Netgear ReadyNAS 214
The Netgear ReadyNAS 214 is a great offering by Netgear, providing not just proper speedy network storage, but also more media, web and other options through the apps.
Faster file backups and access up to 200MBps read and 160MBps write speeds
HD 1080p streaming and real-time transcoding to any device, anywhere
Link aggregation for 2x the performance
Perfect for streaming and data backup for multiple users
High performance anti-virus with near-0 throughput loss
ReadyCLOUD portal-based user interface and app make building a private cloud easy and secure
Advanced BTRFS file system delivers 5 levels of complete data protection
Powerful desktop app for complete file syncing and automatic backup
Virtual Private Time Machine Backup for all the Macs in your home
Value for money
Solid build quality
Energy efficient, quiet operation
Good web UI
Extensive management options
Storage capacity support up to 40TB
Flimsy front door (magnetic lock)
Maybe price compared to competition, depending on your needs
The Netgear ReadyNAS 214 is a network storage solution from Netgear, offering up to 40TB of storage through 4 HDD bays. Dubbed the ‘Media hub for your home’ by Netgear, it’s aimed at the home user who wants some serious storage room together with fast transfer speeds, proper security and easy management.
Let’s dive in!
Check out the product page at Netgear for more.
Specs and features
The official specifications as per the Netgear product page:
- Number of Bays: 4 Bays
- Maximum Capacity: Up to 32TB of storage
- Processor: Quad core 1.4GHz High Performance ARM Cortex A15
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Drive Types Supported: SATA/SSD 2.5” or 3.5”
- Hot Swappable Drives: Yes
- eSATA Port for Additional Storage: 1 Port
- LAN Ports: 2 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- USB Ports: (3) USB 3.0 ports
- Chassis Warranty: 3 Years
- Dimensions DxWxH (mm): 223 x 134 x 205
- Weight (kg): 4.02
- Faster file backups and access up to 200MBps read and 160MBps write speeds
- HD 1080p streaming and real-time transcoding to any device, anywhere
- Link aggregation for 2x the performance
- Perfect for streaming and data backup for multiple users
- High performance anti-virus with near-0 throughput loss
- ReadyCLOUD portal-based user interface and app make building a private cloud easy and secure
- Advanced BTRFS file system delivers 5 levels of complete data protection
- Powerful desktop app for complete file syncing and automatic backup
- Virtual Private Time Machine Backup for all the Macs in your home
What’s in the box
The box contains the following:
- The ReadyNAS 214
- System Installation Guide
- Power cables
- Network cable
Even though it is aimed at the home user, it’s quite a ‘serious’ machine: weighing just over 4kgs and colored full black, it wouldn’t look bad in an office or server room actually. But as it is meant for the home, it does get points for sleek minimal styling, and easy access to the drive bays.
The front door is a bit flimsy (which you’ll probably not use very often, but still…) because of the magnetic lock. It’s easily knocked open, which is something you wouldn’t want. Be sure to set it up in a not-often visited location in your house, and you should be good.
When it comes to connectivity beyond the network options, a total of 3 USB 3.0 ports are available, as well as an eSATA port for additional storage.
While having an extensive Admin Page (more on that under the Device management part) could also mean an extensive and maybe complicated setup and installation, it is actually not the case with the ReadyNAS 214. Physical setup is straightforward: set up the unit where you want it to be, get power and network connections done and power it up.
The systems installation guide allowed for a quick yet complete setup of the NAS. Configuration of the NAS for use with Windows-based systems is straightforward.
Pro-tip: be sure to select the right workgroup though, because when you have the NAS set at WORKGROUP and you’ve changed your Windows workgroup to something else (like I had), it won’t be found on the network.
Device management through the web interface
Through the Admin Page mentioned before, a vast array of settings and information is available.
The main menu contains:
All these main menu options make for extensive management which will satisfy even the most settings-hungry power user.
With Apps, there’s a wealth of apps available to be installed on the ReadyNAS 214. Apps available are several web and media type servers, like MySql Server, joomla and Drupal. Of course, for the number geeks, here are log and stat apps available too, like istat and LogAnalyzer. Media player apps are available too, like SickBeard, CouchPotatoServer and more. There are even some videocamera surveillance apps, like ZoneMinder NT and ReadyNAS Surveillance.
All these apps make the ReadyNAS an interesting device that goes beyond basic networked file storage and media sharing. Something to consider when you are looking to buy a NAS solution for your home!
Network transfer speeds
Of course, one of the main tests for the ReadyNas 214 is the read and write speed over a network connection, be it wireless or not. Network speeds were fine, both wired and wireless. Because of the comparitively slow home network, both through Ethernet and WiFi, I couldn’t fully benchmark the NAS’ performance.
Power consumption, heat and noise
The power consumption is kept within reasonable levels: the ReadyNAS is ARM-based which means it uses just 13 watts at idle, and 30 watts under load – this was with all 4 1TB drives installed.
In the Admin Page, under the Power options, you can select the option to spin-down disks by schedule or after a certain time of inactivity, which will also save energy. An overruling Power Timer is also available which will turn the device off completely in the time-frame you have selected, down to the hour.
On average, the NAS’ drive temps = ~ 40C, and CPU = ~ 56C under load. The status onder performance also shows the system fan speed (averaging 786 RPM), which has a Quiet, Balanced and Cool setting. When selecting cool, the RPM is boosted to just over 1000RPM. When you have the ReadyNAS sitting in a fairly quiet room, this can be audible, so selecting the Quiet option should be your go-to choice: it still offers proper cooling for the drives and CPU.
For a home-targeted NAS with the option to use up to 4 beefy (10TB each!) hard disk drives, the ReadyNAS 214 is perfectly capable of keeping its cool while not creating a lot of noise. Win/win!
Price vs performance
If you’re just looking for the most storage capacity on a network, you wouldn’t go wrong with the model we reviewed: the ReadyNAS 214 we had utilized all 4 bays containing a 1TB Toshiba drive each, totalling 4TB. Without any drives, the ReadyNAS 214 will currently cost about 360 eur (October 2017). In this configuration as reviewed with 4TB storage capacity it would cost roughly 500 eur, depending on the drives you choose to install in it. Not bad at all: on the contrary, there may be a few cheaper options, but they might not have the extensive management and apps options the ReadyNas 214 offers.
So, after all the testing and drilling down into the nitty gritty, what’s the conclusion on the Netgear ReadyNAS 214? To me it’s a very solid offering as a network storage solution, with bonus extra capabilities if needed.
The whole package, both hardware and software, is well thought out. All points are checked: user-friendliness, versatility, security, managing the storage… you really can’t go wrong with this one.
It may not be the cheapest option, with QNAP, Synology and others having similar offerings, but it does offer proper value for money. When it comes to home network storage, you want bang for your buck of course: with the ReadyNAS 214 you can be sure you’ll get it.