Networked personal media server for creative pros

maxtorThe never-ending need for more storage space can get expensive and may seem to take up more space than the file boxes from the days of paper trails and analog devices. Expensive servers involve more of a learning curve and, in some cases, there may be concerns about less tech-savvy staff, network security, or maintenance issues. But a new wave of so-called “personal servers” has emerged and one of the physically smaller models, the Maxtor Fusion 500-GB external storage device, represents a solution for the advanced consumer/home office professional.

Once the software is installed and the device is connected to your network, the Maxtor Fusion drive offers a choice of conventional drag-and-drop storage or a slick and well-designed web-based interface, which allows for simple navigation, import, and export of files as well as Web hosting of designated sites.

Compatible with Macintosh and Windows, the speed of the Fusion drive is impressive, and it allows for expansion via two USB 2.0 ports. As with most servers, the only real drawback is that you need an Ethernet network in place to use the device. While these small routers are now very affordable, it can cause some issues with your firewall or with a wireless network that doesn’t offer an Ethernet expansion port.

The bottom line is that this is a fast, easy-to-use, well-designed personal server that makes it easy to store your multimedia for where and when you need it. Competitively priced, feature-rich, and a friendly interface make this one terrific product. —DANIEL M. EAST

PRICE: $799.99
FROM: Maxtor Corporation/Seagate
PHONE: 800-262-9867

HOT Compact, fast, simple to use
NOT Router/Internet connection required