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HP Media Vault Pro 5020 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £222
inc VAT


2 disk bays, 500GB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

HP’s Media Vault Pro comes with a 500GB hard disk and an empty drive bay for fitting another.

Oddly, it supports JBOD and RAID 1 but not RAID 0. As the existing 500GB disk isn’t designed to be user accessible, you’re limited to just 500GB of storage if you want a RAID 1 array. You can use USB disks to add more storage, though. In JBOD mode, you can merge the capacity of a USB disk with the internal disks, so Windows sees a single large drive.

Configuration was straightforward thanks to the logically organised and clearly labelled setup utility and web management interface. Creating user accounts and assigning different access privileges to different folders is quick and painless. You can’t organise users into groups, so administration could be long-winded if you have a lot of users on your network.

There’s no FTP server, but you can access your files remotely through a web browser. Uploading multiple files can be tedious, though, as you can only upload one file at a time. Remote access depends on an HP-branded version of TZO’s Dynamic DNS service. A one-year subscription is included, but after that it costs $10 (around £7) per year, and you can’t use an alternative service instead.

The Media Vault works as an iTunes server. Once a program is installed on each of your networked computers, music is automatically copied from them to the Media Vault to form a single large iTunes library. It doesn’t copy playlists or weed out duplicate songs, though.

This device worked well as a UPnP media server, but can’t be used as a USB print server. You can set the Media Vault to go to standby each day, but this feature is poorly designed as it can interrupt any file transfers in progress. It didn’t excel in our file-transfer tests, but it was fairly quick. It copied large files at an average speed of 16MB/s and small files at an average of 13.6MB/s.

HP’s Media Vault isn’t great value at 44p per gigabyte. It has some useful features, but the rough edges are inexcusable at this price.

Basic Specifications



Formatted capacity465GB
Default file systemext3
Price per gigabyte£0.44
InterfaceSATA 300
3.5in drive bays2
Free 3.5in drive bays1
RAID modesRAID 1


Ethernet ports1
USB direct access ports (front/rear)0/1
Other USB ports (front/rear)1/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Other portsnone


Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
UPnP media serveryes
Print serverno
USB disk serveryes
Web serverno
FTP serverno
Protocols supportedTCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, HTTP


Vertical positioningno
Ethernet cable includedyes
Additional featuresremote access, photo server
Power consumption idle27W
Power consumption active30W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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