Hands-on: The ReadyNAS NV+ provides serious storage for prosumers

Netgear's latest NAS system provides four bays for up to 4TB of easy-to-access storage.

Netgear is well known for its line-up of wireless routers, adapters, gateways and print servers, but the company has made serious inroads into the network attached storage (NAS) arena as well. The company recently released two new versions of its ReadyNAS prosumer systems: the DUO, which includes two drive bays and options for RAID 0 and RAID 1; and the NV+, which has four drive bays and adds the capability for RAID 5. I received the latter model for review.

Netgear ReadyNAS NV+
Netgear ReadyNAS NV+

You can buy the ReadyNAS NV+ with no drives included for $350; adding two 1TB drives brings the price to $650, while filling all of the unit's four bays to a preconfigured 4TB caps it at $900.

For added utility, the NV+ provides four ports -- two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Netgear boasts that the unit's Marvell 1.6GHz CPU lets the new NV+ perform twice as fast (PDF) as its predecessor. This claim is factual -- at least as far as internal processing of any NAS instructions are concerned. However, it is really the available speed of your router and/or your network that will govern the actual throughput.

The USB 3.0 ports, meanwhile, will give you about a 35% improvement in data transfer speed for any directly attached devices (printers and USB drives, for example) over the older USB 2.0 technology.

A two-line LCD display at the bottom of the unit gives status and addressing information. It's a nice touch for the true technophile.

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