I'm not at all up to date on external hard drive technology so I thought I would post up where the experts are.
I'm looking for an external hardrive with these specifications (or something close to it):
-1TB - 1.5TB
-Network configurable. If it is possible I would like to make the hard drive accessible via the internet given proper credentials. I have two computers on my home network I would like backed up and 1 computer at my office that I would also like to back up on a regular basis.
-Whats the fastest connection standard right now? USB2.0 for local and Ethernet for network?
-Is it possible to have one external HD that can store files for both a mac computer and windows computers? Or is there going to be a conflict in file systems? Is there a reasonable fix for this? or do I have to have two seperate HDs?
-Data synchronization would be a huge plus (between the two windows computers)
I'm very open to suggestions at this point but my preliminary research has pointed to these two models. The problem is the listed specifications are not specific enough for me to tell if they will fit my needs. I should also mention that I do have some technical skills with working with computers, networks, etc.
The one thing I'll mention is that we're just months away from wide availability of USB 3.0. If you want to use a USB connection to your drive, USB 3.0 will give you much higher transfer rates than USB 2.0, and I'd give serious thought to buying one of the new USB 3.0 drives that are available.
A USB 3.0 drive will work with a USB 2.0 connection (at the slower USB 2.0 speed) if your computer doesn't have USB 3.0 ports. That means the drive is more future-proof for use on upcoming systems. Or you can buy a USB 3.0 to PCIe adapter card to upgrade your computer and take advantage of the higher speeds right away.
If you have a home network already and are not planning on moving it too much, it sounds like you are looking for a NAS (Network Attached Storage).
The transfer speeds of eSATA are still very good (certainly better than USB 2.0), but as stated USB 3.0 is really starting to make its way into the wild. There are boards and even drives that have the interface now, so that is something to look at as well.
You'll need to consider if your PCs have an eSATA or USB 3.0 (unlikely - it's on only the newest motherboards).
You could configure all those computers to back up to a Network Attached Storage device, though that is certainly less portable.
Network storage does appear to be what I need. Any particular brands/models I should be looking for? I would like to stay at or under $175. I know this severely limits possibilities, but it is my budget for the time being.
You know...that's funny - I was thinking WD World Edition - I think you can use it as a NAS and external HDD, though I'm not totally sure.
There are some NAS enclosures where you have to supply the drives - I have a DNS-323 and like it. They have a lesser model DNS-321 that may be what you need. The budget would allow you to purchase the drives too.
I know that Iomega makes some decent small units, as does netgear, though I haven't looked into them a ton.
I'll try to come back with some more ideas when I get some more time (at work now).