The appliance can also manage its own daily and weekly backup schedules and can secure data from sources ranging from local shares and USB devices to remote shares on other systems. As with Buffalo’s TeraStation Pro II you can secure data to another NAS appliance over the network although, unlike Buffalo, the Duo won’t list available appliances and expects you to know the full share path. The volume snapshot feature on the larger ReadyNAS appliances is not supported and although the user guide mentions this feature we found it wasn’t present in the Volumes menu option.
Netgear has improved its multimedia offering with a fine choice of streaming services. Its SlimServer can stream to Squeezebox digital players, it supports UPnP network media players and the home media streaming server can send videos, music and pictures to network DVD and media players. Naturally, an iTunes server is on the menu and you now have direct browser access to the Firefly media server allowing you to change its configuration and create internal smart playlists.
The new ReadyNAS Photos add-on ties in with the free Dekoh web service that allows you to publish picture albums on the Internet and share them. It’s a smart feature as your pictures remain on the appliance and you can control who can see them using email addresses or Dekoh user IDs. When you share an album with someone they receive an email advising them of this and they can go direct to their Dekoh account and view your album as thumbnails or slideshows and add their own comments which appear as a popup message in the recipient’s System Tray. BitTorrent fans are also on the guest list as the Duo provides this service and a separate download manager is accessible directly from the web interface.
The Duo is no slouch in the performance stakes either. Copying a 690MB video file over Gigabit Ethernet returned average read and write speeds of 24.6MB/sec and 17.3MB/sec. FTP speeds are on the money as copying the same file using the FileZilla utility returned good read and write rates of 21MB/sec and 11.5MB/sec.
The ReadyNAS Duo takes everything that makes the NV+ a great NAS appliance and packs it into a pint-sized desktop unit. It’s an affordable choice for home users, delivers good overall performance and offers a wealth of multimedia features into the bargain.