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Iomega eGo: Fashionable Mobility

As you’re probably aware by now, Iomega just launched their new line of eGo portable drives with increased capacity and protection capabilities. While this may seems to be a superficial change for those used to other portable harddrives (from other manufacturers that shall not be named), it’s worth a look into the technology to see what Iomega has added to the mix.

The Hardware

Iomega eGo Harddrive

Iomega eGo Harddrive

The Iomega eGo is available in a plethora of colours (yes, I used the word “plethora”) like blue, silver, and red and has a very sleek, aerodynamic shape to it, similar to a rounded and somewhat flattened rectangle.  It uses a single mini-USB connector (type B, if I recall correctly) and comes complete with a data cable and a product quick start guide.  Of note, the data cable has two Type A connectors to allow for additional power if your system doesn’t pass enough voltage down the wire.  The drive activity light is blue and is located next to the recessed data connector on the underside of the drive.  Small rubber feet on the bottom of the drive do allow for some measure of stable stacking with other eGo drives.  Let’s be honest, however; if you’re stacking multiples of these drives, perhaps an IX2 or an IX4 would better serve you?  Capacity-wise, the eGo comes in 250Gb, 320Gb, and 500Gb flavours (red only on the 250 and 500s).

4+1 Layers of protection

The first layer of protection…Protecting your data physically is vitally important especially since hardware damage can prevent successful data retrieval. to that end, Iomega has designed the eGo drive to with stand drops of 51 inches and 7 feet depending on the model (easiest way to tell is the rubber casing around the models rated for the higher drop levels).  Internally the 2.5″ drive is surrounded with rubber to assuage some of the typical bumps and bruises often encountered in the course of a day’s journey.  Then again, if you’re like me, you’re leaving this on the desk and beating it to death with I/O from your IX2 and local storage. ;)

The second layer of protection is encountered with the included McAfee subscription good for 6 months.  This should stave off the nasties that come in the door via the inevitable worm or virus that exist out there.  Of course, if you use a Mac you don’t need to worry…or so I’m told. So, this one is Windows only.

The third layer of protection is presented by a copy of Mozy at Home.  No other cloud backup solution comes close to the stability and capability of Mozy (see Carbonite for an example of what happens when your backup provider loses your data) and, to continue the subscription it’s only a few cents each day. The basic license that comes with the eGo covers 2Gb of storage which should be more than sufficient for your documents, presentations, etc. Since I know that you’ll want more, you can easily extend this layer of protection through Mozy to cover any backup needs or situations.  If you need something a bit more business oriented, Mozy for Business has you covered as well.

The fourth layer of protection is the included Retrospect HD Express backup software. It does single image, full volume backups and provides a very robust single workstation backup solution.  For my 80Gb primary laptop drive, this is more than enough!  but, if you want a bit more granular protection, Iomega has you covered even further. This particular bit of software covers both Windows and Mac OSX operating systems.

The fifth (and final, I might add) layer of protection is the Iomega QuikProtect software for Windows.  Quikprotect allows you to protect individual files and folders to allow for, in my opinion, decent versioning control for commonly accessed files. Protecting and Restoring a file just got extremely quick. Just to note, QuikProtect will be available for the Mac soon.  See here for more details.

As an interesting method of delivery, none of the included software is available on the drive.  You will need to download it from the Iomega website (registration required) and Iomega does provide the Retrospect keys on the back of the included manual.  This keeps your drive “factory fresh” and maximizes your storage space onboard.

Conclusion and Pricing

Pricing-wise, given the included software, the eGo ranks as a solid deal on the market.  The 500Gb model (without the external rubber surrounds) starts at $134.99 list price, while the 250Gb and the 320Gb are $84.99 and $94.99 respectively.  Certainly not the cheapest but by no means the most expensive, Iomega’s eGo stands out as a design-driven, data protection powerhouse.  I’d recommend this drive to anyone without any reservations and I’ll be hammering on mine for months to come!

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Dave Graham is a Technical Consultant with EMC Corporation where he focused on designing/architecting private cloud solutions for commercial customers.