The ReadyNAS 212 is the industry’s first high-performance, cost and power efficient network attached storage product that offers full HD 1080P transcoding capability. One of the best things about the Netgear RN 200 series NAS devices is the ARM-based CPU which helps with the transcoding process.The RN 200 series also offer both two and four bay models, and advanced backup with sync. Lets see how efficient the RN212 really is.
The specifications are as follows:
- ReadyNAS 212
Number of Bays
- 2 Bays
- Up to 12 TB of storage*
- Quad core 1.4GHz High Performance ARM Cortex A15
- 2GB RAM
Drive Types Supported
- SATA/SSD 2.5” or 3.5”
- Faster file backups and access up to 200MBps read and 160MBps write speeds
- HD 1080p streaming and real-time transcoding to any device, anywhere
- Link aggregation for 2x the performance
- Perfect for streaming and data backup for multiple users
- High performance anti-virus with near-0 throughput loss
- ReadyCLOUD portal-based user interface and app make building a private cloud easy and secure
- Advanced BTRFS file system delivers 5 levels of complete data protection
- Powerful desktop app for complete file syncing and automatic backup
- Virtual Private Time Machine Backup for all the Macs in your home
Hot Swappable Drives
eSATA Port for Additional Storage
- 1 Port
- 2 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- (3) USB 3.0 ports
- 3 Years
Dimensions DxWxH (mm)
- 220 x 101 x 142
ProSupport Service Packs Available
- 200 Series
- 1 year: PMB0311
- 3-year: PMB0331
- 3-year: PRR0331
The RN 212 was shipped in its standard box, and showed no sign of any damage. The package is really colorful, and showcases the product well. Their slogan is the media hub for your home.
Unpacking the box you will find it well secured by two foam inserts, with all the accessories.
The accessories included are:
- 12v power adapter
- European plugs x2 & US plug x1
- Ethernet cable x1
- Product documentation
- 2.5 HDD screws for mounting
Lets see how the RN 212 was designed. Everything included for parts and accessories is more than enough to get you started for steaming hours of content. The drive I’m testing is a disk less device meaning you will need to provide your own storage media.
The ReadyNAS 210 is powered by a quad core Cortex A15 1.4GHz processor, has 2 Gigabytes of RAM, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports with Link Aggregation technology and delivers up to 200MByte/sec data transfer speed. It offers the industry’s leading feature of 5 levels of protection on your documents, photos, videos and all types of data. The Ready CLOUD portal-based user interface and app on PC, Mac, smartphones and tablets make the RN210 the ideal choice for consumers because of its simplicity and ease of use.
The ideal use of the RN212:
- Easy backup
- Safe data and privacy
- Access anywhere
- Easy management
- Works seamlessly with your network
The product has a very glossy piano black front. The material used is prone to lots of finger prints, and dust. This is the door , so not a good spot for this since its touched for drive access. The rest of the unit is also made of black metal, and has plenty of ventilation for airflow and heat dissipation.
The front includes:
- 1x USB 3.0 port
- One-touch backup button
- Power button
- Activity lights for both drive bays
The front door opens to reveal two drive bays. These drive bays easily slide out by unlocking them and sliding forward.
Around the back of the unit there is more connectivity and functions:
- Dual LAN ports for link aggregation
- 2x USB 3.0
- kengsington lock
- DC power in
- Power adapter socket
- Fan for efficient cooling
The mainboard used inside the RN212 is from Annapurna Labs and uses high performance parts:
- High performance quad core ARM Cortex A15 CPU @ 1.4GHz
- 2GB DDR3 on board from Samsung
- 128MB of flash storage
- Atheroes AR8035 x2 Ehternet
- Asmedia ASM1060 6Gbps SATA controller
- Etron tech USB 3.0 ports
The features built into the RN212 offer many easy ways to manage your data efficiently both for backup, and for multimedia fun.
The key features for your ReadyNAS:
- Easy backup
- Backup, share,remote access
- Auto-sync and Auto upload
- 5-levels of data protection
- Full 1080P HD streaming
- Fastest speed in its class: 200MByte/sec / Delivers 2Gbps throughput
- Embedded anti virus
- Data expansion
Create unlimited photo & video storage. The Rn212 offers centralized storage for media captured on your smart phone,camera, or GoPro, It packs state of the art features for making the fastest possible way to store, edit, and protect your data.
Automatic backup & sync provides:
- Automatic backup with any NEW PC App
- Sync folders between your ReadyNAS and PC
- Time machine backup support for all Macs
- Smart phone photo backup increases space for you phone
Media streaming supports:
- Streaming of photos, movies, music
- Powerful media server plugin for Plex, iTunes, or DLNA
- 1.2GHZ CPU for uninterrupted streaming
Anti-virus is provided realtime with every ReadyNAS to keep all your data safe from outside threats.
With all the performance the Rn212 offers, you are certainly creating a multimedia streaming powerhouse. Your data will stay safe from all the security features embedded with Netgears NAS devices, and have no excuse to ever lose any data again.
Setup of the devices was extremely easy. The wizard guides you through the entire setup process. Once connected to the NAS, you can easily access the interface by entering http://www.readycloud.netgear.com to access the wizard.
The only problem during setup I had was integrating Gmail for email alerts, and did not work well with default settings. You can easily fix this by getting Gmail to “allow access by less secure app.”
Once everything was working, and the RN212 was online I headed to the administration window. You can access pretty much anything you need to know about the RN212 on the admin page. It offers details about all your power, drives, and overview of everything.
The volumes windows shows the RAID status of any drives connected. If you use X-RAID, this allows you to switch to Flex RAID. Doing this does not delete any data but allows you to reformat if needed or change RAID type. This is depending on the number of disks you have. Since the RN212 only is a 2 bay device we can only setup RAID 0 or Raid 1.
The settings window is where important system information resides. You can enable services such as FTP, iTunes, and check firmware status. It also provides temperatures for the NAS unit, and fan speeds.
Like most NAS devices the RN212 also offers alot of app support. The majority of apps are for admins, but do offer a few media ones.
The best selling point for the RN212 is its ability to transcode video. I tested steaming starwars the force awakens, and It was definitely capable of streaming 1080P video to an iPad, and Nexus 6 I used for testing without any drop-outs. The Rn212 also supports DLNA, and plex for lots of streaming opportunities.
Measuring performance of the RN212 is a bit more difficult. The problem is measuring hard drive performance over a network. Sometimes drives can be faster than your network speed. I did my testing using an SSD, and a traditional HD to show the differences and benefits of each transfer rates. The application used for testing the transfer rates is CrystalDiskInfo.
The test bench used for testing is as follows:
- Motherboard- Z87x-UD3H
- CPU: Intel Core I7 4790K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB over RN212 NAS
- Cooler- H100i GTX V2
- Memory- Anarchy X 16GB DDR3 2800MHz Desktop Memory
- Video Card: EVGA NVidia Geforce GTX 970
- Storage- OCZ vertex 4 256 GB vs Segate 1TB NAS drive
- Power Supply- Corsair TX750m
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- HyperX Cloud II
After testing the RN212 I realize why so many people would want a NAS for their home media, or backup solutions. This device is really well-rounded. There are some cons to the device. The RN212 can be complication becuase of the massive features the unit provides. I did find the finger prints to be a con on the front bay door, and during setup I had a few problems intergrating features. The many features can sound overwhelming to a new person looking to upgrade their home network to one of these NAS devices.
The RN 212 runs flawlessly for media transcoding. This is what the majority of people are going to want this device for. Netgear has indeed created a high-end product with specs to match it. Its advanced features make it really compelling for the price and the performance you get. I highly recommend this device for anyone looking to create a complete ecosystem for their network, The RN212 will give you easy backups, secure and easy interface, and full 1080P streaming. You can buy the Netgear RN212 on Amazon for $330.00.