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The Best ReadyNAS Series (and the most stable and perfrormant NAS)
on 30 January 2016
I own the ReadyNAS 2xDuo, DuoV2, 312, 314 and 316. The 3xx series is by far the best for this price range. If you effectively want a mini computer then the 5xx series is more for you at substantially more money (and at that price range I'd question whether it would be better to just build your own server/computer).
The 3xx series is a marked improvement of the Duos in a number of areas (software, CPU, RAM etc).
My favourite feature of the 3xx series is the snapshots. Each day your share can back up the changes that occurred and in the event of you deleting or over-writing a file you wanted you can return to the previous snapshot.
The software is bullet-proof stable (unlike a lot of NASes I've seen other people use). I've spotted a few annoyances (e-mail notifications about 80% disk space usage cannot be disabled or the threshold altered, snapshots always occur at midnight which will wake the disks up at midnight which is a bit annoying if you sleep in the room with it) and only 1 edge case bug (it doesn't like being shut-down during a snapshot being taken which for a daily snapshot means midnight to 5 past is a bad time to try to shut it down) but have never lost a file or have it go unresponsive.
Netgear try to push their app eco-system (i.e. making the NAS a web-server) but I'd recommend against doing that on grounds of security. I used none of the cloud features and am not sure how popular that is (considering I imagine most users buying NASes want to store their files locally)
The difference between 312 and 314 is the number of bays and the chucked in LCD screen on the 314 (which you'll only ever look at if you're booting it and pretty much ignore all other times), the performance seems otherwise identical and the software is the same.
Be mindful of the disks you place in it, some of the "green" disks (i.e. Western Digital GREEN) lead to substantially lower performance and can then cause people to complain the NAS itself is slow (which it isn't). Western Digital RED drives are by far the most popular to install (despite them being slightly lower performance than normal desktop drives like Western Digital Black, the differences aren't that noticeable compared to the power savings they give). The best indicator of performance is that I get read/write performance resembling the specs of the drives, what more could I ask for?
It's so incredibly easy to use and understand that I encouraged my slightly less technical dad to buy one and he's got the hang of it. Netgear's FlexRAID effectively chooses the RAID levels for you and allows a migration from smaller disks to larger disks if you incrementally place a larger disk in at a time and wait for the RAID to rebuild before inserting the next.
If you need to buy a NAS, don't go for a cheap unstable potentially insecure alternative, just get this!