Lacie Ethernet Disk Mini Home Edition

Lacie Ethernet Disk Mini Home Edition

The Ethernet Disk Mini can hold all your digital files and make them accessible to any computer on your network.

 

It’s been said that when there’s a need, the universe provides. And sure enough, just when multigigabyte digital media libraries began to proliferate on the hard drives of consumers everywhere, along come greatly expanded personal storage devices and external hard drives to keep those libraries housed and backed up.

 

Enter LaCie’s Ethernet Disk Mini Home Edition, a stylish-looking network-attached storage device with a small footprint for your home or small office network. Using Axentra’s HipServ home server software, it can store and organize all your photos, music, and movies (along with other files and documents), and make them instantly accessible to all the computers on the network, as well as from anywhere on the Internet.

 

Compatible with Mac and Windows, the Ethernet Disk Mini takes you into the brave world of router administration and port forwarding to install and configure it on your network. Helpfully, the software provides clear step-by-step directions for doing this, and in about 15 to 30 minutes even network-admin newbies can have the hefty little brushed-steel cube humming away.

 

All of the administrative software interfaces are clear and uncluttered, and setting up files and folders with appropriate sharing permissions is a snap. As with transferring many gigabytes of information to any storage device, initially moving your files and mirroring your Desktop can take many hours. But once everything’s on the Ethernet Disk Mini, scheduled backups track changes to files and directories at intervals that avoid disturbing your workflow or bogging down the network.

 

The HipServ software allows you to stream music and video to any networked media player (such as an Apple TV, your plug-and-play speakers or home stereo, as well as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) and to share files among all the computers on your network. Working with files on the network is easy, and the 7200-rpm, 8MB-cache drive serves them up reliably enough. We tested the Ethernet Disk Mini with Xbench (free, www.xbench.com) and got read speeds of just under 6MB/sec and write speeds around 2.5MB/sec. That’s not enterprise-class, but for under $200, the Ethernet Disk Mini is a solid value.

 

The iTunes library on the Ethernet Disk Mini appears as a shared playlist to other computers on the network, which means that playlists and songs within the shared library can’t be downloaded to an iPod. The workaround is to copy individual songs, videos, or podcasts from the Ethernet Disk Mini to the local iTunes library of a networked computer, but this is time-consuming and can be fraught with DRM and other Apple Store authorization issues.

 

You can configure the Ethernet Disk Mini to automatically back up files from all the computers on your network, or do manual backups if you prefer. It allows secure access from the Internet to anyone with the proper login credentials, and access permissions can be defined as read-only, read/write, and administrative, with multiple administrators allowed. Files can be accessed and transferred via http, https, and FTP.

 

With Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the network and USB 2.0 connectivity to individual computers or backup drives, the Ethernet Disk Mini is a solid consumer storage device. The absence of FireWire connectivity is perplexing, however, since it’s available on LaCie’s other backup server models.

 

The bottom line. The LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini is a cost effective, easy-to-use solution to storing and sharing your growing multimedia collection of music, movies, and other digital asset.

 

COMPANY: LaCie

CONTACT: www.lacie.com

PRICE: $154.99

REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3 or later, Firefox 1.5 or Safari 1.3 or later, Ethernet router

Easy setup and admin. Small, quiet, and inexpensive. Axentra HipServ software included.

No FireWire connectivity.

 

 

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I was disappointed to find out that "USB 2.0 connectivity to individual computers" doesn't seem to be there, different than what the review says. The USB port is to hook up another USB drive for 'backup of backups'. Not sure why you will need this feature in the first place, but more disappointed that I can't do initial file transfers via USB.
Second thing is that you will need to use either the strange web based folder view UI (also invokes Java for drag-and-drop) or open finder window through hipserve agent one at a time. Hipserver is shown in Finder (on the left hand side) where other servers are shown but it doesn't seem to allow me to just mount it from there.

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alm

Actually, I'm not worried about this unit only having 1 drive. This box has a nice feature called MySafe that allows you to connect a USB hard drive right do the LaCie unit and backup your music or content from the main drive to that USB drive. This device may only have 1 drive, that thats plenty of redundancy for me. And, I can select exactly which files and folders get backed up - I don't have to backup the entire NAS. So, I personally don't backup my music because I'm not that worried about ripping them again (my collection isn't too massive) but I do backup the photos of my kids using this feature. Nice easy feature.

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Anonymous

mac|life, where are you getting your pricing information? LaCie's web page shows this item selling at US$154.99.

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deon

This drive, lovely as it is, still is a single HD. No Raid. No redundancy. Therefore, with a HD failure, all data is lost. Bye bye music library?
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Anonymous

PIcked one up based on the print magazine review several days ago. It's a 500 GB drive. There are similar, but different versions out there, too. Got mine for several dollars less than retail price. Under 10.5.2, it set up easily and seems to work well. I have accessed the drive over the Internet successfully with Safari on both Mac and Windows machines running 10.4, 10.5, and XP. Haven't tried to use all the other features yet. I'm a happy camper.

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Nice review save for one small fact missing......like how much storage capacity the drive actually has...???

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