A lot of you will already be familiar with what a Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit is.
For those that aren’t, it’s essentially an intelligent storage device that’s attached to your network which is used for backing up and sharing data across your network.
Almost all units these days support wireless media streaming and other advanced features which we’ll look at during the course of this review.
Until recently I was new to this particular technology and was looking for a simple, inexpensive, convenient and secure way of backing up my data.
NAS fulfils all those requirements and after considerable research this is the NAS unit I chose to purchase myself.
It’s a budget model (relatively speaking) aimed at the small office/home office (SOHO) user but as we’ll see it packs in a lot of features normally found only on more expensive devices.
The Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 is available in three capacities 1TB, 2TB & 4TB and it’s the 2TB model I’m reviewing here.
The current retail price of the 2TB unit is £309.99 however if you shop around it can currently be purchased online for under £220.
If you would like to read more about Iomega, further details can be found at their website.
The unit I bought was the full retail version so let’s have a look at the box.
The first thing you will notice is that rather confusingly the packaging refers to the Iomega StorCenter ix2 (which is still available but isn’t as advanced as this unit) and not the Iomega StorCenter ix2-200.
This unit is in fact the Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 so for sake of clarity and in order to avoid any confusion I’ve used the full reference throughout this review.
Box left and right sides
What’s in the box
Here are the contents of the box together with the manuals and accessories as supplied.
As we can see from the photo we have:-
- Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage unit
- Two pin power cable
- Three pin UK power cable
- CAT5e Gigabit Ethernet cable
- Universal transformer/power supply unit
- Three Instruction Leaflets
- Software CD-ROM
Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage unit
Physically the unit has an attractive and sturdy design with a blackened brushed metal case, capped on either end by pierced and moulded plastic inserts.
This unit is remarkably small and neat and side on it’s almost exactly the same size as a standard paperback novel, which isn’t a great deal bigger than the actual drives themselves.
The official dimensions are (WxDxH): 9.4 cm x 20 cm x 14.1 cm and the version on test weighs in at 2.3kg.
Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage – front side view
Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage – rear view with drive removed
Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage – base of unit
Features on the front of the NAS unit
On the front of the device we can see several features which are as follows:-
(1) The four lights which are the status indicators.
In order from top to bottom we have the ‘QuikTransfer’ Indicator, the Drive Activity Indicator, the System Status Indicator and the Power Indicator.
(2) The Power button.
(3) The ‘QuikTransfer’ button.
(4) A High-speed USB 2.0 port.
Features on the rear of the NAS unit
The features on the rear of the unit are as follows:-
(1) Security Lock – Connect a security cable to prevent theft.
(2) Factory Reset Button – Hold the RESET button for four seconds to return to factory defaults. All settings will be lost.
(3) Two High-Speed USB 2.0 Connectors – Supports devices such as USB storage devices and printers.
(4) Gigabit Ethernet connector that automatically detects network speed (10/100/1000Base-T).
(5) Power Connector.
(6) The two drive caddies labelled as HDD1 & HDD2.
Internally the device is based around the Marvell ‘Kirkwood’ 88F6281 processor.
It’s the 1.0 GHz version with a ‘Sheeva’ CPU core that features in this unit and it’s supported by 256 MB of Zentel RAM allied with 128 MB of Hynix NAND flash memory.
A Marvell 88E81116R Gigabit Ethernet interface and an ALCOR AU6256 4 port USB 2.0 hub handle the connectivity requirements.
Hard Drives Installed
The unit comes preinstalled with twin 3.5" 1TB ST31000520AS Barracuda LP or super low power drives, which according to Seagate can save up to half the power consumption of normal desktop hard drives and have the following official specifications.
By default the drives are preconfigured as a RAID 1 array with all system software preinstalled.
The drive caddies are each secured by two screws on the base of the unit and the drives are user replaceable.
The supplied CD contains:-
- Iomega StorCenter Manager software.
- EMC Retrospect Express HD – backup software.
- An installable HTML instruction manual in eleven different languages.
Device Specifications & System Requirements
- Network type: 10/100/1000Mbps
- USB 2.0 host ports: 3
- RAID level: JBOD (Spanned), RAID 1 (Mirroring)
- Hard drives: (2) SATA II
- Printer server: Support for (3) USB printers included
- Media server: Built in DLNA® certified media server and iTunes® server. Support for DLNA/UPnP™ compliant devices including game consoles, IP cameras, and digital picture frames.
- Operating System: EMC LifeLine operating system which is based on Linux.
- AC Voltage: 100-240 VAC
- Power consumption: 5 Watts (min) – 19 Watts (max)
- Acoustic noise: 28 dBA maximum
- Available 10/100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps network Ethernet port (required)
- DHCP-configured network (recommended); Network hub, switch, or router (recommended)
- CD or DVD drive to install software and view user’s manual
- DLNA/UPnP-compliant digital media adapter (DMA) required to use multimedia server functions (sold separately).
- PC: Microsoft® Windows® XP; Windows Vista™; Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 3.0, or higher browser
- Mac: Mac OS X 10.4-10.6; Safari 3.0 or higher browser
- Linux: Supported Linux distributions: Redhat 9, Enterprise 4/5, Mandrake 10, Devian 4, Gentoo, FedoraCore 6/5, SopenSUSE10.3
You will note that Windows 7 isn’t mentioned here.
Iomega’s website states that the Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 supports Windows 7 and this is confirmed as my device was configured, set up, and used, via my main PC running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. No operating system related incompatibilities or anomalies were experienced throughout these tests or during the weeks I’ve been using this unit.
Warranty details are as follows:-
AMERICAS OR THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION
EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST, OR AFRICA