I am a Netgear ambassador and I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Netgear ReadyNAS. It’s actually one of the first NAS’s I’ve reviewed and I’m quite impressed. The ReadyNas 204 has a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU @ 1.4 GHz and has 2, yes 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports with a Btrfs / Btree file system.
I love the fact that it’s not your standard EXT4 journaling file system that’s found with most NAS’s, Netgear does its own thing with a COW based file system which makes it super fast. I’m not going to bore you with the technical details of this, so let’s move on.
Let’s talk specs. With the ReadyNAS 204 you can get up to 24 TB, yes 24 TB of storage with 6 TB drives in each bay. Crazy huh? It has 2 GB of onboard (non-upgradable) memory which is plenty for a NAS. It has 3 USB 3.0 ports and 1 eSata. One thing that does bug me is the super bright blue status LED on the front. I really wish you could turn that off or dim it. It does have a 92mm fan which is super quiet. You can barely hear when the NAS is on which is a gift sent from God, thanks Netgear!
Mounting new HDD’s is relatively easy and hot swapping drives is a breeze. If you don’t know how to mount hard drives, I suggest YouTube but it’s super easy to do.
Nether did a fantastic job with their web interface. Having a NAS is so easy to setup, the average home and small business user can do it. Install your drives, plug everything in and you navigate to a special URL and set up your ReadyNAS.
One thing I really want to say is that ReadyNAS is the Dropbox killer! There realistically is no reason to use Dropbox if you have a ReadyNAS since all the features that Dropbox provides is available with ReadyNAS. The only exception is that your data is stored on the cloud with Dropbox. If someone does break in and steal your ReadyNAS then yes, you have technically lost your data if you don’t have a secondary backup somewhere else. Other than that, if you’re thinking of getting rid of Dropbox, switching ReadyNAS is an amazing idea.
I personally love the fact that there is a Windows and Mac application and even smartphone applications available for ReadyNAS and that they are so simple to use. Even better, ReadyNAS is mounted automatically as a network drive so adding files cannot get any easier.
The ReadyNAS web interface and administration portal is extremely extensive. You can set the RAID levels, or use X-RAID which is automatically expandable if you’re an inexperienced user when it comes to RAID. Be warned though.. there is an option called Flex-RAID that requires full formatting of all your hard drives before you can expand, so stay away from flex raid.
One thing I found very cool is the amount of apps available for use with ReadyNAS that you can install and configure through the web interface. Such applications as having a PLEX server, ReadySurvelliance, BitTorrent servers. Now, if Arlo Wire Free and Arlo Q can record to ReadyNAS using ReadySurveillance……. that would be interesting, just saying Netgear.. just saying…
I’d be interested to see what Netgear’s competitors such as Synology stand up to the ReadyNAS. But honestly, for being my first NAS review, I’m impressed, very impressed. The OS is easy to use, the hardware is amazing and I’m blown away by the performance and really how easy to use it is. It may seem complex with all the options that are available but Netgear has made it so easy that a basic level user can figure out ReadyNAS in a breeze. I highly recommend getting your very own ReadyNAS today from Netgear.
The ReadyNAS 200 series is absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend getting one for the home and business user that needs data security and reliability.
Jonathan is the founder and editor-in-chief of TrustedNerd.com. Covering major tech shows such as CES, Jonathan is always there for the latest tech news. Want your gadget to be reviewed or have a release you'd like to be considered for publishing? Send Jonathan an email, jonathan [at] trustednerd.com