The concept of cloud storage is awesome -- keep your files permanently online where you can get access to it anytime you need. In practice, though, relying on third-party businesses for securing your files is probably not the best idea. The Transporter offers a more comforting alternative, allowing you to set up a private online server for your own storage.
Made by Connected Data, it's actually just an external hard drive connected to your network via ethernet. Instead of merely offering files for use at home, though, it bundles a full-service software solution that connects your drive to the internet, essentially turning it into a private cloud storage service.
The Transporter is billed as an online, but off-cloud, storage device that allows access to its contents via the internet. Obviously, this will be great for accessing your home files (e.g. music, documents) via broadband while you're on the road, similar to how a lot of people use cloud storage. More importantly, though, it supports using the system for sharing files, so you can give co-workers, friends and anyone else access to your storage contents by simply sending them an invite and defining their access privileges. Since you own the hardware, there are no annual fees and there is no need to pay for additional storage -- just install a bigger SATA drive (it can support up to 2TB) when the need to expand comes and you're all set.
Features include auto-syncing (e.g. if a spreadsheet gets updated on the drive, the changes are automatically reflected on saved versions in authorized devices), encrypted data transfers, backup capabilities (you can use two transporters that automatically sync with each other to ensure you don't lose any data), and unlimited sharing, with no restrictions on file types or size. Basically, it's like having your own Google Drive that you can take offline anytime you want at home and that's awesome.
You can order the Transporter now, with prices starting at $199.99, depending on the capacity of the bundled SATA hard disk.Check It Out