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Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2/2+ vs. Synology DS212/212j

by vett93 / January 6, 2012 2:53 AM PST

This will be my first NAS and it will be used for backup of home and SOHO files. I have narrowed down the selection to these products. Can someone please comment on the pros and cons of these products from their experience?
Thanks in advance.

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After a few NAS systems I went back to a server.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 6, 2012 3:05 AM PST

Why? So far all the NAS I tried are compromises. And my latest server is meeting my goals and beyond as it is again some PC. Albeit a netbook at 5 to 11 Watts of power which what started me looking into the NAS in the first place.

Here's the reviews for each system you listed.
(ouch. look at the user review.)
(ouch, most folk have the same complaint I had of most NAS. "slow")

If Netgear is failing to fix products and the second item is slow I wonder if either is a contender for your NAS. I can't recommend any NAS today because they continue to try and miss what I expect and want from said boxes.

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by vett93 / January 6, 2012 7:17 AM PST

Thanks Bob for the comment. I think engineering itself has a lot of compromises; cost, performance, features, etc. I can make my Ubuntu PC a NAS server. But then I will have to dedicate a lot of time on it. There are other networking/electronic projects that are more interesting to me.
From the user reviews that you pointed to, it seems that the guy used the incompatible HDs for the Netgear and the Synology user chose the economic model that has the lowest performance.
If someone has used any of these models and then decided to switch to another brand, I'd be interested in hearing the problems they had. Thanks.

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What did I end up with?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 6, 2012 7:26 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks.

It was a 228 buck netbook (the emachine 250-1162 to be exact.) I have a Watt meter (the usual P3 from and it drops to about 7 watts when idle and the screen is off. I guess I could fiddle with Linux but the stock OS worked so I don't have to.

No compromises and I've returned about a dozen NAS boxes including that PogoPlug. The PogoPlug had promise but the software is just too screwed up. I'm sure it could be fixed but not today so back it went as well.

I can't try all possible models and I try to find the CNET reviews (you can find others) when possible. I see the Synology was off by one but my experience is a model with 200 or 201 is too similar 99.999% of the time.

I wonder if any of these makers will ever make a NAS that is just a NAS?

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any redundancy for your netbook?
by vett93 / January 6, 2012 7:35 AM PST

I want to get a NAS with RAID 1 for redundancy.

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Ahh, the RAID 1
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 6, 2012 7:50 AM PST

The problem I have with RAID 1 is that it rarely saves us. In fact it usually is a factor in losing it all. For example, if the user hit delete, both copies vanish. Of if there is an error, both get the error.

This is why I have moved to dual drives and a scheduled sync system. I guess until you enjoyed RAID 1's little issues then you might think it would save us from a failure.

And I have no less than 4 copies of stuff I can't lose. One is on my machine, 2 more on the faux NAS (server) and another on a backup drive that is not powered up except to sync with the system and then put back in storage.

There is a fifth copy of our digital photos and more on a 32GB memory stick. That's updated about once a month.

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What you said makes sense!
by vett93 / January 6, 2012 8:30 AM PST
In reply to: Ahh, the RAID 1

I have a PC running 24x7 already. All I need to do is getting two external HDs. Then I can back up files from various PCs and laptops to one external HD, and sync the files from this external HD to the other external HD weekly.
Does this sound right?

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Sounds right.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 6, 2012 8:44 AM PST

The reason I went with the little netbook is simple. It's a single digit of Watts.

Over the years I tried making some low power desktop PCs but all came in North of 75 Watts no mater what I tried. The netbook changed all that after Intel updated their northbridge chip to use less Watts. I had been tracking the development of such over the years so it was just the right solution for me. And not much more than the units noted above.

There are many sync softwares out there but the simplest is the XCOPY command. Here's a discussion about that.

And since we can schedule that, it's one line of batch file code and we're done.

Hope this helps,

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Sync vs. backup software
by vett93 / January 6, 2012 10:08 AM PST
In reply to: Sounds right.

Thanks Bob. I have a PC serving as a music server already. So it makes sense for me to add two external USB HDs.
Can you recommend a GUI based software for sync or backup? Which one do you recommend, sync or backup? If the orginal files are corrupted, any software can verify the file integrity before making the copy/sync/backup?

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What I'm using.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 7, 2012 2:03 AM PST


And simple one line scripts.

Finally, CLONEZILLA when I want the entire image.

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questions about recovery
by vett93 / January 8, 2012 1:27 AM PST
In reply to: What I'm using.

Great. I also found SyncToy from Microsoft that is easy to use. So now I need to understand how to recover my files if the computer dies.
These external USB HDs are formatted as NTFS. Only my user account and "SYSTEM" can access them. If my computer dies, how do I recover the files in the external HDs? If I just plug these HDs to another computer, NTFS will prevent the new computer form reading the data. Do I just change the new computer's name to be the same as the old computer?
I probably need to clone the C drive to a new internal HD. So if the C drive dies, I can just replace it with the cloned internal HD. Can I use Clonezilla for this purpose?

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With the exception of CLONEZILLA
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 8, 2012 2:28 AM PST

The files are just files. We only need to copy them back to where they were. No proprietary software is required for the Sync software I listed. The files can be used where they are or copied to the new place.

It's that simple.

As to ownership and such, it's just a few clicks to take ownership of files on NTFS. So again, not any danger to the files unless the owner is not willing to click on the tabs and make the changes. Since NTFS is widely documented about this, I'll stop here.

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NTFS and sleep/standby mode
by vett93 / January 14, 2012 2:42 AM PST

If you take a hard drive formatted as NTFS and move it to a new computer, this new computer won't recognize it. I think this is the security that NTFS provides. My question is what one has to do on the new (or the original) computer so that it can read the NTFS formated HD from the original computer. Note that I prefer not to set the HD as everyone can read/write to it.
I have another question on using PC as NAS. I have been using my PC as a Logitec Media Server and use it to stream music to the players. The Logitec Media Server software runs in the PC and it will wake up the PC from the sleep/standby mode if I turn on the player. Note that the PC and the music players are connected through a router.
How do I wake up the PC if I use it as a NAS? Thanks again.

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If you take a hard drive formatted as NTFS and move it to a
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 15, 2012 1:13 AM PST

"If you take a hard drive formatted as NTFS and move it to a new
computer, this new computer won't recognize it. I think this is the
security that NTFS provides."

Since this is false, I can't offer any discussion on that. Besides we need to reply to the top thread to carry.

But as I have done this many thousand times, the statement is false.

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