Share USB devices on your network
Review Networkable drives are widely available and affordable these days, but the LaPlug could come in handy if you have a stack of existing USB hard drives or memory sticks that you want to share with other people on your home or office network.
LaCie's LaPlug delivers network sharing capabilities to portable USB storage devices
It's not exactly a new idea, as Cloud Engines has been there and done that with the Pogoplug. Ditto Belkin with its Home Base. Indeed, LaCie even gives gives a nod to the name with the LaPlug, which is essentially a mains-powered, four-port USB hub. Yet rather than connecting it to the USB port of a single computer the LaPlug is equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet interface and 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless networking instead. These allow you to connect it to your network in order to share your USB storage devices with other users.
The initial set-up is fairly straightforward. It does require an Ethernet connection first time around, but you can switch to Wi-Fi once that’s done. LaCie provides a piece of software called the Network Assistant, which automatically detects the LaPlug and any devices that are connected to it.
Indeed, I was able to quickly connect a Mac-formatted hard disk and a PC-formatted memory stick to the LaPlug and to access their files from my iMac and a laptop PC with no problems at all. It also worked with Time Machine on my iMac straight away, and PC users get a separate program called Genie that provides basic back-up features.
The LaPlug performed admirably up to that point, but I did hit a few snags as I began to explore some of its other features. LaCie’s website says that you can use the LaPlug to share printers too, but only after half an hour of trying to connect my Kodak multifunction printer did I discover the small print that says it only supports PostScript printers.
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Brand loyalty? Try another brand
I'll never buy LaCie again, after the saga of them refusing to replace a faulty power supply on one of their external disks. The PSU has a design fault, meaning when the PSU is unloaded the 12v rail floats at 19v, which rather fries the capacitors that are only rated for 16v IIRC. Opening up the PSU shows that the caps have vented and are useless, which is a better option than exploding...
See http://www.fixya.com/support/t1782491-power_cord_buzzes_macpro_not_recognize and many youtube videos of hissing lacie power supplies.
LaCie refuse to replace this out of warranty, despite the fact it has been designed incorrectly, and despite the fact I have 2 other LaCie drives and a rather nice LaCie monitor.
So... Balls to 'em. Fixed it myself and vowed never to give them another penny for their overpriced, beautifully designed but badly engineered and atrociously supported junk.
My logitech harmony one developed a clump of bad pixels a few days after, and logitech couriered me a replacement after I emailed them a photo of the problem.
Guess who wins my loyalty?
Incidentally, you can buy Belkin Home Base wireless USB and print servers from ebay for under 30 quid delivered...
Surely it should be LePlug? Plugs are male.
I had a LaCie NAS drive.
It had various software issues, including a really poorly implemented UPnP media streamer. It was so under powered that you often had to re-encode media to play back without skipping.
I needed to be rebooted regularly, and worse of all, required an active internet connection to be able to get to the web based GUI, as authentication was done through their site, not locally on the NAS drive!
LaCie released one software update in the drives life, and that didn't fix most of the issues, then about 1.5 years after getting the drive, them dumped the entire range and said they were no longer going to provide any updates or support.
Eventually the drive died, with guess what, a PSU issue. I inspected the drive, and as per your experience, very poor design and build quality.
I decided not to repair, and instead removed the 1TB drive that still worked fine, grabbed all the data from the Linux partitions via some utils, and installed the drive in a dedicated server instead.
Never ever buy LaCie.
Logitech on the other hand, they are stars.
Network Throughput ?
What network throughput did you get with your tests ?
Can it actually act as a decent media source ?
I see from the LaCie product page it claims to act as a DLNA client , is it any good at that for SD or HD video ?
Some more actual information about it would be good , thanks.
I wonder if it supports IPv6
"Unfortunately, the remote access option was even less intuitive."
Throw carrier NAT into the mix, and it'll get even less intuitive!