Direct comparison to the Iomega IX4-200D, as in the graphs, isn’t perfect since the Iomega has four disks while the Netgear is loaded with two 1TB Western Digital RE2-GP drives but, even compared to the other Nas drives we’ve tested with Vista, the RNDX400E is a significant step above.
The web interface has a clear structure, but some tasks are poorly implemented
Click for a larger image
FTP speeds were similar to the CIFS transfers, although the FTP service crashed on us to begin with. Restarting the server and enabling shares one by one fixed it, although Netgear says a proper fix will be released soon.
The blazingly fast speeds come at a price, namely high power consumption hovering around the 40W mark. It’s also a bit noisier than a four bay Nas usually is - nearly as noisy as a modern PC, ruling it out of the living room. Scheduled on/off (hibernate) is included in the package however, which puts a stop to the noise and brings power draw down to a reasonable 2.8W.
The configuration pages are sensibly laid out, providing all the features you’d expect from a premium Nas like native support for Apple's Time Machine, remote access (done via a utility rather than in the browser), print server and scheduled backup. There’s also a solid media server that streamed a 1080p movie to our DLNA receiver and dealt with an Xbox 360 perfectly. Bittorrent is missing by default, but this can be installed as a free add-on from Netgear's ReadyNas web site. Besides the company’s own Bittorrent add-on offering, third party contributions include one based on the popular Transmission client.
Sometimes pages load in the browser, sometimes they don’t
Indeed, the ReadyNas community does seem quite active with quite a few interesting add-ons like Wordpress, Ram and Ethernet monitoring and MySQL, which rival the plugins available from the likes of Qnap and Synology. However, the device’s Frontview interface could do with some work as it doesn’t always load the configuration pages properly – an issue that isn't exclusive to this particular ReadyNas model either.
NetGear ReadyNAS support
I was amused to read about all the initial setup issues you had - seems typical of user's experiences with the ReadyNAS systems.
But the real issue is NetGear's support. There doesn't appear to be any - though I note that jberger seems happy with it - maybe I've been going to the wrong places. All I could find was a user forum with endless problem reports and nearly all support coming from other users - very little visible activity from NetGear people at all.
So unless other users can say 'you get great support by going to xxxxx' I would advise against having anything to do with ReadyNAS systems at all.
Jberger - how and where did you get support?
I struggle to understand the cost of even the most basic 4-disk NAS. So much so, I've just put together my own DIY 4-bay NAS based on the Atom and an ITX form case. Total cost - £200 inc VAT + delivery with a copy of FreeNAS. Not to mention it includes all the features this ReadyNAS is missing. Performs better, too.
I struggle with the cost of this unit when I can get a superior QNAP TS-439 Pro for similar or less money with all of it's features. Such a device has a lot going for it, is ready to go out of the box and is simple enough for anyone to understand. Low power consumption as well.
You need to remember that these are designed for minimum fuss, and have hot swappable drives etc. I doubt that a £200 DIY device would have equal capability with the QNAP although I'm willing for you to list it's spec and prices and prove me wrong.
I used to run an old tower as my file server etc using Ubuntu, webmin etc but got the arse with it's noise and power consumption although speed and uptime were never an issue. I wouldn't give up my QNAP for any DIY box though.