When it comes to NAS boxes, traditionally they have not been something that the average consumer uses. Instead, NAS boxes have been more of a prosumer toy. And this is for good reason – and that is that most NAS boxes are complex to install and use. This is a shame, since whether they know it or not, most households can really reap the benefits of a good NAS.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case with Netgear’s ReadyNAS 102. The company says that their 100 series is all about “Storage Made Easy’. And we tend to concur with that sentiment. To that effect, the initial set up process is just 4 steps, and most users – even non advanced users, should get through it pretty easily.
But what is especially impressive about the NetGear ReadyNAS 102, is that despite the fact that it’s designed to be easy to set up and use – it comes packing in a wealth of features that will satisfy even more advanced users and NAS aficionados.
Backup options includes support for both Macs with Time Machine and PCs on your network. And there is also cloud storage support and full Dropbox integration.
And unlike most other more feature rich NAS boxes, the backend of the ReadyNAS is clean and straightforward to use, and definitely won’t intimidate most users. Meanwhile, advanced users have access to tweaking settings and configurations. And perhaps best of all, they can easily add apps to extend the versatility of the system. For example, an available app add-on is support for Plex, which is a popular media streaming solution with more advanced users.
The Netgear ReadyNAS 102 is simpler to use and set up than most competing NAS boxes, but still not quite as mainstream consumer friendly as a device like the Seagate Central. That said, a product like the Seagate Central simply doesn’t offer as many features as the ReadyNAS 102, so you can’t fairly compare the two.
In any case, if you’re a home user looking for a solid and affordable NAS, and have been intimidated by the complexity of others on the market, the NetGear ReadyNAS is for you. But advanced users shouldn’t let the newbie appeal scare them off – because they will also appreciate this feature rich system.
You can pick up the NetGear Ready NAS for as low as $264.99 on Amazon.
The Good: Rich with features, simple set up process, support for up to 8tb, support for Time Machine, cloud storage support and full Dropbox integration, small compact size with a tough build quality, remote access, audio and media streaming support, runs very quietly, offers app add-ons for the more advanced techie – including Plex support, fast read speeds
The Bad: Not the fastest NAS – but fine for home use.