Friday, December 19, 2014

Lenovo Iomega ix2-DL Network Storage 2-Bay Quick Review

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So I got the Lenovo Iomega ix2-DL NAS in September. It was an impulse buy at $40. I’ve been waiting patiently for the HDD sales ever since while have this NAS collecting dust. The online reviews don’t seem to favor it, but I still gave it a shot due to the price… It is the first Lenovo product EVER.
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I finally bought a pair of WD RED 4TB drives, cost me $300… It was definitely not cheap to have a dedicated NAS. But I can free my PC to do other things or shut down when I’m done with it now.
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I’m using RAID 1 - Mirror for the moment. When I first put the drives in, it took over a day to finish the raid setup. Configuring it was pretty easy. I didn’t try the LenovoEMC management software. I just log into the IP address, and manage it from the web interface. This video gives a pretty good demonstration to have you started:

The NAS gives tons of features, but performance seems to be under par probably due to outdated hardware (This product has been on the market for over two years now). Good job for Lenovo still updating the firmware though. I’ve been receiving two updates since I powered it up. It’s only been running for about two weeks so far. File transferring speed ranks the bottom of all the NAS products out there. My speed is about the same as the tested speed, got about 28mbps writing and 50mbps reading. So it’s definitely not for video editing of anything like that. But it suffices for storage for media consumption.
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The 4.0.x firmware brings a flat interface, which makes the interface a bit neat. But the web interface is still very slow to load, took about 5 seconds to load.
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While it gives you loads of features, I only use a few of them, namely Media Server, Transmission Torrent, and UPS. This video gives a quick tour of what these features are about:
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The ix2 comes with one USB2.0 port. That’s where you connect the UPS. Not every UPS works with ix2 though. You need to find one with the USBHID-UPS support. I happen to have an APC bought last year that support this protocol. Coupled with the Event Log features, I think I had a better chance to survive catastrophe failure. Hopefully that would never happen… Since it’s only got one USB2.0 port, if you need to hook up another drive, you can use a powered USB hub without any problem.

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The transmission torrent server works better than I would have hoped. It pretty much support every feature that’s available to the full blown utorrent. And private trackers do NOT have problem with this version of transmission so that I can use it. Torrent files, magnetic links, speed limits all work well. The only thing that doesn’t work quite well is if you want to download only some files from a torrent or magnetic link, you can’t easily pick the files.

To summarize, this is a low end NAS, probably the cheapest one out there that you can buy. The performance at 28mbps writing 50mbps reading is about the fastest USB2.0 speed or maybe some slow USB3.0 drives. This NAS is good for media server where once you dump the files there, you would only access it with good enough speed. It’s not good for constant transfer of files, especially large files, or any video or picture editing. I’m quite happy with my purchase since media server is my intended use. And I already have a compatible UPS to back it up.