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Maxtor, Linksys to debut wireless external hard drive

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by D0ct0rteeth, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. macrumors 65816


    From CNet Asia

    If hard-drive maker Maxtor and networking company Linksys have their way, your external hard drive is about to become very external.

    On Tuesday, the companies plan to announce a partnership featuring a US$99 Linksys device designed to allow an external hard drive to connect to a wireless router, letting PCs tap into the storage and share files without any physical link to the drive.

    The joint effort is geared toward small offices and homes, markets overflowing with companies pitching home-networking technology. Maxtor and Linksys--a Cisco Systems unit--are marketing products together and tout a common set of instructions for tying drives to routers with what's dubbed the "Linksys Network Storage Link."

    Those common instructions reflect an attempt to make the technology easy to install. Small businesses "need stuff that's going to be really simple," said Stephen DiFranco, vice president of corporate and brand marketing at Maxtor. "They don't have an IT (information technology) department to set things up."

    Bob O'Donnell, analyst at research firm IDC, said the technology seems like a miniature version of so-called network-attached storage, which refers to specialized computers that serve up files over networks and are typically found in larger companies. "It's bringing network-attached storage down from the high end of the enterprise to the small office and home," he said. "It's just a logical extension."

    Products to store data and zap it around homes are proliferating as companies try to help consumers manage the digitalization of entertainment. The devices include the Mirra "Personal Server" and a new product from Apple Computer that acts as both a portable wireless base station and a way to stream music throughout the home.

    The Linksys Network Storage Link connects to an external hard drive through one of two USB ports and includes a file management system, the companies said. It is designed to work with a wired or wireless network, and to work with other external drives apart from Maxtor products.

    Through Sept. 30, U.S. residents who purchase a Maxtor OneTouch USB drive with the Linksys Network Storage Link can get a US$20 mail-in rebate.
  2. macrumors newbie

  3. macrumors 68030


    that was previewed on techtv on the ScreenSavers also.
  4. macrumors 601


    Couldn't you already do this with a USB hard drive and an Airport Express base station?
  5. macrumors 68000


    As far as I know, the USB on the Airport is only for printers. I haven't heard of anyone who has gotten it to work with anything else.
  6. macrumors 603


    Nice. Now when the RIAA raids your house they won't find your music collection since its stashed in the wall. ;)
  7. Moderator emeritus


    Dumb question, but are there relatively simple boxes (not RAID LOL) that are network drives for home users? Like not wireless maybe, but you plug it into your router and access it via IP address or something?

    This sounds kinda cool, although you have to be in range of that Linksys base station to use it -- it would be better if it works with something like Rendezvous that allows an ad-hoc connection directly between the HD and the computer. :)
  8. macrumors 6502

    I'm curious what kind of drivers are or aren't necessary to realize it's a hard drive over WLAN rather than some other kind of device. I'm kind of curious what real benefits this offers. It puts a hard drive out on the air. Wi-Fi isn't known for ironclad security, so putting personal/sensitive data on this drive would likely be folly. Also, wireless HD access versus your own ATA bus would be magnitudes slower. So, it would be good for low bandwidth activities (like mp3's) or maybe non-attended backups. Anything requiring speed like video, game loading, etc. would not do well at all with this.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Was this announced today?

    I will buy ANYTHING today if it allows me to plug in my firewire harddrive and access the music.. Short of buying a seperate CPU to use as a file server.. is there an option?
    150 bucks or less?

    - Doc
  10. Moderator emeritus


    Actually you might be able to accomplish this with a really cheap linux box (the HD wouldn't be FW anymore of course)....although that wasn't your goal. Might be able to sneak under $150.
  11. macrumors regular

    Actually, Linksys just released an Ethernet-to-USB bridge specifically built for networking hard drives. I think it's called the NSLU2. Multiple USB hard drives can be hooked up to the unit to increase capacity. If you connect it to a wireless router, it lets the network see the hard drive(s) as attached network drives.

    It'd be really great if AirPort Express could have the same functionality, instead of just allowing USB print server capability. I'd snap up two in an instant.
  12. Moderator emeritus


    Hmmm...here's the link on that Linksys:


    Looks pretty cool, and its USB 2.0 so I guess it shouldn't be so slow. Looks like it costs $75-100 mail order. Would work great if you have a router or a wireless access point that has a switch built in somewhere in your network.

    It doesn't say anything about mac compatibility, but it is network administerable using a web browser, so maybe?

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