LAS VEGAS--Ever wonder where your data is actually stored when you use a "cloud" storage service? Well, you now have a chance to learn about that in a close-up and personal way by hosting your own cloud at home with Buffalo's new NAS server.
The company announced today its brand-new CloudStor personal storage solution. In a nutshell, this is a network attached storage (NAS) server that's powered by Pogoplug.
Pogoplug itself is a successful implementation of Marvell's Plug Computing initiative that transforms a personal computer into a tiny form factor best suited for specific applications like network storage. First started in early 2009, the Plug computing platform has been a success with many third-party companies using it as their engine for cloud storage products and services.
Buffalo says that its new CloudStor NAS server goes beyond network storage by offering comprehensive and easy-to-use Web-based access to data from anywhere via the Internet, hence the personal cloud storage designation.
This type of cloud service, which is similar to the Iomega Personal Cloud feature, gives consumers complete control over their cloud and incurring no fees. However, it has one major shortcoming, which is the fact that the throughput speed is limited by the Internet connection at the location where the server is plugged in. Most residential broadband services aren't fast enough for bandwidth-intensive cloud services, such as media streaming over the Internet.
Note that other existing NAS servers, such as those from Synology, have been offering similar types of remote access for a long time. However, the Buffalo CloudStor, as well as the Pogoplug service itself, comes with a much easier-to-use access process that requires almost no configuration, making it a lot friendlier to home users.
It also offers Web-based media playback as well as a convenient data-sharing mechanism, in case you want to share digital content with family and friends. Users also have the ability to integrate their Web sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, with data stored on the NAS server.
Other that that, according to Buffalo, when used locally, the CloudStor NAS server offers support for both PCs and Macs, including the ability to support Time Machine and stream digital content to popular media devices, including the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The server also has built-in PC-less torrent download capability.
The Buffalo CloudStor comes in a regular 1TB version (model CS-WX1.0TL) and a Pro 2TB version (model CS-WV2.0TL) that cost $170 and $270, respectively. Both of them will be available in January.