A while ago I bought this hard drive enclosure from Maplin. What I wanted was some storage that I could access across the network rather than locally via a USB cable and this seemed to fit the bill at £35. I slotted in a spare 80gb hard drive and plugged it into the router. Within a couple of minutes I had connected to it from across the network and was able to transfer files back and forwards.
The management software for the device is pretty simplistic allowing you to setup folders and privileges and not much else. However, it does have one feature that is useful to the web worker – ftp access. What this means is that I can share important files and access them across the web which is really useful when I am out and about. I have also setup an automatic process on my laptop using syncback that synchronises files between the drive and my laptop which is what I had been looking for from FolderShare.
Given that the drive was only 80gb I quickly needed to replace it with something larger (500gb). I went for a Freecom unit which offered similar functionality in terms of hardware only this time it is not an enclosure but a sealed unit with hard-drive. Little did I know how similar the two unit would turn out to be given the striking similarity in the software interface (see below). Still it works, even if it is a little utilitarian, and does the job of local backups and remote access well.