This morning, Iomega pushes hard to make network-attached storage more common in the home by launching a couple of Ethernet-equipped drives that are priced close to their USB-only siblings. There's a 320GB drive that lists for $149, and a 500GB drive going for $199. (A 360GB version should be available next month for $149 as well.) These may not be the very best deals out there, but they're definitely in the running.
They're not slouches, performance wise, housing 7200 RPM SATA-II hard drives with 8MB cache. You may be sad to hear that the built-in Ethernet is 10/100, not gigabit, but almost like a tradeoff, each drive also has a USB 2.0 port for local connections.
My biggest concern is how well they perform in the home of a total network neophyte. With all the talk of sending network drives home, Iomega hopefully prepared with some nice getting-started software, or at least a well-caffeinated tech-support staff.
Iomega Announces a Breakthrough on the Cost and Complexity Of Effective Network Storage in the Home *** New Iomega Home Network Hard Drive Brings Simple, Affordable Networking to Home Users
SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2007 - Iomega Corporation (NYSE: IOM), a global leader in data protection and an established leader in network storage, today announced a new line of network hard drives that resets the benchmark for price-performance and easy-to-use network storage for the home.
The new line of IomegaÂ® Home Network Hard Drives, available in 320GB, 360GB and 500GB models, makes it possible for the first time to share network storage at home for little more than the cost of a standard desktop external hard drive.
"Today, the most common use for home networks is to enable shared Internet access," said Tom Kampfer, president and COO, Iomega Corporation. "Families are struggling with how to organize data across multiple PCs. Shared network storage made easy and affordable with Iomega's new Home Network Hard Drive adds the benefit of securely sharing and consolidating photos, music and video over a home family network, as well as increasing storage and backup capacity. At less than $150.00, the Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is a new price-performance milestone for networking today's digital home."
Product features and benefits The network capabilities of the new IomegaÂ® Home Network Hard Drive are based on 10/100 Ethernet technology, the connectivity standard in today's home networks. With the included Ethernet cable, setting up an Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is as easy as connecting it to an available network port on the home router and running the included, easy-to-use Discovery Tool Home utility for Windows on each PC (for Mac and Linux users on the network, configuration is a simple manual process).
All three models of the new Iomega Home Network Hard Drive feature 7200 RPM SATA-II hard drives with 8MB cache. Once a Home Network Hard Drive is set-up and the network is operating, the device can save files from up to four networked PC or Mac computers for easy file sharing and enjoyment.
"There are an estimated 30 million homes in the United States with multiple computers. Iomega's new Home Network Hard Drives are designed for these families, providing a simple, reliable source of network storage that makes it easy to organize and share files," said Kampfer. "Many computer users want the basics at a fair price; they don't need complicated features and they don't want to pay for capabilities they may not use. The Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is the answer to their home networking needs and can potentially create a consumer mass market in this exciting product category."
All three models of the new Iomega Home Network Hard Drive include a USB 2.0 port for use with a single computer, making the Home Network Hard Drive an external hard drive for incremental storage.
Iomega includes award-winning backup software with its new Home Network Hard Drive, giving users a total solution that includes automated backup of critical files. Two client licenses of EMC Retrospect HD backup software allow users to set up automated backup schedules or perform immediate backups; create progressive backups that capture only the changes from the previous backup; restore a file to any previous backed-up point in time; compress backups; and much more. (Additional client licenses are available from Iomega.)
Compatibility Iomega Home Network Hard Drives are compatible with MicrosoftÂ® WindowsÂ® 2000 Professional; XP Home/XP Professional/XP Professional x64; Windows Vistaâ„¢ Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Ultimate; Mac OS X 10.2.7 or higher; and Linux distributions including Redhat 9, Mandrake 10, Debian 3.0, Gentoo, and FedoraCore 3.
Network drive operation requires an available 10/100 Ethernet port; a network hub, switch or router is recommended. A DHCP configured network is recommended.
Price and Availability The 320GB Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is available now worldwide for $149.00; the 500GB Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is also available now for $199.00. The 360GB Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is expected to be available in late September for $149.00. The 500GB model (as well as the 360GB model in September) is available from VARs, resellers, distributors and select retailers. The 320GB Iomega Home Network Hard Drive is available only at Iomega's online store, www.iomega.com. (All pricing listed here is U.S. suggested retail.)