Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Box of Memory, Available Anywhere

Netgear’s new Stora network-attached storage device (NAS, in geek speak) comes with a terabyte (1,000) of hard drive space and software to help manage your files for $229. For another $20 a year, Netgear’s Stora service lets you access your content and play media files from any Internet-connected computer or smartphone.

The Stora is basically a box the size of a small toaster with slots for two hard drives, one of which comes pre-filled with the terabyte disc. (The case also has a USB port to which you can attach a USB hard drive for even more space.) As with any NAS, you connect the Stora to your router with an included Ethernet cable. Then run the setup CD on any PC or Mac on your network to give the Stora a unique name, set up a user account, and install optional desktop applications (for backup and other chores).

Without the Stora service, you can create two additional user accounts for others on your network to maintain their own backups and media libraries; with the service, you can create as many as you wish.

The Stora appears in a Windows PC’s network folder (and the Mac’s computer folder under “Shared”) as another computer, with various folders for storing data and media. The easiest way to move your media files is to drag and drop from their current location to the appropriate Stora folder: This takes about 15 minutes per gigabyte of material copied over a fast Wi-Fi connection.

At home, you can play your music and view files by clicking on the Stora Agent icon that appears in the Windows taskbar. With the $20 service, when you’re away, you simply point a browser to and log in with the name you gave your box during setup, your user ID and password.

You won’t be able to play music a device doesn’t support–for example, an iPhone won’t play music encoded in Windows Media Audio (.wma) format. But otherwise, the Stora offers a relatively simple way to access your media from anywhere, while avoiding worries about entrusting it to the many Web-based storage services that may or may not last out the recession.

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1 Comment:

Blogger said...

You might be eligible to get a Apple iPhone 7.

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