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Closing Thoughts

The Maxtor Shared Storage drive is a solid, well-engineered, and attractively styled NAS, but somewhat lacking in features. I would have liked to have seen logging and email alerts, and it seems a shame to not provide at least the encryption capabilities the separated-at-birth SimpleShare provides.

But the most curious omission is backup, especially given Maxtor's success with the "One Touch" backup feature on its line of USB external drives. Perhaps this was too difficult to pull off with a networked vs. attached drive. But given the bundling of EMC Dantz' Retrospect with its "One Touch" USB drives, you'd think Maxtor could have at least bundled it with the MSS too.

Performance is about on par with the other NAS products in its class that I've tested, with perhaps a slight edge in read performance. Another plus is that Maxtor is being aggressive on pricing, since I found the lowest online pricing for the 300GB MSS to be about the same as the 250GB Buffalo LinkStation (~$300) and about $90 below Buffalo's 300GB model.

In the end, it's likely that Maxtor wanted a simpler device - aiming at a different market segment than some of its competitors. Whether the tradeoff between simplicity and features is a winning strategy, however, only time will tell.

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