Still playing catch-up from CES. You usually find Seagate inside devices that store media in your living room, but the hard drive giant is making a bid for more visibility with a player of its own.
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.
One of the future releases Asus showed at CES last week was an interesting hybrid piece of hardware that users could set up as a miniature desktop PC, a NAS device, or even as a wireless router or access point. The D200 will ship with an Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM, a pair of 1TB hard drives, a built-in 802.
With its past purchases of Linksys and set-top-box maker Scientific Atlanta, Cisco hasn't exactly been subtle about its intentions to be a major player in the connected home. Thus far, those acquisitions hadn't produced anything particularly noteworthy, but that appears to change with the company's new Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio system.
Certainly one of the big stories at CES this year has been TV manufacturers finally embracing the Internet on their new sets, thanks in large part to the widget platform that adds real-time streaming info on-screen while you're watching shows. But home networking companies aren't yielding the living room just yet, as Netgear demonstrated to me this afternoon at their booth.
CES 2009: D-Link combines router, NAS device, and photo frame in one device. Also releases 450Mbps 802.11n router.
D-Link jumps into the CES fray with two new routers that definitely stand out, one for its versatility and the other for its (potential) speed.The Xtreme N DIR-685 is a 802.
While HP is taking the high (price) road in the NAS market with its new MediaSmart Servers, Iomega is going the other direction with its new Home Media Network Hard Drive line. Considering how cheap hard drive prices are getting, it's a reasonable tactic.
Instead of waiting for the information to inevitably leak, HP has jumped the gun on CES and announced two new additions to its MediaSmart Server line of network attached storage (NAS) devices. The ex485 and ex487 will both be available in February, and one of their major enhancements is Mac support, including working as an iTunes server as well as a Time Machine backup device.
From Parrot and celebrity designer Philippe Starck come a new pair of wireless speakers that is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, as well as featuring a built-in iPod/iPhone dock. You'll pay for the convenience and designer name when the Zikmu speakers become available next spring: $1,500, to be exact.
Novatel Wireless is looking to advance the sharing of 3G signals with the new MiFi mobile router, a slender unit that doesn't need to be connected to a laptop or even plugged in to allow multiple devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly via a 3G cellular network.The battery-powered MiFi can deliver four hours of use before needing to be recharged, making it well-suited for environments like a car, where passengers could do work over the Web as they roll along.
OK, getting the wrong type of person a router for a gift could be a one-way ticket to holiday hell. But if you're buying for someone who's expressed a desire for one, or you want to take advantage of holiday deals to upgrade your own network, there are plenty of worthy products that are great for staying connected.