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on 23 December 2014
I have never used any type of NAS equipment in the past but thanks to a friend who works in Netgear I received a ReadyNAS for free which I am really impressed with!

Firstly, the packaging was great when it arrived, not a mark one the ReadyNAS box on the inside of the outer brown box. They also supplied 2 charge leads, a IRL/UK one which I needed or they also had the 2 pin EU one. Not many companies would supply both.

I put in 2 x 1TB Drives which I had already and it was a very easy task (they also supply special adapter screws to make the slimmer types of hard drives fit but I didn't need these), all I really needed to do with the new drives once inserted was to format them which was very quick and pain free.

The initial set up is explained in the booklet which comes with the ReadyNAS and only contains 4 or 5 steps and they were very easy to follow.

I have an external hard drive which I usually put downloaded movies, music and my pictures onto as I try and keep my computer hard drive as empty and as free as possible since my computer hard drive failed about a year ago and I lost everything. What I did notice was when I set up the ReadyNAS first it was saying I only had 1TB and not 2TB which I had inserted. I then discovered the reason for this is as standard the ReadyNAS keeps both hard drives separate and copies the content from one over to the other in case one of the hard drives ever failed. This is a great idea but just be aware of this if you want 2TB like I thought I was getting originally, either get 2 x 2TB drives or else turn off this feature.

I transferred a lot of my movies over to the ReadyNAS and have been able to watch them on my computer, iPhone and iPad from the get go. But, after the first few days I decided I wanted to watch a movie on my TV and like I normally do I transferred the movie from my laptop over to a USB stick and plugged it into my LG SmartTV only to discover I didn't need to use the USB Stick at all as the TV itself was able to locate the ReadyNAS network as it was on the same Wifi! This makes it so easy to access my media library and for this feature alone I would have purchased the ReadyNAS.

Another thing I really enjoy is the fact I can automatically backup media from my iPhone to the ReadyNAS while on Wifi or Cellular. It gives me a bit more peace of mind in case my phone ever breaks.

As you can see I have had a great experience with the ReadyNAS but similar to anything there are one or two things that I wish weren't there (but they wouldn't prevent me purchasing one)

One thing I noticed is when I am downloading something online and obviously using a lot of my download / upload speeds it does effect transfer times to the ReadyNAS, I am not sure is this that my laptop (about 5 years old) can't handle the transfer at high speeds while downloading or is the ReadyNAS slower due to the internet being used at a high demand. I'm sure I will discover this when I upgrade my laptop in the January Sales.

Another thing I have noticed is you can hear the fan the whole time from the ReadyNAS if in the same room but I have noticed in the admin settings there is an option to have the ReadyNAS to power off after a certain time of not being used, but I haven't tested this out yet.

Overall I am very happy and impressed with the ReadyNAS and will be interested in trying out some of the other feature and apps that can be used with it.
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on 2 March 2015
I originally purchased this about a year ago to store my photography and serve as a DLNA / Plex server - it has since proven to be one of the most disappointing pieces of hardware I've ever purchased. I've now had it for a year and have suffered 4 corruptions. The software gives you no means to recover data loss, and Netgear expect you to reinstall the OS each time it happens - lets hope you've got a backup drive plugged in and taking regular backups.

Early on, it was clear that running any of the apps caused these corruptions, so I've have to switch all of them off as the unit clearly has trouble with them. As I write - and even running the unit in it's most basic capacity - I've just lost all my data again. I'm fortunate to have been taking daily backups, but will still have to spend a decent chunk of time restoring the lost data and configuration, knowing that it could happen again at any point in the future.
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on 26 August 2013
After retiring our family PC in favour of mobile devices, ipads, ipods and the like, I needed a solution to store our family photos and video clips.
I did a fair amount of research and settled on the Netgear ReadyNAS 102 on the basis of cost.

At first, the Netgear range of 2 bay NASs seemed a bit confusing. There was the ReadyNAS DUO, the ReadyNAS V2 ReadyNAS Ultra. I eventually realised that the 102 was the successor to the V2 and Duo and was therefor the latest in the lineup.
I did read some dodgy reviews (here on Amazon and elsewhere) that the 102 was experiencing problems but decided to go ahead with it based on the previous versions in the hope that the issues would have been addressed.

I bought the diskless version and added my own Seagate ST3000DM1 3TB hard drive. I intend to add another later but I haven't decided if I want to extend the volume or mirror in RAID 1 yet.

When it arrived, I switched it on and was presented by flashing lights and I could not see it in the RAIDar software.
After reading the manual and checking online, I decided to try a factory reset which worked.
After initial boot up, I accessed the frontview in firefox and rant the setup. The system notified me that a firmware update was available which was downloaded and installed automatically.

I spent a few hours setting up and checking it out and eventually mapped the NAS in windows and started copying all my data over.
I have also successfully streamed content to my Panasonic Viera TV and Onkyo receiver without any problems. I've also accessed the Readycloud remotely from my work PC and viewed the content.

Next steps are to install the IOS and Android apps on the mobile devices.

So far I'm pretty impressed and hope it will provide good service for years to come.

Update***
Had more of a chance to play with the features and after being confused by the DLNA service, I have happily been streaming content to my Panasonic Viera TV.
The confusion on my part is that there are three default shares created when the system formats the drive - Video, Pictures and Music.
These names are the same as the three DLNA categories you can assign to a share if it is to be used for DLNA - All, Video, Pictures and Music.
I crated a new share, TV_Shows, with the same settings as the Video share but I could not get it to display on any DLNA client, only the three defaults.
It took me a while to work out that the shares themselves are not listed in DLNA clients but rather the categories. So if you assign a share as Video, content within it will only appear in the Video section. If you assign it All, it will appear in each section, and so on.
This caused a bit of frustration as I couldn't find an answer anywhere, but I was kicking myself when I figured it out.

I now need to work out what each of the services do and which ones I need and which I can turn off.

Also, copying takes forever over WIFI. I copied around 500GB and it took days. My Sky Router is Wireless N but only 100 base T wired. So I borrowed a Gigabyte switch from work and connected directly between my laptop and the NAS and the rate increased significantly and I copied my remaining 1TB of data in a shorter time span.

The DLNA client on the Smart TV is not great with regards to playing music so I need to work out a better solution. Either SONOS or a new DLNA enabled receiver amp.
But other than that I'm very happy with the ReadyNas 102 and would recommend it.
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on 5 May 2015
I bought this and installed two disks, set it up, firmware updates happened - all seemed great. The single user setup went so well. Then I tried to add another user - the online software manual described the procedure involving an "Invite User" button that I did not appear to have. Netgear support told me to do a factory reset and try again - pointing me to the same procedure. Only a Google search and a third party posting solved my problem: That procedure is no longer valid. Now you just add new ReadyCLOUD users as "Shares" to folders. The helpful post was dated Nov 2014, the ReadyNAS OS 6.2 software manual is dated Dec 2014. I wasted hours trying to work it out and it turns there was nothing wrong - just a different procedure. The software manual is very disjointed, which does not help. A simple "getting started" guide with a logical flow, including adding other users, would make setup a breeze.

Update - Never quite sure if Windows will see it or not.
Netgear software fault on March 30th 2017 caused ReadyNAS boxes to lose contact with their servers. Result? All users and their share folders were simply deleted by a "clean up utility" - WTF?? Unforgivable. They are not even particularly apologetic!
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on 15 October 2013
Had for a few weeks, and bought primarily as a RAID array NAS drive with with 2x WD 3Tb red drives for an internal home LAN. I chose it cos it has the best connectivity for the price (2x USB3, 1x USB2), the eSATA link appears to be dedicated to a specific NetGear expansion box.

Hardware installation was a breeze. ReadyCLOUD discovery worked well and the whole thing was up and running in 10 minutes or so. It works in the background matching the disks, and took about 10 hours from initial start-up, but it is usable from the off and pauses the process when you turn it off.

The admin page is reasonably straightforward, and has options for timed on/off periods. My aim was to set up public shares in a household where we don't use logons so configuration was easy. I've not tried to use printer shares, remote access or quota setting. The only problem was IE10 on Win8 claimed it was always off-line, whereas in Win7 it was fine. Firefox 24 in Win8 worked with no problem.

The unit is pretty quiet but the fan can be heard in a silent room (but then so can our Humax PVR!). It's no noisier than the silent desktop PC I built recently, or the laptops we have. While it has rubberised feet for grip and damping, you can still get resonation from the spinning disks, but that's more to do with the where you put the unit and on a small bookcase next to the router it seems fine.

File transfer speeds across our gigabit network are generally 50-60Mb/s (i.e. 400-500Mbps), which was pretty much what I was expecting in real-world performance, and is faster than my experience with USB3 drives. After an hour of constant data copying it didn't get hot (CPU 55°C, but the box was not obviously warm).

So far so happy.
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on 12 September 2017
If you want a hard drive bay with raid to sit in your office and be accessed via your LAN then its fine, but if, like me, you mistakenly think this is going to allow access via the internet for remote work, then you'll be disappointed, the way the software works (or does not work) is beyond frustrating, it also seems they have recently tried to simplify the process of remotely connecting to the device by making it even more complicated!!! the help forums on the Netgear site will have you going round in circles, and any claims of solved queries seem to be nonsense. the support is laughable as confirmed by scores of users, if I could afford to get another drive by another manufacturer I would instantly as I do not wish to waste anymore work time trying to find out what Netgears R&D dept. couldn't be bothered to. BTW support want money from you before they will tell you why their device doesn't work, Rubbish!!!!
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on 9 February 2014
This is my first NAS. It's the RN102. On the whole there is room for improvement. I now have had it for a week. I experimented first with an old WD SATA2 640GB HDD, but now had a 1TB Seagate Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 1TB 3.5 inch Hard Drive from its supported drives list. the new drive is even more quieter and a touch quicker, but same issues remain.

The unit itself feels well-built and runs quiet. The mechanism to fit the disk is very good and easy. You get cat 5 network cable in the box that I didn't use as I had a spare cat 6 cable. Make sure to read the manuals from Netgear website.

When fitted the full WD drive, all lights came on, but I got stuck. As my disk had been in use and not empty, I needed to perform factory default first so the RN102 wipes the disk and install its own OS 6. This should work by disconnecting power, hold paperclip in the reset button/hole in the back, reconnect power and press the front backup button few times to get to the desired default process. Once there, you release the paperclip and the factory default should start, but nothing was cycling for me. Well, this did not work. I eventually got past that by taking the drive out, put it back in its old enclosure, connect to PC as USB external drive and deleted the partitions in win7 administrative tools.

When re-installed again, the RN102 became alive and worked fine. No need to download firmware as it automatically prompted me to install the newest version. There was no problem when later on I replaced the new unformatted Seagate drive. The RN102 just automatically did the formatting and the OS6.6 install in no time, so no worries if you fit a brand new drive.

I tried drag and drop to copy files in the NAS admin page, but this didn't work in Firefox. Instead I opened "network" in windows, opened the NAS in the top section of "computers" used copy & paste from the PC folders into the corresponding NAS folders. This worked fine and very reasonable speed. Both PC and RN102 are connected directly to the router by network cable. It is seen and works as media server great no problems, but I couldn't so far make it discoverable as "Network windows share" on some other devices, so still trying.

The HDD does not spin down even though I'm using a supported drive. You have to power off the unit to give the drive some rest, but on booting again, the NAS almost always is not discoverable as DLNA device. It's luck of the dice how many times it would take rebooting, either by the power button, restart in the web page or unplugging then re-plugging the power cable till it is discoverable again as DLNA on the network. I do not think that it is meant to be "on" all the time and it should really be switched off and on smoothly. Not sure what's the point of "Wake on LAN" if the unit is always on. There should really be something simple like in Windows to set up Sleep after number of minutes of inactivity, and then it would wake on LAN if required. The on and off timer works fine, but same issue with DLNA on booting.

Update: I changed the review from first to final impressions and downgraded it from 3 to 1 star. I contacted Netgear trying to solve the problem with booting. They wanted me to try a new firmware that is still a beta version. They have the audacity to sell a product that does not function properly and then ask me to experiment for them. After all these versions of their firmware, you would've thought that all problems have been ironed out. No thank you very much. I will be trying another make and I wish Netgear all the best in charging people to experiment on them. In my humble opinion, they should try their designs out before it is put for sale. The only bonus is that the unit is good looking and well built, but what's the point of a sturdy nice looking unit that raises your blood pressure every time you switch it on. Lesson learnt: No more Netgear for me, it is going back. I think I will give Synology a go.

Update: I now had Synology DS213J 2 Bay Desktop NAS Enclosure for a week. It is working with no problems as it should. It does not have USB3 and does not have front USB port. It does not have the brilliant hard drive fitting mechanism of the Netgear, but it is doing what it should be doing. It goes off and back on no problems. It goes to sleep when the disk is not being accessed after time that you can set. It took ages to index all my files overnight, but works flawlessly since then. All my devices could see it and access the files as DLNA and windows share. It is just working. Sorry Netgear, but your fancy box is just too much hassle and the Synology wins hands down.
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on 2 January 2015
I must say I am very impressed with this smart little box!
I have basic networking knowledge and I wanted to set it up for general wireless backup for a Win 7 and a Mac computer and to access the contents to stream through various iOS devices and an Xbox as well.
The setup was easy enough, it responds fast and for its size and power, it hardly makes any noise. Don't recommend to set it up in a bedroom though if you prefer sleeping in silence.
I loaded it with 2x1Tb drives and the Readycloud platform was very easy to use, connection and initial setup was pain free, no long registrations needed.

My advise to those with limited knowledge but a lot of bravery wishing to make the most out of this amazing little hardware is to READ THE MANUAL!
I would have spared myself a lot of clicking around and freaking out if I had flipped through it first, Plus there are so many extra features that it took me ages to decide what I actually want!
The default first setup is Raid so the capacity only showed 1Tb instead of 2, but it is easy enough to change once you know what you are doing. There are also zillions of other options and setups so I am sure everyone would be able to find it fitting for their own needs.

I could access the drive from a different Mac from a different location easily and file transfer was fast without freezing or long response times.
I was delighted to see that to manage and organize content, moving to and from the drive, drag and drop actually works, you don't have to click 6 different buttons to get something from A to B.

The iOS app "ReadyCloud" you can get from the iTunes App Store for free is basic, I can do photo backups from both an iPod Touch and an iPad and I can browse the disks and stream content directly from the app through my local network. I was hoping I can do the same from a different network the same easy way, but I couldn't figure that out yet, probably nothing to do with the product :) (and it is probably in the manual too)
I also hooked up another 1Tb USB3 hard drive, it showed up right away without any extra setup or questions asked and handles it the same way. Works great with an other 3rd party File Explorer app as well for iOS.
Tested it with 6 different people from 4 different networks connected to it through shared access and all of us could browse, upload, download big files at the same time without issues. Friends were so impressed, that we will use this to share data.

Works fab with the Xbox 360 as well for media streaming!

Overall, a superb little machine and I would have probably considered to buy one, to get rid of the zillion USB sticks and external cable drives, even though I got this one for free through the Netgear Friends and Family program. Thank you!
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on 26 October 2015
Pros:
1) This device is small. It is about the size of two 0.5l beer bottles.
2) Silent. It has a huge fan in the back, which is run different speed according to the requirements. I have never managed to get it over 1000rpm and the usual is 700rpm (all this is displayed on the dashboard). At those levels it makes very little noise.
3) Works perfectly well with Apple AFP and Time Machine. The main reasons I have purchased this device.
4) It works out of the box with external USB storage devices. They can be access through a different share (folder).

Cons:
1) The setup process is painful and complicated. Especially if you reusing some disks. Better have an interest in computing, otherwise it can be really painful to get this up and running.
2) The Apple Time Machine data cannot be placed on an external USB storage device. If the NAS is used in RAID0 (stripe) mode this is not a problem, but I'm using it in RAID1 (mirroring) for storing other, more valuable data. It doesn't makes much sense to put Time Machine on RAID1 too (of course it works).
3) A minor thing: the mandatory blinding blue light is included in the front of this device. Cannot be disabled from software. In my setup it sits below the TV, because that's where the router is to connect it.
4) Support from Netgear is limited.

See this chart for all warranty/support data (http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/26066/~/what-is-my-readynas-warranty), for this given model it is: 3 Years Warranty and 90 Days Initial Phone & Chat Support

Yes, that is correct 90 days of support. After that they will ask you to buy a support plan! Even if you go through the forums, an agent usually steps in trying to sell a support package.

There are lot of answers available online regarding the ReadyNAS, but it takes a lot of time and effort to find them.
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on 7 September 2013
This review is probably going to be updated over time, as I become more & more familiar with the unit - I picked it up in-store on September 1, and so far I like what I see.

First - a word of advice - do not buy the diskless version if you're not willing to fiddle with boot menus, etc. - get one with the disks pre-installed.

Having said that - if you did buy a diskless version and install two brand new disks, setting it up is a breeze, put the disks in (you don't even need a screwdriver), plug it in, turn it on, go to readycloud.netgear.com, click on discover, and you're good to go. If you have a couple of disks you want to reuse, I suggest you delete any partitions and data that may exist, or you'll have to use the boot menu to get anywhere.

Right now I have a pair of small disks (only 80GB) installed and I'm going to use these to familiarize myself with ReadyNAS OS6 - this is my first ReadyNAS, but not my first NAS and I've learned that low cost *nix based NAS appliances don't always work the way you think they should.

Like the title says, so far I am loving it, as low cost NAS appliances go, it has a full feature set, so far I have only used the backup feature, it did a reasonable job, more tests to follow.

I've discovered that during the initial setup the firmware copies the OS to the disks after which the system boots from the disks, quite different to the other low cost NAS appliances I've owned, but, similar to the higher priced ones - this should actually make it easier to hack the OS if I needed to.

I especially like the fact that it can be shutdown by a UPS, attached not only directly to a USB port, but also via SNMP, another feature that is more in keeping with enterprise NAS than home units.

Why 4 stars and not 5? Well - Netgear are you listening? We need those cryptic error messages either deciphered by the OS or documented so we can look them up - what does code: 7077010020 mean? It's the equivalent of Windows "path not found" but I had to figure that out for myself, after half a dozen tries.

So far I've got three support cases submitted in as many days and it's rare for me to have any - I generally can find my way around this stuff.

Edit...

I know I said *.nix based NAS' don't always work the way you think they should, but I'm starting to get concerned now, this one doesn't seem to work as Netgear says it should.

I tested disk redundancy - that seemed to work, my data remained available, and when I installed a "new drive" of the same capacity, it rebuilt as it should, but Netgear says it will do "automatic single volume online expansion", which, it apparently won't - I swapped out of my test drives and installed a larger drive, and it will not rebuild, which is the first step in the online expansion.

It also won't talk to my APC UPS via SNMP, and that seems to have tech support stumped - of course the cryptic error messages don't help either.

Edit...

One of the things I knew when I bought this unit without any disks, is that Netgear may refuse support if you are not using an "approved" disk - well my test disks weren't on the approved list, and apparently were related to some of the quirks I was seeing - I have since swapped in a larger pair of disks (also not on the approved list) and the unit, at least in the interface, behaves as it should - I will have another go at expansion later.

I have used the built-in backup jobs, they work well, although the creation of destination folders appears to be quirky, I can live with it, and backing up the NAS itself to an external USB drive is a lot quicker than backing up my server to the NAS via the network, I may have to take another look at my network settings.

Even though this is definitely the low end of Netgear's NAS lineup, it benefits from Netgear's decision to use a single OS, so it has the features you would find on a more SMB oriented unit - way to go Netgear, way to go!!!
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