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Review: Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive

Shared storage is becoming very popular among home-office and small-business users — especially considering the number of image, audio, and other multimedia files we're all accumulating. One way for a hard drive manufacturer to make its new product stand out from an increasingly crowded line-up is to improve the feature set. That’s the path Iomega has chosen for its StorCenter series of desktop network-attached storage drives.

The Iomega Storcenter is a shared drive that attaches to a network hub and has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, including drag-and-drop copying, automatic backup, printer server, and media streaming.

Iomega’s StorCenter consists of a 260GB hard disk with an 8MB cache, making it a competent external drive unit (cutting-edge would require 16MB). Its 7200rpm spin rate is the current standard; it includes one 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 2.0 ports.

Despite the “network” part of its name, this is probably one of the easiest installations you’ll encounter. In fact, it’s so simple that it’s practically hands-free — just run the software CD and then attach the drive to your network hub (the cable is included) through the Ethernet port. When your computer reboots, you’re left with the tough task of clicking “OK” a few times and you’re done.

The installation puts a management console application on your PC. This program allows you to encrypt the StorCenter's contents and set password protection — all the usual security features that are used with external disks. You’ll also find that StorCenter appears in the “My Network Places” section of all computers on your network. If you want to use the StorCenter from another computer on your network just use Windows Tools to attach the drive and you're done.


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