LaCie this week introduced their latest external storage device, the CloudBox. Dubbing it a “hybrid hard drive”, the CloudBox lets you back up your files locally, while it handles all the heavy work of putting them online.
LaCie is not the first company to offer external storage with some additional cloud features, but they’re one of the first that seems to have made it so seamless. The CloudBox itself harbors only a 100GB hard drive, power jack and Ethernet port. That’s all. The Ethernet port is used to connect the CloudBox to your router, where it becomes accessible as Network Attached Storage.
Your computer can then back up the important information it needs over your local network. Where the magic happens is that the CloudBox will then automatically upload the contents of the external drive to a server operated by LaCie. Despite all of the hacking jobs being accomplished lately, there’s no need to worry about the integrity of your data – the copy that gets uploaded to the server is encrypted using state-of-the-art AES encryption algorithms.
If your computer fails, you can just pull your backups right off of the CloudBox. If your CloudBox (and your computer) fail, then LaCie makes the ten most recent editions of your data available for download using their Online Restore software. The CloudBox will come with a 12-month subscription to the data backup and retrieval service included, though LaCie has remained quiet on what the fees might be after that initial year.
That online functionality sounds pricey, and LaCie would agree. Despite holding only a 100GB hard drive, the CloudBox will cost $200 when it comes out. It’s expected to be widely available later in July.