Iomega's second-gen NAS box, the StorCenter IX2, is a pocket-sized powerhouse for those looking to move their digital media off one (or more) PCs and onto a Share that can be accessed by the growing market of networkable AV kit – everything from TVs to dedicated streamers are now primed to work with NAS boxes.
The IX2 is a Minogue-like NAS, significantly smaller than rival boxes from Netgear and LG, with a beautiful curvy, brushed aluminium finish that matches the brand's external HDD range.
Connectivity includes a trio of USB 2.0 slots and Giganet Ethernet port. The third USB slot is on the front, along side a Copy button. Hook up a USB stick or drive, and you can quickly dump the content to the NAS.
I estimate that it would take most users no longer than 20 minutes to get the IX2 up and running. Iomega's Installer disc provides a browser wizard which guides you through a short, painless setup routine.
Under the Media Services tab in the Web-UI are three icons: Media Server, Picture Transfer and Video Surveillance. The first is the UPnP DLNA server, visible to other UPnP devices on your network, as well as iTunes; the Picture Transfer mode requires you to hook-up a camera direct to copy across image files (I'd rather have a card reader); Surveillance function supports up to seven cameras (but failed to find my security camera at all. If this area is of interest, check you have a compatible device).
The IX2 model is better equipped than its forbear. Features include an integrated BitTorrent client and a basic Remote Access feature, which is free for the first year but then requires a subscription. The Torrent client is lightweight but effective.
There is no other integrated download tool, though. With torrents falling from favour, it would be nice to have some other D/L alternatives, such as a JDownloader variant for managing Rapidshare downloads.
Streaming HD media was problem free, and the IX2 is a good deal faster than its predecessor. In a networked home entertainment system, you need a NAS to be visible, quiet and, above all, easy to use. This Iomega unit ticks all three boxes. It's also well built, offers drive redundancy and throws in some cool extras.
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