Network product manufacturer NETGEAR and hard-drive manufacturer Western Digital (WD) are entering the home and small-business network storage market together. The companies will combine their products to offer a new low-cost Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution. The offering is similar to the NAS solution that Linksys and Maxtor launched earlier this summer. (For more information about the Linksys/Maxtor solution, see "NAS for Small Business," June 2004, http://www.winnetmag.com, InstantDoc ID 43031.) NETGEAR's and WD's effort addresses the growing need for storage in the home environment. Although the solution primarily targets connected homes, it's also attractive to small businesses.
The solution is a co-marketing effort that teams WD's USB 2.0 external hard drives and NETGEAR's Wireless Media Router, which includes a USB 2.0 port that supports external storage devices. The companies offered a rebate deal earlier this month when customers bought the products together at Best Buy and plan to roll out other promotions through resellers next month. Testing by WD's Functional Integrity Testing Lab (FIT Lab) and NETGEAR has certified the compatibility of WD's USB 2.0 external hard drives and FireWire/USB 2.0 Combo external drives with NETGEAR's WGT634U 108Mbps Wireless Media Router.