Summary

Our Score

6/10

Review Price free/subscription

Pop a USB stick in the back and the appliance will automatically share it although you will need to set up user access to the default share for this. Multimedia has been an area Iomega has traditionally steered clear of but it now supports UPnP media adapters and provides a database for sharing files which can be accessed directly from the web interface. You also get support for connecting digital cameras and the appliance will automatically copy all pictures into a default directory. To work with the appliance your camera will need to be the variety that can be recognized as a standard USB storage device. Despite its growing popularity amongst other NAS vendors Iomega still doesn't offer an iTunes server.

Backup features are good as the appliance can manage scheduled full and differential tasks that'll copy local data either to a USB device or to another StorCenter over the network. For workstation backup Iomega has dropped its Backup Pro utility in favour of the vastly superior EMC Retrospect Express. This enables you to create local backup jobs and schedule them to copy data to the appliance and after the first full backup has completed it'll only copy new or modified files.

The drives default to a RAID-0 stripe which only takes a few minutes to build whereas a RAID-5 array will take around 6.5 hours to complete. Note that as the arrays are managed in software the latter will hit performance. With a striped array we copied a 690MB video file over Gigabit Ethernet and saw read and write speeds of 10.8MB/sec and 9.9MB/sec. With a RAID-5 array in residence these dropped to only 6.8MB/sec. FTP performance using the stripe delivered the best speeds as the FileZilla utility returned read and write speeds of 13MB/sec and 10.3MB/sec respectively. Wireless performance is unimpressive with the appliance returning barely 2MB/sec for the same test file. Backup performance using Retrospect will also depend on you choice of RAID array as securing 12.2GB of data from a Supermicro 3.2GHz Pentium D workstation to a RAID-5 array returned 4.4MB/sec whereas copying it to a stripe improved average speed to 5.9MB/sec.


Verdict

A low price for a 1TB NAS appliance although this is reflected in the modest level of features on offer. It's easy enough to install and use but performance isn't great and why the firmware upgrade removes the wireless access point mode is beyond us.

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