Gizmodo says the web interface sucks. CrunchGear describes the user interface as “kludgy,” despite giving the drive a good review overall. I haven’t tried the drive myself, so I don’t have an opinion.
It wasn’t the drive itself so much that interested me about the article, as that the NYT author lists it as the first in a series of options for remote backup. Of course, if you’re transferring data to the Fusion from your laptop while on the road, that’s remote backup for your laptop. But the drive itself isn’t a remote backup solution if you keep it in the same building as the computers it’s backing up.
The “remote” aspect of the Fusion is actually provided by Fabrik, which also designed the Fusion’s web interface software (which Fabrik itself claims is “silky smooth”). If you wanted your entire 500GB Fusion drive backed up on the web, Fabrik would charge approximately $251/month for it.
This is actually fairly inexpensive as online backup goes, but suffers from the same drawback as other online backup solutions: transfer speed. (The United States is now a mere 16th in world broadband penetration, and by comparison with Japan, Korea, and Europe, we get pitiably slow transfer rates for outrageously high prices.) Trust me, you are not going to want to upload that much data over a consumer-level DSL or cable connection.
The other cautionary aspect to the Fusion/Fabrik partnership is that Fabrik is still in beta. At least online backup providers like Mozy (discussed in my 7/21/06 Backup Reminder) and LiveVault have been around long enough to develop reputations. So I’d wait a bit before investing in Fusion if your main interest is web access and offline backup.
But don’t wait to back up your computer.