By Charles Hamilton, GigaOM The Buffalo CloudStor, just announced at CES, is an external drive that has built-in capabilities allowing you to make its contents available outside your own network. As with the Pogoplug Biz and Pogoplug Video, which we’ve written about previously, users will be able to make the contents of the Buffalo CloudStor available anywhere with an Internet connection. In fact, the CloudStor uses technology from Pogoplug to make these connections possible. CloudStor will be compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux, and won’t require installation of any special software, although the drive will come preformatted with the EXT-3 file system. Since this format is not readable by Windows PCs, Buffalo will provide a free application allowing Windows users to access their data. None of the content on the device will actually reside in the cloud, so there will be no monthly storage charges, and you will be able to decide which content you wish to make available. Of course, you will be able to limit unauthorized access. In addition to its Internet capabilities, CloudStor offers many traditional network attached storage features, including support for private network sharing. Plus, CloudStor has an integrated backup system that will allow Mac users to use Time Machine to back up multiple Mac systems to the drive. The device will include two drive bays. The first will be filled with either a 1- or 2 TB drive; you will be able to install a compatible 3.5” SATA hard drive into the spare bay. The installation will require no tools or hard drive trays. The Buffalo CloudStor is scheduled to become available in Februrary, and will be priced at $169.99 for 1 TB, and $269.99 for the 2 TB version.
The CloudStor may be less expensive than buying a Pogoplug Biz plus similar-sized standard external hard drives, and its integrated design is likely to be simpler and more attractive. But if you need significant amounts of storage, the CloudStor doesn’t give you the option of attaching up to four drives, as the Pogoplug does.How do you make your files available outside your internal network? Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub. req.): http://gigaom.com/collaboration/buffalo-cloudstor-another-option-for-remote-file-access/