Combining speed and security, the latest-generation MediaBank HS-R offers an impressive external storage solution – especially if you’re a Mac user who’s just bought a G5 or latest-generation PowerBook. However, it will only appeal to the extremely security-conscious.
The MediaBank HS-R offers two removable drive bays. The drives are controlled by a RAID hardware circuit using RAID 1, which means that one drive mirrors the other. The HS-R appears on your desktop as a single drive, but if one drive fails, all of your data is still available on the other.
Everything is carried out automatically, but an LCD display keeps you up-to-date on what the HS-R is up to.
The downside to RAID 1 is the cost, as you essentially have access to only half the total storage space of the drives within the HS-R. This is the price you pay for this high level of security.
Both drives are easily removable, though you’re only likely to want to remove one at a time. It’s not removable storage in the conventional sense, more an option to take one drive home from the studio in case you have a break-in or fire.
The MediaBank HS-R has been available since last summer, but the latest incarnation replaces the FireWire connection with a FireWire 800 bridge. Both incarnations are £299 for the basic unit, to which you can buy additional ATA drives, or you could add your own.
The FireWire 800 connection gives the HS-R a major speed boost. In our tests, we found that the HS-R was almost 50 per cent faster at retrieving data than a backup drive with standard FireWire and almost 100 per cent at writing (based upon the transfer of 3GB of data). This makes it a definite time saver and ideal for multi-stream DV editing. Users of Windows PCs and older Macs will require a FireWire 800 PCI board (Miglia sells one for £69 plus VAT), but many creatives will find the speed boost very useful indeed.