The NAS wars continue to heat up, with Seagate launching the latest salvo with an expansion of its BlackArmor line to cover small businesses (as well as those hardcore storage enthusiasts who don't mind dropping a grand for their own NAS unit). The model numbers are a bit deceiving as the 420 and 440 don't correspond to the number of drive bayseach has fourbut the amount of bays that come filled from Seagate. The 420 comes with a pair of 1TB drives for $799.99, while the 440 has three configurations: four 1TB drives ($1,199.99), four 1.5TB drives ($1,699.99), or four 2TB drives (price TBA). That 8TB 440 matches the maximum storage that rival Western Digital will be offering with its updated ShareSpace line. The 6GB BlackArmor only costs $100 less than the 8TB ShareSpace, so expect the 8TB 440 to lose the pricing back to WD.
In terms of features, the new BlackArmor devices roll out the usual litany offered by high-end NAS units: two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB ports, hot-swappable drives, iTunes and DNLA server capabilities, RAID Level 0, 1, 10, and 5 support, and remote access. It comes with a small on-board LED for status info on its otherwise monolithic black exterior, and lets you encrypt everything on the drives from individual files to entire volumes.
Whether the dueling hard drive giants can beat the likes of Buffalo, Netgear, and other networking companies at their own game remains to be seen, but at least WD and Seagate are now on the field competing.