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More SOHO storage choices

Nov 24, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

At Comdex, Buffalo, Tritton and Iomega debut products.

It’s not just wishful thinking; the home server/storage market really is taking shape. D-Link and start-up Ispiri launched products in September, and the latter has since taken its product name, Mirra. And at Comdex last week, three more vendors unveiled devices — Buffalo Technology (USA), Tritton Technologies and Iomega — all aimed at helping networked homes and small offices store, share and organize data.

 LinkStationBuffalo, which sells mostly wireless equipment, positions the new LinkStation ($299; available now) as a consumer/SOHO network storage center. The device offers 120G bytes of storage, one 10/100 Ethernet and two USB 2.0 ports. It works with PCs and Mac clients, and includes a capacity indicator light that signals when the device is almost full, a built-in power supply and an auto-off feature that lessens power consumption. (For anytime access across the network, you need to leave the device on, of course.) Security includes username and password, and the ability to set up user and group file permissions.

T-NAS120Geared more to small businesses and departmental workgroups is Tritton Technologies’ T-NAS120 ($349; available now). The device includes 120G bytes of storage, a USB 2.0 print server, and one 10/100 Ethernet port. It supports PC, Mac and Unix/Linux clients, allows permissions by users and groups, and provides Web management and SNMP support. The print server is a nice touch, and USB ports let you expand capacity by attaching an external hard disk.

 Iomega Network Hard DriveIomega’s new Iomega Network Hard Drive ($299) provides 250G-bytes of storage, one 10/100 Ethernet port and one USB 2.0 port. Iomega positions the device mainly against external hard disks from competitors such as Seagate, whose products connect to a single PC and must be kept running to share the data across the network. The initial device supports Windows 2000 and XP only; support for Win98, ME and Mac systems is planned. Security is limited to username and password.

Unlike the Buffalo and Tritton boxes, Iomega’s includes back-up and disaster-recovery software. Symantec Norton Ghost 2003 captures an image of each PC’s hard disk, including system files, settings and applications. Iomega Automatic back-up software backs up to four PCs on the network in real time. Available in December, the 120G byte model will cost $299; the 250G byte model costs $429.

In his Small Business Tech column this week, James Gaskin reviews the Tritton ASAP, a network-attached storage device that includes a broadband router, switch, firewall and VPN.