Net­gear ReadyNAS RN214

An easy-to-use mid-range per­former.

APC Australia - - Software -

With a hard black box and LCD dis­play up front, the Net­gear is a good look­ing de­vice, and its easy in­stal­la­tion and setup make it a top pick for a lot of users. Its sup­port­ing mo­bile and desk­top apps are im­pres­sive and the tabbed ad­min in­ter­face will be a lot less scary for a lot of users than the vir­tual desk­top-style.

Most NASes in this price range use x86 pro­ces­sors, which have bet­ter ap­pli­ca­tion com­pat­i­bil­ity and gen­er­ally bet­ter per­for­mance. On the other hand, Net­gear is stick­ing with ARM, which might limit the avail­abil­ity of some third-party apps. In terms of raw disk per­for­mance, it did OK, but fell down a lit­tle in the write tests. Oth­er­wise the hard­ware is solid, with twin Eth­er­net ports sup­port­ing load bal­anc­ing, USB 3.0 and an eSATA port for ex­pand­ing the num­ber of drives.

Net­gear’s ad­min in­ter­face is sim­ple and straight­for­ward. It’s a tabbed af­fair, de­signed for easy ac­cess but with more lim­ited op­tions than you’ll find in Asus­tor or Synol­ogy. There are third­party apps that can be in­stalled, and Net­gear is pop­u­lar enough that many soft­ware de­vel­op­ers of­fer man­ual down­loads. In gen­eral, you won’t find as many third-party apps as you will on QNAP, Synol­ogy or Asus­tor, but there’s more than you’ll have avail­able on Sea­gate or WD.

On top of that, the mo­bile and desk­top apps are very good. The backup apps in par­tic­u­lar make it sim­ple to use the ReadyNAS as a backup tar­get, while me­dia apps for mo­bile make streaming easy.

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