It used to be the case that if you wanted to store and share documents, photos, movies and music from your computer then you had to save the data to a floppy disk. Within a bewilderingly short space of time new storage methods emerged such as CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, USB flash drives and external hard drives. Now the latest evolution is NAS, or Network-Attached Storage, which is effectively a way of using an external hard drive to store, disseminate and access all of your network media files via the Internet.
Verbatim’s MediaShare Home Network Server is a textbook example of the new NAS technology. It’s a square shaped (17.8 x 17.8 x 5cm), solid aluminium box that weighs a chunky 2.3kg and connects to your router via the Ethernet port using the supplied cable. Once the power button is switched on, it takes around one minute for the unit to boot up and obtain an IP address and the connection is then established. All that remains is to use the install disk to create a name for your MediaShare, together with a user name and password. You can then view all the file contents on the unit via the desktop shortcut or remotely by logging in to the www.myverbatim.com portal.
On one side of the unit there’s an Easy Transfer button beside a USB port. Holding it in for one second begins immediate transfer of data onto the MediaShare from any portable hard drive, flash drive or single-slot card reader.
On the opposite side there are a further two USB ports (one could be usefully attached to a printer) and an eSATA port plus indicator LEDs to tell you when actions have begun and concluded. It’s unlikely that you’ll be scratching around for space as the MediaShare comes in both 1TB (£149.99) and 2TB (£199.99) capacities and because there’s no fan, it operates soundlessly.
Multiple users can access the MediaShare folders and because the machine is multifunction, different members inside or outside a household can access different files at the same time, wherever they have an Internet connection.
Albums can be created, private libraries and sub-folders can be produced and photos and videos can be uploaded to Facebook. Unfortunately, you will have to pay an extra subscription (currently around $20 annually) to install extra functions such as unlimited family accounts, secure FTP, RSS feed, mobile phone access, auto transfer to Flickr and creating a 3D wall with your photos through the CoolIris interface.
MediaShare is open to Mac as well as PC users. Music and photos can be streamed via PS3 and Xbox 360 to your TV and backups can be arranged for your PC hard drive and MediaShare contents. We performed a 116GB PC backup in 90 minutes, copied 364MB of content from a USB flash drive using Easy Transfer in one minute and used the Drag ‘n’ Drop facility to copy over a folder with 128 photos from a desktop PC in 65 seconds.
Contact: 01784 439 781