Backup and Sync are two major features added in ReadyNAS OS6.2. These features are available in the Windows ReadyCLOUD desktop app mentioned above. You can download and install the app directly from the "Get the ReadyCLOUD app" icon at the bottom of the ReadyCLOUD home page shown below.
NETGEAR ReadyCLOUD - Get desktop app
When you install the desktop app, it also installs the Leaf Network virtual network adapter, which provides remote access. This isn't new; it was part of the previous ReadyNAS Remote and the ReadyDROP applications. If you take your notebook on the road with ReadyCLOUD installed, you can access all of your shares from anywhere with Windows Explorer. The ReadyCLOUD client needs to be running and you need to be logged into ReadyCLOUD within the application.
The application sits in your system tray, so don't look for it to appear on your desktop. When you click on the NETGEAR icon in your system tray and log in, you'll see the all of the shares to which the admin has granted you rights. It looks like this. (My user ID is grayed out for security).
ReadyCLOUD desktop app share listing
If you click on "Backup PC Folder", a box will appear that lists the folders in your Windows client directory - ie, c:\Users\username. It was a design decision on NETGEAR's part to limit the backup function to folders found in client's directory. On my computer, it looked like this:
ReadyCLOUD PC Backup
I had created a directory named Test Documents and put some files in it. For backup, it's important to note that the backup is one-way—you back up the file only from your PC to the ReadyNAS. After the initial backup, any files that you put into folder defined for backup will be immediately be backed up to the NAS. However, files deleted from the local backup folder will not be deleted from the NAS.
For each folder on your PC that you back up, the ReadyCLOUD app creates a new share off of the root of the ReadyNAS data volume named using the following format: ComputerName-Folder name. You can only grant rights to top level shares, not folders within a share. NETGEAR believes creating shares off the root provides maximum flexibility to further share those folders with others - either locally or via email links. The image below shows that the backup of Test Documents has completed and that the backup for a second folder that I had selected is in progress.
ReadyCLOUD PC Backup - one up to date and one in progress
ReadyCLOUD Sync is very similar to backup. The difference is that you select one of your shares ( excluding backup shares), click on the little horizontal bars on the right and select Sync Files. The ReadyCLOUD app creates a new folder on your computer at c:\user\username\readycloud\sharename and copies the files from the share to your computer. In addition, a favorite with the share name and (NAS Name) is created in your list of Favorites to provide quick access to your synced folders.
Sync differs from backup in that the synchronization is two way. Since you can share network shares with virtually anyone, you can easily set up group collaboration.
For this test, I created a share named "NETGEAR" and populated it with some vacation photos. I shared the synchronized share (NETGEAR) with several people in marketing and development at NETGEAR. It was up to them if they wanted to set up synchronization on their end. As soon as I dropped a file into the synchronized folder on my computer, it was synched to my ReadyNAS and the people at NETGEAR had instant access to it. They also dropped some files onto the share (I granted them read/write rights), so I was able to see some of their photos, too.
The composite image below shows starting a PC sync with the share named "NETGEAR" (left panel), the favorite link created (center panel), and finally, that all files are up-to-date (right panel). Folders with arrows pointing the opposite direction are sync folders; folders with a counter-clockwise circular arrow are backup folders.
ReadyCLOUD PC Sync
While there are updated mobile apps for iOS and the Android platforms, there's really only one "killer" feature. On both platforms, the apps can automatically upload your photos to a location that you specify on your ReadyNAS. It works exactly the same way as Dropbox does. On the iOS platform, after you grant access to your camera roll and specify a target share/folder on your ReadyNAS, the uploads begin. Both platforms function the same way.
I was disappointed that although you could play individual video, audio or view image files, there were no advanced features such as playlists or slideshows. Photos in the directory view weren't thumbnailed, either.The gallery below shows a walkthrough of the iOS mobile app.