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Netgear ReadyNAS Duo review

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Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
  • ReadyNAS Duo RND2150 Network Storage Server - 500 GB (USB)

Summary

Our Score:

9

Netgear's acquisition last year of Infrant Technologies was an inspired move as it got it hands on some of the best desktop NAS appliances on the market and also gave the company's storage product range a much needed boost. However, although the ReadyNAS NV+ is a big favourite of ours it can be OTT for home users and the latest ReadyNAS Duo look set to remedy this.

On review we have the RND2150 which comes with a single 500GB SATA drive in a hot swap carrier and room for a second alongside. The idea here is you buy the unit with one drive and when the time is right add a second to provide redundancy. The operation is a cinch as to fit the new drive to the carrier, you simply slot it in and leave Netgear's X-RAID technology to create a mirrored array behind the scenes while you carry on using the appliance.

The Duo adheres to the same design principles as its larger brethren so you get a similarly sturdy metal chassis and door. A single Gigabit Ethernet port sits at the rear and is accompanied by a pair of USB 2.0 ports for adding external storage devices or networking USB printers. A small cooling fan is located at the rear and we found this to be very unobtrusive on our desktop. You also get the extra USB port at the front which ties in with the backup button alongside.

Installation is handled nicely by the bundled RAIDar utility which spots the unit on the network and offers quick access to the web interface. The Duo may be the smallest ReadyNAS appliance but it's big on features as you get nearly everything that comes with the larger appliances. The web interface offers a quick start wizard that takes you through setting up shares and workgroup membership. NT domain and AD authentication aren't supported but they're unlikely to be used in the home anyway.

Client support doesn't get any better as Windows, Unix, Linux and Mac systems can use the appliance and it offers FTP services on selected shares. Setting up shares is a simple task as you provide a name, decide on the default access of read only or read/write and restrict access further to selected hosts if required. Share access can also be controlled with the appliance's user and group lists and you can apply quotas to these as well.

Backup options are plentiful with the bundled NTI Shadow utility looking after workstation backup. It allows backup jobs to be created that monitor selected sources and secures files as they are modified or newly created effectively mirroring them. Alternatively, jobs can be scheduled to run at specific intervals ranging from minutes to days of the week.

Mike 13

January 26, 2009, 8:14 am




It's now 2009, and I have just purchased one of these. I am already quite fond of it.





The unit does all it claims to, and does it quite well. I ordered the 750GB model (with one 750GB seagate ST3750640AS 7200.10 drive preinstalled). I found it noisy (The fan (quite noticeable) adjusts to the drive temperature, and was running quite fast - it's been hot here), and also disk seek noise was very noticeable.





I have since replaced that drive with two Seagate ST31000333AS 1TB drives, and the fan noise has decreased considerably. Seek noise is virtually inaudible on these newer 7200.11 drives. These drives use less power and so don't get as hot as the 750GB one, which was almost too hot to touch when I removed it.





I followed the drive upgrade instructions, and all went without a hitch.





While there is a support forum, you need to be something of a computer geek to understand it. It does not cater to the mug punter like me. Many of the terms used are gobbledygook unless you have a background in computer networking. This is a shame, and something Netgear should address, in my opinion.





While there is a setup wizard, there are some issues getting into it, as it is browser-based, and you will likely get "security certificate" errors trying to get to it. This issue is covered almost intelligibly in the forums/FAQ.





(I don't understand why this should be so, as there are no such issues accessing my modem/router/ WAP.)





Once you get into the wizard, it will start asking you questions you may not know how to answer. One thing you need to know, but nobody tells you, is that you have to be very careful naming your mapped network drives on the NAS.





(If the name you use is the same as the name of one of the "shares" you will have problems.)





I fumbled my way through all this, and now have Squeezebox SqueezeCenter running to stream my mp3 files to my stereo.





I also have a Transfer share set up, so I can share files with my partner, and a Backup share for each of us.





The unit can be set up to email you about any "event" such as a drive failure, overtemperature, etc, and will shut itself down if it gets too hot. (Useful here in Australia, where the ambient temp often exceeds 35C.)





While some of the above might sound like a condemnation of the unit, it is not. But one needs to read carefully the documentation, and visit the home page at http://readynas.com before attempting to install the unit.





On the other hand, if your data is important to you, and/or you want to be able to stream music or video to your home entertainment system/s without running a PC, the ReadyNAS duo is a very good solution, once you figure out how to drive it...





Pros: Does its job/s very well indeed.


Cons: Documentation should be simplified for less technically-inclined users.





Mike in Oz






joeypesci

February 9, 2009, 5:01 am

If you put two 1TB drives in can you use them both as separate drives or are you forced into setting them up in a RAID? I would like this but want to be able to use both drives as two separate drives not one big RAID.

joeypesci

February 10, 2009, 2:50 am

Anyone? Before I fork out on it :) I'd like to use both drives independently and not in a RAID array but not sure if this is possible on this unit.

joeypesci

February 11, 2009, 4:12 am

In case anyone is interested I've asked on the Netgear forum and e-mailed them and they've confirmed this





It is possible to install 2 1TB hard drives in either RAID 1 mode (mirrored) or use Flex-RAID which can allow each hard drive as a separate volume.





So it will work I just need to set it to Flex-RAID and RAID 0 on each drive so they'll act as separate drives.

james1000

May 6, 2009, 7:05 pm

Any particular reason why latest retail price is DOUBLE the reviewed price? Surely a weak pound doesnt excuse a £230 increase?!

boomerang2

May 9, 2009, 2:01 am

think that is because the review was done a while back on a unit without drives, whereas the 'latest retail price' links to a unit with a 1*1Tb drive

Geoff Richards

May 9, 2009, 3:54 am

Sorry for the confusion - the correct link has been added.





It's worth noting that the ReadyNAS Duo is available in four different capacities, from driveless (RND2000) to 500GB (RND2150 as reviewed here), RND2175 (750GB) all the way up to RND2110 for the 1TB version.





You can get the empty chassis for under £200 these days: http://shopping.trustedreviews...

Cris Baxter

July 29, 2009, 11:21 pm

You can get the RND2150 with 1 500GB disk installed and a free 1TB disk to install yourself for 189.00 from www.transparentcommunications....

P1J2H3

November 3, 2009, 12:58 am

The bare version (RND2000) is available for £140 and Netgear are currently offering a free 500Mb HDD. Stonkin value!

pointer2null

March 20, 2015, 10:35 pm

old bit of kit now, but don't buy one even second hand. Imagine slow. No, really slow. Now half that speed and half again. Imagine cripplingly slow. Probably still faster than one of these. Got a 1GB Ethernet port, but the processor will struggle with anything over 250kb/s.

oolon

April 3, 2015, 8:34 am

Mine manages ~10Mb/sec on 10/100 ... Not got it wired up to gigabit.

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