OS 6.2 includes a number of under-the-hood updates that I'll touch on briefly below:
Multiple private or shared TimeMachine targets
For each user, local or remote, you have the option of creating a private Time Machine target and setting a quota. You access this new feature under the local admin Backup->Time Machine tab.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS 6.2 Multiple Private Time Machine setup with quotas
On your MAC, to access these private shares, you just select the appropriate share from your Time Machine preferences shown below.
Select Time Machine target from Time Machine Preferences
Disk Spin-down and Power Timer
In the System -> Power menu, you now have the option to spin down the disks or power the device on/off. In addition, you can enable Wake on LAN (WOL). The image below shows the menu for the Power Timer. On/Off increments are one hour, and you can set a schedule for each day of the week. A similar schedule grid scheme is used for configuring Disk Spin-down.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS6.2 Power Timer
Default User Profile
By having some of the basic user attributes set to defaults, you can save some time when creating users.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS6.2 User Profile Defaults
While the earlier versions of the ReadyNAS OS both had iTunes and DLNA servers, in OS 6.2, those services are now treated like protocols, and can be enabled or disabled for individual shares. This provides an easy way of controlling the multimedia content that is scanned by the two servers. You might not want photos/music/videos from private files to be part of a public media server.
For those of you who prefer Plex, there is a Plex app available under the App tab in the web admin interface. I tested the DLNA server, the Plex server and the iTunes server on multiple platforms, and they all worked as expected.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS 6.2 - iTunes and DLNA are treated like protocols
Bit Rot Protection
This is a new feature to me, but it makes sense. This feature addresses the phenomenon of storage media gradually decaying over time. On redundant RAID volumes, NETGEAR can detect and correct data corruption due to media degradation. It can be enabled on a share basis. For the short period that we have to review a product, there's really no way to test this feature, so I have to trust NETGEAR that it works.
Private Share Snapshots
In my original review, I said I really liked the BTFRS file system that allowed for multiple data snapshots. Unfortunately, it only worked for default shares and shares that you create. Private shares, the ones that probably users care most about, were excluded from the Snapshot feature. Snapshots for private shares was on my wish list for a future version of ReadyNAS, and that wish got granted with OS 6.2. Like Bit Rot Protection, you can enable Snapshots on a per share basis, including private shares. You can also optionally grant user access to the snapshots. The image below shows my private share (cellison) with Bit Rot protection enabled, Snapshots enabled, and access granted to the Snapshots.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS 6.2 - Share properties
Gone and ForgottenIn the Gone and almost Forgotten category, the Genie App store was removed from ReadyNAS OS 6.2. The Genie App store required a separate login in order to download add-on apps, such as Plex, which run on the ReadyNAS and add capabilities. Apps now can be downloaded directly from Available Apps on the Apps tab.
Even though it is a "point" upgrade from OS 6.0, ReadyNAS OS 6.2 adds a lot of features. I like the new desktop ReadyCLOUD application with its Backup and Sync features. Also, it's a plus that NETGEAR simplified many of the "ReadyXXX" apps into a single ReadyCLOUD app. Unfortunately, Mac OS users will have to wait a while longer to enjoy the backup, sync and remote access that Windows users can enjoy now with the new ReadyCLOUD.
I was disappointed that a month after OS 6.2's release, there's still not a user guide available. In the meantime, NETGEAR has posted a series of videos that covers some of the new features. I strongly recommend you watch them before you waste time figuring things out for yourself.
NETGEAR focused a lot of its efforts in OS 6.2 on backup and data security. The previously mentioned backup and sync functions of the READYCLOUD Windows client is a real plus for Windows users. And the sync feature adds the potential for cloud-based collaboration with local and remote users. Bit Rot protection, along with Snapshot technology adds several layers of data protection not found in other competing NASes - especially ones targeted at the SOHO market.
The new iOS and Android mobile apps, while providing only barebones media playback capabilities, do an excellent job of backing up photos to your own personal cloud. It works just like Dropbox, but you don't incur monthly subscription costs to back up an unlimited number of photos to your own ReadyNAS. I only wish that the mobile apps had a more robust set of features for media playback, like those found in Synology and QNAP's mobile apps.
If you haven't already upgraded your ReadyNAS OS6.x to OS6.2, why wait? The upgrade is stable, adds layers of data protection and improves NETGEAR's cloud offerings. Best of all, it's free.