Storage

Seagate GoFlex Brings Cheap, Versatile Storage to Small Business

Seagate launched a new line of external hard drives--the GoFlex Home network storage system. The product is aimed at the home user market, but the GoFlex Home drives can also be a flexible, cost-effective backup and storage solution for small businesses.

Small offices and home offices (SOHO) need efficient ways to share and protect data, but lack the budgets and personnel necessary to implement and maintain complex storage or backup solutions. A product like the GoFlex Home gives SOHO businesses a simple, cost-effective means of accessing files via the wireless network, and backing up critical data.

The Seagate GoFlex Home drives connect to a wireless router via ethernet, enabling any Mac or Windows PC connected to the wireless network to access the data on the drive, or to back up critical data wirelessly to the GoFlex Home drive.

According to the Seagate press release "The new centralized storage system simplifies the backup process by being compatible with Apple Time Machine, as well as including a version of the backup application for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems."

The backup software included with the GoFlex Home is from Memeo, and allows up to three systems to wirelessly and continuously backup data. Mac systems can backup data to the GoFlex Home drive using either Memeo or Apple Time Machine.

The GoFlex Home drive can also be used to wirelessly stream photos, movies, or music. Businesses and branch offices can store photos or video clips of completed projects or samples of the types of work that can be done and use the GoFlex Home to let potential customers view them. Using the GoFlex TV HD media player, the photos or videos can be wirelessly streamed to a TV to display samples of work, or marketing videos in a lobby.

The 1Tb GoFlex Home drive is expected to retail for $159.99, while the 2Tb model will be $229.99. As larger capacity GoFlex drives are available from Seagate, the drive inside the GoFlex Home unit can be replaced to expand storage space.

The GoFlex Home drive also has a USB port which can be used either to add additional external storage space, or to connect a printer which would then be available to systems connected to the wireless network.

Being able to wirelessly backup data will simplify the process and ensure that critical data is backed up and available in the event of a catastrophe like a hard drive crash, or a lost or stolen laptop. The ability for SOHO workers to centrally store and share data will help them operate more efficiently and streamline collaboration to improve productivity.

SOHO businesses should check out the Seagate GoFlex Home drives and find out the many ways the unit provides a flexible, effective storage solution.

You can follow Tony on his Facebook page , or contact him by email at tony_bradley@pcworld.com . He also tweets as @Tony_BradleyPCW .

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