Network Attached Storage units let PCs share data

I don't have a TV with Wi-Fi reception or an ethernet port, so I was out of luck watching my videos and pictures on the TV via the hard drive. But the manufacturers say it's possible to view Wi-Fi-capable media on your TV, including digital photo frames and gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2.

Price differences come up

Iomega's networked drives have a single drive, not two, and are much cheaper than WD or Seagate's. Iomega charges $159.99 for 500 gigabytes and $209.99 for 1 TB.

But the company charges for online access to the data: It's $10 a year, although the first year is free. Neither WD nor Seagate does this.

Seagate's BlackArmor NAS 220 ($399.99 for 2 TB; $699.99 for 4 TB) is aimed at small businesses, letting up to 20 computers access the drive. It has a host of security and automatic backup features, as well.

Otherwise, all the units work similarly, with auto backup plans, multiple user capability and remote access.

You get a lot for your money. But at $699 for Seagate and WD's networked drives, I'm not ready to spring for all those goodies until the price comes way down.

Iomega's $159.99 and $209.99 networked drives are the best bargain of the category now and the ones I'd reach for to add to my drive collection.

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