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Video review: Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2

The Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 is an uprated version of Netgear's affordable prosumer two-bay network-attached storage, suitable for small businesses or more demanding home users. It is available as a diskless unit for around £150

The Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 rather straddles both small business and home media applications. In performance and facilities, it compares to the Synology DS211, although that unit is more aligned toward home use.

Click here to read the full Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 review.

The front fascia, a ventilated metal mesh, hinges away from a magnetic clasp to reveal two drive caddies behind – hot-swappable trays that carry 3.5in SATA disks. Sadly, Netgear hasn’t drilled out these trays to allow the easy fitting of quieter 2.5in notebook drives.

Visit Group test: What's the best NAS device.

It looks a bit like it's only built to work in the USSR, but don't let that fool you - this NAS drive means business. So much so that the drive comes with one of the biggest fans we've seen in a NAS drive this size. In use, the fan was rarely audible though, typically it was being drowned out by the intrinsic noise of even a single 3.5in hard disk.

As you can probably tell by looking at it, the build quality is superb, a solid-feeling all-metal brick - although some slight warp in the chassis meant the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 could worryingly wobble on its four feet.

Performance

Driving the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 is a new single-core ARM processor, clocked at 1.6GHz, replacing the SPARC-platform RISC processor of the original ReadyNAS Duo.

Such an ARM processor suggests low power consumption – an important consideration for a device that will typically be left on 24/7. And compared to Intel-processor solutions, it will also run cooler, and thereby quieter.

We measured 15W draw with the system active but idle (loaded with two disks), rising to 22W under load. This fell to just 8W when the NAS was dormant.The flipside of low-power processors is typically slower file-transfer performance, especially when writing files to the NAS.

We initially tested transfer performance with a single Hitachi 1TB 7200rpm disk supplied with the unit. Here read speeds peaked at around 102MBps over AFP, in large file tests (greater than 3MB). For files down at the 32kB level, sequential reads were still relatively strong at 35MBps, although random 32kB reads dropped to just 0.7MBps.Write performance was lower, as expected: just 17MBps for 3MB samples, rising to a maximum of 42MBps for 40-100MB data.

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