LaCie 5big NAS Pro Hands-On: This Super-NAS Is Super Expensive

LaCie 5big NAS Pro Hands-On: This Super-NAS Is Super Expensive
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You will pretty much always get what you pay for when it comes to technology. Get a cheap device and you can expect a cheap experience. Spend a little extra and get a better experience. Simple. So what are we to make of LaCie’s 5big NAS Pro? It’s very good, but the price will just about make you faint.

Basically, the 5big is what’s (boringly) known as a hybrid cloud NAS drive. That means it has local storage with the option of a cloud subscription on top of that. It supports up to 20TB of storage, runs a dual core 2.1GHz Intel Atom processor and comes with 100GB of free storage in LaCie’s secure cloud – dubbed Wuala — for three months.

That’s all great, but what you’ll pay for the 5big certainly isn’t. You ready? You can get the diskless model (with no storage in it) for $699(!). Pre-loading it with 10TB of storage will cost you $1599 and maxing it out to the full 20TB will cost a shocking $2599. On top of that, you’ll have to pay for the Wuala subscription after the free trial ends, which is another $12 per month for 100GB.

The Wuala subscription is worth paying for though. It allows you to keep backups both locally and on the cloud, and setup is easy – no port forwarding, just log in. If you want to share files, specific URLs can be sent that only grant access to a specific file, keeping your other files safe, much like Dropbox.

Where the 5big Nas Pro really excels is its security features. All data is encrypted on the client side, so you know your online data won’t be compromised. It also uses SimplyRAID technology, which basically allows you to benefit from RAID disk-failure protection without a complicated setup.

All this adds up to one conclusion: the 5big – despite its military-grade security, easy backup options, cloud integration and whopping great storage allowances – isn’t for us mere mortals. This is more a business-level device. Something intended for a small to medium-sized business that needs backup options. Having said that, though, it’s still probably more than a small business owner would be comfortable paying for storage.

Adam Hallett travelled to CES 2013 as a guest of Seagate.