Although most users only want the basic NAS functionality, additional functions may also come in handy. Therefore many NAS makers provide a way to add software modules to their products to implement new features. Netgear offers a few exclusive modules: ReadyDLNA, ReadyNAS_Photos, ReadyNAS_Remote and a BitTorrent client. The first module has been discussed above. ReadyNAS_Photos can be used to publish photographs on the Web and share them with other users. This module requires you to register at the service’s website. So, users are identified by their registration data whereas uploading files also requires a local user name on the NAS. Special client software must be installed on other computers to view the photographs. This feature is quite interesting but its implementation is not very handy as it depends too much on external servers. On the other hand, this saves you the trouble of setting up your routers.
The ReadyNAS_Remote module works in a similar way. It is used to access NAS’s data from any Internet-connected computer. It also has the two above-mentioned elements: an Internet server where you create an account and client software (available for Windows and Mac OS X). After you set up necessary parameters, you will be able to work with the NAS’s shared folders via the Internet.
The NAS’s BitTorrent client was developed by BitTorrent, so we can expect high compatibility and reliability from it. You can choose a folder for downloads, specify the port to be used by the program, set speed limits and seeding parameters. There are no explicit limitations as to the number of simultaneous tasks, but we guess that about twenty would be the reasonable maximum considering the NAS’s performance. It also depends on the speed of your Internet connection, of course. The BitTorrent client can be accessed by every network user using the address http://NAS-IP:8080 and you cannot limit this access.
Besides these modules, you can find a few more special-purpose modules at the site www.readynas.com. They can help to solve certain problems. For example, you can reset some of the NAS’s services, reprogram the fan velocity sensor (if you are going to replace the fan with a quieter one), clean up the media server’s cache, etc. There is a module that enables ssh access to the NAS and a module for managing apt packages from Debian. It must be noted that compiling software may be difficult because the NAS is based on a rather rare platform although the manufacturer helps by offering developer documentation. As a result, there are ready-made modules from third parties you can find on the ReadyNAS forum: file managers, backup utilities, P2P clients, and a lot of small system tools.