Editors' note: We have adjusted the rating of this product based on its features and performance in comparison with other products in this sector.
The Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ network-attached storage drive offers fast read and write speeds, loads of features, backup software, and a slick design--for a price. It's among the more expensive NAS drives we've looked at, but it's functional and easy to use, making it easier for us to recommend it for home and small office users.
The ReadyNAS NV+ comes in five flavors. Each model has four drive bays, filled to different capacities. The RND4000 comes empty, allowing you to fill it with your choice of SATA or SATA-II drives. The RND4425 has four 250GB drives, the RND4250 comes with two 500GB drives and two empty drive bays, the RND4275 has two 750GB drives and two empty drive bays, and the RND4450 comes with four 500GB drives. We tested the RND4425, which offers a total of 1TB of storage--four hot-swappable, 250GB Seagate hard drives. Housed in a shiny, rugged aluminum case, the ReadyNas NV+ is capable of managing the hard drives in three different RAID configurations: 0, 1, and 5. You can also configure it in X-RAID, Netgear's proprietary RAID configuration that automates volume expansion as you add drives or swap out drives for larger ones. Suggested pricing is as follows:
|RND4250 (1TB, 2x500GB w/ 2 empty bays)||$1,100|
|RND4425 (1TB, 4x250GB)||$1,100|
|RND4275 (1.5TB, 2x750GB w/ 2 empty bays)||$1,500|
|RND4450 (2TB, 4x500GB)||$1,600|
The ReadyNAS NV+ can be hooked directly to a network via Gigabit Ethernet connection or connected directly to a computer via USB 2.0. You can also use the three USB ports to connect printers, and flash and hard disk drives as backup sources or destinations, or expand the storage by connecting USB storage devices. It can stream media to UPnP-compliant AV devices and function as a file, DHCP, and print server.
It was easy and straightforward to get the ReadyNAS NV+ set up to our test network with the help of the included software. We were able to detect and configure the drive with just a few clicks of the mouse. Once set up, backup can be automated or you can manually start the process by pressing on the Backup button on the front of the device.
|Drive type||Network-attached storage|
|Connector options||Gigabit Ethernet; USB 2.0 (3)|
|Available capacities||1 TB (2x500GB or 4x250GB); 1.5 TB (2x750GB); 2TB (4x500GB); 0TB (4 empty drive bays)|
|Capacity of test unit||1TB (4x250GB)|
|Dimensions (HWD)||7.9 x 5.2 x 8.7 inches|
|Notable design features||Backlit text LCD on front; one-touch backup button; easy-carry handle on back.|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 5, X-RAID (proprietary)|
|OSes supported||Windows; Mac OS; Linux/Unix|
|Software included||EMC Retrospect Pro for Windows (5 licenses); EMC Retrospect Desktop for Macintosh (5 licenses)|
|Service and support||5-year warranty; toll-free phone support is available for basic questions for the first 90 days; premium phone support is available for advanced issues at a rate of $36.50 for home users (up to 30 minutes) and $75 for businesses (up to 60 minutes); you can also email tech support, consult the knowledgebase, or browse the user forums. Netgear's site also provides downloadable software and manuals.|
The ReadyNAS NV+ performed very well in CNET Labs' timed data transfer tests. It wrote the 5GB test file of mixed file types in 18 minutes, 10 seconds. It read the same file back in 13 minutes, 53 seconds. Its read speed was the fastest we've clocked for a NAS drive, and its write speed was behind only those of the Iomega StorCenter Pro 150d and the HP Media Vault MV2020.
|5GB read test (min:sec)||5GB write test (min:sec)|