Thursday, December 26, 2013

GoFlex Satellite

My daughter bought me a GoFlex Satellite for X-Mas. What is this Seagate device you ask, a "secure" personal cloud.

I was a little worried because of all their talk about ipad,  Mac, and Windows software, but hard drives and wifi should be OS agnostic, right.

My network is made up of Linux Mint, Chromebook, and Android devices, would I be able to fully use the GoFlex Satellite? I am happy to say the answer is yes.

The 500 GB device functions as a wireless network. In order to access your data you change your wireless network to GoFlex or whatever you end up naming it. Once that occurs you simply search for anything and you are taken to a web interface of you files. On iPad and Android devices you can install a free app.

There are two fundamental aspects to security, proximity and access, and the GoFlex Satellite addresses both of these. The wifi network GoFlex uses limits access to that network and a 150 foot proximity of the device. As an additional security measure you can select a 8 character or larger password to access the files.  

So how does this all work in practice. I have three "computer" devices; desktop with Linux Mint - MATE, upstairs netbooks hooked up to a large monitor with Linux Mint - Cinnamon, and a Samsung Chromebook next to my Lazy Boy. On all three devices I just choose the GoFlex wifi, put in password, and click enter in the search bar. I am taken to a web interface where I can access all my files and even upload a file or two if needed.

What about Android tablets and phones.  All one needs to do is download the app or use a web browser. Again, you will first need to log in to the GoFlex network. One thing I wanted to do with my GoFlex was stream to my Chromebox. Since access is on a separate wifi network, direct access is not possible through Avia Media Player.

The "secure" way this is handled is once logged into the GoFlex network you can see your data within the Avia app, but are not able to Cast it. What you can do is select media files to download to your device. You can then log into your home wifi network and Cast directly from your device.

I think in our cloud based world, we have forgotten the importance of physical access in data security. Rather than sending data - encrypted or otherwise - over networks you don't directly control, GoFlex enables you to take your cloud with you on a network you directly control.

I have very happy with the GoFlex thus far, and would recommend it to anyone who wants more physical control of their data, but keep the convenience of the cloud.