Maxtor Drive Learns New Tricks

Maxtor’s been busy creating an ever-expanding family of external storage drives to meet the needs of both small-business and home-computing consumers alike. The latest member to join the clan is the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus.

Regular readers of this site may recall that the company released a similarly named product last February — the Maxtor Shared Storage Solution. Turns out, the two drives are identical — except for the software, a.k.a., the “plus,” which adds a host of capabilities.

What’s the Plus?

 Maxtor Shared Storage Plus
Click here for a larger image.
According to Paul Streit, Maxtor’s director of product marketing, the new software capability turns the external storage unit into a three-in-one network drive.

“Our software provides all the new capability,” said Streit. “With the Shared Storage Plus, you can share file storage with up to 20 people on your network, schedule automatic backup for all the networked PCs and stream video, music and images directly from the drive to a networked device such as a stereo or theater system without routing it through a computer.”

Streit said this multimedia feature could come in handy for many small businesses interested in providing entertainment for clients or in promoting their companies.

For example, a real estate company could run videos or slide shows of its currently available properties; a salon could stream thousands of MP3 tunes — stored directly on the drive — to create just the right ambiance.

Maxtor added a new feature called SimpleView that’s designed to provide at-a-glance status of the amount of space each person on your network is using. Its setup wizard is intended to simplify sharing folders, limiting folder access, setting backup schedules or restoring lost data.

The Drag and Sort feature automatically sorts over 100 different Windows file types into specific files such as documents, music, video photo and more.

What Size Drive?
Maxtor plans to offer the Shared Storage Plus drive, which ships nationwide in October, in three different capacities: 200GB, 300GB or 500GB (that’s one half of a terabyte).

The drive works with both wired and wireless networks and includes two USB ports to which you can connect and share two USB printers, two more external storage drives or one of each.

Did You Miss Out?
If you previously bought the basic Maxtor Shared Storage Solution, and now you’re wishing you had the Plus version, Maxtor offers good news — you can get it for free. Starting in October, you can download the software upgrade at no charge.

Why the corporate largess? Streit put it this way: “Maxtor has a lot of competitors, and we want to stay ahead of the market. We also want to offer the most interesting storage backup product out there, and I think we’ve succeeded.”

Maxtor Shared Storage Plus
More Stuff, Same Price — Maxtor designed the Shared Storage Plus drive to handle network storage, data backup and media streaming — at no extra cost.

Maxtor’s keeping the lid on the price for the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus — the 200GB and 300GB versions of the new drive sell for the same price as the older Shared Storage Solution.

• 200GB: $299.95
• 300GB: $399.95
• 500GB: $499.95

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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