Seagate GoFlex packs streaming and backup punch

Another NAS for the home

Seagate has announced a new network attached storage (NAS) drive for the 'Terabyte home', the GoFlex Home.

The almost platform-agnostic GoFlex -- it supports both Windows and Apple's Time Machine -- is less a NAS than its home equivalent, the 'home network storage system'. That means it performs a number of functions, starting with backup, which is licensed for up to three computers.

The contemporary home storage disk is no longer only about backup, however, and the GoFlex can be used to stream movies, music and photos to most DNLA devices around the house, including Seagate's own GoFlex TV Media player and games consoles. It also has a built in print server served through the USB port. Although incredibly useful, print servers can be tricky to set up and troublesome to troubleshoot. Client setup means loading a print driver and then printing to a networked print queue. The same USB 2.0 port - note no USB 3.0 - can support an external drive.

Seagate has decided to mention that the GoFlex can be connected to a wireless router, allowing backup-via-WiFi. Of course, any NAS with an Ethernet port can also do this.

"We spent a lot of time focusing on simplicity with this product and believe people will find it very intuitive to set-up and get started. With the GoFlex Home system, now home networking is within reach for today's digital households," said Seagate vp of retail sales and marketing, Darcy Clarkson.

One thing worth mentioning is the physical design, which splits the storage element of the drive into a drive housing and a base which incorporates the Ethernet port and power socket. Seagate reckons that this is helpful when upgrading the drive to a higher capacity - just discard the GoFlex drive and buy a newer one with more space - but it also ties the user into the Seagate system.An alternative would be simply to buy another external NAS if that's a cheaper option.

Available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, the GoFlex Home costs US$159 and US$229, respectively.

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