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Quality in mind: The unit itself and the removable trays that houses the separate hard drives are all made with metal.
The power brick that comes with this NAS has long enough cords "thankfully".
It also included an ethernet cable.
Not too big or small: I sat it next to my router and didn't look like some kind of large computer next to it..which is a plus!
The price for this NAS includes 2 separate 1TB hard drives, both from Toshiba using RAID 1. They're HOT Swappable meaning I can swap them out on the fly for a new hard drive in the future (maybe for SSD's).
The blue ON button: just bright enough and not overly bright like other electronics I've had. This is a good thing.
Quiet built in fan: the NAS comes with a built in fan to keep the unit cool at the same time it's very quiet.
Easy hardware setup: this unit was pretty easy to get set up and get going. It's like plug and play. Simply, you just take the NAS out of the boxing, plug the power supply into it, plug the (included) ethernet cable from the back of the NAS to your router and you're done. The next step is to get to a computer within the network and do the software part.
Anti-Virus software built in: I like that NetGear has made an anti-virus software built in! All you do is update the firmware (via a simple click) and turn ON the anti-virus. You don't have to choose any which makes it easy.
No internet necessary: I liked that NetGear thought ahead in case you didn't connect the NAS into a router with internet connectivity. They included a CD which could detect the NAS without internet connectivity, as long as the computer (PC or MAC) is connected to the same network.
Quick start guide: NetGear also included a quick start guide which was very helpful to getting started quickly without having to go through a large manual.
Simple start: I liked that all it took was a simple web address (readynas.netgear.com) to get started.
The web UI is simple and clean but has some cons (below).
Multiple users: You're able invite other users. Even if other users log on, I'm still able to use it. NetGear's video suggests 5-6 but it does get sluggish after 3 users log on and are accessing/streaming music and video files.
A lot of features and options: includes DLNA, FTP and other protocols. I'm no whiz at the other protocols but I do use DLNA and FTP. I have a SMART-TV that can now DLNA into this NAS and stream video files straight to the TV without having to have my PC in the office ON.
Drag and drop feature: I like the drag and drop interface directly into the web browser. This makes it easy for my brothers and sisters who aren't too tech savvy. They can simply drag a lot of files and drop them into the web browser and it syncs right away into the NAS.
Streaming: once you get everything set up correctly, you're able to stream music and videos directly to your device whether you're in the network or outside the network! Awesome!
Cons: For the hardware, this NAS is solid. It comes with everything you need to get set up and running right away.
As for the software, I did run into some issues.
The whole web browser interface is great idea but it has a "beta" feel to it. It's kind of slow when clicking around. Some things take longer than other to register and advance to the next page. I love the whole drag and drop idea inside the web browser, but transferring is frustratingly (is that a word?) slow. (Suggestion: maybe copy the item into memory and then transfer later when I'm not using the computer?) Last thing, I feel the interface just isn't too user-friendly. Although simple, it doesn't guide me from one to the next to get the NAS all set up. This may prove too hard for the average non-techy person to set up. (suggestion: maybe include a simple video tutorial within the web browser instead of having to search YouTube or even better, use a setup guide to walk us through the first part of installation until we are familiar with the tabs and what they mean). The information in the Quick Setup just doesn't help enough.
Cloud users: you're able to add what NetGear calls, "Cloud" users to this NAS. Cloud users are remote users that can get access to your NAS via an internet connection. Anyways...the issue: I was able to add some Cloud Users giving them a username and email, but when I misspelled one of the emails, I was unable to delete it. The popup message told me that I should log on directly to the NAS (192.168.....) and delete it from there. However, when I did log on directly to the NAS as administrator, I could NOT find the option to delete the misspelled email user. It was really confusing. They should make it easier to delete unwanted Cloud Users.
Streaming: for music, it was great! I'm using Comcast 25mbps wired. My sister, which was out of my network using wired Comcast 25mbps connection, was able to stream music to her computer fine. Just a little delay for the song to start up, but no major hiccups or pauses. Video, however, was a different story. She was able to stream DVD quality (or lesser quality) videos, whether it was 1-2 min clips or long movies to her PC without any hiccups which was cool. However, most of the videos I've put on the NAS are either 720p or 1080p (both clips and movies). Long story short, the video was choppy and video would freeze although the sound was still playing. When we tried streaming a whole movie, the quality of the video was fine but again it was choppy and the video had a hard time keeping up with the audio. I would love to see this fixed or help me find how I can stream at least 720p videos.
Overall Review: Thanks Newegg and NetGear! I've always wanted a NAS for my home so thanks for sending this unit for me to test and review.
Again, this NAS's hardware is solid. Great craftsmanship and great quality of materials. It just falls a little short with the software.
My suggestion: get it if you just need 1TB or 2TB (in RAID0 format) network storage, this NAS is great. GET IT! The minor software glitches aren't enough NOT to buy this device. They're just minor issues compared to the options that it comes with and what you're able to do with it. Streaming works, remote access works, cloud based access works, just not flawlessly yet.
I've had this NAS for 2 weeks now and my family loves it. It's a centralized location to keep all their video and pictures taken from their phones and viewing them wherever they are. Yeah, they can use other alternatives such as Flickr or DropBox but its only good for photos. With this NAS, you can store and stream whole movies or phone video clips without having a separate PC on at all times (like I did before).
Pros: They weren’t kidding about the easy setup…pretty much just plug it in and go, (almost), as it did take a couple hours to format the drives in the RAID 1 array. I’m using this for a home network backup system, so I created a user account for each family member, again, extremely easy to do. Out of the box any of the home networked PCs are able to access the default shared folders, the creation of the user accounts adds a secure folder that requires the user name and password for access.
The drives are housed in a small, sturdy and stylish metal case, and are easily accessible by opening the front plastic door. A relatively quiet exhaust fan, (the unit is next to my Antec 1200 case with 7 case fans…so the one in this unit isn’t even noticeable) keeps the drives cool, not quite as cool as the 4 1TB WD drives in my gaming desktop PC, but well within normal operating specs. There’s even a temp monitor accessible via the administration webpage.
It has 2 USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA in the back, as well as a USB 2.0 port up front . 2 HDD LEDS and a Backup button that can be programmed to execute one or more backup jobs that you setup via the Backup Tab in the administration webpage.
This unit comes with 2 1TB drives, but is easily expandable to 8TB total by replacing the drives with 2 4TB drives. I’d recommend checking Netgear’s support website for recommended drives before upgrading .
I’ve copied music and video files to the NAS for home network streaming, which works beautifully. All connected PCs have 1GB Ethernet connections and as of yet haven’t experienced any streaming problems with either music or video playback. I’ve only tried streaming 2 movies at a time so far. (I have 4 desktop and 2 laptops in the home network)
There’s a wide variety of ready to install applications available to increase the ReadyNAS’ functunality, which apparently is updated with new applications from time to time.
Cons: Regarding the application library, I did try install one program, GLPI, the Computer Asset Management application, and it failed three times. I tried one last time two days ago and it reported a complete installation, however, when I tried entering the default login settings, they weren’t accepted. But that was just one application, I’ll try some others that look to be useful and hopefully won’t experience the same problem.
Some of the descriptions on the administration webpage are lacking (very) or almost nonexistent. Expect to use Google or Netgear’s support site, their forums are pretty active, (e.g. helpful!) a lot if you want to make use of many of the apps.
Overall Review: As I said, setup is very easy and simple, you shouldn’t have a problem installing it even if it’s your first NAS. The system is also quite small, you won’t have any problems finding a place for it and you can tell it’s made with quality in mind. The set of apps makes this a great storage system for a relatively cheap price. Swapping drives out could be easier but isn’t too much trouble.
Documentation really needs some improvement, you’re going to need to spend a fair amount of time on the forums to get the full potential out of this.
Pros: * Hardware. The hardware (ignoring the included hard drives) seems to be very solid. The chassis is metal and the layout is smart. You get a 1.2GHz CPU and 512MB ram with the ability to expand capacity up to 8 terabytes (assuming two 4TB drives). It has a gigabit Ethernet port, an eSATA port, and two USB 3.0 ports in the back and a single USB 2.0 port on the front. It’s fairly small at 11x7x10 inches and about 5 pounds. There is a hidden magnet that holds the drive bay door closed which is the kind of attention to detail that you would expect from an industry leader like Netgear. Its power supply fan circulates fresh air into the cabinet and vents warm air out the back. The LEDs are azure in color and indicate the status of each installed drive, power and drive activity. Overall it’s modern looking and sleek.
* You get a lot of extras with ReadyNAS through the available apps and Marketplace. Cloud services really lead the pack here. It’s nice to be out on the road, and pull up a picture of my daughter on my smart phone (or any file on my network) to show a friend at any given time or place.
* This is a backup drive on steroids… exposed to gamma rays and born of Krypton. If like me, you are used to simply using an external hard drive as a backup plan, be prepared to see your plan evolve, like a single celled paramecium evolved to a multi cellular human being… flying an F-22 while posting his Facebook status update.
* Its Netgear. They have better than average customer service. If you browse around, you can see this evidence in customer reviews of Netgear devices. Netgear is good gear. It’s usually very compatible with other brands and they have the size and money to back up their products. Having owned Netgear routers and other network devices for years with good results, I feel like I can vouch for them.
Cons: * With my two bay ReadyNAS 102 device, I received two Toshiba model DT01ACA100 1TB hard drives, made in China, Manufactured on Nov 2012. They come with a 2 year warranty, and lack rotational vibration safeguarding (something Netgear recommends you have). These general use OEM drives have average performance and mixed user reviews. Of the whole compatibility list of drives that Netgear recommends, they gave me the drives at the bottom of the performance list. I would have really preferred something like Western Digital’s RED drive series, which are specifically made for use in NAS devices and RAID configurations with excellent user reviews for performance and quality. I would suggest getting the diskless ReadyNAS option and supplying your own drives.
* The user interface is web browser based and slow. It talks to the ReadyNAS which is completely Linux based and you can feel the communication lag through this connection. The firmware has a shaky unrefined beta feel about it, and could really use some improvements in terms of ease of use and even aesthetics. Using windows explorer to view files on my ReadyNAS causes it to crash explorer quite often, and when it does work, it’s slow and cumbersome.
* One of my biggest complaints with this device is its level of user friendliness. Netgear has packed a lot of stuff into their ReadyNAS system, dozens of apps, utilities, and options galore. Then they completely failed to offer the end user a friendly, simple to use method of accessing and controlling all of this. Want to know what the scrub button does? Better not push it to find out, because there is no action verification warning after doing so, and there is no description or quick help readily available to read. Netgear markets the 100 series ReadyNAS devices towards home users and claims it has a “New sleek, modern and intuitive user interface” yet the only difference between the 100 series and the professional 300 series is the speed of hardware and things like the number of users that can access the device simultaneously. A home user is going to feel like they have to be a network administrator if they want to experience everything ReadyNAS offers. Netgear really needs to revamp the whole user interface for the 100 series so that it really is more user friendly, more intuitive, and capable of guiding and educating the user through the features it has to offer. That being said, if you do have a lot of computing experience or are a network admin, the user interface probably is acceptable, though there will still be a navigation learning curve.
* While the hardware is good, it’s not disaster proof. A leaky celling, a fire, fire ants for that matter, or some other disaster will take this thing out or make you lose your data. It offers cloud services, but it’s not safe, like the cloud.
Overall Review: I received my ReadyNAS with the intention of simply using it as a RAID 1 backup device for my important documents and pictures and videos. After discovering the abundant capabilities now at my fingertips, my intentions have greatly expanded.
The Netgear ReadyNAS system does an excellent job for what it’s advertised to do. It offers much more than I was expecting, such as being able to use it as a DVR with your IP cameras, and using it to access your files from your smart phone from basically anywhere in the world through the ReadyNAS mobile app. You can configure it in any raid configuration you want (depending on which model you have). You can setup user access accounts for people across your network, synchronize files between your PC and ReadyNAS, and use it to remotely and securely access your files over your own VPN connection. “There’s an app for that” seems to apply here. ReadyNAS Monitor app lets you monitor your device on critical events (disc or fan failure, high temps, etc.) and then have it notify Netgear tech support so they can contact you to proactively resolve these issues. Calendar servers, human resource management, bit torrent clients, social media sharing, and what seems to be a dozen different cloud server and file management apps are available to you. I will be spending a lot of time exploring all of these things and showing them off to my friends.
The user manual is only accessible online or as a download. You get no manual with your package. It is 163 pages long so be prepared for some reading. It seems thorough but has not been updated to match the latest firmware revision, so screen shots and menu navigation can be confusing or do not match up. Also, the version displayed on my RAIDar setup screen differs from the version RAIDar tells me I have when I click the about button giving me 3 different version numbers I have to sew together to make sense out of things.
In conclusion, what ReadyNAS offers me over my old solution of a simple external hard drive used for backups is most importantly, a redundant raid backup. I then get extra security with hardware monitoring and even additional virus scanning, and a gigantic toolbox of apps from which I can expand my control over my digital life. It’s hard to not recommend something like this given what it can offer you and my recommendation would be dependent on the technical savvy of the person I was recommending it to. If you can overlook its slow and awkward software, discover and apply the many available apps, and realize the full potential of this device, it is a thing of beauty to recommend. Otherwise you might end up feeling like you spend a lot of money for just a hard drive.
Pros: +Heavy, high quality enclosure with a glossy magnetic front door and good ventilation. The version I am using came with 2 Toshiba 1TB drives which do make a little noise. Each drive has its own removable tray.
+Tons of features, so many that I haven’t tried most of them yet.
+Has its own app marketplace store for addons for the ReadyNAS
+Built in antivirus that auto updates!
+Initial setup was pretty easy without having to configure much. The device was detected with no problems in Windows 8.
+Has the optional support of continuous protection that takes snapshots of files, so that you can roll back to specific time to recover a file that was saved at that time.
Cons: -Like other have stated, some features can be overwhelming or confusing at times. There is a 246 page manual you can download off their website that tells a lot more info.
-The interface has a drag and drop option to add files by dragging to the browser window. But when using that I never got any kind of status update saying that a file is being transferred, or that it finished transferring. I assume that’s the reason one of the reviews stated it didn’t work. It does work, you just don’t get notified that it has.
-The drives run constantly which make a little noise, I would have preferred that it put the drives to sleep when not in use. Although it does have an option to set the time/hours that the drives turn on and off each day, which is good.
Overall Review: This is the first time I have set up a NAS. Personally for ME, I have basically one main use for this device, and that is for DLNA file sharing in our home. It serves this purpose very well. Having a standalone box where you don’t need to have your whole computer running, is a huge plus for a home DLNA server.
I tried running 3 full bitrate Blu-Ray movies at the same time, each running at roughly 33-39Mbits/s (two computers using a wired connection, and the third being a laptop wireless). It played great with no stuttering or anything on all the computers. I was very happy with that. I think this version of the NAS supports up to 5 users.
I also plan on using this for our family photos. Using DLNA for both the photos and movies, it works great also. I have played the photos through our Android and iPad tablets using apps that support DLNA. I have also played the movies through my WD Live TV box, and Dune Media player with no problems using DLNA. I love it for that use, as others in your house can also access it at the same time.
The backup feature also works good. Especially with the snapshots of files which may be good for like a documents directory. I did try restoring a document and it definitely restored to what the document was saved at in the timeline.
Mine came with two Toshiba 1TB drives, preset to use Raid 1, which gave me roughly 900GB of free space (using two 1TB drives). Copying to the drives I was getting roughly 55MB/s.
The fan on back is a decent size and didn’t appear to make much noise, although the drives themselves I definitely could hear. I would have preferred quieter drives.
It’s a feature packed NAS, with so many options that it will take you a long time to discover/learn it all. It even has addon Marketplace Apps that you can install.
Pros: I had no problems installing the bundled software and my network needed nothing for the NAS to be detected and used.This is built very sturdy and has a nice look to it. The blue lights on the front are not overpowering and look nice with the glossy black bezel. Holds up to 8TB drives either SSD or SATA. Drives are easily removed and feel very solid in their quick mounting brackets. The RAID setup on the drives give you and automatic backup. Very quiet operation. Able to remotely access the drive from a smart phone anywhere. Readydrop is a really handy feature allowing you to upload from any computer anywhere and so far it has worked like it should. Runs very reliably with no connectivity problems. Responsive system with plenty of processing power. Built in antivirus and apps one of which allows you to use it as a recorder for your IP security camera. There is plenty of online support for getting the most out of it.
Cons: The software is all run through an internet browser for configuration. Many user accounts are needed to use all the features even for the same user. Pricey for the amount of storage you get especially when it comes with low end hard drives installed. Setup takes a while longer than expected.
Overall Review: I'm very pleased with the ReadyNAS and I'm very likely to invest in a couple bigger hard drives for it in the near future. All I was expecting was an external storage option that functions without the need for my computer to be powered on all the time and this thing rocks in that aspect. My Playstation 3 picks it up automatically and streams all media without hesitation as well as my Samsung smart tv. I have 2 windows 7 64 bit systems that also use it without problems. My smart phone works well with it as well although you have no previews of any of the files making it hard to pull up a specific picture without downloading the wrong one. Be ready for a bunch of time setting it all up especially if you're not a networking genius, but be confident that there is plenty of online help videos and manuals to guide you along.
Pros: Slick, sturdy, professional, clean, compact design with server grade removable and lockable drive bays with magnetic door. The craftsmanship could not be better.
ReadyCloud website instantly recognizes the NAS and setup is complete in seconds. The website GUI is fast, clean and user friendly. Feels almost like running installed software.
Remote Client software for PC and Mac works. It enables drag-and-drop, account based cloud access, and file replication for shadow backups. This software takes the NAS to a level unmanaged cloud services can't compete with. For two weeks I've used it and had no issues.
"RAIDar" software for offline management if you don't have Internet.
Nice large fan is more reliable than the tiny 40mm fans in other NAS devices.
Cons: USB only for external HDDs, direct connect would be nice.
2.5" drives require special flush screws. They are included but easily could be lost. Would be nice if they were stored inside the NAS for future use.
External power supply disappointing, but necessary for this compact design.
Volume is automatically formatted after setup as RAID1 volume and takes 2 hours, something that could be done at the factory, but I understand why it's not.
Switching to RAID0 is a bit confusing, see other comments.
Overall Review: The software is fully featured beyond expectations and compliments the fantastic hardware quality and design.
Despite waiting 2 hours for initial formatting, this NAS amazing. You will immediately get a sense it is built with quality in mind. The feature set of apps, ReadyCloud and Remote Client software create a product in many ways even more useful than a dedicated PC at a better price for a storage solution. Undoubtedly this is a better choice than unmanaged cloud services.
To enable RAID0 click System > Volume > X-RAID > Disable > Click Volume > Destroy > Click the photos of each drive to select > Click New Volume
889GB usable in RAID1. 1.74TB usable in RAID0. This is slightly less than other file systems.
Copying from external HDD to the internals requires setting up a backup schedule.
Pros: 1. Solid build quality
2. Easy access drive bays
3. Easy basic Cloud setup (see other)
4. 2TB storage with a max 8TB
5. Two USB 3.0 ports
6. Cheap for a 2tb NAS system
7. Cool, quiet even with its larger fan
8. 3 year warranty
9. DLNA support
Cons: 1. Documentation and instructions are lacking
2. Accessing utilities aren’t all in one easy to access place
3. Takes time to research how to setup and use it to its full potential
4. Cloud storage works, but doesn’t always work well
5. Can be frustrating if you’re not used to setting up a NAS system
6. Be prepared to spend some time getting it up and running
Overall Review: I’m going to base my review on my specific needs and the other options out there. I currently own another NAS system that was made by Synology and so I can comment on the differences between the two.
Upon first opening the ReadyNAS 102, I could easily tell it was a quality built unit. It’s a nice black metal housing with a glossy plastic door that accesses the two drive bays. The drives are easy to access with the just press of a button. The two drives that came with my unit were two Toshiba 1TB SATA 6.0 drives. The back side of the ReadyNAS 102 has two USB 3.0 ports (pretty nice for a NAS). Is it useful if you’re planning on using the cloud mostly? Probably not, but it’s nice to say it has USB 3.0. So, the build quality of the unit really is the best thing going for the ReadyNAS 102.
I am mainly using this for a home office backup server. I’m also a student so I want to be able to drop any files from either of my computers (Desktop and Ultrabook) so I don’t constantly have to use my flash drives at school. The basic setup using the cloud was very easy. Simply create an account and boom, it shows up on your network. Great! The problem then came when I had to figure out what options and utilities I wanted. The issue stems from lack of documentation on these utilities. I need a dropbox so I can just drop my files into it and it will sync with the NAS, but for some reason my dropbox was only going from the NAS to my computer. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong and I was able to fix it, but little things like that kept me pretty frustrated for about two hours while I played around with the software and utilities. I eventually got it working for my needs, but if you don’t like to take the time and effort to get it going, don’t expect to have a fun experience with this.
Overall, it’s a pretty nice NAS. Ya, it’s not perfect; the documentation isn’t great and a few bugs did creep up, but for me I found most features that I needed worked pretty well. The auto backup and point in time restore are nice features if you worry about data loss. The OS 6 firmware honestly seems a little pre-mature, so hopefully they can release some updates that might fix some of the bugs. If you want something that is simpler to setup and has a solider platform (like my Synology DS110j), look elsewhere. But, if you’re in the market for a basic home NAS to backup your data that is priced well, you might want to consider this
Pros: It seems to be well constructed, with it's compact and solid design.
It easily fits in small areas. It has a slightly larger footprint than my router.
Basic install is simple, you just plug it into the router and plug it in, then follow the directions.
No internet connection required. You can install it through the website or with the included software, I used the website. It went smoothly for me.
Cloud access can be identical to local access.
Pulling drives is simple and straightforward.
There are several useful apps that are readily available.
Cons: Setup isn't as straightforward as it could be. I had to look things up online to figure out how to setup some features.
You need physical access to the NAS while installing the software. In my case, that required me to leave my detached office and go to my network room, in my house.
It interferes with our wireless baby monitor. It's set up about 6' away from the monitor, on the other side of a wall, and is regularly interfering with the monitor.
Moving files isn't as simple as it should be, I have an easier time transferring files to and from other computers on my network than the NAS.
Installing a new drive can take a few attempts if you don't line things up just right. When I reinstalled a drive, I couldn't get it to lock in. The drive would go in too far and the latch wouldn't line up with the case.
Many things in the interface have no description, or very limited description. Unless you know what they are already you have to look them up online. I'm sure there are things I would use if I knew what they were without having to spend extra time looking them up.
Overall Review: My NAS arrived formatted in RAID1, I've seen others post that there's arrived without formatting. I reformatted mine to RAID0, for the extra space.
In RAID1 it has 886GB, in RAID0 it has 1.74TB.