5 Stars By M. Y. 'Photographer | Outdoor Enthusiast | Tech Pro' on 1969-12-31
Nice upgrade to the 300 series
I've been using the ReadyNAS series since before Netgear bought the company that started them: Infrant. My first ReadyNAS (NV+) failed once, corrupting all data. However, the corruption/failure never occurred again, not even with the successors, the ReadyNAS Ultra, and the older ReadyNAS 300 series. I have not yet used this ReadyNAS 524 model long enough to comment on its reliability.
One thing I disliked about all the older ReadyNAS was their slow network transmission speed. Files took forever to copy from one location to another. When Netgear decided to revamp the ReadyNAS series from scratch, basing its processor on the Intel processor, the company has made great progress in the performance department.
The ReadyNAS 300 with its dual Gigabit connections was quite speedy, though it was not a top-performer when compared to some other brands, such as Qnap, Synology, Drobo. I decided to purchase the 524 and 424 to replace my older 314 models, and well, my 314's review still applies. The biggest difference is that the 424 is now using a newer Intel Atom processor (which makes it a bit faster), and the 524 -- that one is a BEAST with its Intel Xeon server-level processor. Plex is running faster on both the 424 and 524 (as compared to the 314), but the 524 had the greatest performance (with the price tag!) of them all.
With that said, just like the 314, I like the following about the 424 and 524:
1. X-RAID. Automatically expands your storage capacity as you add higher-capacity or additional drives without much user intervention. Traditionally, a RAID configuration requires you to back up the data, tear down the RAID, reconfigure it for the RAID protection you want, and restore the data onto it. X-RAID does away with that. For those who don't know what RAID is -- to put it simply, it provides storage protection. For example, if you have all 4 bays occupied with hard drives, you can lose 1 drive and still have your data in tact. Simply replace the bad drive with a new one, and your RAID is rebuilt, and you now have a redundant storage system again. Lose 2 or more drives, and the data is lost. The chances of 2 drives failing at the same time, however, is slim.
2. RSync over SSH. RSync is one of the protocols this device supports, which allows you to quickly and efficiently synchronize one ReadyNAS with another, or any device that supports RSync. The SSH function adds encryption to your data transfer. So, what does all this mean? I set up one ReadyNAS to do a secure, nightly backup from one location to another over the Internet. This ensures that files at both locations are always synchronized. In older ReadyNAS models, only RSync without SSH was available (without doing any hacking of its underlying Linux/Unix OS.)
3. WOL. Wake-On-Lan. I absolutely love this feature: you can remotely turn on your ReadyNAS over the internet or anywhere on your network. Configuration of your router is required, and I will share some of that at the end of the review. I also use the free "NAS Utils" app from the Google Play Store to send these WOL commands with my Android phone. This same utility can also be used to look at the ReadyNAS log files, power it down, reboot it, check storage, and more.
4. Plex Media Server. The product supports PMS! It comes right-out-the-box by enabling its app through its web-based administration page. PMS can be configured to look at your file shares to compile a beautiful interface of your music, picture, and video collection. You can then watch your movies through the web browser, tablet, or smartphone, even over the internet! Take a look at the [plex (dot) tv] website for more information. Note, however, that the PMS version that comes with the ReadyNAS is old. I'll share some tips on upgrading it at the end of the review.
5. DLNA. ReadyNAS 424 & 524 support DLNA, allowing you to point your Playstation, XBox, Roku, BTA-MALL Fire TV, WD TV, smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, and more, to your movie/music collection for play over Wifi/your home network.
6. Backup button. The physical backup button at the front of the device is convenient. You can configure backup jobs, and at the push of this button, it'll then run the jobs in sequence. I've configured each job to email me job results on error.
7. Supports various authentication methods, including Active Directory. You can configure the device to precisely control who has access to what share, how, and through what protocol.
Some things I don't like about the ReadyNAS 424 and 524 -- and sadly, they are the same issues I had with the 314:
a. UI issue: Scrolling. The web interface is not touch friendly. To scroll up and down at some of the configuration pages, you have to use a mouse. The scroll bar won't show up until you mouse over it.
b. UI issue: Backup button. The physical backup button is a great, convenient feature. For some reason, Netgear decided not to be able to initiate that button from the web interface. For example, if I wanted to remotely tell the ReadyNAS to start the backup jobs, I'd have to manually launch each job one-by-one.
c. UI issue: Backup button jobs. In the past, one used to be able to re-arrange the order of the jobs. With OS6, jobs are run in the order they were added. Further, only 1 job is now run at a time. In the past, multiple jobs could be configured to run concurrently.
d. UI Issue: when powering on the NAS, I would like the option to have an email alert sent to me. Netgear never replied back to me on this request. I saw somewhere before that this SHOULD work, but I do not think it's a coincidence that it does not work with the 314, 424, and 524...
e. Backup: backup jobs are handled sequentially. You STILL cannot run multiple jobs at the same time like with the older ReadyNAS Ultra series.
f. Plex Media Server cannot be automatically upgraded, but as with the 314 model, the 424 and 524 now allow you to simply upload the new Plex software update to the web interface for automatic upgrading without having to type in any commands in the command line. Instructions will be described below.
Now, on to some tips.
1. Wake-On-LAN configuration. In the older ReadyNAS Ultra, WOL was very easy to configure. However, for some reason, with the ReadyNAS 300, 424, and 524, I STILL can only get WOL to work reliably by asking it to send the command as a Broadcast. This has to do with MAC address caching, but even with different switches/routers, I couldn't send the packet successfully with 100% certainty after 4 hours of waiting. As such, for issuing WOL commands over the Internet/WAN, I configured UDP 9 to point to the internal network's broadcast IP. In my case, it's 192.168.123.255 /24. WOL has worked every single time since.
I also found that WOL only works over the Internet when the network cable is connected to the TOP network/ethernet port. If I remember right, that's Ethernet 1.
2. RSync over SSH. WARNING: this is an ADVANCED configuration! If you don't know what you're doing, you could severely screw up your NAS! To do RSync over SSH, you first have to enable Rsync on the Target NAS. Then download the Certificate from the Source NAS, and add it to the Target NAS by pasting the SSH key (append) to /root/.ssh/authorized_keys (on the Target.) This tells the Target to trust the source's certificate. An example backup job can be configured as follows:
Name: SOURCE copy to TARGET
Source: Share | Name: share: sharename.
Target: Remote | Name: remote:Rsync over Remote SSH | Host: addressofTarget | Path: /data. Advanced: Remove deleted files on source
WARNING: be sure you test the backup job on dummy shares, not on production shares! This gives you the opportunity to ensure that the paths are all correct, and the job is configured the way you want it to behave.
3. Plex Media Server: configure for playback over the Internet. I set up my router to point TCP 32400 to the ReadyNAS 524.
4. Plex Media Server Upgrade. Before you can upgrade PMS, let me warn you first. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! This is an ADVANCED configuration, and could void your warranty. Because this is advanced, I'm going to assume that you understand the technical terms described below. The instructions were taken from the Plex forums. BTA-MALL unfortunately won't let me link directly to that page. I modified the original instructions, and the one below is what worked for me.
Understand that the ReadyNAS 300/424/524 run "OS 6". First, TURN OFF your PMS app by going to the NAS' configuration page. Wait until it's confirmed to be turned off.
a. Go to [Plex (dot) tv / downloads]. You will find a link there for "NAS". Choose Netgear > OS6 / Intel.
b. Download the package -- it'll be a file called, "plexmediaserver-ros6-binaries_versionnumber_amd64.deb"
c. While PMS is still Off, upload the downloaded file through the NAS' configuration page ("Apps" tab > "Upload" icon at the top right)
d. Verify that the app version is the new one in the ReadyNAS administration page. You may now turn on the PMS app.
Finally, launch Plex Media Server and configure the Transcode temporary folder to /apps/plexmediaserver/temp. You may have to turn on the Advanced Options to see the Transcode section.
I have performed many, many version upgrades with the above instructions without any problems.
Overall recommendation: the 400 is a slightly speedier upgrade to the 300 series, but the top performer is the 500 series with its Server-level processor. Plex runs smoothest on the 500, but for the majority of videos I have, the 300 and 400 work just fine unless you are streaming videos to your phone over the internet. That's where the 500 shines with its additional transcoding power. These darn ReadyNAS are so expensive, however, and so I'll be selling my 300 series ones to recover some of the cost.
If all of this was useful for you, please be sure to click the "Useful" link on my review so that others can learn from this too. Thanks.
5 Stars By Tech Geek Reviews on 2017-12-10
I’ve been using ReadyNas Duo for 5 years and finally got around to upgrading. I put the cheapest 4tb drives I could find on the compatibility list.
-Fast, like the drives were local!
-Quiet and cool. I don’t hear it at all!
-Much improved interface (but still confusing in parts)
-Still has the stupid power pack brick. For the size of this I’d expect an onboard transformer
-I’m not usually a manual guy but this should come with one. The setup is crucial, and you don’t want to get it wrong. This is to protect your data and you may not get a second chance. That goes for both disaster recovery and for hacking prevention.
Well, I’m glad I got this, and I think I’ll have it for 5 years I hope (like my other one). It seems like a lot of money, but for what it does, it’s worth it!
5 Stars By Amy on 2017-12-10
works great. It was a replacement for the synology DS ...
Installed this into the home data center... works great. It was a replacement for the synology DS devices I had. I like it way better. With 16Tb raw SSD before raid, it works swimmingly... and it does't run some silly proprietary raid technology that can't be saved in the event of an issue.. Attaching it within AD storage or NFS is a little hokie, but once I figured it out it works great. Looking at doing another one for replication. I dig the dual network interfaces, I can run two (major) Splunk/Tetration (from VM's) jobs at the same time without torching the backbone. My backbone is only 1G... so yeah, it matters. Highly recommend for the home IT person who wants to play... it is not EMC or NetApp.
5 Stars By Tom Ware on 2016-12-29
Netgear ReadyNAS 212
The NAS was easy to setup. Installed disk drives and waited for drives to initialize and load latest firmware. Runs very quietly.
5 Stars By Arthur G. on 2017-03-06
Great Units - Highly Recommend
Using in our business to share commonly used files including CAD, G-Code CNC machine files and spreadsheets. It is easy to set up. Have two of these units now. One backs up automatically daily to the other one, which is offsite. Provides peace of mind that our data will is safe. The response time is pretty good but we only have 1/10th of the capacity used. Not sure how it will respond when we get more data transferred to it.
on 2016-09-08 A great Home or small business NAS
NETGEAR ReadyNAS 214, Diskless (RN21400-100NES)
It was very easy to set up and use. It took less than 1/2 hour to install the 3 WD Red 4TB NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD40EFRX used the default X-RAID which gave me just over 7TB of space with a spare slot for expansion. I then set up my MacBook Pro 15" late 2013 and iMac 27" 5K late 2015 (2TB) using TimeMachine along with Win10 pro desktop (1TB) for its backup. With the use of Static LAG on my NETGEAR ProSAFE GSS116E 16-Port Gigabit Web Managed Click Switch (GSS116E-100NAS) for both Ethernet connections The switch connected to my Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Smart WiFi Router (R7800) router on a GB backbone with 150 down 20 up Fiber Optic ISP. It was finished with all the backups in about 6 hrs with no errors.
5 Stars By Cain on 2016-01-21
New OS is terrific, this NAS is metal and well built.
Love it!! Metal, metal disk trays, much better built than the QNAS. I returned the QNAP and go this one. (I love me some AMAZON!!)
I have an old Netgear Ready NAS Ultra Plus. It is a pain to set up and manage but has operated flawlessly. I wanted something newer, more powerful and hopefully easire to set-up.
I really like the new Netgear ReadyNAS OS, it is clean, simple and functional. Very easy to understand and very easy to get it to do what you want.
5 Stars By Larry P. on 2017-07-24
Great Product !
This purchase is an upgrade to an 8tb Windows Home Sever. This system is outstanding ! The build quality, documentation and implementation if very well done. I required assistance understanding RAID and HD options and reached out to tech. support. Netgear responded very quickly and solved my issue. The mobile connection options are robust and work very well. Moving all my content to this NAS and overall I am very satisfied and impressed. After research, I selected this product over Synology and others due to reviews, on board memory and software/mobile options. So far, so good !
5 Stars By BTA-MALL Customer on 2017-02-15
Great product and company
Much-much nicer and faster than my Gen 1 ReadyNAS 100 series, which I still use also.
4 Stars By Paul on 2017-04-29
Only NAS I've ever owned. Incredibly easy to set up. Had Plex up and running in about 45 minutes. Plex is running better off this NAS than it did from my laptop. Very happy.