You may be thinking about moving your files to ‘The Cloud’ so you can access your data just about anywhere - it seems like a great idea. But do you really want to trust your private data to the corporate world?
French techies Dane-Elec have a possible alternative. It's catchily called the myDitto Network Attached Storage (NAS).
Promising easy setup and secure access, Dane-Elec may be onto a winner. However, it’s not the only option in this section of the market with some established competition. We put it through its paces to see if it can live up to the marketing blurb.
The myDitto sells itself as a centralised place for all your digital content, which you can connect to anywhere, anytime, from almost any computer. It holds two hard drives - ours came with 2x500 GB.
These can be expanded up to 2x2TB through easy-access trays at the back. As far as NAS storage goes, its appearance is friendly on the eye with a slimline white case and blue glow coming from the LEDs on the front. In addition to the myDitto, you get a stand, power cable, network cable, quick-start instructions and two USB access keys.
These keys are myDitto’s unique feature as each one is pre-configured to your particularstorage server. They allow access from computers on the network or over the web. Once thehardware is plugged into your router there is no additional setup. The software and configurationare all stored on the myDitto key, meaning that all you need to do to access your files is plug thekey in and run the included software.
One of the main reasons for hosting your own data is security, and the myDitto has thiscovered. Its access keys and software provide a few layers of protection - these include serverauthentication of the keys, user password protection and AES 128 encryption. The softwarealso takes advantage of peer-to-peer tech to make sure that you can access your files anywhereover the web.
The keys themselves come in two varieties: master and user. The user key lets you accessfiles in your area and the public space on the drive, and the master key gives you full access toall files, as well as admin rights to play with settings.
You can order new keys or turn existing USB sticks into additional keys using the copy button located at the front of the server. Up to 30 keys are supported by a single myDitto with six being able to access at any one time.
You would expect any storage server aimed at the home market to have loads of streamingoptions for your music, videos and the like. Unfortunately, the options on the myDitto are limited,although it does have streaming support for music with the included software as well as aniTunes Server.
If you want to do more than this then you’ll need to set up a DLNA client such as an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. There were some additional noticeably absent features, such as software streaming, torrent and FTP support. Why?
We tested the myDitto over our network and transfer speeds were reasonable, a 1.4 GB movie took just over 15 minutes to copy. We also tried over the internet, where the speed difference was noticeable, although this was most likely limited by the up speed of our internet connection. It was still quick enough to stream music files. We're not sure how much luck we would have had streaming films though - since it took 47 minutes to transfer the same 1.4 GB movie.
We tested power consumption and this ranged between 14 Watts and 20 Watts. A couple of Google searches revealed that this works out at around £15 a year. Comparing this to an onlinestorage account such as drop box, which offers a 100 GB account for $19, the myDitto appearsto offer good value for money.
The myDitto does give off an audible hum and bright blue glow at all times which isdistracting. If your router is in a living room or shared area this might cause problems, as theincluded network cable is quite short. Both the power consumption and noise will still easilyoutperform NAS alternatives such as running a dedicated PC.
The myDitto was extremely easy to set up and use making it a good option for newbies and luddites - undoubtedly its strongest feature. We didn’t come across any access problems, and were able to reach our files just by plugging in the key. There are other similar products in this price range that do have richer streaming options, however, if the myDitto’s features meet your needs then we have no hesitation recommending it.
- Easy access anywhere
- No fuss setup
- Unobtrusive looks
- Easily expandable
- Limited streaming and access options
- A little noisy and bright
- The name - it sounds like a Pokemon.