Maxtor, Linksys Team Up For Home Storage/Networking

The two companies have signed an exclusive agreement to co-develop technology, but the companies aren't yet releasing details of their projects.

June 23, 2004

2 Min Read
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Maxtor and Linksys plan to collaborate on developing and marketing new storage products and technologies for home networking users.

Stacey Lund, executive director of client computing at Maxtor, said the Milpitas, Calif.-based hard drive maker and Linksys, an Irvine, Calif.-based networking hardware division of Cisco Systems, have signed an exclusive agreement to co-develop technology, but the companies aren't yet releasing details of their projects.

"We both have a vision of home networking products. They need to be easy-to-use, elegant solutions," Lund said. "If we were to give away what we were doing, it would be a pretty good future road map for our competitors."

Lund did say that the joint solutions would be centered around the SOHO side of the home market. "We mutually recognize each other as leaders in our space--Linksys in home networking and Maxtor in home storage," she said. "The truth is, most home consumers today are afraid of home networking."

Maxtor plans to begin promoting the Linksys Network Storage Link, or NSLU2, which allows hard-drive storage to be linked to a wired or wireless home network. Linksys, for its part, is slated to start promoting Maxtor's OneTouch external hard drive, which connects to the NSLU2.Released this month, the NSLU2 allows multiple USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 hard drives and memory sticks to be attached to a home network via its two USB ports. The attached storage devices can be accessed by anyone on the network when the NSULU2 is connected via a router or a switch, allowing them to access data through a Web browser, format new hard drives and do full, synchronized or incremental backup and recovery of data.

The starting price for the NSLU2 with no hard drive is about $99. With a Maxtor OneTouch USB external hard drive, the price starts at about $250.

Nathan Nahourail, owner of Computer Tech Solutions, a Cupertino, Calif.-based digital integrator, said that of all the USB storage devices his clients use, his favorite remains the USB hard drive, which offers the greatest capacity. USB 2.0 hard drives offer quick performance and connect to any machine, making them portable, and they're also rewritable, making them more useful than optical drives, he said.

While customers may purchase USB hard drives from Computer Tech Solutions, Nahourail said that in most cases he recommends a drive for customers to buy elsewhere or sometimes goes to the local electronics shop to purchase a drive for clients.

"Usually, customers ask me for recommendations," Nahourail said. "They have little faith in picking out the right hard drives and a fear of getting the wrong item or screwing up their computer. They feel it's more complicated than it is."0

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