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Iomega StorCenter ix2 Network Storage Cloud Edition review

Kat Orphanides
2 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
285
inc VAT

It works, but slow transfer speeds and a drab user interface make this NAS a distinctly average option

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Specifications

2 disk bays, 2x 2TB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Iomega's 4TB StorCenter ix2 NAS isn't as compact as some two-disk devices from rivals such as Western Digital, but we appreciate its solidly made metal chassis. It's really easy to open if you want to replace the disks, too. Each drive is held in place by two screws at the base of the chassis. Undo these, and the drives simply slide in and out on easy-to-manage caddies, which are in turn fixed in position by four screws at the base. Smartly designed runners make it impossible to insert them the wrong way up accidentally, too. At the back of the NAS are two USB2 ports and the usual Gigabit Ethernet port. There's also another USB2 port at the front. The NAS doesn't take up much room, but it does tend to get rather warm, even when it's not doing anything in particular.

Iomega StorCenter ix2 Network Storage Cloud Edition

The supplied installation disc provides an automatic install option that includes management software. A neat interface prompts you to set a password for the NAS and automatically creates six network shares of folders intended for movies, music, pictures, backups and more. It's a bit excessive, but very approachable and hassle-free if you don’t like configuring such things yourself.

Unfortunately, it seems as if Iomega has gone out of its way to make life difficult for the inexperienced user when it comes to taking advantage of its wide-ranging features. It took a significant amount of searching to find the unexpectedly case-sensitive username and password needed to access the StorCenter ix2’s administration interface, because they don't appear anywhere in the quick start guide or the online version of the ix2-200’s manual. Incidentally, the username and password are ADMIN and admin respectively.

To be honest, it hardly seems worth the effort once you’ve logged in. The management screens are particularly drab and clunky, although everything is at least clearly labelled. You can create and give admin privileges and quotas to users, set up new shared folders and enable media streaming on existing ones. You can also create active folders from which content is automatically uploaded to services such as YouTube, Facebook and Flickr, and you can control IP cameras on your network and set up the NAS as a BitTorrent client.

Iomega StorCenter ix2 Network Storage Cloud Edition rear

The NAS also can also be accessed remotely via FTP, NFS, TFTP and a variety of other protocols, both popular and obscure. It can also be used as part of a personal cloud, with storage being accessible from anywhere via mobile phone apps or browsers. You can even link your NAS to Amazon S3 and Mozy Backup services.

However, with small file transfer speeds of 7.3MB/s in RAID 1 mode and 8.3MB/s in RAID 0 mode, the ix2-200's performance isn't particularly impressive. Large file transfer speeds are a bit better, being 26.4MB/s in RAID 0 mode and 26MB/s in RAID 1 mode, although we still noticed a couple of dropped frames in full HD video streams.

At £285, the StorCentre is a decent deal for 4TB of storage and loads of features, but we aren’t fans of its interface, or the way in which its setup utility automatically maps multiple shares. Unless you need a USB print server, we prefer the sleek interface and faster transfer speeds of the Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4TB.

Basic Specifications

Price£285
Rating***

Storage

Capacity2x 2TB
Default file systemext3
Price per gigabyte£0.07
InterfaceSATA2
3.5in drive bays2
Free 3.5in drive bays0
RAID modesJBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1

Interface

Ethernet ports1
USB direct access ports (front/rear)0/0
Other USB ports (front/rear)1/2
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Other portsnone

Networking

Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
UPnP media serveryes
iTunesyes
Print serveryes
USB disk serveryes
Web serverno
FTP serveryes
Protocols supportedTCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP

Miscellaneous

Size141x94x203mm
Weight2.3kg
Vertical positioningno
Ethernet cable includedyes
Additional featuresremote access, BitTorrent download manager, Bluetooth and camera upload, security camera server
Power consumption idle16W
Power consumption active20W

Buying Information

Price£285
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.iomega-europe.com

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