My Mom got me a 500GB LaCie ethernet drive for Christmas (Thanks, Amazon Wish List!). The LaCie was a breeze to set up–connect the power, connect the ethernet, and turn it on. Now all the machines on my home network can backup and share files in a central spot.
There are a lot of options for connecting to the LaCie. It has a built in FTP server so that’s one option that works with any OS. Windows boxes see the drive in Network Neighborhood. Linux boxes can use SMB.
Although concurrent writes are supported, I seemed to have some I/O trouble when attempting to back up my Ubuntu laptop at the same time as one of my Windows boxes. That’s not a real deal-breaker–I rarely have to write to it from more than one box.
Overall, I’m happy with it so far. My one complaint is the fan. It’s much louder than my Dell XPS tower which really surprised me given the LaCie’s diminutive stature (it’s about the size of a Linksys router). The noise is significant enough that I really only want to power it up when I need to do a backup or restore.