Over the past few years I have purchased or reviewed many different external hard drives. Most of them were just USB drives for use directly connecting to a desktop or laptop. This is fine if you are a one computer user. Although, yes… there are ways to share the drive with other machines, if you know what you are doing. 🙂
But if you are a multiple computer household a much better option is to invest in a NAS driver. A what?? NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. In other words, this type of drive will be available to every computer (and other media devices) connected to your home network. This means that you can store just about anything for use on multiple devices. I rip all of my kids movies to my NAS drive. We can then play them from all computers in the house, my LG Wi-FI connected TV, the Roku box, etc. The possibilities are endless.
The Buffalo CloudStor Solo Personal Cloud Storage drive is a great way to share your data not only when in your home, but away from home as well. Just like with other cloud based storage services, you can access your data remotely by accessing a special URL, or even access it from your iPhone, iPad, or via the Pogoplug app.
Want the techy details? Here are the full specifications:
Internal Hard Drives
|Number of Drives||1|
|Drive Interface||SATA 3 Gb/s|
|Hard Drive Sizes||1 TB, 2 TB|
|Standard Compliance||IEEE802.3ab / IEEE802.3 / IEEE802.3u|
|Data Transfer Rates||10 / 100 / 1000 Mbps|
|Number of Ports||1|
|File Sharing||CIFS/SMB, AFP, HTTP/HTTPS|
|Dimensions (WxHxD in.)||1.78 x 6.89 x 5.91|
|Power Consumption (Watts)||Average 17 W|
|Power Supply||AC 100-240V 50/60 Hz|
|OS Compatibility||Mac OS® X 10.4 – 10.7, Windows® 7 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows Vista® (32-bit/64-bit), Windows® XP, Windows® 2000,Windows Server® 2000/2003/2008|
The drive was very easy to setup. You plug in the power, plug it into your router and access http://cloudstor.pogoplug.com to configure the drive. The drive will show up in your “Network Neighborhood” in Windows, and your Shared Drives on your Mac. There is also an option to stream photos, videos, and music to your PS3 and Xbox on your home network.
With 1TB of space there is plenty of space for most home needs. But, if that is not enough, the drive is also available as a 2TB drive. You can choose how you want to use the drive. You can use it for backups, data storage, media sharing, or all of those combined.
I have tried NAS drives before, but so far this one is the easiest to setup and use. Even if you are not familiar with networking you can get it up and running in no time. I would just offer a two quick suggestions for getting the most out of the drive.
1. Rename the CloudStor drive to something unique for your network. I give every computer and network device in my home a uniform but unique name so I know just by looking at it which device it is.
2. Password protect your drive. Extra security is never a bad thing.
In addition to your 1TB of storage on your CloudStor drive you also get 5gb of web based cloud storage which you can use to store or share commonly used files, similar to Dropbox.
The 1TB Buffalo CloudStor drive can be purchased for $139.99. And the 2TB version is a great deal at $179.99.
Disclosure: The CloudStor was provided to me in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.