Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive Cloud Edition 2TB review
Iomega’s Home Media Network Hard Drive Cloud Edition is a mouthful, but the device itself is an agreeably compact NAS device offering many of the features of a full Home Server appliance.
Its 2TB of internal storage can be partitioned into as many shares as you like, with granular access permissions available on a per-user basis. You can also attach external drives to the two USB-A connectors and share them via the Network Hard Drive’s graphical web-based interface. Over Gigabit Ethernet, we saw sequential write rates of 33MB/sec and read speeds of 50MB/sec – fast enough to copy a 1GB video file to the drive in around 30 seconds.
It’s a little disappointing that there’s no space for a second internal drive. This helps keep the drive down to a front-room-friendly size, but it rules out RAID mirroring. Instead, the Network Hard Drive comes with built-in support for Amazon A3 and Mozy backup services, for duplicating important data to the cloud.
You can also configure backup jobs to copy specified files and folders onto external media according to your schedule – or whenever you press the QuikTransfer button at the front of the drive. The same system can back up your PCs too, but can access only data that’s shared over the network. It makes more sense to download the client-based Iomega Protection Suite (a licence for an unlimited number of computers is included with the drive).
In addition to basic file storage functions, the Network Hard Drive has plenty of handy extras. It can act as a server for one or two USB printers, and as a media streamer for DLNA or iTunes-compatible devices. You can also configure “Active” folders, which automatically perform user-defined actions: drop a photo into the right folder, for example, and it can be automatically uploaded to Flickr. Save a Torrent file and it can be automatically downloaded data via the Network Hard Drive’s built-in BitTorrent client.
The only slight disappointment is the Personal Cloud feature that gives the device its name. It’s a neat way to share your files with other people, and to access your files from a remote PC. But the implementation is rudimentary, requiring you to manually configure port forwarding on your router to make it work.
Before splashing out, it’s worth comparing the alternatives from Synology, our favourite NAS manufacturer. The Synology DS211J offers the same feature set as the Iomega, plus more integrated servers and dual-disk RAID support – and its Linux-based front-end makes Iomega’s web interface look primitive. It’s faster, too, clocking network read and write speeds of 38MB/sec and 67MB/sec in our tests. All this is reflected in the price, though: the Synology costs £160 for an unpopulated enclosure.
So, if you don’t need the bells and whistles, Iomega’s Home Media Network Hard Drive Cloud Edition is an attractive option at a reasonable price. As long as you don’t mind setting up your own backup system, and remote access to files, it offers everything a home user needs for simple storage and entertainment duties.
|Cost per gigabyte||7.5p|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|UPnP media server?||yes|
|Other media servers||iTunes|
|Dimensions||125 x 199 x 40mm (WDH)|
Security and administration
|Kensington lock slot?||yes|
|Admin support for users||yes|
|Admin support for groups||no|
|Admin support for disk quotas||no|
|Software supplied||Iomega Protection Suite|
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