There’s a lot of noise these days around “cloud computing.” It seems like every company even vaguely related to computers has a cloud–something so, how about having your own personal cloud? Dane-Elec’s my-Ditto is a Network–Attached Storage product, a NAS, which provides a personalized version of what marketeers call Cloud Storage. my-Ditto is a small but hefty tower that plugs into your local area network (LAN), either 10/100BASE-T or Gigabit Ethernet, and provides local and remote digital files storage and retrieval, along with music, video and other services. Unlike public Cloud Storage services, you have complete control of your files.
Dane-Elec’s my-Ditto NAS
The case, a small white tower, would visually fit nicely in most home or small office/home office (SOHO) setups, and the plethora of blue LEDs doesn’t detract from the aesthetic. The appliance includes an optional stand, external in–line power supply, ethernet cable, rubber self–adhesive feet, a printed Quick User Guide and two USB hardware “Keys.” More on the Keys in a bit…
After hooking it up, which was simplicity itself, I powered up the unit. It boots up, performs its self-test and initialization, and is ready to go in about two minutes. Like most NAS products these days, my-Ditto is really a tiny server, running the free and open source Linux operating system. It’s been purpose–built to store files and stream digital content.
my-Ditto employs what we geeks call “two factor authentication,” a more secure approach than only a password. Dane-Elec’s two factor method incorporates both a password and a personalized, authenticated USB Key. The Keys are really flash drives, with special encrypted access software preinstalled. Once you un–mount and remove your Key from most any computer, there is nothing left on that machine that can compromise your security. On your home machine, you can install the included my-Ditto software, so the Keys are not needed for day–to–day functions.
What’s on the Master Key
By the way, both Keys included with my-Ditto, Master and Standard, are pre–authenticated. That is, they already “know” all about the my-Ditto they’re destined to work with. The Master Key is needed for system updates and is used to modify settings, including changing passwords, renaming or deleting users from the system in case you lose a Key, along with enabling more esoteric functions and making configuration changes.