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Netgear ReadyNAS 316 review

Good remote management, unlimited snapshots and free replication - is there anything not to like about Netgear’s ReadyNAS 316?

Price
£524
  • Easy installation; Unlimited snapshots; Good value; Solid build quality
  • Anti-virus scanner hits performance hard

Aimed at SMBs with up to 25 employees, the ReadyNAS 316 sports Netgear's latest ReadyOS 6 software which delivers a heap of features.

The ReadyNAS 316 uses the same cuboid chassis as the higher-end ReadyNAS 516 but with a lower hardware spec comprising a dual-core 2.1GHz Atom and 2GB of DDR3 memory.

Unlike the disappointing ReadyNAS 2120, the 316 can be expanded outside the box. Both of its eSATA ports accept Netgear's EDA500 5-bay units allowing capacity to be pushed to 64TB.

The front door has an OLED display and proximity sensor so waving your hand in front of it activates a central backlit touchpad. You use it to scroll through various status displays although we found it quite sensitive and difficult to control.

Create a ReadyCloud account and you can manage all your appliances from anywhere

 Installation

Hard disk loading is accelerated with tool-free carriers as you push the drives into them until they click in place. First time setup is quick too as the ReadyCloud portal discovers your appliance and sets it up for you.

You can use the old RAIDar utility but it can't show status information on RAID, hard disks or temperatures. It'll also only discover local appliances whereas ReadyCloud can see all appliances registered to your account no matter where they are.

Users declared to ReadyCloud can view, add or delete files and folders from the portal. They can also copy files to the appliance directly from their desktop by dragging them into the portal's Browse page.

Netgear's unlimited snapshots make the ReadyNAS 316 stand out from the crowd

 Snapshots

ReadyOS 6 uses BTRFS as opposed to the EXT4 file system and a top feature of this structure is unlimited block level snapshots. They work for shares and iSCSI LUNs where you select the continuous protection option and decide on hourly, daily or weekly schedules.

The snapshot feature offered by Synology isn't as good. In tests of the DS1813+, we found these can only be applied to iSCSI LUNs, can only be run manually and all initiators must be logged off beforehand.

Netgear's folder snapshots are far more versatile as they can be kept hidden or made available to users where they are accessed as a normal network share. To recover a file, folder or LUN you view the Dashboard's timeline graph, choose a snapshot and select the rollback option.

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