Netgear ReadyNAS RN212 Network Attached Storage Review

Bandwidth and Performance

Measuring performance of a device such as the RN212 is a bit tricky since it operates over a network connection. Also, performance is usually not even listed in the bullet points, as the value of these devices is dictated by their feature set typically--the drives themselves are usually capable of transferring data faster than a gigabit network connection. That said, it can be painful transferring large files over a slow network connection, so we obviously want the NAS to be as fast as it can be.

ATTO Disk Benchmark
Raw Bandwidth

ATTO is a "quick and dirty" type of disk benchmark that measures transfer speeds across a specific volume length. It measures transfer rates for both reads and writes and graphs them out in an easily interpreted chart. We chose .5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes and a queue depth of 6 over a total max volume length of 256MB. ATTO's workloads are sequential in nature and measure bandwidth, rather than I/O response time, access latency, etc.

Netgear RN212

my cloud ex2 ato
WD MyCloud EX2

my cloud ex2100 ato
WD MyCloud EX2100

In ATTO, we see the RN212 approaching the limits of Gigabit write speeds, hitting 117MB/s in the sequential write test. Its read speeds were a bit slower, achieving 97MB/s. Overall these aren’t the fastest scores we’ve seen, at least compared to the WD EX2100, but they are still very good. Compared to the Synology Beyond Cloud it’s much faster. There’s only a tiny bit of room for improvement, so overall the RN212 did very well on this test.

Sequential and Random Testing

CrystalDiskMark is a synthetic benchmark that tests both sequential and random small and mid-sized file transfers. It provides a quick look at best and worst case scenarios with regard to drive performance, best case being larger sequential transfers and worse case being small, random transfers.

Netgear RN212

mycloud ex2
WD MyCloud EX2

mycoud ex2100
WD MyCloud EX2100

In this test the RN212 performed as fast as one could expect from a Gigabit connection, and is approaching the limits of the interface. It’s theoretically possible, according to Netgear, to eclipse this bottleneck using the Link Aggregation feature but only for multiple users at the same time, and with switches and PCs that also support the technology. This test basically repeats the results of ATTO in that the RN212 is not lacking in the performance department.

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