Friday, August 20, 2010

Securing Your Treasures

Earlier this week we reviewed the Import Module of Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom 3 and one of the import options was to create a backup of your images. I've been a computer professional for nearly two decades and my experience has shown me time and time again that people generally don't appreciate the importance of backing up their files until it's too late.  Are you one hard drive failure away from losing everything?

HP EX495 1.5TB Mediasmart Home Server ( Black)Enter my defense against that potential disaster... HP's MediaSmart Home Server. I've been using this slick little server for some time now and I'm not sure what I would do with out it.  Not a technical person and the thought of a "server" freaks you out? Don't worry! HP has designed this machine with home users in mind and you don't need to be a network engineer to set it up.  That doesn't mean, however, that it isn't packed full of features you'll quickly come to appreciate.  Here are just a few of it's greatest selling points:

  • Form Factor - It's small, quiet and expandable with 4 drive bays to take care of your storage needs well into the future.
  • Automated Backup - Install a small client application on your home computers and you can configure the MediaSmart server to AUTOMATICALLY wake up the machines at a scheduled time, and perform a COMPLETE image backup of every computer on your network.  Laptop hard drive failed? No big deal. Replace with a new drive, load client application, and restore. How's that for easy?
  • Share Photos online - Become your own web server and share images with friends and family right from your own server.  It also provides tools to publish your images to popular photo sharing sites like Flickr.
  • Shared & Mirrored Folders - Configure a folder on the server to provide central access to resources to all computers (music files for example).  Are the contents of the folder important? Set the folder to be mirrored and the server AUTOMATICALLY maintains a second, hidden copy of that folder for added protection.
  • Media collection - Odds are pretty good you have more than one computer in your network in this day and age.  Odds are even better that they each have their own music and/or photo files.  Use the media collector to search each machine and centralize your media in one location on the server.
There are many, many, many more features packed into this small little server, but in my book the automated backup feature alone is worth the price of admission.  Do yourself a favor and consider adding one of these to your home network.  You'll be happy you did.


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