Datto is hoping its new twist on network attached storage (NAS) can stand out amid an increasingly crowded field of competitors. The Box 2 Box device, due in March, is designed to create a peer-to-peer network with other Box 2 Box drives, letting you sync files between the two, even if they're not using the same home network.
In its promotional spiel, the company suggests a couple of possible uses for the P2P capabilities, including syncing your data with a remote drive for increased security or automatically updating a relative's drive with new family photos when they're backed up to your Box 2 Box. Additional units using the Synapse technology Box 2 Box comes can join the P2P network as well, and Datto claims the connection can work regardless of firewalls or connection settings. Box 2 Box drives come with four USB ports for additional storage, and are powered by an Intel Atom 230 CPU running a Linux-based OS. It doesn't come with any backup software, however.
Of course, in order to make use of the Box 2 Box's P2P features, you'll need to purchase a pair or more of the drives, which isn't cheap. Datto is offering some pre-releases savings on its Web site, whether you purchase a single drive or a two-pack. Still, $349.99 for a single 250GB Box 2 Box (BXP-250) is far more than you can pay for most rivals' equivalently sized NAS drives; that price becomes $619.95 for a pair. However for $30 more, you can get a 500GB version (BXP-500), or $659.95 for a bundle of two drives. The $479.95 BXP-1000 comes with a terabyte drive and a second Gigabit Ethernet port, while a two-pack costs $849.95. Datto is banking on the fact that its P2P functionality is worth the price premium, though the two 500GB Box 2 Boxes still cost only slightly more than a single new HP MediaSmart Server.