In my recent posting on my ideal Home network setup, I mentioned network storage, something that is sadly lacking from most people’s home network.
In my posting I mentioned what I believe to be the best solution for myself, but for those reading my postings I thought it was worth delving deeper into my reasons for choosing the NetGear RND 2000 ReadyNAS Duo.
The RND 2000 is designed for the home IT enthusiast, in my opinion containing everything that you would need for a modern home network.
The main reason for having a Network Atached Storage ( NAS ) device is to have a place to store your files, rather than cluttering up your hard disk. The advantage of a NAS over a USB drive is that the device can be used from any computer on the network so sharing files is easier and more secure.
The RND 2000 can take 2 SATA drives up to 2GB each in size, which you can set as a RAID array so that any data saved to the device is copied to both disks incase of drive failure ( who wants to loose all their files because they bought the cheap product?). As the unit doesn’t come with hard disks, this allows you to slowly upgrade to bigger disks as you can afford them, rather than purchasing the unit with the drives already in place. Both drive bays are hot swappable, so you don’t need to shut the unit down before replacing a faulty drives or upgrading one of the drives.
But the RND 2000 is more than file storage, it has several extra features that are useful in a home network & make it worth the price you pay for it.
Firstly it can be used for media streaming. By uploading your Media files to the device you can then stream them using the in built streaming server that supports Apple iTunes, Sonos, Logitech squeezebox, Playstation 3 and XBox 360.
For users who want to share photos or files with friends, it has an in built Web server and an FTP server, if you feel the need.
If you are a fan of downloading freeware and updates via Bittorrent, then you’ll want to know that the RND 2000 also has an in built Bittorrent server, so you don’t need to leave your Windows or Apple Machine on & this will free your computer to run the applications you want, whilst the RND 2000 deals with your downloads.
With 3 USB ports it can be used for printer sharing, monitoring of a Uninterruptible Power supply (UPS) [ if you use one] or attaching your existing external USB storage devices so that you can share them, back them up to the NAS or copy the data off to take it with you.
For Mac users it supports AFP ( meaning it will work with System 9 as well as OS X ), it can be used as a Time Machine backup device and supports Bonjour, in addition to the other features already mentioned.
Obviously with all this work you need a good network interface, so the device comes with a Gigabit network interface (which, as you would expect, works with 10/100 if needed) which should be plenty for most home users.
And lastly the RND 2000 typically only uses 35W (depending on drives fitted) and has power saving features to keep the costs of running such a device low.
With so much, in such a small package, you can see why it’s on my wish list for my home network. In my opinion the only thing that can beat this is the Apple Mac Mini Server ( although that doesn’t have hot swappable drives ).