Solving the Home Storage Problem

As any next person these days I’ve been suffering for years with the issue of storage. I mean the digital photos & music & file backups, not golf clubs and bicycles this time. We have three notebooks in our household, one of them employer-owned e.g. both policy-wise and philosophically not personal content friendly. All running close to hard drive capacity. Plus I have a few external hard drives that are a burden enough to find and attach at the right time to be regular at backups.
So I went out and bought a gadget, a 1 terabyte Iomega Storcenter Wireless Network Storage box to be more precise. (BTW, Iomega seem to have lowered the price by 40% since then, thankyouverymuch).

Setup was a breeze even for a networking illiterate such as myself. I can pump large files into the thing through gigabit ethernet and built-in wifi serves casual use. There are 2 USB ports to attach printers for network use. Or one of those external USB backup drives that I used for direct-to-storage copy. Applying Raid 5 for disk failure protection still left me healthy 750 GB of room. Both Mac and Windows notebooks map the drives over SMB (Windows shares) easily, even though there has been some instability (mapping temporarily lost) when leaving a computer to transfer tens of gigabytes in a row. FTP has helped then.

The only complaint this far – fan noise. As my home office occasionally doubles for a guest room the box could be a bit quieter under the table. Especially in the configurable sleep mode when it turns off the disks – do you really need to keep cooling them at full level?

I’m still to experience potential pitfalls and conflicts with software using the data from a shared source, such as iPhoto and Picasa trying to work on the same picture tree. Or iTunes operating with a network share theoretically liable for dropping off.

And phase 2 of my little project could be getting a UPnP adapter to my living room for computerless media streaming direct to the home entertainment systems. We’ll see, what year I’ll get to that one.

End of the amateur-geekiest post this blog has probably seen.


  • toivo

    miks iomega, mitte mõni teine bränd?

  • (In response to the question “why Iomega?”)
    As it usually goes – asked a few friends for their experience (and apparently it was quite limited), searched for comparative reviews (like this one) and then finally checked the actual availability and prices in Estonia from Markit.ee.
    I think my shortlist finally was Buffalo, Western Digital and Iomega. Iomega won mostly on the combined features (printer serving, gigabit ethernet, UPnP, number of drives used for redundancy, both PC & Mac support, reviewer claims on software usability) basis.

  • michael

    I bought LaCie equivalent. It’s noisy. Not the cooling fans, but disks being accessed constantly. And by what ? I have no clue. Even with ethernet disconnected there is constant disk access. Very annoying.
    Also, shares disappear off network for no reason, sometimes in the middle of a large directory copy.
    All sounds very unlikely, if I hadn’t seen it myself I would say that I was talking rubbish. But I have
    Why LACie ? Because previous purchases have been ok, plus device has inbuilt media server for watching pictures on ethernet connected Philips TV with inbuilt media player. That bit works well.
    Also Dynamic DNS built in.