Moving from direct attached storage devices, such as an USB external hard drive, to network attached storage devices can be a daunting task as most NAS servers require new hard drives to work with them. This is why transitional devices such as the Iomega iConnect are such a great idea.
Addonics Technologies announced Tuesday a device that can do the same thing as the iConnect, but it's just about the size of your thumb and costs less than half the price of the Iomega.
Addonics NAU adapter, an acronym for network attached USB, can turn any USB storage device into a network storage device that's available to all computers on the network. It comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 port.
According to Addonics, the NAU supports storage devices and virtually any other USB devices, including Webcams, USB speakers, USB cameras, printers, scanners, and so on. Once the USB device is connected to the network via the NAU adapter, any computer on the network can access the device as if it were locally attached to the computer.
Using the NAU adapter, common USB devices can be used in a wide variety of applications, according to Addonics. For example, Webcams can be installed at different locations for surveillance or remote monitoring without running expensive cabling or USB speakers can be added in various locations via the network without running speaker cable.
According to the company, its NAU adapter supports data throughput speeds up to 30Mbps when used as a storage server, close to that of a decent NAS server. Also, storage devices attached to the adapter appear as a local hard drive to the operating system, similar to an iSCSI device.
The most interesting part of the NAU is that it's small enough to fit in your palm, weighing less than 2 ounces and operates at less than 3 watts. The device is available now and costs about $50.