Iomega StorCenter ix2 review
The Iomega StorCenter ix2 2TB comes fully set up with two 1TB drives and is ready to go. This is a major point in its favour if you don't have the time or technical confidence to set up a NAS using an enclosure and separately supplied hard disks.
In fact, you can use it without even visiting the NAS's browser-based configuration page: simply map it to a network drive. For security purposes and to get the most out of the Iomega's latest features, a certain degree of minimal configuration is strongly recommended. The first time you connect to the NAS you'll be presented with a setup screen that prompts you to configure a few basic features.
You can use it solely on your local network, but it's worth noting that keeping the NAS offline will make some of its web-based features redundant, including the ability to access your files via the web. The setup wizard helps you configure the StorCenter ix2's time zone, email notifications via your SMTP server and your Personal Cloud. You can either create a personal cloud for this device or join one on another storage device, which is helpful if you use multiple Iomega NAS devices and have already set one up to act as your cloud storage device.
The Personal Cloud is incredibly easy to set up. Just give it a name and your email address, and you're ready to go. The contents of your NAS will be accessible to anyone you invite to use it. You'll have to set up port forwarding on your router to allow remote access, but you'll be given a dedicated myiomega.com URL for your NAS and it's much easier to configure than the DDNS services that are more commonly used to provide remote access to content on a local network. Iomega recommends having no more than 12 devices connect to your cloud simultaneously, but it can handle an absolute theoretical maximum of 250 devices.
The main interface is a fairly streamlined and approachable icon-based affair, although it responds rather sluggishly. A bar on the left gives you a selection of tabs, each of which has a different range of icons in the right-hand pane. The default Common tab provides immediate access to the most-used features, including Copy Jobs, User and Group settings, shares and the NAS’s status screen. The oddly named Copy Jobs is part of the NAS's backup facility, allowing you to create scheduled copies between the NAS and any other network share.
Digging into the other tabs, you'll come across the NAS's Cloud Services, which provides handy shortcuts for linking your NAS to a variety of online storage services, including Amazon's S3 servers, Mozy Backup and Atmos Video Hosting as well as your Iomega Personal Cloud. The System tab allows you to configure and view the status of core features such as USB printer sharing, administrator login settings, UPS status monitoring, energy saving settings and system logs. You can add additional applications from Iomega's LifeLineApps service, but there's not much there.
A wider variety of tools are lumped together into the Media tab, from monitoring and recording for IP cameras to a BitTorrent client, tools to upload photos and video to Facebook, Flickr or YouTube automatically. The ability to upload content to social media automatically is particularly handy if your business has a strong online presence.
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