It's generally easy to upgrade your computer to a standard solid-state drive (SSD) as long as your computer supports the standard 2.5-inch hard-drive design. The MacBook Air, however, doesn't, so most people are stuck with the machine's relatively limited stock storage.
OWC announced today the OWC Mercury Aura Pro SSD, which is designed specifically for 2012 MacBook Airs. Instead of the standard design, the new SSD comes in the same design as those used inside the supported Air; it's shaped more like a stick of system memory than a hard drive.
In a nutshell, a network-attached storage server is an external storage device, like an external hard drive, but instead of plugging it directly into a computer, via a USB or a Thunderbolt port, you plug it into a switch or a router, via a network cable. The main benefit of a NAS server is that its storage is available to the entire network, meaning all computers on the network can access the same storage space at the same time.
In reality, an advanced NAS server can do much more than that, such as streaming its contents to network media players, hosting Internet-based services such as personal clouds, acting as a centralized server for a business, and even being a video recorder for your TV programs or surveillance cameras, and all at the same time. Think of it as a real server, minus a mouse, keyboard, and a monitor. Instead, you control it via a Web interface.
Advanced NAS servers are generally not for novices, but they don't require years of training, either. In fact, if you are comfortable with computers and the Internet, and have an interest, you can easily figure one out after having invested some time, of course. And you really want to figure it out since the return is huge.
Following is a list of the five best NAS servers that I have reviewed in recent years. This list is sorted based on the amount of drive bays and review dates and updated on a regular basis as more servers are reviewed.… Read more
Synology announced today that version 4.1 of its DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system (firmware) for DiskStation NAS servers, such as the DS1511+ or the DS712+, is now in beta state. This means the final update will be available in a month or so.
DSM has been one of the main reasons why Synology NAS servers are the best among network-attached storage devices, thanks to its vast amount of features and robust and easy-to-use interface.
The new version offers some major additional features to the already feature-rich OS, including a Video Station and mobile apps for Windows Phone 7. The … Read more
If you have a network-attached storage (NAS) server, such as the Synology DS 1511+, and are wondering what hard drive you should get for it, here's another easy answer: the WD Red.
Western Digital announced today the new 3.5-inch SATA hard drive that's specifically designed for home and small office NAS systems of up to five drive bays. WD says the WD Red has been tested with "top NAS box manufacturers" and is optimized for power and performance.… Read more
Cisco Connect Cloud is a software platform for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers -- currently comprising the Linksys EA2700, EA3500, and EA4500 -- intended to change the way consumers interact with their connected personal entertainment devices and home appliances, all via the Internet. For example, instead of the Cisco Connect Express mobile app, which works only within a local network, users can now opt for the Internet-based Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app, or just log in at the Cisco Connect Cloud portal, and be in complete control of their home network, no matter where they are.
There's a lot more to this, however. For the first time Cisco is allowing, and encouraging, independent developers to create mobile apps for its home network routers, specifically those in the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router family. According to Cisco, available immediately are six other iOS apps developed by third parties for the EA series, including Twonky Video and IP Camera Viewer.… Read more
Despite the proliferation of solid-state drives (SSDs) with vendors, such as Samsung, OCZ, Plextor, or RunCore, regularly releasing new drives to the market, Seagate, a major storage vendor, has been for the most part missing from the party until now.
The company announced today that it and DensBits have entered a strategic agreement for development of SSDs for consumer and enterprise markets. DensBits is an Israeli-based developer of the world's first Memory Modem controller for SSDs. In SSDs, the controller is one of the most important parts since it determines the performance, life span, and reliability of the drive.… Read more
When it comes to storage, you definitely don't want to risk getting stuck with a lemon. That's because, unlike other commodities like a car or a TV, when a storage device breaks down, chances are you lose a lot more than just the drive itself. It's a painful experience to see your invaluable data vanish. Take my word for it on this.
But you likely don't want to spend too much, either, and want your storage device to be easily accessible, especially on the go since there's not much use for your data if it always has to stay at home.
Bearing that in mind, compact and portable external hard drives are arguably the most popular form of storage. They have room to hold lots of data, often more than your laptop or ultrabook can, without being big or heavy. Following is the list of the top five portable USB 3.0-based drives that are the best among their peers, offering great performance, large storage space, compact design, and sometimes even the kind of toughness that will withstand drops and submersion in water. Most importantly, you can easily find them for less than $100. Have more to spend? You can get larger capacities that cost more.
Note that these drives also work with USB 2.0 (MacBook Air owners, you're included here) and they are all bus-powered, so you don't need a separate power adapter to use them.… Read more
The time when you could only use Thunderbolt storage devices with Thunderbolt-enabled computers is about to be over.
Drobo announced today two new Thunderbolt storage drives, its first that, on top of the traditional two Thunderbolt ports, also come with a USB 3.0 port. In fact, these are among the first Thunderbolt storage devices from any vendor that also support USB connectivity. This means you can use the drives with your existing computer, be it a Windows PC or a Mac, and keep them for use with future systems that support the Thunderbolt standard.… Read more
Editors' note: This roundup was originally posted on March 23, 2012, and updated April 16 and June 15. It will be updated on a regular basis as more devices are reviewed.
Those days of the "I am a PC" and "I am a Mac" guys have long gone, mostly because the two have married into one, so to speak. The truth is Mac and PC are now one -- they are both personal computers anyway -- sharing the same Intel chipsets and processors. In fact, you can install Windows on an Intel-based Mac, and, if you … Read more
Once in a while there's a big change, and Western Digital is having one of its own.
The major storage vendor today unveiled not a new hard drive or NAS server, but its very first networking devices in the My Net family. There are five routers and one Gigabit Ethernet switch, enough to challenge other major home-networking vendors, such as Cisco, D-Link, Trendnet, and Netgear.
Unlike other networking vendors whose lineups tend to start with a budget single-band router, WD starts with the My Net N600, a true dual-band router that offers 300Mbps on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. The next step is the My Net N750, which also offers the 450Mbps speed on the 5GHz band, and finally there's the top-tier My Net N900, which offers the 450Mbps data rate on both bands. The My Net N900 also notably comes with seven Gigabit LAN ports (as opposed to the four ports found in most wireless routers). All of these routers work with any existing Wi-Fi clients.… Read more