm, it remained cold to the touch.

The auto-fan works well and did not need to be manually adjusted.

Noise is non-existent, totally silent operation. At one point I pressed my ear to the side of the unit and all I heard was a small slight humming sound (barely audible).

When inactive it powers down the internal drives - the drive lights (blue) shut off whilst the main power light (green) remains on, then when you click on File Explorer and select the drives (the never disappear from windows) disappear briefly and then reappear - just like you had recently attached or switched them on. Not a problem really, only a slight delay. Anyone who has used AI Suite to enable 'Turbo' or 'UASP' on a USB 3.0 drive will recognise this phenomenon whilst switching modes (depends on if you have right Asus MOBO to do this).

Conclusion: Would I buy another one? Absolutely yes, maybe in the not so distant future i might need one. Spent all day yesterday transferring files onto it, then spent last night watching TV shows (mp4/avi/mkv) on it, switching between drives and is seamless and plays without any delays or glitches. NEVER DISCONNECTED, NOT ONCE. Really happy with this, so would highly recommend to others.


*** JUN 2014 UPDATE: added a 4th 3TB HDD instead of older 750GB one, and is performing beautifully - 170MB/s consistent Write speeds ***


DEC 2015 Update: Running this unit 7 days a week, minimum of 12-14 hours per day (often 24 hours - overnight when downloading large video files). Never a single problem. Other reviews state BIZARRE criticisms like "trays will not withstand the test of time" when THERE ARE NO TRAYS, just grooves in the side of the unit for HDDs to slide in. Issues with fans and ventilation are easily resolved with proper use and correct positioning (in a well ventilated place not on the floor or in a confined space etc)
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on 29 May 2014
* see update below *
As other reviewers have said this is a surprisingly good looking unit, quality is fine although I suspect the trays wouldn't stand up to continuous replacement. The fan at the top of the unit had fallen off when I unpacked it but seemed to clip back on OK. The speed of the fan is controllable by a wheel on the unit although not by software as far as I can determine - a nice touch. Installation relatively straightforward - it does use screws but they're provided, you need to be fairly careful inserting the drives - there's not a particularly positive click when they mate with the SATA connectors but have had no problems so far.

I've used the USB connection to a linux machine; all the drives were from other machines and spun up with no problems. Speed of the unit is as good as you can expect, sustained writes of around 85 MB/s using rsync(1) although YMMV.
Some reviewers have complained about problems with the unit sleeping particularly on Macs - certainly the device wants to sleep when the host enters a power saving state. My configuration is on 24/7 but as a precaution I've added a line to my crontab to touch a file on the array every few minutes to the drives from idling.
For me this has replaced a a 2-bay NAS and a couple of external caddys and saved me some space and power sockets and offers greater performance / flexibility than the consumer level NAS (Zyxel NSA325) when used with a reasonably capable server / PC.

150722 Update
Had a couple of these now and the fans on both of them have failed - StorageDepot (the vendor) have been good about sending out replacement fans - actually the whole top part of the unit containing the fan. Fundamentally the fans are a) too small particularly with four disks and b) poor quality. If the fans don't fail completely they end up making a terrible noise and not turning at a useful speed. With four mechanical disks you very quickly get high temps in the box and you'll start seeing errors with the host connection or the disks themselves. I had multiple failures which, but for backups, would have been costly.

I've even sourced, with some difficulty, some replacement fans (they're an odd size) but the quality is no better. You'll see on the more recent Hornettek quad bay unit there's a standard case fan (much bigger) placed on the back of the unit ( more effective). Two units - four replacement fans (two each) means they can't be recommended.
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on 9 June 2014
I ordered a new PC because my old one died a few days ago. As there were 9 disks in that old tower, I looked for a solution to connect these disks to the new PC. So I bought two Hornetteks.
They arrived with UK plugs which I had to replace with EU plugs (that's an Amazon problem, it's not only Hornettek that comes with the wrong plugs).
The case looks fine, not cheap and the ventilator is not noisy unless you choose the highest speed, but even then it's acceptable.
The green power led's en the four blue HDD led's on the front may be too bright when you put the box on your desktop in plain sight, but I have them under my desk, so they just look nice, like a little christmas tree.
Putting the disks inside the trays is easy, but you need to use the screws that come along with the package and the small rubber pad so that they are well fixed in place. If not, the disks sometimes disappear due to a bad SATA connection.
Since my new PC has not yet arrived, I connected the two boxes to my Win2003 server which has only USB 2.
When I powered up the boxes, nothing happened, Windows didn't see the disks. So I opened Disk Management and there all disks were present, except one, as Foreign Disks. I imported them and they showed up in Windows Explorer.
The one that didn't show as foreign disk, I had to create a new partition and format the disk. Then it became visible in explorer too.
Everything seemed ok, BUT: all seven foreign disks were created on my old PC as MBR Dynamic disks (they are all WD Green 1 TB drives). The newly formatted disk was created as a MBR Basic Disk, and I couldn't change it to Dynamic. When I restart the server, only the Basic disk comes online again, all the Dynamic Disks have disappeared. When I go to Disk Management and click on one disk to "Reactivate", they all come online again. That's of course not what I would call workable. But when I receive my new PC (win 8.1 with USB 3) I will reformat all drives and make them Basic Disks, maybe the problem will be solved then. I will post an update in a week or so.
Second "problem" is that the disks are never powered down when I turn off the server. I have to switch them off manually. Not a very big deal and it is not impossible it is due to the fact that my server's motherboard doesn't completely power down either. Again, I will try the power down function with my new PC in a week and post an update.
Speed while copying to and from the disks is very acceptable even with the USB 2 I have at the moment. But don't try to copy to more than one disk at a time, speed drops dramatically, which is normal of course, because all traffic goes over the same USB controller. I have three more 3 TB WD MyBooks connected to the same server via separate USB controllers and there I don't have that problem. So if you need to read or write to more than one disk at a time, these boxes are maybe not the best solution. Or you can use the eSata connection instead of USB.
All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with my two new boxes, even if they have some strange quircks. But I'm working with computers since 1985, and I know that whatever hardware you buy, there's always something that doesn't work as advertised. Even with the little problems I mentionned, these boxes work well, are not expensive, are well made, look nice, are silent and speed is good. They also seem to be rather forgiving for turning them on and off (not while writing of course) I never had problems reading my data.
Next week I'll post an update when I have tested them on a newer PC.
OK, I have now tested the Hornettek during a week and I have changed it from 4 to 5 stars.
The problems I had with Windows not recognizing some disks are Windows related and had nothing to do with the Hornettek.
In fact, if you have disks formatted in a PC and you convert these disks to Dynamic disks, they will not be recognized directly when you use them in a USB connected disk case. Basic disks don't have that problem, Windows see them at boot up. But with a USB connected disk, you can't convert them back from Dynamic to Basic, so you have to do that in a PC, directly connected to a SATA controller. Or, you can simply delete the partition, create a new one, format the disk as Basic and copy your data again (takes some time if you have 8 3 TB better do it in a PC).
Speed with USB 3 on a i7 box with 32 GB RAM is excellent, reliability outstanding, noise quasi if you are looking for a cheap solution to put your disks in an external USB case, you can't find anything better. Just make sure all your disks are Basic and if over 2TB, choose GPT instead of MBR. If you want raid you will have to look alsewhere but if you can live with each drive showing up as a separate drive then the Hornettek is ideal.
Hope this was useful.
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on 16 January 2016
I am returning it because it is a fire risk. When I turned it on (have tested it a few time after I received it less than a week ago), visible bright yellow light could be seen coming out from the Quad Bay device, accompanying it were smoke and smell of burnt circuit board. Upon inspection after immediately turned its power off, I could see that some circuit were burnt and soot were left on my harddisk which was inside it at the time. Luckily the harddisk didn't seem to have been affected.
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on 12 May 2015
I bought this on September 2014 and the internal fan fell off in April 2015, this product offers no coverage for returns so despite having had it for just 8 months, I can't have a refund or return it for a new one.

For what I needed, this unit worked well for some time once I switched from USB to eSata, as it continuously lost connection with the USB connection. I just needed a quad enclosure to host 4 hard disks I had spare after a major computer upgrade. The disks in the enclosure were hardly used as the new computer I bought came with a big hard drive for data. I always had the fan on medium speed as it is perceptibly noisy at the highest speed. The problem started around February 2015, 6 months after purchase, when the Hornettek enclosure started to make a low "humming" noise which I thought would have been one of the hard drives going a bit loose, the noise increased in April and on May I took the hard disks and on top of the topmost hard drive I found the fan.

I inserted the fan back into the pin but the noise it made was unbearable. One of the disks when ported back into the computer was corrupted and was unrepairable, it seems they had been very hot for a long time because when I took them out of the enclosure they were too hot to handle with bare hands.
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on 7 July 2015
This review is for the Hornettek Enterprise 4x Quad version. The enclosure served a very specific purpose for me; Having upgraded from a Mac Pro 2,1 [Cheese-grate] to a new Mac Pro 2013 [Watney's Party 7] I had the issue of transferring data from 4 internal HDs to a new home. This box saved lots of time in doing so. With the limits of the new Apple regime of USB 3 or Thunderbolt only; I had to get round the problem of using Target mode transfers or buying several adapters for my legacy Firewire external boxes. Dropping four drives at a time into this unit saved multiple reboots and external box installations.

I think there will b limits to how I use it in the future as there are some quirks to this box which means I will probably not rely on it for primary use. It might be my set up or an anomaly of the Mac OS with USB 3.0, but I do not find the 'Hot Swap' function to work. Un-mounting a single drive and removing it provoked the 'Not Ejected Properly' warning for all other volumes. I even get this when un-mounting all the drives, as soon as one is pulled from the bus a warning message comes up. The only way of removing a drive physically is to unmount and power down, which in my books; does not constitute a 'Hot Swap'

It's a mix of styles too. The brushed metal body and flush window in front of the indicator LEDs shows an attention to detail from the Industrial Design department that evidences that they have seen the Mac Pro and are tipping their caps in that direction, but the plastic mounts for the drives feel a bit unrefined and lightweight in comparison. It is also a bit of a bugger to pick up, there is no way to lift it with one hand, and the textured metal shows up dusty fingerprints very easily. The oddest thing is a manual adjustment on the back panel for the cooling fan. It runs from a very quiet tick-over to something approaching a hand-drier. It is, perhaps, a bit unfair to quantify the impact of its fan noise in a studio which has a new Mac Pro in the middle; [this computer makes the energy saving lightbulbs hum noticeable] but the adjustment on my drive enclosure has a sweet-spot, setting at the highest level is too loud to accommodate without the aid of a server cabinet, but setting at minimum makes the ticking of bearings noticeable. for my unit; approximately 25% from base gives a whisper from the blades but is fast enough for the bearings to hum subtly rather than buzz. If you have fairly active office environment this is probably academic, however, I will not be running this while eating video and I would not use it as a media server unless it was located remotely from the playback devices. If I ever get time, I might hack it and put a quieter fan in.

I noticed on a number of other reviews that there have been issues with USB hubs and such. While this has not been an issue in my own set-up I have had a couple of occasions where changing a device in a USB hub has unmounted the HornetTek mounted drives, but I would qualify that in saying a couple of other external drives also ejected and remounted at the same time - making me suspect this is an issue of daisy chaining on USB 3.0 rather than a bug in the hardware.

Bottom line for me; while this isn't a Drobo or Netgear array, for around £80, it's a great value solution for mounting a bunch of drives with just one power lead. I have started thinking of it as a bridging technology between a drive dock and a RAID.
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on 31 July 2012
This is one serious bit of kit! I've just changed from a Tower PC with 3 internal drives to a MacBook Pro and needed somewhere to put the drives. The device was housed in stout packaging, which Amazon seem to think needed to put inside another box about 4 times the size along with some paper filler, but that's all for the good.

Delivery was on time, I'd asked for next day delivery and received an email from the shippers to say that it would be delivered between 8 and 9 the following morning and they were spot on.

Installation was a piece of cake and took about 10 minutes to install all three. Apart from the fact that it just works it's very well constructed looks really good and it's pleasantly quiet as well.

If you search Amazon you will find many other multi-drive enclosures, but most set them up in some form of raid configuration, which I didn't want. All three show as separate drives on my desktop; one has been set for Apples Timeline backup system.

Wasn't sure when I placed the order but I'm very glad I did now. Well done everyone; highly recommended.
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on 23 April 2012
The Hornettek Enterprise 4X is the ideal answer to a niggling problem that I have. How to access many disks at once? I have a number of SATA hard drives which I need access to - I store photos mostly, but some video and work stuff. And I like to keep backup copies. However, as the years have gone by I have acquired a mis-mash of internal and external disks. I tried getting caddies for the internal disks but then I have so many power supplies and cables coming from the disk its crazy.

I started looking at multi bay enclosures - two and four bay cases, but nothing really sprang out at me - most of the cases use RAID and are very expensive.

Fortunately, I found the 4 bay Hornettek case while searching on Amazon, and what a stroke of luck that was.

Firstly, its very inexpensive. I paid around £90 for it. Secondly, it has no RAID gubbins included. This means that I can do what I like with my disks, not what the case manufacturer wants me to do.

If I want 4 disks in the case, I put 4 disks in. If I want to mirror two disks, I can do that via my PC's software.

Secondly, and a nice surprise, it has a USB3.0 and eSATA connection - I have upgraded my PC to USB3.0 but I believe eSATA is faster. Anyhow, there is a choice should you need it.

Thirdly, installing disks is really easy - it takes just a second to pop a disk into the caddy, and push the caddy into the Exnterprise 4x. You can screw the disk in if you wish, but I'm a bit lazy and change the disks a lot so I don't bother with this.

The case has a nice big fan which you can switch off - I leave it on when using it - doesn't make much noise and I think with 4 disks, there is a lot of heat so prefer to keep it on. The aluminium `wrap around' case is really nicely designed and looks good on my desk.

In summary, I would really recommend this enclosure to anyone who wants to store and access masses of data conveniently, or someone who has lots of old sata disks they want to use. It's a great product, at a fantastic price and offers excellent performance.
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on 4 October 2012
Love the style and it seems to work very well.

i've got this configured as a media hub for MediaBrowser in WMC7 & a Plex Server and works very well.

I'm only using it on USB 2.0 but connection is solid on both my Win7 HTPC & my Mac.

- if this was £70 i would but 2 more right now but £95 means i'm looking at the 2 bay Enterprise model here on Amazon (Hornettek Enterprise 2X Pro (HT-3202U3R) 2-Bay RAID HDD ENCLOSURE) for £50 to expand.

Also 6TB+ of data takes forever to transfer over USB2.0 so upgrade to USB3.0/eSATA

overall this beats any other USB caddy or 2/4 Bay JBOD unit out there - i did look at DROBO but was put off with price - NAS Boxes start around £50 for 2 Bay but the 4 Bay ( that i wanted ) start at much more! and besides the £50 NAS Boxes do look cheap and nasty.
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on 15 January 2014
After our upgrading my home server I needed a device to back up the 5Tb of data. As it was just a backup I didn't want the expense of having a NAS and this device was the perfect solution. It would enable me to back up my data periodically and switch it off when not in use, so saving a few quid on the electricity bill. The device has both USB3 and eSATA.

A word of warning, if you are using Windows you can't use dynamic disks i.e. spanned, stripped etc over USB. I found this out the hard way after buying a USB3 expansion card. I had a problem using USB3 where the drives would lock up after a period of time when copying data, however I am confident that this was down to the expansion card rather than the Hornettek. So I invested in a eSATA expansion card. TIP: make sure your eSATA card supports port replication otherwise you'll only see on drive.

I have to say the results with eSATA exceeded my expectations. I was able to create a stripped disk set under Windows and Robocop ran at just over 130MB/s which is mighty impressive.

Overall I'm very happy with the Hornettek, it does everything I want with the added bonus of excellent transfer rates.
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