The server offers an easy way to add or remove users and share folders. Once each new item is added, you'll be able to assign the access privileges (Read-only, Read/Write, No access) of each user to each folder with a few clicks. For each share folder, you can also turn on the ReadyDLNA feature, which permits streaming digital content stored in that folder to DLNA-compliant streamers in the network. All in all, we found the new interface much easier to use than the Ultra 4's.
Like the Ultra 4, the NV+ v2 has a great backup feature that can either back up a networked device's data in its internal storage, or back up its internal storage on a networked device, or both. For example, if you want to back up a folder on a computer in the server's network, you just need to share that folder. From within the Ultra 4's Web interface, you set the backup feature to have access to that share folder and then make a backup schedule. From then on a copy of the contents of that folder will be made and kept updated in a share folder of your choosing on the NAS server. This method of backing up is much better than using software installed on the computer as it doesn't significantly affect the computer's performance when a backup is in progress. In addition, the server also supports Apple's Time Machine.
Other than that, you'll need to install add-ons if you want to use the server for other functions. At the time of this review there are only two add-ons: ReadyNAS Remote and ReadyNAS Photos II.
ReadyNAS Remote enables users to access the NAS remotely over the Internet. Unlike other remote-access solutions, the ReadyNAS Remote requires a piece of software installed on the remote computer. This application then creates a VPN-like connection to the server and allows remote users to access its share folder as though they were in the same local network with the server. ReadyNAS Remote also comes with mobile apps that enable users to access the NAS from mobile devices, such as the iPad.
ReadyNAS Photo II is an online photo-sharing service that enables you to directly share photos stored on the server online, saving you from having to upload them to an online service such as Flickr or Facebook.
The ReadyNAS NV+ v2 did well in our testing, though it was much slower than its big brother, the ReadyNAS Ultra 4. This is to be expected as the server is supposed to be of a lower tier than its predecessor.
We tested the NAS with the X-RAID2 setup, and in write tests it registered 38.1MBps, faster than most USB 2.0 external hard drives, but slower than the 55.5MBps of the Ultra 4. It's also slower than the 43.4MBps of the Synology DS410 in RAID 5 configuration.
In the read test, the server did much better than in the write test, averaging 82.3MBps, while still being slower than the other two. All in all, the ReadyNAS NV+ v2's performance was about in the middle of our charts of RAID 5-capable NAS servers. It's more than fast enough for most network storage applications and we didn't have much to complain about where its performance was concerned.
What we did complain about, however, was the amount of noise its ventilation fan emits. This fan only turns on when the server gets hot, but when it's on, the NV+ v2 is louder than even a full-size domain-controller server.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
Netgear backs the ReadyNAS NV+ v2 with a rather generous three-year warranty, which is much better than the one year of most NAS servers. The company's Web site offers lots of support information, including troubleshooting, a knowledge base, firmware, a support forum, and manual downloads. You can also access documentation, a community, and other support materials from within its Web interface.
With good performance and decent ease of use, the ReadyNAS NV+ v2 makes a good NAS server for environments where its noisy fan won't be a problem.