Published on October 22nd, 2016 | by Greg0
Promise Apollo NAS: Wired, Cloud-Friendly Local Storage
We’re getting closer to a time when we can treat data storage as an on-demand, essentially infinite service, thanks to the rapid growth of cloud providers (and faster, broader internet connections). But there are still some serious trade-offs, especially when it comes to security, and paying for another monthly subscription can add up fast. Still, it doesn’t make sense to give up the buggy with the horse, or to keep your files tethered to a single device.
The typical solution: a NAS, or network-attached storage device like the Promise Apollo Cloud, which bills itself as a safer way to share and save. Now, most NAS options include support for various cloud services, but this one is meant to tie you directly to the drive. If you already use a service like Dropbox and are satisfied, then this model might not be the best fit your needs. It is smaller and cuter than many though- it looks basically like a desktop hard disk- and offers a solid four terabytes of total disk space. The form factor and overall aesthetic is friendly and likable enough that the Apollo is being sold directly by Apple.
There is USB 3.0 support to connect your thumb drives, and one-click upload to back up those drives, but no wireless functionality- we always suggest using ethernet with a NAS though. So how do the specs compare to the competition? For starters, it’s got more RAM than most, a full 1GB, but processor info was not available. Unlike others we’ve seen, there is no DLNA media support, as the Apollo is built simply for storing files and not as much for life in the living room- no HDMI port and no direct video or audio output. It’s also lacking in sophisticated features that enthusiasts might want, like Plex support or backup scheduling, or BitTorrent client.
We liked that Promise offers a two year warranty and 90 days of free phone support. And there aren’t a lot of different build options, nor do you need to worry about installing your own drive or drives. It strips down the extra functions, and feels a little limited to us. But a novice user- your average mom or grandma looking to store photos and videos- might find the Apollo perfectly adequate and it does provide encryption. As you might expect, there are PC, OSX, iOS and Android apps that allow you to share files, and the most unusual aspect of the Promise Apollo is how it relies on them. They are serviceable, but aren’t deep (limited search and sorting options, lacking metadata). Bottom line: if you need a RAID array, keep looking. But for a straightforward place for multiple users to store files and access them from anywhere, the Promise Apollo Cloud is simple and effective, and runs about $299 online and in stores.