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NAS Reviews

Introduction

ReadyNAS Splash Screen

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS 6.2 [website]
Summary Upgraded NAS OS focusing on cloud and backup/sync features
• Web-based UI with Drag N Drop
• Share files via e-mail links
• Multiple private Time Machine targets
• Easy remote access based on Leaf Network's VPN
• ReadyCLOUD desktop app for Windows provides backup and sync
Cons • iOS and Android apps provide only basic media capabilities
• No Mac OS desktop app (yet)
• User manual for OS 6.2 still not available for download.

It's been almost a year and a half since we last looked at the features of NETGEAR's ReadyNAS OS 6.0 operating system. On November 17th of this year, NETGEAR rolled out the latest release, version 6.2. While the latest version is only a "point" upgrade, there are many new features that merit a refresh of our original review.

First of all, it's important to note that this upgrade is mandatory if you are a ReadyCLOUD user. When you log into ReadyCLOUD, you are intercepted by a page that prompts you to upgrade your ReadyNAS OS. You can upgrade using the "Upgrade Now" button, or through the local web admin interface.

NETGEAR OS 6.2 is a mandatory upgrade for ReadyCLOUD users

NETGEAR OS 6.2 is a mandatory upgrade for ReadyCLOUD users

Many of the new features of OS 6.2 are focused on ReadyCLOUD portal features, such as private cloud, mobile photo backup and synchronization. But even if you don't use ReadyCLOUD, there are still some under-the-hood features that make OS 6.2 an important and worthwhile upgrade. In addition, this release includes updated mobile apps for iOS and Android that are available at their respective app stores.

Finally, there's a new ReadyCLOUD desktop app for Windows. The new app combines the features previously found in ReadyNAS Remote and ReadyDROP and adds new backup and synchronization features. Several important notes:

  • With this release, NETGEAR officially dropped support for Windows XP
  • While there's currently not a Mac OS desktop version available, NETGEAR plans to release one in early 2015.

Once you upgrade, the landing page will look much like the original ReadyCLOUD page. For new NAS owners, you can discover and set up your NAS just as you did using the earlier OS 6.x versions. In the image below, I left in the browser address line and tab to show you that I'm using Chrome. While I normally use Firefox, Chrome seems to work better with some features of ReadyCLOUD as we'll discuss shortly.

NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD landing page

NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD landing page

New Features

Once you log into your ReadyCLOUD account, you'll be on your home page and see public shares and shares you have the right to access. The image below shows the home page. Below the Home icon, there are icons that allow you to see a tree view of folders, add folders, upload and download to/from folders and delete files. Above the folder icons, you have options to view in Grid, Icon or Tile view.

NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD Home page

NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD Home page

One of the new features in the web UI is Drag and Drop. You can drag and drop files and folders just as you would normally with Windows Explorer or Mac OS finder. If you are using ReadyCLOUD on your local network, your file transfers will be at LAN Speed. If you are accessing your ReadyNAS remotely, the file transfer speed will be dependent on the speed of your internet connection.

In my initial drag-and-drop tests, I used Firefox. While file transfers worked fine, I discovered that I couldn't drag and drop folders. I contacted NETGEAR and they recommended I try the same tests with Chrome. They explained that their web UI is dependent on HTML 5, and that Chrome more closely adheres to HTML 5 standards. The folder drag-and-drop worked as expected using Chrome.

When you click on an individual file, you have all the options shown in the image below. Depending on your browser and extensions/plugins, you can also select multiple files to include in your email. While I had problems selecting multiple files using Chrome, I was able to select and email links to multiple files using Firefox. If you right click on a folder, your options are limited to Browse, Rename, Cut, Copy and Delete.

NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD file options

NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD file options

One of the new features is email as a link. When you click on the E-Mail as Link icon, the dialog box shown below opens up. You can change the message, require a password and make the link expire after a specified number of downloads. The "Expires After" is a dropdown box the lets you specify an expiration date instead of number of downloads. Should you require a password, a complex one is generated for you, which you can provide to the recipients "out of band" (such as a text message) since the password isn't included with the email. You can also choose to be notified when your recipient(s) click on the link. You can delete any of your shared links from the "Manage" tab you'll find near the top of the Home screen.

Dialogue box for sharing a file via an e-mail link

Dialogue box for sharing a file via an e-mail link

I selected an individual file and sent it to one of my email addresses, as a test. I could access the linked file either from my local network or using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. The email containing the link is sent in HTML format, and, in Outlook 2013, looks like this:

Email received from link sent via ReadyCLOUD

Email received from link sent via ReadyCLOUD

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