Netgear ReadyNAS RN212 Network Attached Storage Review

ReadyNAS Summary and Conclusion

After testing this new Netgear NAS (network attached server) for several weeks, we’ve come to the conclusion that’s it an extremely well-rounded and rather advanced product. We know that some NAS devices are inherently complicated due to their massive feature sets, but the RN212 can sometimes feel overwhelming due to the myriad of options and features that aren't well explained in its interface. I used to offer on-location networking support for small businesses for a living, so we know our way around a router and connected storage, but the advanced features of this NAS will likely leave those who are just moderately technically inclined scratching their head. Netgear would be wise to include documented tips alongside the numerous options sprinkled throughout its OS’ interface, explaining to people what the features are and how they work.
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That said, the basic functionality of this NAS was pretty flawless, and media streaming worked very well too, so we can imagine that a large majority of home users would be able to set it up and use it without experiencing any issues. Once you begin wading into the browser UI though, you will quickly realize what a powerful and sophisticated device you have on your hands. That could be either a good or not-so good thing, depending on the user.  

In terms of market placement, the RN212 is indeed a high-end product with the specs to match. Its quad-core ARM processor and 2GB of RAM position it at the upper end of the NAS market in terms of performance, and our benchmarks reflected this. Whether or not you need this much performance is up to you, but if you are looking for a high-performance NAS, the RN212 certainly qualifies.

As far as value goes, the RN212 isn’t the least expensive NAS on the market, but it’s not the most expensive either. Compared to the $400 Qnap TS-251+ it’s about $70 less expensive, and the same price as the WD EX2100. However, only the Qnap has dual LAN ports, so the Netgear model looks like a bargain in comparison, though it is missing the remote control functionality of the Qnap NAS.

All in all, The RN212 (and by extension the RN214) is a well-rounded, powerful NAS with advanced features, and with its BTRFS file system it stands alone in the NAS market. Because of its plethora of advanced features it’s not a product we’d recommend to complete novice users, but if you’re at all technically inclined it’s a solid option.
  • BTRFS file system
  • Dual-LAN ports
  • Lots of advanced features
  • Terrific performance
  • Access to files from anywhere
  • Snapshots for shared folders
  • Lack of documentation for many features
  • Expensive compared to more basic models
  • Requires “less secure” config with Gmail for alerts

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