Netgear ReadyNAS Duo v2 and NV+ v2 launch

Netgear has revealed its latest two home network-attached-storage devices, the ReadyNAS Duo v2 and ReadyNAS NV+ v2, offering two or four bays of redundant storage, backup and media streaming. Building on the original ReadyNAS models, but packing 1.6GHz processors and 256MB of RAM for what Netgear reckons is twice the performance, the two units will be available as diskless chassis or with up to 4TB of preloaded storage.

Each accepts 3.5-inch desktop hard-drives, and comes with a front USB 2.0 port (with a dedicated copy button) along with two USB 3.0 ports on the rear for adding extra external storage. Although most home users are unlikely to have the network bandwidth to take advantage of USB 3.0 versus USB 2.0 data rates, Netgear tells us the new NAS should be its entry-level options for at least 12-18 months, and expects home networking speeds to catch up somewhat in that period. A single gigabit ethernet port hooks the ReadyNAS to your router.

Netgear has refreshed its setup wizard and browser-based UI, RAIDiator 5, and now claims it's less than eight steps from plugging in to being up and running. Up to 96 MBps read rates and 60 MBps write rates are claimed – for real-world performance testing, check out our ReadyNAS Duo v2 review – with hot-swappable drive bays allowing you to replace a faulty drive or add a new one without powering down the NAS. The X-RAID2 software can automatically expand your RAID volume if a new drive is added, with no downtime.

Netgear is particularly keen on its ReadyNAS Photos II app, which basically allows you to turn your "personal cloud" into a private Flickr or Picasa. Custom URLs can be created, to invite friends and family to view certain galleries, or you can throw open the door to public access. Because you're hosting it, not somebody else's servers, you can offer full resolution pictures – something many sites demand subscription fees for – though, as ReadyNAS senior product marketing manager Matt Pahnke explained to us, what viewers actually see will depend on their device and connection.

"Photos II automatically optimizes resolution based on the network speed of the consuming device" Pahnke told us. "The goal here is to provide all users with an efficient way to enjoy the photos stored on the ReadyNAS without having to endure lengthy download times. If a user with a sub-optimal connection would like to view the photos at a higher resolution, they do have the option of overriding the optimization."

There's also a Remote Access app, available for Windows, OS X, Android and iOS, allowing for browsing and downloading over a secure VPN connection to your ReadyNAS at home. In the future, Pahnke confirmed, Netgear intends to add support for its Netgear Vault cloud storage service (already available for the company's more advanced NAS) so that ReadyNAS owners will be able to mirror some or all of their content in true cloud backup.

The ReadyNAS Duo v2 will be priced at $199 as a diskless drive, or at $269 pre-fitted with a single 1TB drive. A version with a single 2TB drive will be $299. As for the ReadyNAS NV+ v2, that will be $399 diskless, $499 for a 2TB version and $599 for a 4TB version. Netgear says that, while the cost of hard-drives may rise as supplies grow temporarily scarce, it has secured storage to cater for estimated demand this quarter and will only be passing on its own increased costs, nothing more (the diskless models will remain the same price). They're all available from today.