Maxtor, Linksys to unveil wireless hard drive

If hard-drive maker Maxtor and networking company Linksys have their way, your external hard drive is about to become very external.

On Tuesday, the companies announced a partnership featuring a $99 Linksys device that lets an external hard drive connect to a wireless router, allowing PCs to tap into the storage and share files without any physical link to the drive.

The joint effort is geared toward small offices and homes. The latter is a crowded market, overflowing with companies pitching home-networking technology. Maxtor and Linksys--a Cisco Systems unit--are marketing products together and tout a common set of instructions for tying drives to routers with what's dubbed the "Linksys Network Storage Link."

The Linksys Network Storage Link connects to an external hard drive through one of two USB ports and includes a file management system, the companies said. It is designed to work with a wired or wireless network, and to work with other external drives apart from Maxtor products.

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