I reviewed Iomega's StorCenter ix2 NAS server four months ago and complained that it didn't offer any remote-access solutions. Now that has changed.
The company announced a major firmware update to its StorCenter Ix2 NAS server family on Tuesday, which adds two noticeable features: remote over-the-Internet access and support for peer-to-peer file-sharing capabilities. While these are significant, most existing NAS servers have had these features for a long time.
The new firmware will make the StorCenter ix2 NAS family support downloading and file sharing on its own. This means you won't need to have to use a computer to download, which translates into energy and resource savings.
The new remote-access feature enables users to connect to the NAS server from anywhere in the world via the Internet. I don't know the details of the setup yet, but according to Iomega, you just enter a personalized Web address into any browser and you'll be able to access files and manage the settings of your StorCenter ix2.
This seems to be a vendor-controlled remote-access service, such as those used in the WD My Book World Edition NAS server or the Maxtor Central Axis. In my experience, these are easy-to-use solutions, but don't offer users the ability to set things up the way they want.
Speaking of the way you want, unfortunately, the remote feature is only free for the first year. After that it costs $9.95 a year. Many other NAS servers, such as the Synology DS209, offer a more comprehensive and free remote-access solution, but one that requires some networking knowledge to set up.
Other than remote access and self-download capabilities, the new firmware also adds three other minor features:
- Folder quotas: Allows users to set a maximum capacity for shared-storage folders on the StorCenter ix2. If a folder exceeds 90 percent of its capacity, the ix2 sends a notification prompting you to either delete unused data or adjust its size.
- Jumbo frame support: A technology that increases data flow for larger files in the network and allows more efficient networking.
- Apple file protocol is now supported by the Storcenter ix2 NAS server. This means file sharing for Mac users is easier.
New StorCenter ix2 units will ship with the new firmware. If you already own one, you can download the update and upgrade your unit.