Iomega EZ Media & Backup Center Network Attached Hard Disk Reviewby Ganesh T S on November 27, 2012 4:45 PM EST
The Iomega EZ unit is pretty much plug-and-play. Once it is connected to a network, it obtains a DHCP address and is accessible over a web browser. The initial setup screen touts the personal cloud as one of the most popular settings. The gallery below shows some of the initial options in the setup screen. The personal cloud feature provides a dynamic DNS service, but requires port forwarding in the router. This is acceptable for technology enthusiasts, but not for the general consumer. This feature can be used to access the unit over the Internet.
The Iomega EZ is an entry level product catering to the general consumers (read, people using Macs and Windows PCs). So, it is not surprising that Iomega decided to omit NFS support. The only protocols supported are Apple File Sharing using AFP, Bluetooth, FTP, TFTP, WebDAV and Samba / CIFS. Bluetooth seems to be an interesting addition (and I haven't seen other NAS units officially claiming file transfer support over Bluetooth either), but we didn't have a USB Bluetooth adapter handy to test this out.
After putting the unit through the paces, we observed that the SoC temperature settled down to around 75 C and the motherboard to 54 C. Iomega indicated that these temperatures are normal (and, given the complete absence of any cooling mechanism for the SoC on-board, it is not surprising). In addition to the personal cloud feature, Iomega also puts in support for the EMC Atmos cloud backup service as well as Amazon S3 and Mozy Backup. The LifeLine OS has applications available. However, none of the available apps are compatible with the EZ unit. The firmware also has some energy saving features to power down the hard disk and alter the brightness of the front LEDs. Other available system settings are brought out in the gallery below.
On the media side, we have some interesting feature in terms of tying in with social websites. It is possible to set up folders in the EZ unit such that any videos / photos placed in them get automatically uploaded to YouTube / Facebook and Flickr. This is definitely a handy feature for users who routinely upload lots of content to these sites. As with all other NAS units, we have a torrent downloader in-built. The EZ unit can also act as a DLNA server and the media is sourced from folders which Media Sharing turned on. It is also possible to aggregate content from other media servers in the network. The DLNA server can itself be turned off completely.
In terms of storage management, we are given the option to set up 'Copy Jobs', a front end for rsync. Drive management provides minimal information about the installed hard disk (no access to SMART data through the default web interface). Shares can be set up with media sharing enabled, if necessary. Under Network settings, the unit is set to act as a DHCP client by default. It can also be set up with a static IP, if needed.
Iomega also has a smartphone app for Android and iOS. The ratings for the app speak for themselves. Basic functionality works, but the ease of use is definitely missing when compared to similar apps for the Western Digital My Book Live. Iomega is planning a refresh of the smartphone apps towards the end of Q2 2013. As of now, mobile access to the EZ unit definitely needs improvement.