Netgear's Stora Home NAS Eases Remote Access For Photos, Videos


The Stora NAS appliance gives home users an easy-to-use interface to help them centralize the storage of their photos, music, video, and other data, as well as share their home media.

The Netgear Stora is compatible with Macintosh, PC, and Linux systems, and comes configured with a 1-TB hard drive, and has a second drive bay into which an optional second drive can be inserted for mirroring.

The home NAS appliance includes an online graphical user interface which allows users to designate who is authorized to remotely access the appliance's media files on-line, without the need for the owner to manually upload such files for remote access. Such authorized users can access those video and photo files via any Internet-connected device including notebook PCs and smartphones.

To protect home user's media files, the Netgear Stora allows a second hard drive to be plugged into the NAS appliance on-the-fly without using tools, and includes automatic backup utilities for PCs and Macs to ensure the content is backed up regularly.

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The Stora is currently available in North America via various retail channels. It is list priced at $229, and has a three-year warranty. Optional NAS support for remote access and integration with third-party applications such as Picasa, YouTube, and Flickr, is available for $29.99 per year.

The small office and home office NAS market is one of the bright spots in the storage industry, with total revenue from the sales of sub-$5,000 NAS appliances for the SOHO market in 2008 up 64 percent over the revenue booked in 2007, according to analyst firm Gartner.

In 2008, Netgear was the largest seller of sub-$5,000 SOHO NAS appliances, with sales of $98.7 million, up 128 percent over 2007. That gave the company a 28 percent share of the market, Gartner said.

It was followed by Buffalo Technology with sales of $44 million, down 47.2 percent; EMC's Iomega with sales of $38 million, up 69 percent; Hewlett-Packard with sales of $30 million, up 13 percent; and LaCie with sales of $25 million, Gartner said.