In the same genre, Seagate offers the BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 Performance Kit, a 500 GB drive and USB adapter for $179. Unlike Western Digital's drive, the Seagate comes with backup software. And Buffalo offers the DriveStation USB 3.0 HD-HXU3, which is compatible with either Windows or the Mac OS, for $150.
RAID Comes Home Enterprises have used RAID-based storage systems since the 1990's, but it's rare to see them in a product aimed at creative professionals and small businesses. Just to be clear, RAID stands for redundant array of independent disks, and that's exactly what Data Robotics offers in its new DROBO S.
The gadget is a chassis with slots for up to five drives, plus software. RAID's claim to fame is the ability to preserve a copy of your data even if one of the drives fails; the DROBO S can handle the failure of two drives.
This is not a cheap solution. The DROBO S starts at $800 and that's with no drives; you need to buy your own. The older version, which is still available, is slower, has four drive slots, and can handle the failure of a single drive. It sells for about $400.
Data Robotics' technology allows users to mix and match drives of different sizes and different manufacturers. The DROBO S maxes out at a total of 10 terrabytes and connects to Windows machines via USB 2.0 and to Macs via FireWire 800. It is also compatible with Linux.
Pogoplug: Your New Travel Companion Despite its silly name, the Pogoplug is a cheap ($129) and useful device for accessing files of all kinds when you're away from home.
It works like this: Plug the Pogoplug into an external hard drive or flash drive, and then plug the cute little box into your router or broadband modem. Once it's setup, you then go to the Pogoplug Web site, enter your password, and hello, content. Anything on the drive connected to the Pogoplug is accessible. This gizmo works with PCs and Macs.
If you like, it can be shared by multiple users, and it's possible to set up various levels of access for your guests. You can also upload files remotely, which is a handy way to back up your stuff when on the road. If you'd like to have more than one drive connected to Pogoplug, simply use a hub.
Another nice feature: you can grab or upload files to and from a Blackberry or iPhone. I'd like this gadget better if it could connect to the Web via Wi-Fi instead of running a cable, but that's a relatively small drawback.
San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder writes frequently about business and technology. He welcomes your comments and suggestions. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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