Hitachi SimpleNet USB to NAS Adaptor
Network Attached Storage is one of those geeky acronyms for hard...more
Gigabytes! Chances are you're using lots of them, and you're gonna need more. External hard drives are great for this sort of thing, but what if your house has 5 computers and you want to share the megabyte love? Enter NAS Adaptors. Network Attached Storage is one of those geeky acronyms for hard drives you can access from any computer in your network (read: house or office). The problem is, NAS drives are pricey, and most are not upgradeable - so if you run out of room on one, you need a new drive. The SimpleNet NAS Adaptor has a simple job. On one end, you plug in up to 2 USB drives - flash drives, hard drives, whatever. On the other, you use the included ethernet plug to connect it to your router/network. Attach the power cord and presto! You now have your USB drives accessible by any computer on the house. Use them to store a shared iTunes Library, your movies, BitTorrent stuff, shared files and folders (great for offices), or for backup. If you ever run out of space, just buy a bigger drive and plug it in. For such a simple concept (getting hard drives on your network) you'd be surprised at how difficult it is to engineer. The SimpleNet is currently one of only 2 such adaptors on the market. So how good is it? Reviews on Amazon (a total of two) are mixed, but not knowing this I went ahead and bought one. I'll say it's pretty good, with some reservations. The hardest part is finding a CD tray that can hold the Mini-CD, which contains the manual (for shame people, kill some trees!). It's pretty straight forward after that. You simply go to the IP address of the device in your browser (finding that is explained in the manual) to configure things, which is dead simple. Here's the main con. This thing DOESN'T seem to work with EVERY drive. I tried it with a fancy LaCie with FireWire, eSata, and USB, and it NEVER recognized it. When I tried a simple, one-trick pony USB drive, and a USB keychain drive, they both worked flawlessly. So before you buy, make sure to use USB only drives (hopefully this will be fixed with a firmware update). Other than that it's perfect. Here are some of the included features: - Create Users so you have passworded access to the drive - FTP server - SSH server - Built in iTunes Folder setup Price is $75, but you can find it for a little less. P.S. Mac users, Hitachi shows us some love - it works out of the box with Mac formated drives. It also has built in Bonjour access. That means after plugging it in, just go to: simplnet.local in your browser to access the setup and configuration page. A Bonjour plugin is included for PC's to spread the love.