Netgear's Storage Central, a two-drive NAS enclosure aimed at home users and small businesses, appeared this week with a retail price of £75.
The toaster-shaped device, which holds two IDE drives and supports logical drives that can be mirrored or spread between the two, is available for preordering from Expansys. With the addition of two drives, it could let users build 700GB drives for less than £500.
The box, based on IP storage technology from start-up Zetera, is aimed at home users with an every increasing stash of music video and photos which they want to access from different machines on a home network.
It will also come in handy in small offices without dedicated IT support, as it is cheaper and more flexible than competing NAS devices from companies such as Buffalo. The device comes with bundled software for Windows that includes wizards to set up and share drives.
Linux and Mac support is planned for 2006, and Netgear is also considering creating larger versions specifically for business use, with the possible addition of dual power supplies.