Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB

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Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB
  • Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB
  • Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB
  • Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB

Pros

  • Drag and Sort feature, media and printer servers.

Cons

  • User interface could be more user-friendly.

Bottom Line

The Maxtor Shared Storage II is a useful tool for simple file sharing and a basic backup system as long as you don't need any complicated power-user features.

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The Maxtor Shared Storage II is a 1TB network storage solution, which attaches via gigabit Ethernet to any router. It offers a few useful features such as a media server, personal share folders and network printing. Of course, sharing files around the home or small office would not be complete without a backup system; another feature of this simple but effective storage device.

Using two 500GB drives in conjunction with RAID, the Maxtor Shared Storage II can be configured as a single 1TB hard drive or a RAID 1, mirrored 500GB disk for data safety. As well as a gigabit Ethernet port, the Maxtor Shared Storage II has two USB 2.0 ports, which can be used to connect other USB hard drives for backup, or universal plug and play devices (UPnP), such as an MP3 player, so that they may be seen by anyone with access to the Maxtor drive.

Installation is fairly clean; simply connect the Shared Storage II to a power source and connect it to your router via an Ethernet cable. The drive is configured and manipulated via two interface points, though they aren't entirely intuitive. The EasyManage software acts as a medium for your personal experience, and a Web user interface (UI) allows the drive's administrator functions to be accessed and configured. The drive will automatically determine its own IP, but can be set up manually, if necessary.

User folders can be either public or private, which determines the ability of others to access them, either via the EasyManage software or via Windows Explorer. Within the personal folder is a set of subfolders for different file types. These include My Documents for documents, My Library for e-books, My Music for music and so on.

One handy feature of the EasyManage software is called Drag and Sort which allows you to drag and drop files such as documents or MP3s to the Maxtor desktop icon. The Drag and Sort feature will automatically allocate these files to the relevant folder.

The backup system is straight forward and to the point. The drive can backup data from network computers or can back itself up to a USB connected hard drive. Either of these can be done on demand or by a schedule. Both systems maintain historical backups and a quick view screen allows you to check the status of recent backups.

The Shared Storage II also offers a media server. This supports files that are located in a defined media server share folder, but you can also plug a UPnP MP3 player into the drive and share it on the network.

Unfortunately only two USB ports are available, as the drive also supports USB printer sharing. If you have a USB hard drive connected, a USB connected MP3 player and a USB printer, there's not enough room for all the devices to be attached at once.

For simple file sharing and a basic backup system, the Maxtor Shared Storage II is a useful tool as long as you don't need any complicated power-user features. The interface isn't as intuitive as we'd like, but it runs smoothly once the setup is complete.

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