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Netgear unveils Stora NAS

Netgear's new Stora NAS server offers an easy-to-use, Internet-connected storage solution for home and office users.

Netgear Stora NAS server.

Thinking that its Ready NAS line of storage devices is too business-centric, Netgear on Monday announced a line of its network-attached storage servers, the Netgear Stora, that Drew Meyer, director of marketing for Netgear's NAS unit, called "most definitely a platform for everyone."

The new NAS server is a two-bay storage device that can hold two internal SATA hard drives of any capacity. For now, that means drives offering up to 2TB of storage in RAID1 (mirrored) configuration. This RAID configuration mirrors data on two drives for protection against a hard drive failure.

The server supports PCs, Macs, and Linux computers. It also supports digital media streaming and is Windows Media 7-compliant. It has one USB port that can be used to connect external hard drives for extra storage or to share a USB printer. At 6.90 inches by 5.91 inches by 5.74 inches, the NAS is cube-shaped and weighs about 3 pounds without hard drives.

While I haven't seen the product yet, judging from its specs and photos, Meyer's idea of a NAS platform for everyone seems rather simple. The Stora neither supports RAID0 (which is optimized for speed and large storage capacity), nor does it have eSATA ports. It also doesn't have more than one USB port and it's on the front of the server--not an ideal spot to add a permanent storage device or printer. It's also likely that it doesn't offer advanced home NAS servers functions, such as PC-less download or FTP server.

According to Netgear, the Stora offers remote access via the MyStora Web site where users can do cross-platform file sharing, music listening, movie watching, and photo sharing from any Internet-connected device. Netgear also will offer a yearly premium service to support additional remote access and third-party service integration such as Flickr and mobile phones. The service costs $20 after an initial 30-day trial period.

For the local network, the sever also supports multiple media streaming standards and is able to host digital content for iTunes as well as game consoles such as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, as well as for smartphones.

The Netgear Stora (MS2110) comes with a 1TB hard drive installed; however, users can put the second hard drive in, on the fly, without any tools and the server will automatically mirror the content of the first hard dive. The Stora also comes with automatic backup utilities for PCs and Macs.

The Netgear Stora is available immediately and costs $229.