Networking
REDS.box gives the blues to would-be data invaders

Most computer users want an effective way to protect their data, especially while online. Cloud-based applications and services, however, tend to be open to the public and leave data stored there at least somewhat vulnerable to invaders.

REDS.box is an easy-to-use home server designed for Internet users who work in the cloud a lot and want to protect their data in a simple way that doesn’t require advanced knowledge or frequent updating. The REDS.box stores data safely while users are at home and can be used in conjunction with various applications, including file sharing and note-taking. REDS-compatible applications stay in the public cloud, but data is processed and stored on the user’s side instead of in the cloud. Users decide who can access their data.

REDS.box ships in May at future pricing of about $163 for a 32-GB version and about $283 for a 1-TB version. But early bird Kickstarter backers can get them at pledges starting at about $108 for the 32-GB version and about $217 for the 1-TB model. Its makers hope to raise $54,474 by Feb. 18.

The device has similar features to products including Neobase and Turris Omnia. One feature that may allow REDS.box to stand out from those two earlier products is its planned library of compatible apps. That library, however, is initially too small, including only the note-taking app REDS.notes and file-sharing app REDS.drive, the latter of which hasn’t even been finalized.

A REDS.contacts app for storing contacts and REDS.calendar app are also planned, but won’t be available until after the device ships. The product’s open source framework will also enable developers to create their own apps for REDS.box. Another downside, at least initially, is that the only way to back up data is on an external hard drive. But an encrypted cloud backup feature is planned.