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NAS Reviews

Introduction

Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive

At a Glance
Product Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive - 1TB (33872)
Summary Dual-Drive NAS with RAID 0, 1 Support and Gigabit Ethernet
Pros • Inexpensive
• RAID 0, 1 Support
• Gigabit Ethernet Support
Cons • Destructive RAID 1 Recovery
• No Logging or Alerts

Earlier this year, I checked out a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device from Iomega that was designed for small-business use. I found the StorCenter Pro 150d to be a full-featured device with RAID 5 support and hot-swappable drives. The 150 was primarily geared toward small-business or power-users, but now Iomega has come out with a NAS device more targeted toward home users.

In this review I'll try out Iomega's one-terabyte StorCenter, a dual-drive, gigabit-capable NAS device that supports RAID level 1. This model has fewer features than the NAS devices in Iomega's "Pro" line, but on the plus side, it offers basic NAS functionality and can be picked up for under $400 for a Terabyte of storage! It's also available in a 500 GB model with street pricing as low as $240.

Setup

The StorCenter is a bit of a departure in size from other Iomega NAS models. It's more comparable in size to a child's shoe-box as opposed to the "cinder-block" size of Iomega's Pro line.

Like most consumer NAS devices, setting up the StorCenter was as simple as plugging it into the network and turning it on. When the unit powered up, I subjectively judged the noise level to be in the "medium" range. I wouldn't want to place it in a quiet room, but it wouldn't sound out of place in a room with other fan cooled computers. A power draw measurement showed the unit using 20–22 W when active. I tried waiting for the five minute drive power save mode that I set to kick in so that I could measure power draw in that mode. However, the drive never seemed to spin down; or, if it did, I saw only a 2W difference.

Back Panel

Figure 1: Back Panel

Figure 1 shows the back of the StorCenter. You can see a fan vent, a power button, a gigabit Ethernet connection, and two USB 2.0 ports that can be used for storage expansion or for sharing a printer on the network.

Iomega advertises installation support for Windows, Apple, and Linux computers, so I plugged the included CD into my preferred system, a MacBook Pro laptop. Figure 2 shows the installation software as it's searching for the StorCenter on my network.

Software installation

Figure 2: Software installation

Once the device is located, the installation software will let you mount a default "public" share, or it will spawn off your browser for more configuration. If all you need is the public share, you'll be online in five minutes or less.

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