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Netgear, WD Team Up For Networked Storage

Netgear, Inc., and hard drive manufacturer Western Digital Corp. today announced the companies will jointly promote a complete, affordable wireless LAN solution with network-attached storage for home networks.

In a co-marketing effort between Netgear and WD, an affordable, wireless networked storage solution is available for under $200 USD. Customers who purchase from Best Buy both the Netgear Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media Router (model number WGT634U) and WD’s USB 2.0 80 GB external hard drive between Aug. 1- 7, 2004, will receive a $20 rebate gift card from Best Buy. In addition to Best Buy’s $20 gift card, the customer will be eligible to receive an additional $90 in mail-in rebates from WD, Netgear and Best Buy.

Linksys and Maxtor had previously announced a similar arrangement, with the two companies promoting a network storage solution based on Linksys’ Storage Link and Maxtor’s One-Touch external drives.

Netgear’s 802.11g-compliant Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media Router incorporates a USB 2.0 port that enables connection to external storage devices such as WD’s USB 2.0 external hard drives. Combined with WD’s USB 2.0 external hard drive, Netgear’s ultra-fast wireless router provides consumers a new, simplified way to install a networked storage system, enabling storage of all files, including multimedia digital content, for easy shared access among multiple PCs and centralized data backup for data protection.

WD’s USB 2.0 external hard drive has been certified compatible with the Netgear Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media Router by WD’s FIT Lab (Functional Integrity Testing Lab). Other certified compatible WD products include WD’s FireWire/USB 2.0 Combo external hard drives. Netgear also tested and verified compatibility of these WD products with its Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media Router.

“The introduction of network-attached storage technology to high-performance home routers signals the beginning of the third wave of networking technology for the home,” explained Mike Wolf, principal analyst at In-Stat/MDR. “As converged home networks are already beginning to emerge, media client and server products that deliver true end-user applications, such as multimedia content sharing, are coming to market. As users seek to accumulate, store and distribute large amounts of digital content throughout the home network, network-attached storage will quickly become a critical component in the connected home.”

“Netgear is delivering affordable, feature-rich, easy-to-use networking solutions designed to support the demanding performance requirements of the connected home,” stated Vivek Pathela, director of product marketing and management, Consumer Group of Netgear. “The Netgear Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media Router provides the super-fast wireless speeds and extended range that are critical to support applications such as streaming video and large file transfers. By connecting WD’s high-performance, reliable USB 2.0 external hard drives directly to our new Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media router, users can easily store large amounts of digital content such as MP3 and video files for fast, easy access from any networked computer or device.”

“Abundant, cost-effective and high-performance storage has been invaluable to PC users for decades,” said Diana Rodgers, director of marketing for Western Digital. “Now, as many new consumer applications such as video and music require these benefits to a greater level, end users are more savvy about and demanding of their storage, and how it is accessible throughout their homes. WD and Netgear are providing a smart, simple and affordable network storage package for the home PC owner.”

Netgear’s WGT634U Super G 108 Mbps Wireless Media Router and WD’s USB 2.0 external hard drive (80 GB capacity) are available now through Best Buy. With $90 in mail-in rebates from Netgear, WD and Best Buy, in addition to a $20 rebate gift card from Best Buy, estimated retail price for the complete storage solution is under $200 USD. The products will be available through additional Netgear retail partners beginning next month.