Netgear ReadyNAS NV+

Netgear ReadyNAS NV+

The ReadyNAS NV+ has loads of features, but a few bugs too.

 

The ReadyNAS NV+ required the longest setup process of any NAS device we tested, but that seemed only fitting: It’s a big device, with huge storage capacity and a long list of features.

 

Unfortunately, its capabilities are marred by buggy support for AFP, the Mac’s native file-sharing protocol. In our testing, attempts to connect via AFP failed every time—both from the Connect to Server dialogue and the AFP listing in the Finder’s network browser. This is a double shame because the device provides excellent support for Bonjour. (Several problems with AFP and Leopard have been reported in the company’s forums at www.readynas.com/forum/.)

 

Connections via SMB, however, were fast and rock solid, as was media streaming. The device supports four streaming media servers—iTunes, UPnP, SlimServer, and Home Media—and we enjoyed our iTunes library via the ReadyNAS’s shared playlist for days without any lag or connection problems.

 

After plugging the device into power and a router, setup requires installing RAIDar, an app that launches the ReadyNAS’s admin page inside a Web browser. The setup wizard, though time consuming, is relatively simple and easy to follow, with one hitch: It doesn’t play nice with Safari. In our tests, changes we made in the Mac’s default browser weren’t always saved. Fortunately, Firefox completed the setup without problems.

 

The ReadyNAS NV+ can be purchased diskless directly from Netgear, or with a variety of included storage. Our test model included four 500GB drives, configured as a redundant RAID array of 1.3 usable terabytes. (Redundant array means the four drives were configured to act as a single drive that provides an automatic backup of all data; if one drive fails, no data is lost.)

 

Removing and replacing a drive is a 2-minute process. You simply open the front gate, push the release button on one of the drive bays, slide the drive case out, install the new drive inside the case, and slide it back in. An LCD on the front of the device provides the current network address and free disk space. Overall, the design is thoughtful in both appearance and function.

 

The bottom line. Unreliable AFP support mars what is an otherwise flexible and high-capacity file server, media streamer, and backup device.

 

COMPANY: Netgear

CONTACT: www.netgear.com

PRICE: $1,049

REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 9 or later

Huge capacity. Attractive design. Supports several media servers, including iTunes.

Buggy AFP support. Setup wizard hit-and-miss with Safari 3. Expensive (price excludes hard drives).

 

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Dave Carney

Just wondering if you were using the latest firmware for the ReadyNAS NV+? I have one of these boxes and yes, AFP was a little flaky with earlier firmware versions but the most recent release has been rock solid for me. I can't recommend this device enough. It rocks! ... and if/when you need to update the firmware or any of the add-on plug-ins, like the BitTorrent client, it's a very easy process.

Dave Carney

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