Continuing its tradition of innovative storage solutions, Maxtor Corporation announced that it is making it simpler than ever to store, share, print and back up computer files, digital photos, music and videos from one central location on home or small office networks. Using the company’s renowned integrated Maxtor backup software, consumers and small businesses can easily back up data from their PCs to the new Maxtor Shared Storage Plus drive for added data protection. The new drive, which begins shipping in October with capacities of up to a half-terabyte (500GB), is also the company’s first network drive that extends the advantages of centralized storage to digital entertainment devices. Using the new drive’s built-in media server, consumers and small businesses can share and stream digital data to multiple devices on the network, without requiring routing through a PC.

The new drive is ideal for small business owners with multiple PCs on wired or wireless networks, who want to simultaneously backup, share and print digital files via one centralized location. The drive provides nearly effortless data management and security for up to 20 users, which allows small business owners to free themselves of the mundane, yet critical task of ensuring that every computer’s precious data is backed up frequently. Maxtor’s integrated and easy-to-use software suite allows people to spend more time on productive, enjoyable tasks, such as running their business or spending more time with their families. The Maxtor Shared Storage Plus drive is available in a 200GB, 300GB, or 500GB storage capacity, and includes two USB ports to connect and share two USB printers or two additional external storage drives, or one of each.

When connected to a home network, the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus drive acts as a centralized digital entertainment media server. One of the drive’s software features provides the ability to stream media content on compatible UPnP AV digital media adapters for viewing on entertainment devices throughout the network. A family, for instance, could simultaneously listen to a music collection via a networked sound system upstairs, play movies on a networked theatre system in the living room, and view a slide show of recent vacation photos on a laptop in the kitchen. Based on Mediabolic’s Media Server software, which is designed to DLNA guidelines, the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus drive requires no active PC on the network to share and stream digital files.

“With Maxtor Shared Storage Plus, we’ve added software features to maximize the simplicity and value for home and small business networks, such as the critical ability to back up precious digital files to the drive and built-in servers for shared printing and media streaming,” said Stacey Lund, vice president of marketing, Maxtor Branded Products Group. “Now our simple and elegant Maxtor backup experience is available across the entire family of Maxtor OneTouch external drives and Maxtor Shared Storage drives for consumers and small businesses.”

The drive’s new SimpleView feature, which acts like a built-in IT administrator, provides detailed backup and storage status at a glance to all users on the network. In addition, the exclusive user-friendly wizard interface easily designates shared folders for full or limited access for privacy, sets backup schedules and simplifies restoring files. Organizing digital files is a breeze with Maxtor’s exclusive Drag and Sort feature, which automatically identifies and sorts more than 100 different Windows file types and puts them in specific music, photo, movie, Web, software or documents folders.

Setting up the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus drive on a home or small office/home office (SOHO) network is simple. The drive plugs into a network router via a 10/100 Ethernet port, and installs quickly with the help of the drive’s automatic network configuration. Once the drive is on the network, users simply run a quick start CD on each networked PC to automatically receive a desktop icon that gives them easy access to a shared public folder and a set of personal password-protected private network folders.

Maxtor Shared Storage Plus drives will be available in October at major U.S. retailers, distributors and online stores. Worldwide availability will begin in November 2005.

As part of Maxtor’s ongoing commitment to provide its existing customers with best-in-class service and support, those who have purchased the original award-winning Maxtor Shared Storage drive can easily upgrade their drive’s software starting in October to enable Maxtor Shared Storage Plus functionality at no additional charge.