NAS Devices: The Storage Centers (Part 2) - Iomega StorCenter ix2 Network Storage Cloud Edition, Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4TB

7/24/2012 5:47:23 PM

Iomega StorCenter ix2 Network Storage Cloud Edition

Ratings: 3/5

Price: $442.95



Iomega StorCenter ix2 Network Storage Cloud Edition

NAS StorCenter ix2 NAS 4TB of Iomega is not as compact as other 2-drive devices of rivals like Western Digital, but we highly appreciate its solid metal case. It’s easy to be opened to replace the inside disk drives. Each drive is hold in fixed position by 2 screws in the bottom. Detach them then the drives slide and come out of the well-designed box with drains that make you unable to assemble them in a wrong way. The device’s back has 2 USB ports and 1 Ethernet Gigabit port while there’s 1 USB port in the front. The device doesn’t take much space but it frequently gets a bit hot when doing not much.

The installation disc gives automatic setup and even management software. A neat interface asks you to set password for the device and creates 6 network-sharing folders for movies, music, photos, backup and so on. It’s a little abundant but easily accessible and doesn’t cause any trouble if you don’t like configure by yourself.

Unfortunately, Iomega makes life more difficult for inexperienced users with reference to exploit its extensive features. It took a lot of time to find out the usernames and passwords needed for entering management interface of StorCenter ix2, because they didn’t appear in either quick start guide or the online version of ix2’s manual. Randomly, username and password are respectively ADIM and admin.

When we logged in, it didn’t seem worth our effort. Despite being labeled, the management screens were untidy and bulky. You can create and give admin privilege and quota, configure shared folders and allow streaming media on current folders. You can also make existing folders automatically upload contents to services like YouTube, Facebook and Flickr, control IP cameras on the network and set up NAS devices as a BitTorrent client.

Ix2 provides remote controls via FTP, NFS, TFTP and many other protocols. It can also be used as a part of personal cloud, giving access to the storage from anywhere through applications or mobile browsers. You can even link NAS with Amazon S3 and Mozy Backup services.

Sadly, with the transfer speed, for small file, of 7.3MB/s in RAID 1 mode and 8.3MB/s in RAID 0 mode, ix2’s efficiency is not impressive. The transfer speed for big files is better with 26.4MB/s in RAID 0 mode and 26MD/s in RAID 1 mode, though we noticed reduction of frames in full HD video’s streams.

With $442.95, StorCenter ix2 is a deal with 4TB storage with various yet we don’t like either its interface or the way its setup utilities automatically maps many shared folders. Unless you desire a USB print server, we prefer the nicer interface and faster transfer speed of My Book Live Duo 4TB from Western Digital.


Consideration: It’s efficient, but its slow transfer speed and untidy interface for users make this NAS a mediocre selection.

NAS device: Two 2TB-disk drives, 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet connection, 3 USB ports, media servers for UPnP and iTunes, printer, USB and FTP server.

Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4TB


Ratings: 5/5

Price: $436.75



Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4TB

My Book Live Duo of Western Digital is one of the most compact NAS devices at present, with a size of 165x157x99mm and designed with familiar black plastic curves of My Book series. Despite its size and the fact of being accompanied by 2 hard disks, it’s still easily opened. A top button would open the cap, giving access to the metal chassis which is held closed by a handily removable screw. This helps you to enter the case easily and replace the drives.

Live Duo comes with a Windows software CD which detects it on your network and requires you to mark you drive with a letter before installing WD Quick View utility. WD Quick View allows you to check My Book’s status through an icon in Notification Area. The wizard gives you options for browsing like the device’s shared folders, web interface to do extra setting, installation and configuration of back-up utilities such as WD SmartWare, Windows Backup and Time Machine for Windows and Mac respectively. WD SmartWare allows you to select many versions, which you want to save, of your copied files, choose the directories for your storage and back up when PC is idle, but unlike Windows Backup, it doesn’t offer an exact back-up schedule.

Live Duo works immediately once connected. It is default to RAID 0 mode, plus a convenient web interface lets you configure shared folders and users, view your backups and so on. Different users can be assigned to privileged or read-only access. Anywhere in the setting, you can set up your email notification and alert sent to a maximum of 5 email addresses to inform you of the problems, and you can specify the time in which NAS is disabled before going into sleep mode. You can also check and automatically schedule firmware updates.

Activating extra features such as FTP servers of Live Duo is very easy, and you can set up remote control and mobile access for your “personal cloud”, allowing you to enter your storage from either a mobile app or a web browser on PC. You can also activate iTunes or DLNA streaming for audio/ video files on the device. The back USB port enables you to add more storage; however it’s a pity that Live Duo can’t function as a USB print server. When you connect a USB disk, an icon pops up on the top bar of Live Duo’s web interface to notice you of its appearance, and it shows up as an existing shared folder when you browse the device via PC’s file manager.

We tested Live Duo’s read and write speeds in RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes. As you have expected, RAID 0 was faster, with an average transfer speed of 32.8MB/s for big files and 11.3MB/s for small ones. RAID, which saves your data by mirroring them across a redundant array, created an average transfer speed of 32.8MB/s for big files and 9.9MB/s for small ones. They are the best speeds that we’ve ever seen from a readily assembled NAS device yet it is left behind by some enclosures. It’s also budget with averagely 7p per gigabyte.

Although it can’t be used as a print server, My Book Live Duo 4TB’s outstanding efficiency in our speed tests, friendly interface and reasonable price make it the Best Buy award’s winner.


Consideration: A friendly easy interface and a large storage make it a wonderful home NAS.

NAS device: Two 2TB hard drives, 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet connection, 1 USB port, media servers for UPnP, iTunes, USB, FTP.
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