A competent but over-complicated network hard disk
The Iomega EZ Media & Backup Center is a 1TB network hard disk, or Nas device, which is designed for sharing files and streaming media on a home network and remotely via the internet.
The casing is sturdy black-painted brushed aluminium, with a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB2 socket at the back and two status lights at the front. It stands vertically on rubber feet but is quite easy to knock over.
It can be used as a basic network hard disk without installing any software but there are three programs to get the most out if it. Storage Manager helps configure the device. Quikprotect synchronises files from the standard Windows personal folders, saving a new version whenever a file is changed (up to 10 versions of each file can be stored). Twonky Media streams files to other PCs or networked media players.
Windows drives are automatically created during installation for the six default shared folders on the EZ (Backups, Documents, Photos, Videos, Music and Shared Media). These can be accessed via Windows Explorer, Storage Manager or remotely via the free Personal Cloud remote access service.
Although initial setup was not difficult, and the backup software worked well, we found the browser-based control panel slow, confusing and clunky. Setting up the Personal Cloud service was easy but adding users was not. An administrator account has to be created first and, for users granted access to the Personal Cloud, login details are sent via email. This process works only if the user is first created locally, but this was not obvious.
Overall, the EZ is harder to use and more expensive than its competitors. This is a shame, as those who have the patience to get to grips with it will find it has plenty to offer.
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Plenty of clever features but it is let down by poor usability and a confusing interface
Remote access; Compact and quiet; Automatic uploads to social networks; Automatic backups
Overcomplicated configuration for some features; Expensive
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