The StorCenter Network Hard Drives are the latest version of Iomega's home-targeted network-attached storage drives. They are basic NAS drives that offer up many of the same features that the competition offers. They come in three capacities: 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB. The 500GB and 750GB versions are single-drive models, while the 1TB version packs in two 500GB drives (the casing is a bit different on both versions). The 1TB version costs $390, the 750GB version costs $360, and the 500GB version costs $270--all very reasonably priced.
We had some problems setting up the 1TB version we received for review. We used the included Discovery Tool Pro, which found the drive immediately. We were able to log in using an Internet browser to create new users, new share folders, and so on. However, we ran into a wall when we wanted to map the shared folders to our test system. None of the user accounts we created was accepted, and the default admin account didn't work, either. When we turned to Iomega's Web site to find help and an update for the software, we found that it required us to register before we could download any updates. Of all the NAS drives we tested, the Iomega Network Hard Drive took the most time and proved to be the most frustrating.
Once we got the drive up and running, it worked much like others we've tested. We were able to just drag and drop files from our testbed to the drive or used the included EMC Retrospect Express software to schedule automatic backups. The 1TB version supports RAID 1 and RAID 0 configurations, as it has two drives. And all three models can serve up media to UPnP-compatible media adapters, as well as serve up printers and additional external hard drives.
|Drive type||External hard drives|
|Connector options||Gigabit Ethernet; USB 2.0|
|Available capacities||500GB (single drive), 750GB (single drive), 1TB (dual drive)|
|Capacity of test unit (if applicable)||1TB|
|Dimensions (LWH)||500GB and 750GB version: 8 x 4.9 x 1.7 inches; 1TB version: 7.9 x 3.2 x 4.9 inches|
|Notable design features||2 host USB ports for connecting external HDDs or printers|
|Other features||Journaling file system; Active Directory support; UPnP AV media server; RAID 0 and RAID 1 (on 1TB version only)|
|OSes supported||Windows Vista/XP/2K; Mac OS X 10.2.7 or later; Linux: Redhat 9, Mandrake 10, Debian 3.0, Gentoo, FedoraCore 3|
|Software included||Iomega Discovery Tool Pro (for Windows), EMC Retrospect Express backup|
|Service and Support||One-year warranty; toll-free phone support is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET while under warranty; Iomega's site includes online chat with tech support, e-mail to tech support, user forums, FAQs, how-to videos, and downloadable software, manuals, and drivers.|
In CNET Labs' tests, the 1TB drive managed to finish writing our 5GB test folder of mixed data in 19 minutes, 28 seconds. In the read test, it performed about the same, scoring 18 minutes, 47 seconds. Both numbers were average for the NAS drives we've tested.
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
|5GB read test||5GB write test|
Throughout the testing process, the drive worked very smoothly and quietly. It did generate a relatively significant amount of heat, so you don't want to put it in a closed area. Overall, the Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive is a good, reliable NAS storage solution as long as you can install it. We'd like to see Iomega make the setup process simpler and more user-friendly.