Seagate NAS Device Worth a Look

The Maxtor Central Axis NAS device from Seagate shows promise, particularly for small businesses. However, there are issues with the storage management and backup software of the Seagate product that need to be negotiated.

At first glance, the Maxtor Central Axis NAS (network-attached storage) device seems like a godsend for small businesses.

Providing 1 terabyte of plug-and-play storage for $319, the Maxtor Central Axis from Seagate Technology goes a long way towards meeting the storage needs of most small businesses. However, inconsistencies in the provided backup and management software, along with heat concerns, keep the Maxtor Central Axis from being a real storage savior for small businesses.

But that's not to say that the device isn't an attractive option. To get the Maxtor Central Axis up and running on my network. I simply had to plug in an Ethernet cable and turn it on. To find the Central Axis NAS, I could install the Maxtor software, which had automatic discovery capabilities, or simply check my DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) records to find the device on my network and navigate to the browser-based administration interface.

The Maxtor Central Axis works as a normal network-attached device, with most of the features one expects (though I would have liked to have seen FTP support). One nice feature is the inclusion of Web-based access through a free Seagate service.

Using this service, I could access files on my Central Axis device over the Internet on any Web browser. To use it, I only had to enable the feature on my Central Axis device-I didn't have to change on port for??íwarding features or make any other network tweaks. The connection used SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to protect the file transfers, and I could download individual files or whole folders, which the software auto??ímatically converted to zip files for download.

Another nice feature on the Max??ítor Central Axis was the support to attach any USB storage drive to add additional space to the drive. This worked pretty seamlessly, with the software automatically format??íting the new drive for use on the system.