Over a year ago we tested an inexpensive dual-disk network attached storage from Netgear which came under the name of ReadyNAS Duo. The device was fairly good, especially in terms of its manufacturing quality and capabilities. The only downside we could find about it was its rather rare and outdated hardware platform.
As time went by, Netgear followed the example of most NAS makers and introduced the x86 platform in its top-performance ReadyNAS Pro as well as less advanced ReadyNAS Ultra series. Today, we are going to discuss the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 model which is based on an Intel Atom processor and offers two disk bays. It also features USB 3.0 but lacks eSATA.
Package and Accessories
The product box is somewhat different from what we used to see with earlier Netgear products. Orange is replaced with blue in its color scheme while dark-blue and white have remained intact. This change has been due to the company’s intention to color-code its products depending on their positioning. Oddly enough, there is no eye-catching mention of USB 3.0 on the box, but you can see photos of the NAS as well as its specs, its place in the Netgear model range, and even brief installation instructions. Besides the NAS, the box contains an external power adapter (12 V, 5 A), power cord, HDD screws, Ethernet cable, user guide, and a software CD.
The software pack hasn’t changed much. It includes the RAIDar tool (available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux) that helps set the NAS up, the backup utility Memeo, and widgets for monitoring the NAS’s status. The CD also contains an electronic version of the included user guide. You will need RAIDar to select the NAS’s operation mode (X-RAID or Flex-RAID) as well as for some initial setting up. It can also be used to monitor the status of the NAS and its disks although the widgets are a handier method.
You can visit www.readynas.com and download add-on modules from Netgear as well as third-party developers and users.