It’s hard to imagine having too much storage. And, if you have a desire to share data among several computers connected to a local network, a large networked drive can be quite handy. Iomega’s StorCenter Wireless Network Storage 1 TB hard drive offers a terabyte of storage, configurable in four ways: RAID 0 (the default) stripes data across the four internal drives, which optimizes for performance and capacity; RAID 5 reduces the overall storage capacity to 750GB, but in exchange you get some fault tolerance, allowing you to carry on even if a single drive fails; RAID 0+1 provides mirrored and striped disks; and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks), lets you use the drives as simple storage.
Installation of the StorCenter is straightforward. I had no problem integrating it for use wirelessly with an AirPort Extreme Base Station. Getting it to work with an existing Gigabit Ethernet network was a trivial matter: I simply plugged in the network cable. Configuration and subsequent administration of the StorCenter happens via a Web interface running over an unencrypted browser connection, which could expose passwords to anyone snooping around on the local network.
The StorCenter is a multi-platform device, but it only achieves this because Mac OS X ships with Samba, an open source package for accessing Windows file servers. StorCenter doesn’t support Bonjour for local network browsing, nor does it ship with a back-up application for non-Windows operating systems.
Macworld’s buying advice
The StorCenter Wireless Network Storage 1TB delivers a network-connected terabyte of storage, and if your needs are straightforward, it’s a solid choice. However, it doesn’t offer Bonjour support, nor does it come bundled with Mac-based back-up software, as it does for Windows.
[ Stephan Somogyi, a technology writer, has been testing and reviewing Mac networking products for longer than he cares to admit. ]StorCenter Wireless Network Storage 1 TB