Iomega’s New StorCenter: Storage Overkill?

iomega_storcenter copyIf you have tons — and I do mean tons — of multimedia content bogging down your computers, Iomega’s new NAS drive could be your storage solution. The StorCenter ix2-200 is a high-capacity, high-powered network hard drive that’s easy to use. It’s aimed at the pro-sumer and small business markets, and for good reason: The average home user may be overwhelmed with all the StorCenter offers.

Iomega’s ix2-200 is available in three versions: 1TB ($269.99), 2TB ($369.99), and 4TB $699.99). All of these are double drive products, meaning they have two hard drives stored in one enclosure. As such, the ix2-200 is thicker than your average network hard drive, but not egregiously so.

In most aspects, the ix2-200 is similar to Iomega’s excellent Home Media Network Hard Drive. Like that product, the ix2-200 offers an easy setup — you just plug it in and power it up; the rest of the work is done for you. And, like the Home Media Network Hard Drive, the ix2-200 serves as an iTunes server, making it easy to share music and video throughout your house. It’s also DLNA-certified, so you can use it to stream content to compatible set-top boxes.

The ix2-200 also features a built-in torrent manager that is, unfortunately, all too similar to the one on the Home Media drive; it’s painfully slow. A 350MB file that I downloaded on my PC’s torrent client in less than 20 minutes took a couple hours to download to the drive. Still, the idea of a remote torrent manager is appealing, especially if you’re blessed with the patience I lack.

The ix2-200 does feature some upgrades over the Home Media drive, as well as improvements from its predecessor. For one, Iomega says it uses less power. It also offers remote access from the web (a feature that was added to the Home Media drive via a firmware update) using Iomega’s neat and clean interface. And techie types will like that the drives are user-replaceable. It also offers device-to-device replication, which means you can copy its contents to any other storage device on your network without using a computer. In addition, it offers a cool feature called QuickTransfer, which allows you to copy data to a connected USB storage device (the ix2-200 has three USB ports) by simply pushing a button on the drive; again, no computer interaction required.

The StorCenter ix2-200 is a breeze to use, but it’s overkill for most home users. A 1TB drive will hold plenty of content, and you can get a 1TB version of Iomega’s own Home Media Network Hard Drive for $200. That’s $70 less for a product that likely already meets all of your home network storage needs.