This is my final post for the SOHO Networking blog. It's been fun handling the blog over the last several months, and I plan to continue covering networked media solutions over at the ZDNet Home Theater blog, since the lines between many home networking and home theater devices continue to blur.
Get the latest news and expert views on new wireless networking products and services, plus tips on how to optimize your SOHO network.
Sean Portnoy is a former executive editor at Computer Shopper magazine and editor at CNET Networks.
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.
Bigfoot Networks targeted a niche, but growing, market segment when it released its network interface card (NIC) for gamers, appropriately called Killer, a couple of years back. Since then, gamers' demands for features like lag-free chatting have only increased, though so, too, has networking technology.
With competition getting fierce in the market for network storage, manufacturers need to step up in order to keep up. Last month, Iomega jumped into the four-drive-bay NAS game with its StorCenter ix4 device.
For iPhone users, the good news about tomorrow's event debuting the latest version of its OS appears to be that cut and paste will finally be implemented, thanks perhaps to the upcoming competition from the Palm Pre. The bad news is that running background apps beyond Apple's own may still not available, even though it was promised to arrive several months ago.
A few months ago, I reported on Cablevision rolling out free Wi-Fi for its subscribers in Long Island as a way to stem the flow of customers toward cellular broadband providers. It sounded like a smart idea at the time, but a new report suggests that it was a really smart move for Cablevision.
Cloud computing is one of the buzzwords for 2009, so I guess it's no surprise that Netgear is jumping on the bandwagon with its announcement that its ReadyNAS Vault service is bringing "cloud backup" to its network storage devices.On its surface, ReadyNAS Vault doesn't sound so different from the online backup features that some NAS manufacturers make available to their customers.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that I posted about storage giant Western Digital updating its My Book World Edition network drive, but the company is upping the NAS ante with its refresh to its ShareSpace four-bay device, now offering up to a massive 8TB of storage.As with the My Book World, that new capacity comes in the form of WD's Caviar Green drive, which run quieter and consume less power than conventional hard drives.
Turns out you won't need to wait to find out what Apple's plans are for those new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule units it recently delivered to the FCC. In addition to freshening up its desktop lineup, the company has put the new simultaneous dual-band networking products on sale today.
No sooner is there a rumor that Apple is planning an event (in this case, a March 24 one) than speculation begins on what the company is going to announce during its presentation (presumably a Jobs-less one this time). Already there's talk of fresh versions of Mac desktops, and Engadget is reporting that new versions of Apple's AirPort Extreme router and Time Capsule router/network storage have reached the FCC.