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Seagate: Stuff the cloud, back it all up on our box

Storage, media streaming plus wireless backup for home networks

CES 2013 Seagate is showing off two new "cloud storage alternatives" at the Las Vegas CES shindig. Both are disk products that wirelessly stream data to mobile devices and back up a network of home desktop and notebook computers.

Seagate has introduced Seagate Central Shared disk drive storage, with 2TB, 3TB or 4TB capacity, for those who are still wary of renting space for storage. It's a device that sits in the home and can automatically back up files from multiple Windows and Mac computers. It also comes with a Smart TV interface so you can use it with the goggle box too. It can also back up photos and videos directly from Facebook, just like Seagate's Backup Plus line of external drives. So if your internet link goes down, you can still access Facebook-stored content (lucky you).

Seagate Central Shared

Seagate Central with a tablet display

The box is said to have a low profile horizontal design, Seagate taking its design cue from home entertainment devices. Networked devices have access to digital movies and music stored in the Seagate Central unit and can get remote access from outside the home network. When files, such as rich media content, are stored on the drive, they are organised by folder and also by media type, such as videos, pictures, music and documents. Seagate apps make them accessible from an array of supported mobile devices.

Its second offering, the Wireless Plus hard disk drive, can wirelessly stream content, such as music and high-definition movies, up to 500 of them, to up to eight smartphones or tablets from its 1TB disk drive, and has a battery life of 10 hours. Its storage is accessed through a mobile Seagate Media app for Apple iOS, Android and Kindle Fire HD devices. Seagate says the app will also work with just about any device that can connect to a Wi-Fi network, and users can see video, photos, music and even documents on the bigger screens via Apple Airplay, DLNA or another app designed for Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players.

It's a two-way street as users can save content and files to the drive wirelessly through the Seagate Media app. Seagate says consumers will be able to capture an HD video on their iPhone and then wirelessly upload it, in full resolution, to Wireless Plus. Seagate's Scott Horn, a marketing VP, said consumers could wirelessly transmit content to and from their mobile devices “anywhere in the world, especially when they can’t connect to the internet." Wireless Plus doesn't need a Wi-Fi router and has a USB 3.0 adapter.

Seagate Wireless Plus mobile storage is currently available from Amazon and BestBuy.com, for an MSRP of $199.99. Seagate Central Shared storage will be available in March with MSRPs of 2TB - $189.99; 3TB - $219.99; and 4TB - $259.99. ®

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