Wednesday LaCie revealed the LaPlug, a device that can share USB-based storage devices (thumb sticks, external HDDs) on a local network and remotely across the Internet. It can even stream multimedia content while also backing up multiple computers to one central location thanks to the bundled software or Apple's Time Machine, depending on the platform.
"Simply connect the LaPlug to the network then connect the drive to the LaPlug," the company explained Wednesday. "Instantly the user has an easy and cost-effective way to make files stored on their USB hard drives more accessible than ever. For ultimate convenience a user can connect a USB printer to the LaPlug and make it wirelessly available to all computers on the network."
According to the specs, it features four USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and 802.11 b/g/n wireless connectivity. In regards to remote access, the company claims that LaPlug owners can set up a custom web address so that users can easily access the files stored on the USB drives simply by typing in an URL. This special hostname is created by heading over to www.dyndns.com, as instructed here.
On the streaming side, the LaPlug can pump multimedia to devices that are UPnP/DLNA-certified, such as the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, as well as the LaCie LaCinema Classic HD.
"If a user has movies on a USB key they can just connect it to the LaPlug then play the movie using the multimedia device on the network," LaCie added. "Instantly watch movies from the comfort of your living room even if the LaPlug is located in another part of the house. The LaPlug also plays music files from a USB drive or streams music to computers on the network running iTunes."
The LaCie LaPlug will be available through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie PROgram+ Partners and LaCie PROgram+ Reseller starting at the suggested retail price of $74.99.