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"BARE facts on Mac speed FEATS"

(Posted April 16th, 2008 by Rob-ART
Corrections on April 22nd, 2008 -- comments regarding USB to FireWire)

Ever wish you had an external eSATA port on your iMac or MacBook or MacBook Air or Mac mini? Do you wish you just had extra ports and more choices? That's the wish fulfilled by FirmTek's SpyderHUB which is being featured in their booth (SL7729) at NAB this week.

The FirmTek SpyderHUB comes with two eSATA ports, two FireWire 800 ports, and one USB 2.0 port. The idea is to connect either one FireWire 800 port or the USB 2.0 port to your Mac laptop or desktop.

If you connect the hub's FireWire 800 port to your Mac, you are able to use the second FireWire 800 port as well as the two eSATA ports to connect to external storage devices. You can boot from either a FireWire or eSATA enclosure. (This is key because you can NOT boot from an eSATA enclosure connected to a SATA ExpressCard.) This capability frees up the ExpressCard slot on the MacBook Pro to be used for other purposes like broadband modems or video capture cards.

If you connect the hub's USB 2.0 port to your Mac, you are able to use the two eSATA ports to connect to external storage. And you can boot from that storage, though it will be slow. However, you canNOT use the FireWire 800 ports.

The SpyderHUB features built-in RAID 0 and SPAN (concatenate) support. You can configure the RAID set by holding down a button on the hub. If the hub is connected via a FireWire 800 port, you can "stripe" a pair of eSATA drives or stripe three drives -- one FireWire 800 plus two eSATA drives.

The SpyderHUB is a "must have" home base accessory if you have a Mac with limited port options or the lack of expansion slots. It adds versatility to your storage expansion and multiplies ways to recover from a disaster.

Information system professionals should have this hub in their bag of tricks as they service a variety of Macs and PCs in corporate, educational, or government environments. If you run a computer lab for students, this hub will add maximum versatility, allowing students to connect a wide variety of devices to the lab Mac or Windows PC.


Provides Mac OS boot capability to eSATA enclosures
Allows content to be shared between different Macintosh and/or PC models
Provides FireWire Daisy Chaining capability
Operates using bus power (power adapter optional)
Expands eSATA direct connect enclosure connectivity to include FireWire 800/400/USB 2.0 host interfaces. (FireWire 400 requires optional adapter)
Features dual external eSATA and a FireWire device port
Features a FireWire 800 or a USB 2.0 host port
Power and activity LEDs for each hard drive
Supports JBOD or Hardware RAID 0/Concatenate modes
SATA II compliant; auto-negotiation between the latest 3Gb/s and legacy 1.5Gb/s Serial ATA drives
Features Kensington Security Slot
Easy to set up, easy to transport, compact and portable


Platform and Operating system independent; compatible with all Macintosh and PC computers running Mac OS X, Windows and Linux
Works with any brand of direct connect SATA enclosure. Designed to work optimally with FirmTek products
Not compatible with port multiplier enclosures

Apple Online Store


The SpyderHUB will be available soon directly from FirmTek's online store and from authorized dealers. Contact sales@firmtek.com for more details on availability.

© 2008 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster