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LaCie CloudBox Reviewed

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Introduction

LaCie CloudBox

At a Glance
Product LaCie Cloudbox [Website]
Summary 100 GB network storage device with automatic backup to cloud storage
Pros • Gigabit LAN port
• One year of 100 GB storage included
• Easy setup
• Windows and MacOS client backup included
Cons • Slow as a NAS
• Relatively small capacity
• Backup apps don't support recovery imaging

With many NASes now including some sort of “cloud” feature, it’s very difficult for a manufacturer to find a way to differentiate a new product. But most NASes merely allow you to remotely access your device from anywhere on the Internet. The CloudBox from LaCie takes a completely different approach.

Rather than being a traditional NAS, it’s better to think of the CloudBox as an Ethernet-connected disk. While the CloudBox offers only 100 GB of storage, all of it is backed up to secure online storage. A one year subscription to 100 GB of online storage is included in the $189.99 (list) CloudBox purchase price. After the first year, it will cost you $129 (99 Euro) per year.

Using supplied backup software (MacOS and Windows versions included), you can decide which files to backup to the CloudBox. Then, once per day, the CloudBox synchronizes all of its files to an online storage site. You have the option of restoring files to your computer either from the CloudBox, or in the event the CloudBox is stolen or damaged, from online storage.

The CloudBox looks like many of LaCie’s other products designed by Neil Poulton. It’s a simple black box with a single, multi-colored bottom-mounted LED that shows status and activity. Figure 1 shows a chart detailing LED behavior. The back panel has a power button, a power supply jack, and a single Gigabit Ethernet port.

Chart depicting LED Behavior

Figure 1: Chart depicting LED Behavior

Note that even though the drive capacity is 250 GB, only 100 GB is available to you. Note also the tiny fan, which was inaudible.

Inside

The CloudBox is powered by a Marvell Kirkwood 88E6192 running at 800 MHz.  The Gigabit Ethernet controller is a Marvell 88E1318, and the device has 1 GB of memory. Figure 2 shows the interior with the Samsung Spinpoint M7 250 GB 2.5" SATA 5400 RPM hard drive removed.

Interior of the CloudBox with hard drive removed

Figure 2: Interior of the CloudBox with hard drive removed



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