LAS VEGAS -- When you hear the term "server," you probably picture a giant desktop, a mainframe or racks and racks of components in an air-conditioned room. But how about something that wirelessly streams videos, hosts a photo repository or even runs a local website from a box that's smaller than the palm of your hand?
Due out by the end of the year, the Fassetto Link is a wireless file or Web server that weighs less than 4 ounces, holds up to 2TB of data and can operate 45 feet underwater.
Measuring just 1.88 x 1.88 x 0.9 inches and weighing 4 ounces, the Link looks like a nondescript black box at first glance. It has no ports at all and charges its battery on a wireless dock.
However, on the inside the Link is a full-fledged computer, complete with a quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 4x4 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE and up to 2TB of solid-state storage. Fosetto claims that it can read and write data at 2500 and 1500 MBps, respectively, while streaming to up to 7 devices at once or connecting to 20.
Devices connect directly to the Link via Wi-Fi and, if there's a router present, the Link connects to it and passes the Internet along to those devices. However, even if you're out in the woods with no Wi-Fi hotspot present, you can still connect to the Link and get its files.
The Link could be particularly useful for streaming media while camping. It should also be great for work groups such as photographers who need to share a common set of files when they're away from the office.
A 1,350 mAH battery promises 8 hours of continuous media streaming, or 2 weeks of standby time. Thanks to its durable CNC aluminum and shock-proof ABS body, the Link is designed to survive some drops and bumps, and even operate submerged in 45 feet of water.
The Link runs a custom version of Linux called Link OS, which is designed to make browsing and serving media files particularly easy. There's a mobile app that lets users browse the file system on the Link and automatically sync pictures they shot with their phones' cameras.
As I watched, a Fasetto rep shot a photo with his Android phone. A few seconds later, he loaded the Link's web interface in the browser on his MacBook and the photo appeared along with an index of other photos and videos on the device.
To provide more functionality than the Web interface has, Fasetto is also developing native applications for Windows and Mac OS X. The applications will let the Link appear as an external hard drive on your computer and will also let users view shared folders on those devices.
When it ships in late 2016, the Link will be available in capacities of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB, with the base 256GB model going for $350 and the high-end config costing over $1,400. However, if it lives up to its promises, this durable wireless server will be well worth the premium.
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