Drobo creator announces Transporter, the private cloud storage solution

Drobo creator announces Transporter, the private cloud storage solution

The Transporter is a small NAS with easy Dropbox-like cloud-sharing functions.

Ever wanted the convenience of cloud-storage but without the privacy issues of your data being stored elsewhere? The Transporter is a new private cloud storage solution that allows users to keep all their data at home, away from prying eyes, but also allows for easy cloud sharing and syncing.

Developed by BlueArc and Drobo founder, Geoff Barrall, and his new company Connected Data, the device has been available in the US for a couple of months but, now with version 2.0, it is also coming to European shores.

What sets it apart from other cloud-storage solutions is that you hold onto your data. Like a NAS drive, the Transporter plugs into your local network but then through a unique peer-to-peer file sharing protocol it also allows for easy file sharing to both those that own Transporters and those that don't, with the data never passing through Connected Data's servers.

It also has Drop-box-like integration, appearing as a folder on your desktop and providing drag and drop simplicity. Connected Data considers it a complete replacement for services like Dropbox (syncing), YouSendIt (file sharing) and Carbonite (mass cloud-storage).

“With the rise of mobile computing, consumers need robust technology solutions that enable them to share and access files on the go,” said Dave Reinsel, group vice president at IDC. “Connected Data’s approach is very unique in that it provides a completely private, peer-to-peer solution that only hosts data on authorized devices."

The Transporter
The Transporter was only a Kickstarter campaign back in December 2012 but has already seen a huge ramp up in production and an overhaul of its interface, the version 2.0 release of which coincides with the device hitting shop shelves in Europe.

The device consists of a small plastic chassis containing a handful of electronics, an Ethernet interface and a dock for a single 2.5in hard drive. You can buy the Transporter either without a hard drive, allowing you to add your own, or with a 1TB or 2TB drive already installed.

The Transporter will work as a standard NAS, and does have support for many expected NAS functions such as manual SMB configuration and such like. However, it's designed to be easy to use, with company representatives regularly making reference to Dropbox as a marker for how they wanted the interface to feel, with a dedicated folder for syncing and lots of quick-share options in the 'right-click' menu.

Users can specify a folder that will be synced across multiple devices, just like Dropbox, but also choose other files and folders as being 'available'. This means that if you're in a remote location you can still access these files and folders, but they won't automatically sync. Mobile apps for Android and iOS also allow access from those devices.

Other devices, such as Synology's NAS boxes, provide this remote file access but lack the simple interface and can't do the Transporter's other clever trick which is to communicate between one another. This allows for easy remote backup such that you could have one device at home and one at a relative's house, for instance. You can then offer to provide a protected backup of each others files, in case of fire or such like. Also, for businesses, multiple remote locations can configure their Transporters to sync (with options for syncing to only occur at certain times and at a set bandwidth), allowing for easy collaboration.

Although the current version with a single 2.5in drive seems limiting, the company hinted that a multi-drive version that uses Drobo-like technology is in the works.

Priced at £179 without a hard drive, £249 for 1TB and £325 for 2TB, the Transporter is quite expensive in terms of up front cost but there is no on-going fee for the service.

We're quite excited by the idea of the Transporter and will be getting one in as soon as possible for a full review.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Hereisphilly 28th May 2013, 13:50 Quote
Does anyone know if this would work with an existing NAS on a home network?
Icy EyeG 28th May 2013, 14:14 Quote
If they implement Android and Ubuntu support, I'm in.
Woodspoon 28th May 2013, 16:50 Quote
what a fantastic idea, I'm in.
gagaga 28th May 2013, 17:20 Quote
Isn't this just a super-expensive pogoplug?
Evolutionsic 28th May 2013, 19:20 Quote
Originally Posted by gagaga
Isn't this just a super-expensive pogoplug?

never heard of the pogoplug but it sure does look interesting!
Andy Mc 28th May 2013, 20:02 Quote
Yay, more apple centric over priced "design" pieces. For what it is drobo is stupidly over valued and given a thoroughly good beating by the likes of Synology and QNAP gear.
I can see this being just the same. So yes, as previously mentioned this will be nothing more than a ridiculously overpriced pogoplug. But the Cult of Jobs devotees will lap it up.
Big_malc 28th May 2013, 20:43 Quote

more cost effective to stay with a quality nas and tunnel in
Yaka 28th May 2013, 20:50 Quote
nice prolly would buy it if it has linux support. but why the feck does it look like a trendy plant pot
Eccles 29th May 2013, 12:58 Quote
Other devices, such as Synology's NAS boxes, provide this remote file access but lack the simple interface and can't do the Transporter's other clever trick which is to communicate between one another.

and Synology disk station are easy to setup and backup to each other or via rsync to other devices.
edzieba 29th May 2013, 14:51 Quote
For those not on the marketing-lingo bandwagon, this is a low-spec home server in an awkwardly shaped box.
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