LaCie has unveiled a local network-based bridge unit called the LaPlug, that allows users to share any USB-powered storage drive over a local network. It also enables the sharing of private files outside the LAN through an external address, and the wireless streaming of files to UPnP/DLNA-certified products such as gaming consoles, LaCinema Classic HD, or any other compatible equipment.

Bringing to mind such devices as the IOGEAR Sharing Station or Pogoplug Mobile, the LaCie LaPlug requires a connection to an existing local network, which allows users to share all drives or printers plugged into the LaPlug's four USB 2.0 ports over the (W)LAN. Both Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi b/g/n (client mode) are supported. Accessing USB drives connected to the LaPlug remotely from outside of the local network is also possible (utilizing a custom web address), although this requires users to establish a free account within the DynDNS platform, according to LaCie's tutorial.

UPnP/DLNA-certified products including PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, LaCinema Classic HD multimedia hard drive, as well as DLNA-enabled smartphones or tablets are supported by the LaPlug. The device is compatible with iTunes and Windows Media Player, for automatic LaPlug-shared files streaming on these programs. The unit also serves as wireless backup solution, as it comes with backup software for PC and Mac OS X's Time Machine.

The LaCie LaPlug retails for US$74.99 and is available now via LaCie's website.

View gallery - 7 images