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Iomega or LaCie: Which Offers Better Value?

written by: D Lamberti•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 9/1/2011

Iomega and LaCie are two companies that offer data storage and backup products to help ensure safe storage of personal data. Both companies have similar products, but offer different features and customer service.

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    Iomega Iomega is a company that produces a wide range of data storage devices, including external hard drives, removable storage drives, and network storage solutions. Currently, their most impressive product would be the Prestige Portable Hard Drive, Compact Edition. Weighing at only 0.38, or just above a third of a pound, and measuring four inches long, this portable hard drive can store up to 640 GB and only costs $89.99 on Iomega’s site. It is ideal for travel or constant use between two or more computers as it can easily fit into a shirt pocket.

    Many of Iomega’s products are designed to be affordable and reliable, and there are options of different hard drives with little variation in pricing. They also offer a large selection of free software to make use of their products easier and more convenient for consumers.

    For customer service, users can log on to the official Iomega site, and can either browse the user to user help forums or call tech support directly; if a user has purchased a Service Plan, they are able to receive tech support over the phone 24/7, while a user with a warranty can call on a weekday from 9am to 10pm, and any after hours or weekend calls will cost $50 each.

    Any products out of warranty will be charged an additional $50 fee, which can be quite hefty as an after hour, out of warranty call can cost the equivalent of a new product.

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    LaCie LaCie is a direct competitor to Iomega, and offers many of the same products and services while selling products that Iomega does not, such as Blu-ray players and computer displays. Pricing for LaCie is similar to Iomega, with their base desktop hard drives starting at $109.99 for 1TB of storage.

    In comparison to Iomega’s Prestige Portable Hard Drive, which is currently their most publicized product, LaCie offers the Rikiki, a compact mobile hard drive that starts at $69.99 for 320 GB of storage, or $89.99 for 500 GB of storage, which makes it a competitor to the Prestige.

    In contrast to the customer service offered by Iomega, LaCie offers online solutions to troubleshooting problems, allowing users to select their product, product model, and then choose from a selection of downloads that can help fix common problems with the device.

    While no over the phone tech support is available, users can sign up for an account to register their product(s) and send in a help request form for complicated problems. All of LaCie’s products can be backed up, protected, or labeled with the free suite of data backup and management software which can be accessed from LaCie’s official site and work on both Mac and Windows based PCs.

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    Product Comparison

    To compare these two competitors properly, a user must first find similar models from both companies. The two products that are most comparable are the Porsche Design P230 by LaCie and the Iomega Professional, two external hard drives that both start at $119.99 for 1 TB of space.

    The LaCie Porsche Design P230 works with both USB 2.0 and 3.0, and has a maximum write speed of 5 GB/s with USB 3.0 and a transfer speed of 480 MB/s with USB 2.0. It comes with a complimentary 2 year warranty, and uses less energy thanks to the automatic standby feature, which lessens the amount of power that the hard drive uses when on standby The drive itself is protected by 5mm of solid aluminum casing, so dropping the drive will not instantly destroy everything stored on it. The hard drive comes with two built in software applications: an automatic backup system for both Mac and Windows based PCs and password protection software specific for that drive, as well as 10GB of free online storage for one year.

    The Iomega Professional External Hard Drive connects via a USB 2.0 slot or an eSATA slot, and offers speeds of up to 3 GB/s, almost half of the speed that the LaCie drive transfers at. This drive requires Windows XP Professional x64 or higher, or Mac OS X 10.2 or higher. It comes with a three year limited warranty (the product must be registered for the warranty to be valid) and two software applications. MozyHome online backup, which allows up to 2 GB of free storage, and a one year free subscription of Trend Micro Internet Security.

    In comparison to LaCie, Iomega gives less value to the dollar. LaCie seems to offer a better selection of products, more software and faster speeds than Iomega for the same price.