My Less Than Satisfactory Experience With Drobo Transporter

crashed vintage plane

The Transporter is a device for creating your own personal cloud storage so that you can have more trust in the privacy and security of your files when compared to services like Dropbox, Google Drive or Box. As a consultant I work remotely from client sites and I often need access to certain files. I've wanted one of these for a while. I finally decided to get Transporter Sync and re-purpose a Seagate FreeAgent Go 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive that I wasn?t using.

The Sync has no internal storage. Setup was easy. I attach the supported Seagate FreeAgent Go hard drive and attached the Sync to my network via Ethernet and powered on the unit. In less than 10 minutes I had it all up and running. I installed the Transporter Desktop software on my iMac and MacBook Air and was able to copy files to the Transporter folder. The Transporter Sync worked like Dropbox, giving me the ability to drag and drop files into a folder on my iMac and have them sync seamlessly across all my devices. I was able to get access to the files from my iPad and iPhone as well. I was excited.

I use a MacBook Air when working remotely. The Air has a 128GB drive. It's small but large enough for installation of the software I need. Because of this my intention was to use the Transporter Library. The purpose of Transporter Library is to store the folders that I don't want to keep on my computer as local copies, meaning that these folders are assessed only over the network and are stored only on my Transporter. On a Mac, the Transporter Library will actually behave as a remote volume, meaning that any item that you drag into Transporter Library will be copied rather than moved. After making sure that the basic sync function worked, I moved my files to the Transporter Library and looked forward to testing things out from the office the next day.

Once at the remote office, I tried to get access to my files on my MacBook but the Transporter folder was empty and I was not able to get access to the Library folder at all. I went to the Transporter support site and tried some trouble shooting tips from the Knowledge Base. Frustrated, I gave up, expecting that that issue must be on my home setup. When I got home I verified that the Transporters lights were the correct colour. I verified that while on my network, files were being sync between the iMac, Transporter, and MacBook. I verified that I could access the Transport Library.

I came back into the office the next day and tried again. Same result. I decided to open a support ticket. This is where things started going downhill. I submitted my support request on February 19th at 7PM (4PM PST). I got a response on February 21 at 7PM (4PM PST). My Technical Support Agent, Katrina, asked me for some information about my setup including the model number of the Transporter, logs, serial number, location of the Transporter folder, etc. I responded that I had only just setup the device, that the folder was in the default location, that the drive was supported, that the lights were the right colour, and I uploaded the logs she requested. I also noted that I could access the files via my iPad or iPhone while connected to the same remote network as the MacBook.

I got the following message back:

Thank you for the information about the lights and those logs. I've escalated this case to my tier 2. He will be in touch as soon as he has the chance to look over everything here.

That was the last message I received about my issue. No phone calls. No email. This morning -- March 2, 2015 -- I contacted the company via their online chat service. I asked how I could return the device for a refund. I was given a toll-free number to call. When I called around 9AM EST, I got an automated message that said that I was next in the queue and that my wait time was 1 minute. Ten minutes later someone answered the phone. I explained my frustration and asked to be put in touch with someone who could issue me a refund. The person on the phone took down my information and promised someone would call me back. It's 3PM EST and no one has called.

I think this is the worse customer service I have ever encountered. The entire experience has left me frustrated and angry. The device has not been successfully at doing the one thing I want it to do. The Transporter may well be a good product but with I can't recommend it to friend, colleagues and family members.

UPDATE: I checked my email this morning and found this message from Drobo which was sent around 5PM (EST) on March 2nd and it seems someone was trying to reach on my drive home from work:

?Thank you for your messages. I apologize as it should not have taken so long for someone to get back to you. I have pressured this case to my tier 3 escalations engineer. He will be in touch promptly.?

UPDATE: This morning I tried some more trouble shooting. I might as well since tech support isn't helping me at all and customer support hasn't called me about my refund. I connected my MacBook to the guest network on my Apple Airport Express. The guest network is separate from the main network. Guess what? I experience the same issues that I have when I am connected remotely. I am not sure what this means.

UPDATE: I should have checked the reviews on before purchasing the Transporter. There are 119 reviews of the product and 40% are two stars or less. Most of the complaints are about the lackluster customer support.

Working in the software industry, I knew I was dealing with a level 1 support rep and that he wasn’t going to be of any help. I was right. It didn’t take long to be transferred to another rep who asked a few more questions. At least his questions were related to the issue and the platform I was using. Unfortunately, after responding to those questions, there’s been silence. There’s been no response from them on how to proceed, even after updating the ticket with the results from other devices.Gleen on

Desert Island Planning for a Best Friend -- Star Trek Style

Someone Else's Island (The Daily Post)

We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?

The five objects I would want my best friend to have if she was stranded on a desert island.

Someone Else's Island (The Daily Post)

We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?

My wife is my best friend and we've known each other for longer than we've been married. We met in college almost 26 years ago. Technically she's my best friend forever (BFF) since that's what we promised each other during our marriage ceremony.

I would want my BFF as comfortable as possible and able to survive any challenge. Here are the five objects I would want my best friend to have.

  • Firstly, since she will need food, shelter, clothing etc., I would pack a futuristic version of a 3D printer -- a Star Trek style replicator. I know, I know. The replicator doesn't exist. But since the scenario itself isn't real I think the solutions can be fantasy.
  • The second object I would pack is a backup replicator. What if the first replicator breaks down and needs spare parts and tools to repair it? A second replicator offers some assurances that my BFF will be ok.
  • Energy source for the replicators. The devices are useless without power. The power source must be renewable. Assuming desert island means tropical desert island I think a solar-powered source would be best. Perhaps a solar-powered Stirling steam engine.
  • A transporter. Yes, why not? Perhaps my BFF wants to come get me so we can hang out on this deserted island together. After all, we have everything we need.

Wait, that's only four objects! Yes, because I ran out of ideas.