Seagate GoFlex Net offers piece-of-cake NAS setup

The scoop: GoFlex Net, by Seagate, $99.99 (without drive; GoFlex drives sold separately).

What it is: Part of Seagate's new GoFlex line of products, the Net is a network storage device that replaces the company's DockStar unit. The Net is a docking cradle that supports connections of two GoFlex portable drives. The dock itself plugs into an open router port. Access to the network for each PC is provided through the Pogoplug application, which you can download from the Pogoplug (and Seagate) Web site. You can also access the drive from any Web browser.

Why it's cool: The portability of the GoFlex drives means you can easily take the drive out of the Net device when you want to go on the road with your files, and it supports expandability very easily, since it utilizes portable external drives rather than tougher-to-install hard disk drives. A Pogoplug app supports the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices, letting you access music and photos from your phone.

The GoFlex system lets you connect USB 3.0 or FireWire 800 cables for faster copying. This means you can put all your files on the drive quicker than transferring to a bulkier network-attached storage (NAS) via Wi-Fi. You can expand capacity by attaching other USB external drives (even ones not from Seagate). Social site support (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace) is cool: You can share photos directly from the drive to these sites rather than uploading them to the site. On Facebook, for example, when you share a photo, a post goes on your Wall with a link allowing friends to view the photo from your drive. The benefit? You don't have to upload the photo to Facebook. Audio streaming is supported for Xbox 360 and PS3 game consoles.

Some caveats: No iTunes streaming (boo!); Social network connections didn't work with Google Chrome browser.

Related:

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022