Netgear makes well-built, super-fast NAS containers that we actually get pleasure from testing. The ReadyNAS RN422 may appear costly—you’ll be able to buy one at Amazon, without drives, for $360—however they’re really fairly inexpensive in comparison with comparable business-grade merchandise from QNAP and Synology. Whereas aimed on the enterprise, this class of is excellent for media streaming and backup on a house community.
The one draw back is the occasional want for above-average tech chops for issues like organising a web site server or FTP backup. If that doesn’t faze you, then the RN422 (or any of its siblings: the RN424, RN426, or RN428, providing 4, six, and eight drive bays respectively) will serve you effectively. Pun meant.
Design and options
The RN422 is a two-bay field with a front-panel LCD and 5 modern-looking, blue-backlit buttons that you need to use to view the field’s standing and carry out easy capabilities. Flip that a part of the field to the facet and you’ve got entry to the easy-change drive bays. Beneath the swing panel and drive bays is a single USB three.zero port.
The again of the RN422 is residence to a pair of gigabit ethernet ports, a second USB three.zero port, an eSATA port, the ability jack, and a Kensington lock port. The chassis and shell are largely black and of principally metallic building. The RN422 is hefty sufficient to remain the place it’s put, even should you set up light-weight SSDs. The identical can’t be stated for NAS containers largely made from plastic.
The 2 bays function trays with plastic screw-replacing inserts for onerous drive set up. It’s simple, at the very least as soon as you notice the diagram on the tray that exhibits you easy methods to work them: Slide up the identical tab that releases the tray from the bay and the insert will slide out about four inches, so you’ll be able to bend out the perimeters and slide within the onerous drive. Press within the second slide-stop the place it catches on a gap to fully take away the insert for SSD set up, which does require screws.
Setup and apps
Netgear recommends organising the RN422 by way of the ReadyCloud.Netgear.com net portal; nevertheless, we wished to take the entrance panel for a spin. Putting in an SSD that was already formatted, stopped the field with the error: “Used disks, test RAIDar.” That’s fantastic, because it may prevent from unintentionally overwriting essential knowledge, however the entrance panel doesn’t take you any any additional. That’s a little bit of a tease for IT sorts who may wish to administer the field from the entrance panel.
The net portal didn’t work for us both for some cause, so we downloaded Netgear’s RAIDar utility, which discovered the field and allowed us to reformat the drive. Options are a very good factor. And if the net portal works for you—even higher.
As soon as up and operating, we had been impressed with ReadyNAS OS 6.eight. It’s improved since our take a look at model 6.6 on the RN212, and there are fairly a number of apps obtainable, together with BitTorrent, Drupal, and an iDrive shopper. Our solely main want is for an electronic mail server, however that’s a small-business factor that can have an effect on few customers. Talking of enterprise, it might be good if organising a web site server was little much less convoluted.
For multimedia functions, there are each iTunes and DLNA media servers, in addition to Nero MediaHome, the ReadyNAS Picture server, and the DVBLink TV server for hooked up USB TV tuners. There’s no model of the more and more standard Plex Media Server obtainable, although we’re followers of the more transparent, non-proprietary DLNA.
Additionally readily available is Milestone Arcus Surveillance with two digital camera licenses, so you’ll be able to cowl the entrance yard in addition to the again. Extra licenses can be found at $60 every, four for $200, or eight for $360. That is not low-cost, however it’s just about par for the course (for business-class NVR—community video recording—that’s). Most customers ought to have the ability to deal with solely the 2 free licenses.
Backup for days
The ReadyNAS OS has nice built-in backup capabilities, together with distant replication (mirroring to a different field or location, together with cloud-storage companies resembling Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, and Google Drive) and the flexibility to again as much as and from distant places utilizing FTP and Rsync. Learn our treatise on backing up your network PCs with out using shopper software program right here.
We nonetheless have the identical gripe about FTP as we did with the RN212: You may’t browse the distant website; as an alternative, you will need to manually enter the trail of the distant shared folder. Right here’s hoping you wrote it down.
However that’s hardly a deal-killer, and most customers will most likely go for the ReadyCloud backup shoppers which might be obtainable for main working programs and cell gadgets. Shoppers are the better, albeit much less clear strategy to preserve your PCs and gadgets backed as much as the RN422.
A quick performer
As we talked about up entrance, Netgear containers are often very quick. Utilizing a dual-core, 1.5GHz Intel Atom Processor C3338 CPU and 2GB of reminiscence, and operating the BTRFS (B-TRee File System, typically referred to as the “Higher” or “Butter” FS), the RN422 clocked 108MBps writing and 103MBps studying massive recordsdata in CrystalDiskMark. That’s really a bit slower than the RN212 we reviewed earlier this year, however the place the RN422 actually took off was with queued reads and writes: It completely blew away each different field we’ve examined to this point. That’s notably significant contemplating that’s the way in which knowledge is mostly served up nowadays.
In our personal real-world 20GB large-file copy exams, the RN422 learn lifeless regular at 111MBps and wrote at 114MBps. With our 20GB mixture of smaller recordsdata and folders, it managed 87MBps studying and 77MBps writing. These are excellent numbers.
Subjectively, the RN422 was a pleasure to make use of. The configuration pages popped up rapidly and we didn’t spend quite a lot of time ready for folders to open or for the field to look. The streaming efficiency was distinctive, with 5 gadgets streaming 720p video from the RN422 concurrently with ease.
We prefer it
The typical consumer is likely to be higher off with a less expensive, simpler WD My Cloud (keep away from the newer and dead-slow WD My Cloud Home) or Seagate Personal Cloud. However should you’re in search of one thing quicker, much more dependable, and that has the exoskeleton to resist main abuse, the RN422 is a superb product. To be trustworthy, we’d preserve it plugged into the community in lieu of quite a lot of different containers—together with these we simply talked about—merely due to BTRFS and its efficiency.