Still looking to replace your aging Windows Home Server? Seagate may have just the thing for you. Seagate Central is a new shared storage solution for your home that acts as a central repository and hub for your media and computer backups. Previewed at CES and SXSW earlier this year, Central offers many of the features people expect from a home storage solution in a small package and at a reasonable price. Available in 2, 3, and 4 TB models, you can find a [amazon_link id=”B00ARB5FNE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]4 TB Central for under $220[/amazon_link] at some retailers.
Central provides many of the core features you’d expect in a shared home storage solution:
Shared media storage and access. Central shows up on your network just like any other shared storage solution. Copy or move media files from your PC or Mac to Central to consolidate your content in one place. DLNA and iTunes servers provide access to your media from devices around your home, the Seagate Media app for iOS and Android gives you access to your media from your mobile devices, and a Samsung Smart TV app lets you view or listen to your media on the big screen. Don’t have a Samsung TV? How about Apple TV or an AirPlay-compatible audio/video device? Seagate Media on iOS will let your stream audio and video using AirPlay.
Computer backups. While Central doesn’t offer full-PC backups like we’ve come to know, love, and rely upon with Windows Home Server, it will let you back up any combination of folders from the PCs and Macs in your home on a scheduled or continuous basis with its downloadable Seagate Dashboard software. Additionally, Central is compatible with the Mac’s Time Machine backup software.
Remote access. Seagate’s online access bridge lets you log into your Central storage device using the Seagate Media mobile apps or any web browser. Browse and stream media on Central from anywhere—as if you were in your own home. You can even share files with friends and family.
So as a shared storage device, Central stacks up nicely. And then there’s all of this:
Connected USB storage. With the built-in USB port, you can connect any USB storage device to Central to transfer content or introduce additional shared storage to your network. A connected drive will show up on your network as just another shared Central folder.
Facebook archive. You can connect Central to any number of Facebook accounts to automatically download and archive photos and videos shared on Facebook.
File uploads. Use the Seagate Media app or a mobile or desktop web browser to upload files from any computer or mobile device…anywhere.
Slightly smaller than most external hard drives, Central is a discrete storage solution that fits equally in your closet or entertainment center. It attaches to your home network and WiFi with a standard 10/100 Ethernet connection.
At a list price under $230 for 4 terabytes, Seagate Central offers lots of storage with a ton of features for home media enthusiasts (and hoarders). On one hand, it’s not quite everything that Windows Home Server can be; on the other, it’s significantly less expensive than most shared home storage and backup products out there today for PCs or Macs—and it serves both. We hope to get one of these units in for review, but judging by specs and documentation alone, Seagate has a solid offering for those who still favor local storage solutions.