Iomega iConnect Review

Iomega iConnect Review

The Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station is a sort of DIY-type NAS unit that allows you to share any USB-connected storage across your network. If you are the type of person with a few computers and a handful of USB external drives, the iConnect allows you to share storage to all of your computers over gigabit Ethernet or Wi-Fi. In this review we take an in-depth look at Iomega iConnect to see how well it performs in a home environment.

Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station Specifications:

  • Marvell Kirkwood 88F6281 CPU at 1GHz with 256MB DDR RAM
  • 1 x RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps (GbE) Ethernet port. LAN standards: IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u
  • Ralink RT3090 Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
  • 4 x USB 2.0 ports (to connect external HDD, printers)
  • AC Voltage 100-240 VAC
  • Power consumption – 5 Watts
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Support for torrents, DLNA AV Media Server, Picture Transfer Protocol, Apple Time Machine, and Print Server

Build and Design

The Iomega iConnect looks like an oversized 2.5-inch external hard drive. Standing just over an inch in height, the iConnect can hide near your homes router or easily blend in next to your computer. The design is basic with a matte-black plastic finish with USB 2.0 ports located on the front and back. Each USB port has a status indicator that shows when a device is plugged in and when it is active. The only plainly visible branding is the name iConnect embossed on the cover. The power brick is a small 24w switching power supply that is horizontally oriented so it can plug into an outlet without blocking another plug above or below it.

Build quality is pretty good although for its intended use it doesn’t need to be built to withstand being stood on or dropped repeatedly. The plastic cover is pretty durable although it does have some mild flex. Cooling is entirely passive since under normal use and the power consumption is around 5 watts. This allows the case to be designed without vents or the need for special mounting orientations to dissipate heat.


The Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station is very easy to setup. While the name suggests it is targeted directly at wireless users, it works best when connected directly to a gigabit network. For the purposes of this review, we focus primarily on its use inside a home with a wired network.

The iConnect is incredibly easy to get up and running out of the box. Even without any sort of instruction manual or setup guide, you can get it working on your home network in minutes. As soon as you connect it to your network and power up, it shows up under the network devices on your computer. From there, click the device, which automatically loads up its web page interface. The same can be accomplished if you know what its IP address is by typing it into your web browser.

The first step is setting up an administrator password and creating user accounts. To make file sharing simple I used the same name and password on the iConnect as I do with my computer. Once that is done, any connected USB storage device or printer is at your fingertips ready to use. You can either connect to these locations through the network connections area on your computer or permanently map one of the shared located to a network drive on your computer. I opted for the latter option since it easier for benchmarking purposes and so I wouldn’t need to navigate through the network area each time I wanted to access files.

The Iomega iConnect also supports Apple Time Machine, DLNA AV Media Server, and can even manage uploading and downloading torrents. Out of the box once the iConnect had a USB drive attached all supported media files located on it were visible and playable through my Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The torrent manager was very basic and could use some minor tweaking to make it more useful. To test its torrent support out out I chose the latest DVD-image of Knoppix from their public server. Once you have the torrent file downloaded you browse to the iConnect’s torrent manager in through the web interface, and add the torrent file. The initial process is very slow compared to uTorrent, since it fully allocates the downloaded file on the attached storage before it starts to download. For our 3.6GB DVD-image, it took 5 to 10 minutes for the allocation process to complete before it started to actually download the file. When it finally started going, the torrent manager saturated my cable Internet connection, peaking between 1.0 -1.1MB/s.

Downloading torrents had no discernable impact on the NAS storage beyond what bandwidth the torrent manager was using to download the file.

Performance and Benchmarks

We were actually very surprised when we ran our first file transfer benchmark on the Iomega iConnect to test its gigabit connection speed. Generally speaking, most low-end NAS units can’t keep up with true gigabit speeds which hover around 60-70MB/s. We have seen many network connected storage devices max out below 10MB/s in tests, which is around the speed of a standard 10/100 LAN. The iConnect easily made it into the 30MB/s range with its slow USB 2.0 storage interface holding it back. As a DIY consumer NAS, 30MB/s is nearly perfect since it is just as fast as what the average person would see with a USB external drive connected to their computer.

Below we show a CrystalDiskMark screenshot showing the differences between a Western Digital MyBook connected locally through USB 2.0 and it connected over the network.

As you can see the primary sequential read speed dropped from 36 to 30MB/s, but nearly all other speeds stayed the same (or increased). The random 4K write speed saw a small bump thanks to the 256MB of onboard memory. The only way to really see a huge jump in network transfer speeds would be if the iConnect supported an internal drive connected through an interface like SATA. For the $99 prince point though it was hard to complain.


The Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station works very well as a DIY network attached storage (NAs) device. You plug in any USB 2.0 drive that you have laying around and it will instantly turn into a shared network drive. Transfer speeds were great with read and write speeds staying very close to what they are when USB 2.0 drives are connected locally. The iConnect also comes with built-in support for torrents, Apple Time Machine, and DLNA AV Media Server which are very handy if you want to make use of them. Overall for a $99 NAS device we were very impressed with the performance of the Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station and highly recommend it to anyone looking for network storage. It’s very rare for us to give an Editor’s Choice Award for an accessory, but the Iomega iConnect fully deserves it.


  • Gigabit speeds saturate USB 2.0
  • Very low power consumption
  • Support for torrents


  • USB 2.0 ends up being the bottleneck





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