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Friday, January 12, 2007

Toolbox: Networks & Storage For Photographers

Get connected and protect your image archive with the latest in networking and backup devices

Toolbox: Networks & Storage For Photographers

With the growth of file sizes and the sheer number of archives created in digital photography, transferring and storing files has leaped from a simple home-computing environment to something resembling more of a business scheme (albeit on a smaller scale). Hubs, routers and network-attached storage (NAS), once confined to corporate IT departments, are now common components in the digital photographer's realm as well.

Networking for digital photography may be as simple as connecting your computer to the Internet. But soon it may grow to incorporate a second computer, network file storage or a network print server. Let's take a look at the networking options.

Wired. The most popular method of connecting computing devices is Ethernet. There are three popular speeds: 10, 100 and 1,000 megabits per second. Most Ethernet hubs and networked devices will support both 10 and 100 speeds (you might see it listed as 10/100). A growing number of devices now support 1,000 or "gigabit" Ethernet.

These numbers are a little misleading—don't expect 100 Mbps to be 10 times faster than 10 Mbps or one gigabit to be 10 times faster than 100 Mbps. Part of that bandwidth is used for network metadata that controls the traffic and delivery of information on the network.


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