Iomega’s StorCenter px2-300d NAS is the home/SOHO version of the larger StorCenter px4-300d. The px2 retains many of the same features found in its px4 cousin, and it also offers users an easy away to remotely connect to content on the NAS, via the Iomega Personal Cloud. The px2 is a fast performer, with lots of great features; it’s only edged in performance and features by Synology’s DS712+. What the px2 does offer over the DS712+ is a beautiful design and a large, lucid LCD for quickly viewing settings and the NAS’ status. While setup of the Iomega Personal Cloud is still not without flaw, the setup process has been improved since I last tested it on the Iomega StorCenter ix2-dl.
Specs and Design
The px2 has a stylish design. The casing is a sleek, industrial-looking black-on-metal box. The LCD, with its glowing blue background, adds to the sophistication of the design. While other NAS vendors can compete with Iomega on performance and feature set, Iomega is unparalleled when it comes to building a NAS with a sense of aesthetics.
The px2 is a two-bay NAS capable of a holding up to 6TB of storage. One USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports can expand that storage with the additional of external drives, or you can connect multiple printers to the USB ports.
Specs include Intel’s D525 Atom Dual Core CPU at 1.8 GHz with 2GB of RAM. The specs are similar to Synology’s DS712+, which has a 1.8 GHz Intel D425 processor; NASes turned in similar performances in benchmark testing, with the DS712+ a bit faster in Read speed. The px2 also ships with 2GB RAM, and it can be purchased diskless or with various hard drive configurations. Hard drives are hot-swappable and the front-opening bay door makes accessing the drives very easy. RAID 0 and 1 are supported. The px2 works with SATA or SSD disks.
Two Gigabit Ethernet ports allow for connection failover or link aggregation to increase the bandwidth. The px2 supports Mac, Windows, and Linux environments.
When I connected the px2 to my network the DHCP-assigned IP address was almost immediately displayed on the LCD. The LCD also displays date and time, as well as disk status and free and used drive space.
After the NAS receives its IP address, setup is performed via a browser from a computer connected to the same network as the NAS and going to the URL: www.iomegasetup.com. This is part of Iomega’s new cloud and local network integrated setup process. Setup did not require using the Iomega StorCenter Manager, which was previously needed for older Iomega NASes.
When I went to this URL I received a message on-screen on the setup site that “Your px2-300d is online and ready to use.” There are three options the site gives: Backup data and consolidate files, Create Iomega personal cloud, or Manage my px2-300d. Selecting the third option brings you to the configuration interface of the px2. A setup screen opens by default; this is where you can perform rudimentary tasks such as set date and time, configure email notifications, and of course, configure your Iomega Personal Cloud.
I mentioned in my last Iomega NAS review that I was wary of a setup process that did not include the StorCenter Manager setup software. The setup process is so streamlined and easy now, however, that I don’t miss a setup CD. The online setup process is well-honed and, as long as you have an Internet connection, easy to perform. Of course, you can also always download the StorCenter Manager if you have problems with the browser-based setup.
The px2 includes many of the same features as Iomega’s ix2-dl, its more consumer-focused NAS. You can create copy jobs, including QuikTransfer copies where you can establish a file copy to an attached USB drive with just a click in the interface or a touch of a button on the LCD. I like the fact that the LCD displays the copy job progress when you use QuikTransfer.
Other features include setting up users and group for accessing content on the NAS, configuring a personalized home page—which lets you create a slideshow of your own photos and images to display by default—and you can create shares. There are folder shares created by default when the px2 is setup for storing videos, documents, picture and other content.
The px2 has strong cloud integration, and the NAS works with services such as Amazon S3, Atmos Backup, Axis Video Hosting and Mozy Backup. There are also several third-party packages to extend the feature set even more. I did find the packages available not quite as numerous as though available for Synology NASes, so if you have some very specific needs or requirements from a NAS that isn’t part of its usual native feature set, you are going to want to compare what third-party software is available for each vendor’s NASes.
Users can enable security on the px2 which will encrypt any browser communications. You can also upload your own security certificate. Users and groups can be granted specific permissions to data on the NAS and the software also comes with McAfee antivirus protection. The interface can also be forced to only be accessed using HTTPS.
Iomega has never been stingy with SMB features even with NASes more targeted for the smaller end of the SMB. The px2 supports Citrix, VMware, and Windows Server so it can be used as part of SAN solution with iSCSI targeting. The px2 can also integrate locally with Active Directory and supports Windows Access Control Lists.
Still, I found a few features missing that would be more useful for a small business such as native VPN server and robust IPv6 support, all of which are included in Synology’s NAS. For most SOHOs and power users, the lack of those features is forgivable, although I would like to see an area in the StorCenter interface for IPv6 configuration in the future.
The setup for Iomega Personal Cloud is better than when I last tested, but it could still be improved. With Iomega’s Personal Cloud technology, it’s pretty easy to share content on your NAS with other without jumping through a lot of hoops and spending hours configuring remote access.
You can create a new personal cloud or join an existing one. Creating a new cloud consists of signing up with an email address and giving your cloud a name. Once this is complete, the StorCenter interface will show you a URL you can send others who you want to grant access to data on your NAS.
It’s a simple process, but as with any time I’ve set up an Iomega Personal Cloud, I get this persistent error message that my router is not configured for port forwarding.
Although the interface tells you which ports need to be forwarded, it’s not really necessary unless you want to manage the NAS remotely. I think Iomega could make the instructions and reasons for port forwarding clearer because the error message gives the impression to new users that the Personal Cloud won’t work at all.
The px2 performed well for a NAS in its class, giving an average Write speed of 75 MBps and Reads at 68 MBps. That performance for a consumer/SOHO NAS was just beaten by the DS712+ which has a Write speed of 79 MBps and Reads of 88 MBps.
Here is a chart comparing the px2-300d to other similar NASes:
Benchmarks for Iomega’s StorCenter px2-300d
A High-Performing Consumer/SOHO NAS
This is one of the best consumer NASes from Iomega. It’s got great performance and an abundance of features for smaller, home businesses and power users. Those needing more specific features and more advanced business-class capabilities will want to deliberate between the px2 and Synology’s DS712+ because Synology’s offering has a more extensive feature set or go with a higher-end NAS such as the StorCenter px4-300d.
Still, for general NAS purposes, the px2 is a winner, and it makes sharing content very easy with the Iomega Personal Cloud. The px2-300d easily gets 4 out of 5 stars, with the DS712+ still the Editors’ Choice for its slight edge in performance and more packages available to extend its feature set.
More NAS Reviews:
|Device Type||Expandable Home NAS|
|Maximum Storage Capacity||2000 GB|
|Operating System||Embedded Linux|
|Rack-mount or Standalone||Standalone|
|Connection Type||USB 2.0|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc