I was hesitant to purchase the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo because of the hefty price tag. But, after testing it out, I'm glad I took the plunge.
Recommend this product?
The main different between this device and competing products is the interface, reliablility and ease of operation.
SETUP & INTERFACE
Just insert the included drive into one of the drive bays, plug in the power cord, and connect an ethernet cable to your router. Power up!
The software interface is just a pleasure to work with. After turning the unit on, I browsed to a webpage and followed setup screens. It took me about 15-30mins to be up and running accessing my shares. The software allows defining broad based access or fine grain. For instance, a share can be created that anyone on your network can access with traits you choose: read and/or write. You can also create shares that have specific user access, such as creating a home folder that has limited access via passwords.
The ReadyNAS DUO supports WinXP, Vista 32/64bit, MacOS and Linux. I don't use MacOS, so was unable to test that OS.
I tested the ReadyNAS DUO using my laptop, desktop via ethernet and Wifi.
It's fast over 10/100 Ethernet and even faster with 1000MBPS Ethernet. I couldn't tell the difference for small/medium size files when using network shares. Large files took slightly longer to copy, but it was still very fast. To access a remote share easily, I mapped drives on my operating system and could use the remote share like a local harddrive.
HOW IT WORKS
The ReadyNAS Duo only supports two disks with only one configuration: Mirror (e.g raid level 1).
Netgear has really simplified redundant storage for the consumer. The device has two disk bays; one disk is included.
The way it works is that when a second drive is inserted, the first drive's data is replicated over to the second drive automatically. During the copy, your files are accessible albeit at reduced speeds since the ReadyNAS is busy replicating your data.
If one of the drives were to fail in the future, you can replace that broken drive with a new drive. Of course if both drives fail, you will lose data, but that is not likely and much more reliable than just storing data on a single drive.
One caveat is that the second drive install must be the same capacity or larger than the one already operating. This is because the second drive added must store all the data on the first installed drive. This has implications on the upgrade path.
let's say you want to increase the capacity from 1TB to 2TB. Just pop out one of the 1TB drives and replace it with a 2TB. After the 1TB has been copied to the 2TB, replace the second 1TB with the second 2TB.
DHCP, Microsoft CIFS, Network File System (NFS), FTP, FTPS, Server Message Block (SMB), Apple File Protocol (AFP), HTTP, HTTPS, DLNA Compatible UPnP AV
Another cool feature is the ReadyNAS can be configured to backup a remote share or down a file from a webpage at scheduled and/or recurring times.
ReadyNAS includes many built-in services that can be enabled and configured through the web interface (http & https). In addition, ReadyNAS supports add-on modules to support additional functionality.
One of these add-ons (which is included in current firmware) is a picture sharing application that allows friends/family to view your photos. This is different than some of the picture sharing services like flickr/shutterfly in that you don't have to upload photos to an external website. It's hosted directly from your ReadyNAS Device!
Amount Paid (US$): 330
Driver Availability: Windows, Linux, and Mac