Gear Review: Netgear’s ReadyNAS Pro – A NAS RAID System Built For Photographers

Canon 1Dx FF DSLR CameraThere is no doubt that the digital age of technology has changed the photo industry and how we all approach taking photographs. With the price of flash memory cards continuing to drop and DSLR’s increasing in megapixel size (Means larger file sizes) while at the same time becoming more affordable to the masses, new challenges arise that we must overcome. A very common question I get from my photography workshop students is, “How do you store your images?”. In reality, there are a lot of options out there. Between cost standard hard drives, the speed of SSD drives, redundancy of RAID systems, availability of bluray and dvd burners and the rising popularity of cloud storage…it is no wonder that amateur and professional photographers alike might get confused.

While each of those options has its positives and negatives, today I here to talk about Netgear’s ReadyNAS Pro 4 and 6 bay RAID systems. RAID systems tend to be the preferred choice for storing images for many professional photographers because their ease of access, unlike cloud storage options like Carbonite which keep your files online, and their redundancy in protecting your images from hard drive failure, unlike single hard drive and SSD options.

What is RAID?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Basically it is a digital storage technology that allows you to combine multiple hard disks into one main unit. Data is then distributed across the hard drives in the array in one of several different ways, called RAID levels. Depending on if you want to focus on redundancy (keeping your data safe from corruption or hard drive failure) or performance (the speeds of accessing and writing data), you have the ability to choose the RAID level that works for you and your needs.

RAID Levels

Here is a quick and simple breakdown of the most common RAID Levels:

RAID 0: Known as striped. Requires a minimum or 2 hard drives. Data is spread across two or more hard drives, allowing for faster performance and more available space (Two 1TB hard drives would = a 2 TB RAID 0 array). Data is however not duplicated or “mirrored” so a hard drive corruption or failure from any single drive in the RAID array will cause COMPLETE failure and loss of data.

RAID 1: Known as mirrored. Requires a minimum or 2 hard drives. Data is duplicated across two or more hard drives allowing for your data to have more redundancy or protection, but less space (Two 1TB hard drives would = 1 TB of available space in a RAID 1 array). If one hard drive fails, the other still contains all the data from the RAID array.

RAID 5: Striped and distributed single parity. Requires a minium of 3 hard drives. Data is spread across multiple hard drives like Raid 0, but a single hard drive maintains the data of one of the other hard drives which acts as a back up. This allows you to maintain the RAID array and have no data loss if one of the hard drives in the array fails. This is considered the middle ground between RAID 0 and 1.

RAID 6: Striped and with double parity. Requires a minium of 4 hard drives. Is exactly the same as RAID 5 except you have two hard drives that are maintaining data as back ups instead of one. This allows you to have two hard drives fail inside the RAID array while still having no loss of data. This is typically a better choice for arrays with alot of hard drives.

All of these options have one large drawback. If you do have a hard drive failure, the corruption of data or just want to expand the size of your RAID system, you will be forced to reformat and recreate your RAID array once you have replaced the hard drives. This is a very time consuming process. The solution….custom RAID technology.

Custom RAID Levels:  Companies like Drobo and Netgear have created their own RAID technology that allows you to easily add, replace or expand  hard drives from your array, without any need for reformatting or moving your data from disk to disk. I will talk about each of these technologies later in this review.

What is NAS?

NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. It allows data access to clients both on a network and through various file sharing protocols such as NFS, SMB, AFP, FTP and generally are used with RAID arrays to take advantage of the redundancy and data protection they offer. More often then not, it is made into a self sufficient mini computer that are made for storing and serving files rather then a general purpose machine that you could purchase at Best Buy such as an Apple laptop or Windows based desktop computer.

Example diagram of a ReadyNAS Pro setup provide by Netgear

They have been gaining in popularity over the last few years because they allow you to easily share and access files across multiple computers that can be in located anywhere in the world while usually maintaining fast data access, easy administration and simple configuration and setups. Because they typically allow for multiple file sharing protocols such as Apple’s AFP or SMB that works with Windows machines, you are not tied to one operating system for all of the computers that you wish to grant access to the device. You can share files across Apple, Windows and Linux based machines with ease. While they are usually more expensive then a standard RAID system, the benefits are often well worth the cost for many photographers out there.

Netgear’s ReadyNAS Pro RAID System

Netgear ReadyNAS Pro 6 RAID System

ReadyNAS Pro RAID systems are Netgear’s proposed answer to all of your data storage problems. It gives you the ability to not only easily backup and have full control over access to your data and photography work from nearly any internet connection on the planet, but also stream music, video and photos to nearly any popular network media streaming device including Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Sonos music system and even Apple iTunes to name a few.

While no device is perfect, I was very impressed the the ReadyNAS Pro system and some of the advantages it has over Drobo, currently another popular choice for photography enthusiasts when it comes to having a RAID system (more on this later).

For this review, Netgear was kind enough to send me both the Ready NAS Pro 4 and the ReadyNAS Pro 6 systems. While the main feature sets and system are the same, the 4 is a 4 bay device (allowing for the use of 4 hard drives) while the 6, understandably, is a 6 bay device.


There is a lot to like when it comes to the features that are offered with either ReadyNAS Pro system.


X-RAID2 is Netgear’s  patent-pending auto-expandable RAID technology. Gone are the days when you need to have an in depth understanding of the various RAID levels that are available with standard RAID boxes. X-RAID2 allows you to easily replace a failed hard drive or upgrade your RAID capacity by adding a new hard drive to an open slot or replacing a current hard drive all without the need to reformat or move data from one disk to another. All of this can be done while the device is on and the ReadyNAS device will automatically resync the the new disk in the background while it continues to operator normally.

X-RAID2 ReadyNAS Netgear

Another vital feature of X-RAID2 technology is that if you have a power loss while in the process of rebuilding your array, it will continue where it left off. With most other RAID technologies, this would otherwise result in complete loss of your data.

ReadyNAS Remote

With ReadyNAS Remote you can easily and securely access your ReadyNAS device via the OSX Finder or Winders File Explore from anywhere that you have internet access, just like you could from your home or office network. No need for complicated VPN (Virtual Private Network) setups that are common with large companies or having to deal with a new file manager that you are not used to.

Remote gives you complete drag and drop access to your ReadyNAS devices, allowing you to easily transfer and share your photographs directly with your clients or customers with none of the hassles of setting up an FTP server.

Click HERE to be taken to the ReadyNAS website to follow instructions on how to set up ReadyNAS Remote.

The following video found on YouTube also shows you how it works…

ReadyNAS Replicate

One of the most interesting features of a ReadyNAS Pro system is Replicate. With it, you have the ability to easily backup your entire ReadyNAS system to another ReadyNAS device that is connected to the internet, any where in the world. This is one of the absolute best ways to prevent data loss in the case of theft or complete disaster, such as a fire that burns down your office or home. Keeping all of you data, including all backups of your photography work in one location is a risk.

All you need to do is purchase a 2nd ReadyNAS Pro system, place it on the same network as your original, create a system replication job and start the initial backup. Once the initial backup is complete you can take your 2nd unit to any remote site with Internet access and turn it on. The replication continues, sending small data block changes across a peer-to-peer secure tunnel that keeps your data safe.

Here is a YouTube video that shows you how to setup ReadyNAS Replicate…

To see more of the features of ReadyNAS Replicate, click HERE

ReadyNAS Vault

If you do not have a terabyte of data to backup, ReadyNAS Vault might be a solid solution for you. Vault is Netgear’s cloud backup cloud service where they allow you to store your data on their servers where you have access to it through the Internet. With a few simple clicks you can have a share folder on your ReadyNAS setup to automatically upload and sync to the cloud.

As I mentioned above, these options are best if you only have a small amount of data as it can get pricy pretty quick. Pricing starts are $5.95 a month (with $.40/GB after the first 5GB) then goes to $19.95 a month for 50GB and tops out at 100GB  for $34.95 a month.

Here is a video the explains more about ReadyNAS Vault

ReadyNAS Photos II

As a photographer, there is no doubt that ReadyNAS Photos II is one of the most exciting features of the ReadyNAS system. Basically it allows you to become your own photo hosting server and website. Imagine storing your images on your ReadyNAS system and not only having complete access to them from anywhere on the globe, but also being able to show them off to potential customers or clients while on the road from any computer.

Key Features

  • Slideshows with background music and full-screen HD quality images
  • Mobile device optimization for viewing on iphone, ipod touch, ipad and all Android devices
  • Access to upload your photos from anywhere in the world
  • Cover Flow like thumbnail image viewing
  • Sub categories inside a single photo album
  • Feedback / Comment system within ReadyNAS Photos II
  • Multiple photographer accounts
  • Complete control over who can view your photo albums
  • Encrypted URL linking
  • Adjustable download options for your images
Check out this 10 minute video from Netgear that walks you through the ReadyNAS Photos II

Other Main Features

  • Internal multi-core processor and 1 GB of RAM to help keep your data backup and streaming needs up to speed
  • Built in Media serving capabilities, giving you the ability to stream content to various streaming devices on your network such as Tivo, itunes, xbox 360, Playstation 3 and any other compatible device.
  • Support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 as well as Netgear’s own X-RAID2 (see below)
  • Support for up to 3 TB Hard Drives (with the newest firmwire)
  • Three USB 2.0 ports allowing you to connect a network printer or external hard drives for file backups
  • Two Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Support for Windows, Mac and Linux computers
  • Addon Support for extra Netgear and 3rd party software for your ReadyNAS system
  • Built in backup manager that supports the following file protocols: CIFS, NFS, HTTP, FTP and RSYNC. Because the manager runs on the ReadyNAS Pro itself, there is no need to install or run extra software on the various client computers containing the original data.
  • Programable backup button on the device allowing you easily set up back ups of your NAS system or any other custom back up setup.
  • Easily replace hard drives with no need to dissemble the device. The front cover opens like a cabinet, giving you access to all of your disks. Simply press on the latch release for the hard drive you wish to replace and slide the hard drive out. You do not even need to power off the device and you do not have to worry about any downtime of your data.
  • UPS monitoring (with compatible UPS devices) that allows the ReadyNAS system to monitor the battery level of any connected UPS that is in use during a power outage. Once the UPS gets low on power, the ReadyNAS will automatically shut itself down, avoiding file corruption.
  • Convenient online updates to keep your devices firmwire up-to-date. No need to download and install updates manually.
  • Remote access to your ReadyNAS device via FTP, FTPS, HTTP and HTTPS protocols
  • Low power consumption

Getting Setup

From the moment the UPS dropped off the boxes containing the ReadyNAS Pro 4 and Pro 6 to the time that I was completely up and running, about 40 minutes had passed. That breaks down to roughly 20 minutes per device, which isn’t bad considering all the of advanced features these systems offer. The ones that were sent to me did already contain hard drives, as they do sell them with the X-RAID2 array already setup for you. They do offer a diskless system which allows you to purchase and your your own hard drives, in which case the set up time would be longer because of the need for the RAID array to build. Click HERE to read a quick start guide.

Setup Process

    1. Plug your ReadyNAS Pro system into the wall as well as connect the LAN1 ethernet port to your network router. It will take less then 30 seconds from boot up to be fully online
    2. Install RAIDar (Get the latest version HERE) for your Windows, Mac or Linux computer
    3. Run the RAIDar application

Netgear ReadyNAS RAIDar software

    1. Click on the “Setup” button to start the ReadyNAS FrontView management system
    2. Enter you login info. First time users will enter “admin” for user name and “netgear1″ for the password
    3. Since this is the first time you are using the device, you should enter the “Setup Wizard”. Click the “Next” button on the main window to proceed.
    4. Here you will walk through the process of setting the date & time, alert notifications for failed drives, network settings, hostname, new admin password, initial user and group accounts and initial shares (backup and media come pre-configured and ready to go).

In the setup wizard you can create new users for your ReadyNAS Pro system

  1. After you have finished with the initial setup, you can register your Netgear ReadyNAS device if you wish

Comparisons to Drobo

When it comes to RAID storage systems, especially NAS devices, Drobo is typically the company that is brought up when you ask other photographers. Why? Because they make great machines running Drobo’s own Beyond Raid custom RAID technology. Like ReadyNAS’s X-RAID2, this RAID technology allows you to add or replace drives with larger capacity ones to make the process of fixing or expanding your RAID system 10x easier. Drobo’s biggest advantage over ReadyNAS is that the capacity of your RAID server is expanded immediately, where on a ReadyNAS device the upgrade has to integrate it into your system first (which works in the background causing you to still have 100% full functionality of your device).

Netgear’s X-RAID2 biggest advantage is that it is not a proprietary technology like Drobo’s BeyondRaid. This means that if your Drobo device fails and Drobo can not fix it or if the company goes under, you are stuck with a broken system. X-RAID2 is built on top of the Linux RAID project which is open source. So if your ReadyNAS fails you, and Netgear can not solve your problem, you have the ability to work with any number of different data recovery services to find the solution that works for you.

Final Thoughts

Overall Netgear’s ReadyNAS Pro RAID systems are great devices that I do not have any problem recommending. While the user interface is not as sleek as some of its competition, it more then makes up for it with its rich feature set and advanced controls. The ability to run a NAS RAID server as a back up device for my photography images while also acting as a media server to all my other connected devices in my house and office is a nice touch. ReadyNAS Remote and Photos II are some of my favorite features, allowing me to access my device from anywhere in the world while also uploading photos for clients and customers to view in HD quality presentation.

In reality it took less then two minutes to begin streaming music to itunes running on my wife’s laptop and roughly 5 minutes to get network shares setup to stream movies to my Xbox360 and Boxee Media Streaming devices in our living room. The fact that the setup instructions are written for the everyday user certainly helped. Netgear also has a community message forum  at that consists of over 37,000 members that have written full tutorials and are constantly helping eachother out. I had no problem finding the solution to any small issues I had getting everything setup exactly how I need.

While I do enjoy Drobo’s ability to instantly recognize a new hard drive that is added to the system, the cost is the closed proprietary system that does not leave me feeling great if I ever had to recover data from a failed RAID array. You can do a Google search to on Drobo to find many individuals echoing similar worries and even actual experiences with these issues.

While any NAS RAID system is expensive, one must look at it as an investment in the security and quick access of your most prized possessions as a photographer, your photographs. While cloud storage is gaining in popularity and the price seems to becoming more affordable, it is a viable option for you. Do note that it comes with some notable drawbacks, mainly the uploading and inevitable full recovery of your data taking weeks if not months depending on your internet connection and size of your hard drives. Personally I am a fan of using cloud storage as the ultimate backup of a backup of a backup. I am happy to pay $59 a month to Carbonite to keep a “just in case” copy of my data. However as a sole use as a backup, I do not recommend it at this time.

*FULL DISCLOSURE: Netgear is not a sponsor nor did they pay for this review.

ReadyNAS Pro 4 Diskless Giveaway

Because I enjoyed my ReadyNAS Pro system so much and to celebrate CES (Consumer Electronics  Show) currently being held in Las Vegas, I decided to give away a ReadyNAS Pro 4 Disless system alonng with this review. Rules are simple:

  1. Leave a comment on this review that tells a story of a time that having a ReadyNAS Pro RAID backup system would have come in handy. Creativity counts but is not required to win!
  2. Click on the blue Google +1 button at the bottom of this review.

Thats it! If you care to share this review on facebook, google+ or twitter it would be greatly appreciated, but you are not required to in order to win!

Contest giveaway runs from January 9th t0 January 13th, 2012 with the winner being announce the night of January 15th

*Winners must provide a shipping address in the US or Canada but the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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  • caseymac

    Right now, actually. I lost some photos from a drive that was supposed to be “rugged” and am having to go through the process of restoring files and paying and hefty fee to do it. This is the only drive that I’ve never gotten around to backing up, and I’m paying the price for it. Great review as always, Colby!

  • leicaphotos

    well, it would certainly be useful for storing all my pictures of kittens, bokeh tests, and to keep an archive of all my photos, although it would make my laptop a tad less portable….

    seems like an awesome piece of gear…

    • pduany


  • colinjreed

    There have been many times in my life when a readyNAS pro would have been a valuable asset. I had a hard drive fail on my laptop and I lost a good number of photographs. The I am still upset about losing is a close up of a cuban emerald hummingbird that let me get so close my telephoto could not focus, so I had to take a few steps back. I can still picture what it looked like in my head, but if I’d had a readyNAS, I could be showing you instead!

  • ascarullo

    I wish i had a netgear readynas pro 4 diskless system before, My laptop and desktop simultaneously crash leaving me scrambling to recover my data in my HDD..

  • brianmatiash

    Ugh. It would have been great to have ReadyNAS during my move in November from Boston to Portland. The movers lost one box – a box that just should not have been lost – containing my hard drives that had every image I ever took with me. I was freaking out because I only had one copy of my images on my production volume and if that died… I don’t want to think about it. I had to rush around and find new hard drives to back up to but it would have been awesome to have ReadyNAS situated in my work office, protecting me from ‘lost boxes’. :(

  • bureau13js

    I’m a notoriously bad “backer-upper.” Probably because most of the solutions I’ve tried suck. The ReadyNAS Pro does not look like one of those solutions :-) Seriously, I’ve lost way more hard drives than seems reasonable over the last five years or so, and the data loss included music, pictures, you name it. This thing could seriously help!

  • KamalSingh

    Few weeks back my Promise NS4300n NAS RAID setup started giving issues (randomly goes to sleep mode) after 4 years of usage, on top of that there isn’t much support from promise either. Netgear ReadyNAS Pro is looking promising, hopefully in weeks I should be able finalize which NAS RAID setup to go with. It is an expensive investment.Overall review of this product is through, +Colby Brown will there be a follow up with benchmark stats?

  • cavaroc

    This would have helped me a lot when I got back from a month-long road trip at the end of November and had a hard drive fail. I neglected to turn off the automatic backup on the drive that was still good and wound up losing all of my photos from August and September – some of the best landscapes and wildlife video and stills that I had ever gotten.

    So yeah, I could use a much better solution.

  • pduany

    This will help unify all my photos, and backups spread across many USB externals into a more manageable structure.

  • kenporter

    I’m over in Sweden doing research with colleagues when I discover the thumb drive with my data is missing. My only other copy sat on my computer at home in the US. I spent 18 hours re-entering the data before we could continue with with our calculations, ouch. If I had a NAS setup at home I could get to all my files no matter where I travel (assuming of course I have an internet connection). Lesson learned: get a cloud backup AND travel with multiple copies of important files.

  • WWBugs

    There are currently 3 desktops and 4 laptops in our home that are in dire need of system, photo, video, and file backup. The ReadyNAS Pro 4 Diskless System from #Netgear would be a god send!

  • cascadetreeguy

    I would of loved this when my computer was stolen. Took forever downloading over 400 gig of images from my online back up

  • drifting_sites

    Ahahaha! I just dealt with a situation that has this kind of backup written all over it. I was still in the middle of switching over a lot of photographs to Lighrooms system when my graphics card completely crashed. Moral of story, don’t wait until your finished switching your photos over to a new file system to save backup files. ;) oops

  • Keri Neal

    A time when the ReadyNAS would have been a great thing to have? Hmmm…well I practice a 3 place back-up, however, this is time consuming and requires a lot of organization and if ever I blow uot a laptop or computer this device would be so handy and to act as a media server, too….bonus!

  • marknvt

    Hmmm. when would have Ready NAS Pro RAID backup system “come in handy”? Let me count the ways! Over the years I’ve had many hard drives fail and, sorry to report, I’ve been slow to adopt an efficient path in backing up my work. I’ve lost video of Finback whales swimming and spouting directly under the bow, two years worth of remote Labrador photos and barely recovered an entire western roadtrip from da efective ex-hard drive. And that’s just the fun stuff! For projects that pay the bills, I’ve had a hard drive meltdown on my PC that saw a critical online training project evaporate in a breath and took two weeks to rebuild. These days I’m getting by on two ex-drives that speak to each other, but not to me.

    Great review Colby – I actually understood most of it!

  • Rob Lopes

    The average consumer typically learns of technology like this after loosing data stored on other types of media. Typically people rely on CD/DVD, flash thumb drives or even still have their data on floppy disks. What consumers don’t know, is if your data is still available and if so, is all of it? CD and DVD’s will not hold data for a life time. Even though cloud storage is available and becoming mainstream, there is no replacement for having your data on your own home or small business network ready to be used. The next best thing is being able to organize your data into folder structures all on one unit. Network Storage Devices are not new. However, the prices have come down greatly. Previously making mass storage for home users unthinkable and cost prohibitive.

    I use my NAS for all the important stuff. When I finish working on something, I move it into a folder structure on the NAS. It would be nice to have a shinny new NAS from Netgear though ;)

  • arbarello

    Excellent review and excellent solution for my ever growing photo archive. Thanks !

  • bkpsu

    I’ve been looking for an effective way to back up all my media & work files on my home network. Currently, it’s a hodge-podge of external drives, connected to various new & old PCs, over a network of routers & switches, with Microsoft’s SyncToys running on each computer to keep the files synchronized between them. Then, there’s the problem of some drives being too small to store all files,s o they only get a selection of the “most important” files to backup. In all, a centralized RAID system like this would be perfect!

  • robertr316

    Thanks for the great review. It’s definitely helped in my search for a better backup system for my wife and I.

    This past summer, our neighborhood in Austin caught fire and we had to evacuate. It caught everyone by surprise and we didn’t have time to grab much. Most importantly, we got the kids and dog out the door and my wife grabbed her external hard drive with all her graphic design work on it. Unfortunately, I forgot the one that had all our photos. Had it not been for the superhuman efforts of the local fire departments, we would have lost everything, including the irreplaceable memories of the kids.

    We both realize we need a better backup system than what we’re currently using and the ReadyNAS Pro 4 Diskless System sounds perfect! The ReadyNAS Pro 4 Diskless System would be a tremendous boon for both her graphic design business and for my amateur photography business.

  • fuzzywoowoo

    Once upon a time (Jan 5, 2012), I read a post on the Crucial forums titled “BSOD Crucial M4″. Onoes! I’m currently using 2 of those in RAID0 to run my OS! I kept reading, and apparently a number of drives are forcing systems to reboot every hour once they SSD’s pass 5000 hours of use. Sacrebleu! I’ve had my drives for a good while now! I checked SSDLife, and my M4 SSD’s had around 4000 hours of working time! ¡Ay, caramba! Luckily, the old mechanical drive I used to use for my OS is still around, and I’ve gone back to using it just in case I encounter the reported problem with my SSD’s. I’d intended to use it as a backup to my drive that’s housing my photos from the last 2 years. That’s a lot of RAW files, right there. So while I’ve been lucky to have no real problems with equipment failure, it’s bound to happen. It’s never a question of it, but when. Put simply, a reliable NAS would be really, really handy to have.

  • dakwegmo

    Three years ago, in the course of a week, my house was struck by lighting twice, and then a tornado named Noah came through. With the first lighting strike, I lost one of the external hard drives I had been using to backup my system. No problem, I just hooked up the second drive, and was copying everything over when another lighting storm cropped up, and while I thought I had disconnected everything, I had left one network cable connected. A second lighting strike in my yard in three days killed my second backup (and two internal drives in my main system, but they weren’t part of the backup routine). Worried now that I only had one backup remaining, I started transferring everything from that backup to my laptop to make sure I had at least some redundancy. Unfortunately, a surprise visit from my nephew while the data was transferring ended up with my house a disaster, and my laptop and hard drive under the table where I had been working. How did that get there I wonder, and then my nephew comes in to apologize for knocking the computer on the floor. I lost my third backup in the fall, but fortunately my laptop was fine and the transfer was almost done. I still lost about three months worth of photos, but given that I lost all three backups, it could have been much worse. Something like this would bolster what has otherwise been a great backup plan.

  • PerSay

    Currently I am backing up my work to a cloud storage system. Yay! … I only have 84 more days to go at 24 hours/day uploading. Boo!

    There has got to be a better way and I think a ReadyNAS is it!

  • loganthomas1337

    I work in the IT field and I know the value of a NAS. Having a NAS at home would be wonderful! About 6 years ago when I got my first digital camera, I learned the value of backing up your pictures when I had a hard drive fail and lost every photo on it. If I had something like this NAS, I would have just been able to replace the hard drive and not loose anything. Now I back up my pictures online and never delete them off of my SD card until they have been uploaded online. This NAS is actually a device I’ve been looking at for a while, and would be amazing to have!

  • shift

    Win! Thanks for the amazing review. If I could’ve had a NAS when I lost almost all of my photography/graphic design work last year, I’d have actually have had made some money. It was… a stressful time. I had to replace my HDD and I invested in external backup drives. Currently, that’s my only backup system. In any case, thanks for the write up! Hope I win =P

  • lilihewitt69

    I am really into Photography the last two years and really need a good system to back up. Looked at all the options out there,there are all too expensive,too difficult to use. So right now,only rely on external hard drives. Never stop looking and love Drobo and ReadyNas,but don’t have the budget. It will really give me the peace of mind on my the precious data if can get one system. Thanks for the review and the giveaway and wish everyone good luck!

  • asaph70

    I wish I had this before this summer as my house was broken into and my laptop was stolen. I download my photos to the laptop then transfer the photos on a separate drive later so I did not loose very much that way but the big loss was with my Lightroom catalog as it was backed up to the laptop hard drive so I lost a lot of keywords assigned to the photos and now have almost 13000 photos with out key words. …. do you hear that that’s is the sound of me pulling my hair out to put it mildly

  • jwdsail

    This would come in handy right now.. I’ve got several drives with backed-up RAW photos and HD Video from my 5DmkII, and this would be a much better way to keep them all straight.

  • eweatherly

    This would have been great a couple of years ago when one of two mirroed drives was corrupted and failed completely. That drive also had the OS and Program Files on it. Fortunately I got a new computer out of it and didn’t lose a single image. As the library grows, NAS systems just make more sense.

  • arcterex

    I have a Drobo and when it one day decided that I didn’t have any partitions on it’s drive (with my 2T of completely tagged mp3s movie and file archive, and a backup (and a backup only thank $DEITY) of my images. It was solved (mostly) with some recovery tools, but when it happened again six months later I moved the drobo into the position of backup ONLY. A proper NAS like the ReadyNAS would be awesome to keep me and my terabyte of images safer :)

  • Igashu

    I’ve been hoping to someday pick up a NAS box — in fact, I remember looking longingly at the ReadyNAS NV back when it was owned by Infrant — right now still just getting by with software RAID. This would be hugely helpful!

  • Shellyg

    I would be lying if I told a story where I lost all kinds of information and photos and such. I have only had one hard drive fail on me and was able to recover most of it. My luck can’t continue this way though and have been considering a Drobo. This system looks like it would be even better and would be awesome to win!

  • ralphjoallen

    a time when this would come in handy?…all the time! Oh boy, do I need this! 6 computers not networked and when shooting from locations in the US and all over Latin America for our charity work it can get really messy. I have to get a handle on the situation and have been looking for a solution.

  • Woodjitsu

    A year ago I had a hard drive fail containing all my photos and financial records.No problem I thought and plugged in my backup Usb drive only to find out that had also failed. A Netgear Pro NAS would have saved me the $1500 it cost me for professional data recovery and even then I only recovered just less than half my data.

  • ShawnCorbett

    Shawn Corbett

    It’s kinda funny and ironic that you would do this giveaway this week. You see last week after having a years worth of images that have really kick started my career my hard drive burned up when my computer short circuited. I panic as though I did have a portable hard drive but I had failed to back up all my files due to being flustered with a busy month then christmas. I called the computer company as my computer was still on warranty. Turns out their policy is that I cannot bring it to a shop to have my files recovered cause the minute the hard drive is exposed the warranty is void. Also the company DOESN’T recover data for it’s clients. So needless to say with new additions to the family and also a shoot with my best friends who I don’t get to see often a Netgear Pro NAS would have saved me from heartache.

  • mdgm

    I used to connect my external hard drive to my laptop. One day I moved my laptop and my connected external hard drive fell on the floor, dead. Then my laptop hard drive died. I lost some of my data. A NAS such as the Pro 4 would’ve saved me from data loss.

    • mdgm

      Why does it shows as 0pts? I +1’d the page on Google+ then un +1’d it and have now +1’d it again.

  • Marcink Designs

    Nearly 2 years ago I purchased a new laptop for my Photoshop and Dreamweaver work and was ecstatic that I had a fast computer with lots of memory. Day 1 during set up – blue screen. Day 3 – blue screen. To make this short, I had to send the computer in for repair 5 times in a year. Each time my hard drive was wiped clean and returned to its original status. I thought I had a good backup system, but when I had to recover files for a project while the laptop was in for repair, I nearly panicked before I finally found them.

    Now, I keep all my files on a portable 1T hard drive and back up to another external hard drive, but the RAID would be so much sweeter.

  • Dennis Faucher

    Colby, thank you for the in-depth review. I keep all my photos, videos and computer backups on a Windows Home Server in the basement. Windows Home Server takes whatever hard drives you attach to it and expands a RAID 0 volume. This is easy to use, but has no redundancy. One of my hard drives went bad and the data (all 2010 photos) was lost. I have a second copy on DVD, but one of the DVDs had read errors and I lost a few of the photos. I have been looking into RAID 1 or 5 alternatives and the ReadyNAS looks like just the ticket.

  • kpldd

    I was new to computing and never really gave much thought to back-ups. Most of the documents that I had in those days were easily replicated. That should have changed with a new daughter and new digital camera. Thousands of pictures representing child birth through the first 6-months were lost one day when our HDD went south. If only I had a ReadyNAS with RAID to have all of those pictures back or easily recovered with the loss of a HDD. Thanks for the review.

  • jeffaopa

    My aunt and uncle’s house recently burned down. A while back my aunt ask me to fix family photos to be place onto a picture quilt. So I had her most prized family photos retouched for her and saved them to an external hard drive I had as a one of my backups. I was so happy I had saved their pictures. Guess what, the hard drive failed catastrophically. It would cost over 2000 dollars to TRY to recover them! Never again!! I will give the Netgear solution a try, thanks! Jeff.

  • Steve Savoie

    In simple words “Computer Virus !” A couple of times this has happened to me and have lost lots of precious things due to it.

  • kcollins

    As an IT manager and part-time consultant I have seen every imaginable loss-scenario out there: accidental erasures, viruses, drive failures, you name it. I constantly preach: Backup of a backup of a backup (one archive, one portable backup and one off-site backup.) But I rarely practice what I preach. I have tons of small portable hard drives with stuff scattered all over the place because no one drive is large enough to hold all of my data. This is a problem because I misplaced one of those drives. If I had had that drive (or a backup of its contents) I could have saved myself a WORLD of grief during the construction of my house.

    You see, there was an inspection done on the wiring in my new house. After that inspection, the construction continued. Throughout the construction I had been taking pictures on almost a daily basis. I distinctly remember taking a picture of the electrical inspection sticker that was affixed to one of my windows, because that inspection represented a milestone in the construction and I knew I was getting closer to the move in date.

    Well the day came when my house was finished. The carpet and trim were done, paint was on the walls, appliances were hooked up, the clean-up complete – we were ready. Then came the call. Apparently the electrical inspector forgot to file his paperwork and my house was treated as if it had never had an inspection. That inspector had moved on and without proof, the building code people wouldn’t let me move in until a “proper” inspection has been filed.

    So, out came the contractors, ripping and slashing at the wall board and ceilings to expose the wiring. I was devastated, my new house was a wreck, our move-in delayed by three weeks, my wife was in tears and I was P-Oed. All because I couldn’t find the picture I KNEW I took. Having enough storage in one place to hold everything I needed in a protected manner could have saved me all that grief.

  • randomtraveller

    So many times… can I use the excuse that my dog ate my floppy/cd/dvd/USB thumbdrive? Or the classic “I’m sorry sweety I needed more space I didn’t think this was important” the day before the schedule back-up? Been looking at NAS for a while, thanks for the great review! :D

    • randomtraveller

      Oh M. Brown the G+ icon is white until we +1 it :)

      • ColbyBrown

        @randomtraveller Hmmm. Looks fine for me. I will check it out

        • randomtraveller

          @ColbyBrown Have you already +1 it? anyways not a big deal I think people will understand… or maybe I’m just crazy ;)

  • craig pifer

    This would be handy in so many situations. In the year and half that I’ve had my laptop, I’ve had to send it in for service way too many times. Unfortunately I don’t have the worlds best backup system, which made it quite time consuming to backup my files before sending the computer for service. Having a ReadyNAS would have given me a great system to have already backed up my files, and made it easy to backup any that were still local only. I lost a few files because of failures in my backup system, but thankfully nothing crucial.

  • natebennion

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking into different backup options and it’s nice to see something other than drobo as an option.

  • ekangel

    I would love to win!!! I’ve had multiple experiences with backup drives that have failed (I’m bad luck when it comes to computers!) and while luckily I’ve discovered it before reformatting my drive & actually needed the backed up material, a RAID would prevent this from happening b/c even if one of the drives on the RAID failed, the information would still be there on the others. I can’t bear the thought of loosing all the precious photographs of my kids!

  • lowriga

    Would have been nice to have this just before my last hard drive crash!

  • motomax

    shooting in raw fills disks fast. Having a reliable (and easy to use) backup becomes more important everyday.

  • Mike Sharp

    Thanks for the review Colby. I’ve been investigating and thinking about buying a Drobo for some time now. It’s nice to see that there’s a strong alternative product available. The ReadyNAS looks like a sweet system. Of course, while I was doing all of my investigating an thinking, my hard drive failed two days before a business trip to Colorado. Luckily, it was still under warranty, and I was still able to recover my data after a great deal of worry and effort. Once I was fully operational again, I decided to try a cloud based backup as a ‘quick’ fix until I save up for something better. You are definitely correct about it being a slow process. The initial upload has been running for about a week, and it’s not even done half of my data yet!

  • billykollmar

    I’ve had computers fail-thankfully only the motherboard, so I bought an external hard drive. I’m hoping that doesn’t fail before I’m able to get another back up. Great review although out of my price range right now.

  • vulferius

    There is no such thing as too much redundancy in backups. I had a drive fail five years ago and although I had most of my images backed up to a CD I lost the high resolution pictures of the last holiday I had with all my grandparents. I guess you live, learn, and setup offsite backups.

  • ronWLS

    When firing up an older external drive and finding all the folders were now named “,” I could have sure used this ReadyNAS system.

  • Stefanie Loges

    I have had lost my hard disks now for a few times with all my images gone nearly forever. This should not happen again!! Thank you for another great review Colby Brown, great stuff and so useful for us photographers!

  • griffmiester

    I have 3 working computers in my house. Having a shared storage point would be very handy to both share data within my house, and to provide a centralised backup of my important files.

  • DangRabbit

    Oh, I remember the day my Time Capsule failed… one lone hard drive inside a wireless device makes for a shaky backup system unfortunately. And of course it was just a short time outside warranty. I ended up having to pry the device open with a butter knife to get the drive out and then struggled for days to recover what I could. Not a good use of time.

  • csiguenza

    I once had a hard drive crash, and the backup disk I was using was not readable either ! it was very stressful and time consuming, a NAS appliance would have saved me in so many ways – I went through a complicated set of steps to recover my data, which involved taking apart the drive in a clean room, mounting the innards in a different drive but the same make / model #, putting the drive in an external case, mounting it to my new laptop, recovering the data, restoring the data.

    Not fun!

  • moostveen

    Christmas would have been a good time to have one of these, or any other occasion where we are with family and are having a world of hurt trying to share photo’s of our little girls and the hilarious stuff they do.

    Also, having a central storage for our images would be very useful.

    Thanks for a very useful review Colby!

  • cavaroc0

    This would have helped me a lot when I got back from a month-long road trip at the end of November and had a hard drive fail. I neglected to turn off the automatic backup on the drive that was still good and wound up losing all of my photos from August and September – some of the best landscapes and wildlife video and stills that I had ever gotten.

  • Pingback: ReadyNAS Pro System Review – A RAID System Built for Photographers | Colby Brown Photography()

  • svance

    Having multiple computers running linux, windows and mac causes headaches trying to move files around, sharing folders, etc. Having one of these would be a daily godsend, especially freeing up some system resources that are dedicated to just keeping folders shared for when/if someone needs a file.

  • duxx0r

    Would have loved one of these to replicate my existing file server onto so that when my angry _ex_ girlfriend decided to leave with _my_ file server, I’d still have a copy of all _my_ data. grrrrrr

  • clupica

    with 170’000 images in my “current” Lightroom catalog I think that says enough to qualify for a pair of these. :-))

  • kraen

    Very interesting review. I would really love to get my hands on one of those!

  • randomtraveller

    So many times… can I use the excuse that my dog ate my floppy/cd/dvd/USB thumbdrive while having no access to the originals? Or the classic “I’m sorry sweety I needed more space I didn’t think this was important” the day before the schedule back-up?

    Ok I admit, I don’t have a dog and no one as ever deleted my stuff by mistake… not that I remember anyways but I’ve lost critical data/photo in the past where a NAS would have save the day, plus I’ve been looking at a NAS solution for a while to ease the sharing between the PC, Work laptop, PS3… aww so many nights spent cursing on one of those 3 because I couldn’t get the damn network to work properly… thanks for the great review! :D

  • skyhouse71

    One time I bought a new hard drive for my system, copied everything onto it and within a month it failed. I sent it in and the company gave me a new drive. Again, copied everything over, set up the drive and again, it failed within a month. Sent this one in, got a third one, did the whole copy and thing and of course this one failed within two months. After that I switched companies and got a harddrive that actually worked. If I had the readyNas, everything would have been captured on that and all I would have had to do is set up the oporating system instead of spending hours transfering everything over.

  • MarshaJBB

    We have two computers in our house and ton and tons of photos—and we’re struggling to figure out a good way to share the photos between the two computers easily, reliably, and at faster-than-a-glacier pace. Sounds like this item could be just the ticket!

  • Doug Sublette

    I have been takimg pictures for over 18 years, and currently try to keep backup copies and one hard drive in a safe when not backing up. The time the raid would have helped me was when we had a house fire. I had a current enough backup of most data, except the portable drive that I used for on-shoot storage was sittimg on my desk. I went through quite the ordeal gettimg data off of that drive, but was lucky enough in the end and recovered most of the files.

  • GrahamBB

    ReadyNAS is great, I’ve used it for years (long before Netgear acquired them). There are a couple of glitches that make it tough for Mac owners right now. The Remote application simply doesn’t work on OSX 64 bit mode and has not for a long time now. If you need to reach your NAS away form its location and are on OSX 64 bit, you are out of luck.

    Repair for ReadyNAS is impossible unless you do it yourself! I had a 600 fail in a weird way (when it upgraded to the latest firmware, it failed. Repeatedly….). The guys at Netgear provided a spares only 600 (above and beyond service!) and using the parts didn’t fix it. I’m not really a techie and would have preferred to have an expert do the fix. In the end the (now two) 600 are sitting here as scrap.


  • justabiggeek

    Typical story… I had a laptop with a bunch of photos on it and it hadn’t been backed up. A lightning strike on the pole outside the house fried the laptop. A NAS that was easy to access would have been a great solution for this issue.

    Thanks for offering this contest!

  • gardenrailway

    This would be a much nicer implementation that want I am using now for 3 different projects. The short version:

    I am using an old XP machine to store images and video from 4 IP cameras monitoring around the house and yard. (Lots of mountain lions and bears in this part of Colorado.)

    I am using my normal desktop with an ESATA dock for storing all my Apple TV streaming media.

    I am also using the ESATA dock (with another set of drives) for storage of all my RAW images and the boxes of old family slides I am now scanning in.

    A nice NAS unit would clear all this up and cut back on my power usage as well.

    Should have had this on my Christmas list!

    Good luck everyone.

  • joneskcj3

    I have been in the computer business for a long time, and have known the value of backing up my data. I would backup regularly to floppy disks, diskettes, CD’s, internal and external hard drives. Over time, I was fortunate to have never had a hard drive failure, so I got lax about the regularity of my backups. Wouldn’t you know it, after not having backed up for about 3 months, I had a hard drive fail. Of course I could go back to the previous backup and restore up to that point, but during that 3 month gap, I lost some critical data, and lots of photos that can’t be replaced. I still worry about hard drive failure even though I backup automatically to an external drive on a regular basis. There is still the risk of some data loss. With a NAS system, this would be mitigated by a RAID system having spread data over as many drives as the system holds….great! My goal is to get a system someday to improve that exposure and give me more peace of mind. Thanks to Colby for the information and comparisons on these systems.

  • Atook

    Backing up files to other media isn’t difficult, it’s just a pain. The last time I had a hard drive fail I lost 2 months worth of photos. If I had a NAS attached to my home network, I would have had backups from no more than a week previous. Having a NAS allows you to set a scheduled backup that happens without you thinking about it. If I don’t have to think about it, it’ll get done. I also like the idea of having access to all of my files via accessing the NAS from the net.

  • levigroker

    Having a ReadyNAS backup would have saved me loads of time and frustration dealing with my online backup “solution” which ultimately didn’t have my files backed up. While I’m a proponent for on and offsite backups, my situation didn’t lend itself to having onsite backups, so I had to rely only on the online system which was slow and apparently ineffective. Having a ReadyNAS on my LAN would have allowed me to have a copy of my data when I needed it. Live and learn.

  • darraghbuffini

    I currently have a ReadyNAS NV+, and recommended the brand to a friend who bought the Pro4. While copying backed up from my box to his using the magic backup facilities another friends external drive went down like a dead duck. Luckily for him I had backed up his data for him on to my store previously, so instead of watching him cry indefinitely (which was pretty funny..) I got him a new drive and refilled it with all of his data, whilst still running the NAS – NAS to backup! Both operations worked like a charm and I was STILL able to use it to stream media to my PS3.

    Single greatest gadget I’ve ever bought. I actually sold an iPad that I received as a prize in order to buy the NAS. THATS how good it is. :)

  • superaven

    Compared to the Apple Time Capsule, I’d rather have a ReadyNAS any day of the week. So many features AND it will act as a a Time Capsule.

  • cleschert

    The combination of this and plex ( truly is a remarkable combination for any home entertainment network. I have used this numerous times to watch my ripped movies/tv shows when away from home and within my own network.

  • n_godwin

    No need to create a story about when having a ReadyNAS Pro RAID backup system would have come in handy, I’ll tell you what happened the week after I installed my ReadyNAS NVX.

    A week after I set it up as a server and a Apple Time Machine Archive my main Mac’s hard disc decided to go bang! Not a repair and reboot bang, but a complete failure. My replacement mac Pro drive arrived the following morning and a complete restore was done. This saved me days reinstalling software and adjusting preferences etc. It paid for itself in a week and been running great since. One drive has had to be replaced but as stated I just checked which drives were compatible and swapped it out.

    I’m now looking to get another one to take advantage of Ready NAS Replicate. So hopefully going to win this competition! :-)

  • bberger2004

    Quite simply, I could really use a backup/storage device. Currently I use an old linux computer with multiple mis-matched hard drives inside or attached. It’s honestly a mess and has to be restarted constantly. I would completely re-install the linux OS on it, but I can’t remember all I did to set it up several years ago. This ReadyNas Pro system would solve a lot of headache for me and give me a much better storage/backup system for all my photography/video/music/web design work.

  • duchovny13

    Lets say that photos i took 10 years ago are all gone, my hdd just crashed one day without warning and because i didn’t do backups everything was gone :( a few years later i had a fire in my living room and my laptop was burned to death and i had a cheap NAS on the corner that survived the fire and all the water it got from that horrible day, NAS are great and they are very strong and my photos for me are priceless so this NAS would help me to store out of my house all my photos as i would put in a remote location :)

  • viktordite

    i do use this one at work. great piece of hardware. it is so easy to create automated backups. just press the button.

    for me this is to expensive for private use, so i’ll hopefully win one for my home use

  • shells Photography

    Like everyone seems to say. Hard drive crashes of the past. It would really come in handy now with the countless back up drives and removable hard drives that I use today, The overload on my system due to my images is daunting. I haven’t been able to upgrade computers fast enough to keep up with the sizes of images. I would love to try this out!

  • EdLark

    As I get much more serious with my photography, I am definitely going to need a much more reliable backup system. My 20th system of a couple of external drives has failed on more than one occasion. I am ready to step into the future and breathe a little easier knowing that my hard work in the field is not going to dissolve into the ether!

  • bokeh3

    nice to have one of these to access from any computer.

  • FrancisGagnon

    Interesting review. I would have been useful to have it when my hd crashed last year.

  • cgarza2008

    Being a photographer and having a 14 month old makes keeping my photos backed up a struggle , not to mention, she is a SERIOUS master of destruction! She unintentionally clicks and deletes things like it is nobodies business! I can’t even think of how many pictures she has accidently deleted while watching movies because they were stored on my laptop…. This would be so useful to keep her away from them and to protect from those random times when my laptop decides to go belly up.

  • mr2m4n

    Having lost a lot of Photos of my Artwork due to human error this would have been very useful.

  • alohatimtwit

    With 5 years of photos on external and internal hard drives, I’ve reached the point of needing a better and more protective solution and effective solution.

  • Kralizec

    I had many photos while living abroad for 2 years stored on an external hard drive. Sadly this hard drive crashed and I lost nearly a years worth of photos which are irreplaceable. Having a Readynas would have provided a better storage alternative with relevancy to protect the data.

  • jamerz3294

    Of course, the last time I got the Blue Screen of Death, and subsequent HD failure, I was already behind on a project that was due yesterday! This Netgear Ready NAS Pro 4 system would have greatly aided me in finishing the project. I imagine I would have more hair now as I must have pulled out at least half of it? On a side note, a desk top that sits sideways on your *other* desk, really isn’t the place for a non-house broken puppy to take a nap. Whoda thunk?

  • Michaelinitaly

    I just bought a new Seagate 2TB hard drive. I copy all my images and some videos. The video were of my kids and unbeknown to me there were the only copies of their first few years. I spent a little more to have a Seagate as I wanted to make sure that I had no problems. I formatted the disc with two partitions and coped all the images to both drives. I detached the drive and I formatted the the C drive of my computer and another drive as well. I put the operating system back on and updated all the drives. When all was running well, I plugged back in my 3 hour old Seagate drive and it would not read the disc. It was not that it could not see the info, it was not recognized by the computer. I tried over and over, I switched computers multiple times. I called Seagate and they advised to download their software, I did and it did not see the drive. I called them and asked if they could look at it, and they said sure for a couple thousand dollars we can rescue your lost data. I said but it is not lost, I am sure it is still on the drive, the hardware just cannot see the drive. They said no problem for a couple thousand dollars maybe we can fix it. I said but it is your fault that the data cannot be fixed, it is a hardware problem, not a software problem, you should fix it under warranty. So now it sits on my desk as a paper weight until I have an extra couple thousand dollars. I could have used the ReadyNAS system.

  • lucagandolfo

    Very interesting read, Colby. I am now looking into a way to expand and secure my images, trying Carbonite right now, but having something you can control and manage can give a good degree of tranquility. I am still trying to figure out if a NAS system like this Netgear or the Drobo could be fitting in my setup, and you have shed a great deal of light on this subject. Highly appreciated. All the best, Luca.

  • bslag

    So, a few years back I had just gotten my first Intel Mac and had decided that I wanted to run a Bootcamp partition of Win XP. I had read exactly how to do it and had it all partitioned up ready to boot off the Windows CD to install. I get to the point of choosing the drive and formatting NTFS (rather than the FAT32)…doing this hundreds of times before I just arrow down the the partition and format away…two seconds after it starts I realized I had just formatted the main partition of my hard drive and lost everything, including the couple years of photographs I had been storing in iPhoto.

    Some-what luckily, at that time I had been uploading nearly every single picture I took to a web gallery I had running on my domain. Unfortunately, none of these were stored in RAW format, only JPG, and a chunk of them at a fraction of the original resolution.

    To this day, I don’t have any redundant backups…but at least all that is precious is stored on external drives.

  • bulldog001

    I must confess. I don’t have a time when this “would have” come in handy. I can tell you that as an amateur photographer who keeps his photo’s on his 10 year old laptop that I can see a time when it is going to crash and all of my photo’s and hard work will be destroyed and lost forever.

  • mkechaz

    Recently lost a lot of work because my back up software was giving me false warm fuzzy that everything was getting backed up automatically. That lesson lead me to online backup but to me that should only be part of the solution. I’m in the market for a NAS RAID Solution to help support my budding photography business. It seems to me there has to be a better process and your article helps a great deal. Thank you for this.

  • Gujustud

    Over the past year, my wife and I have been traveling quite a bit (6 months of 2011 were spent traveling). I usually take any images with me that I ‘might’ require to access on a small WD 1TB HDD, which generally holds enough, but having access to our entire database would be epic.

    I’ve been meaning to setup a NAS at my parents house for sometime, but just been slacking with it. Maybe it’s time soon ;)

  • lucagandolfo

    One thing, Colby. Carbonite is $59/year, not a month…

  • Pdufresne

    I am a videographer, so I tend to eat through hard drives even faster! Not sure if some of these features could be accessed for video. But, if so, this unit sounds awesome! This could prove useful for a job we are doing this week. We are shooting in Boston and having cards couriered back to Norwood to the editors. This job has a quick turnaround and the faster clips can get back to the office the better!

  • tkonvalin

    As with most things one does not need such a device unitl one needs one. Having never had a crash everyting is fine but there will be a day when one will come and having ample storage will be much appreciated. With two of my children taking pictures like there is no tomorrow ,and I endless disk space, we need a central place to store and back up files.

  • tkonvalin

    By the way I may be blind but i am not seeing the Google + button

    • ColbyBrown

      @tkonvalin – Hmmm. It is between the Like and Tweet button below the final image in the post. Might be your browser.

      • tkonvalin

        @ColbyBrown@tkonvalin That was it as I was using another computer and IExplorer. Works fine with Chrome.

  • PaulCiura

    Looks like a killer setup to keep all those extra brackets of HDR shots on backup :). Good review Colby.

  • lucillegalleli

    I’ve been toying with the idea of a Drobo, but propriety everything kept me off it for a long time. Netgear’s solution seems like the answer to my storage dilemma. With this I see myself being able to continue my edits even after switching from my desktop to laptop, streaming media to my TV and doing all the stuff I’ve been waiting so long to do.

  • stevetraingeek

    I am an amateur photographer and videographer, and my digital files are very important to me.

    I’ve had numerous instances where remote access to my photos would have helped me to show them to prospective clients. As it is I have to carry my favourites on a stick. Remote access to my NAS would give me the ability to pull up any photo.

    I use two local systems for my backup as well as an off-site backup, and a system like this would help me manage my files much easier with lots of room for easy expansion.

  • trevorconnellphoto

    Well being a photographer, we all know that archiving and having redundancy is key. I recently had a drive go from early on in my career where I just had one drive and backups on CD/DVD. I’ve just spent hours (and hours) bringing everything from the hard copies back online to a new drive. Clearly I would have been saved if I was using a device like this.Hopefully I’ll win this contest and I won’t have this problem again!

  • PabloAv

    I completely agree with the ReadyNAS vs Drobo comparison (I own an ancient ReadyNAS NV and a Drobo. In fact, I have the ReadyNAS back up my Drobo nightly as insurance against the Drobo failing. (Note this scheme doesn’t protect against corruption because the corrupt data will quietly overwrite the good data). Come to think of it, Disk failures are like a house fire (sudden and obvious). Data corruption is like Carbon Monoxide (slow and hard to detect).

    I need a backup for my ReadyNAS! That Pro unit sure would be handy and I could try out that ReadyNAS Replicate to keep an off-site replica of my data.

  • AlenPasalic

    well when you have to buy like 100 things in photography to start your business it would be great having something like this, and when you see those 700$, there is no other way then be honest and say yeah for that kind of money i would buy printer,strobe,stand…all that i need and i dont have.

    that NETGEAR is like one of most important things when u think to take photography seriously but the last thing i would buy because i need more stuff to make photos in the first place.i have 100gb of photos and my poor PC is starting to roar every time i fire up my LR, and that all is on one drive…living in Bosnia man have to go slow on buying gear i still use 400D canon, i save money for 5d mark II…but everything is like:-you buy one thing and it needs another.give that to someone that is in love with this job and it will make his life easier…i know how would something like this help’d one photographer who is in same starting position like me.anyway you are great man when you want to help people like this,cheers mate.

  • ezulueta

    I just got into DSLR photography and having something like this would definitely make me worry less about data integrity and disk space. These JPEG + RAW files sure take up a lot of space. I am currently using external Hard Drives and a RAID would be so much better.

  • gord60d

    I helped a friend set up his PC for his Wedding photography, but he failed to listen to me on the importance of data backup, and wanted to go with the cheapest solution. It wasn’t until a few months later that he came back begging me to help him save 2 whole wedding shoots after his hard drive somehow “disappeared”. I managed to recover all his files, but he soon took my earlier advice on using an effective Raid5 setup, and hasn’t had any such issues since :)

    Of course I’d love to win the ReadyNAS, but I live in England, however, I would be more than happy to pay postage costs ;)

  • johnlorenz

    Having something like the Netgear NAS to backup my pictures and media too and be able to access it anywhere sounds like one more toy I don’t think I can get by the wife!


  • MarkII

    I have PC’s, laptops, cards, tablets, hard drives, game consoles, etc. all over the place. With tons of content on all of them. I could us a Netgear ReadyNAS to organize all of them in a singular space and be as particular as I’d like about the filing system.

  • SubconsciousSight

    Great review Colby! I’ve suffered the lost / corrupt data files a couple times even though I was using a D-Link 2-drive raid. It started as a 500 gig back up… once I filled that I had to change drives to 1TB. THAT was quite the experience that most people wouldn’t want to go through! Now that I’ve filled the 1TB drive raid, I’ve had to buy two 3TB USB drives that I can mirror. Guess what! more problems! They cancel each other out so my laptop won’t recognize them, unless I plug one into the USB3 and let it load up and then plug the other into a USB2 port! And sometimes that doesn’t work! These are both the same model drives! I’m looking for a better way to back up and this looks like it would easily do the job, and being able to swap a drive without the reformatting is really the only way to go! So how would I go about talking my wife into letting me buy this when I just shelled out for the 3TB’s ??? A give away is THE answer!!

  • ACH Photography

    My wife and I have had numerous laptops crash and the HD go with it. I have had to remove the HD and assemble an EXT casing to get the data of for recovery. This has come to the cost of numerous different cases for Sata and standard old drives. I could have used one of these earlier setup to our in home Network. Since we have also live in the Mountains. We have no broadband internet fast enough to take advantage of the Cloud. So everything is being handle onsite. I Have gone to the trouble of manually backing up mine and my wifes HD’s by using external cases since we have crashed numerous times before. This has come to the tune of about 4 hours a computer to update the drives. And i mean all different interfaces, LOL. This Product sound and looks awesome. I could think of so many ways i could configure this to handle Family Videos, Pictures and my new photography business I am trying to start.

  • 230023

    Wow, the Netgear NAS to backup my pictures would really have been useful the time i travelled to Ireland, and hope to show my family and friend my photos from my trip around SE Asia only to discover the USB HDD with the photos was back in California. Ouch!

  • manthanr

    Just lost a harddrive with over 300gb of information last year.. If I had a ReadyNas system, my images, videos and music collection would still be accessible today!

  • plowchalkdr

    Hmmmmm…my story of good luck and bad luck. Well I was shooting sunrise at Loch Ness one morning when I happened to catch 10 perfect frames of “Nessie”, AKA – The Loch Ness Monster. I was so excited I hopped into my car and headed home to post the images when from out of the sky a large cigar-shaped UFO landed in a field where I managed to capture several images of little green creatures doing unspeakable things to a herd of cattle…wait, I mean sheep. Wow…more unbelievable images….fame and fortune just minutes away. Well I finally made it home after a short break helping Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie change a blown tire (Brad is worthless with tools). Yep got photos of them too!. Anyway, I downloaded the images to my laptop ready to sell them to the highest bidder. Just as I was ready to send the images off to The National Enquirer and collect my big retirement payday, a massive chunk of frozen toilet water from a passing Boeing 747 came crashing through the roof and destroyed my laptop and hard drive. Fortunately nobody was injured however the images were lost forever and here I sit, a poor working stiff. Sure wish I had the ReadyNAS Pro 4 to save the day. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it ;-)

  • wesleytyho

    I have owned a ReadyNas Pro 6 for perhaps a couple of years and I can tell from experience that it is very nice having a RAID backup system for expanding space for all the data you put on there. It is simple to do and you don’t have to worry about anything that would happen to it.

  • highintensity

    If I had my ReadyNAS Pro – PreCrash of my old desktop I would not have had to rescan almost 5000 vintage family photo’s and videos I lost a couple of years back.

  • davidny

    I bought a NAS thinking it would be great to use to store stuff on. Then one day the sole drive in it failed and I only had a partial backup on DVDs of which some were unreadable, so I lot a lot of stuff The RAID and NAS combination is an ideal solution.

  • lpride1

    Whoa! This would uncomplicate my back up system immensely!!!! Time to start saving up!!!!

  • yohako

    If I had the ReadyNas system, I wouldn’t have to tug on the power supply cord to get my external hard drive every time I want to store and restore my old photographs.

  • lepein

    If I were visiting family on the other side of the Country a ReadyNAS pro would be ideal. Because I would be able to share pics with them that I might not have with me.

  • jdnorthwest

    We have multiple PC’s at home and my wife’s laptop decided to die. At the time she hadn’t connected up to to our external drive for a backup for over 90 days. Vista being the @()#478@(#*$&@(* pain in the a$$ that it is, we haven’t been able to retrieve the family photos that are on that laptop harddrive and only that laptop harddrive. She’s now a believer and we’re look at a couple of NAS solutions now. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • marchesanoa

    Thanks for the review! I’m about ready to increase my backup capacity and this just might be the right fit for me. I do have a question. Did you test rebuilding the array after a drive failure? Would like to know how long ReadyNAS takes. I’ve heard of some units taking DAYS to do a rebuild.

  • KevIsabeth

    Archiving my photos is fast becoming a problem… with my external drives nearly full. This system sounds ideal for me as well as other applications

  • BryanThompson

    I have 12 external drives, and keep two copies of everything, so everytime I back up 2 gigs of photos, I need 2 two gig drives. This would really help keep things simpler and secure for all of my working files. I have been considering other alternatives, but after reading the review this might just be the one.

  • bigcyr04

    I am so tired of having to back up my photos constantly on multiple things as it takes so much time from my day. This would help me so very much.

  • aleve90

    A RAID backup is REQUIRED equipment now. Since the invention of digital photography, even the smallest home user needs the ability to securely store data or face losing all their photos. RAIDS go well beyond digital photography, but I bought my first primarily so that I could have some security knowing there is a redundancy.

  • MarkTakacs

    shuffling files around from one place to the other and doing manual offsite backups is so inconvenient that it’s over my threshold of actually doing. I’d love to have access to a NAS / RAID device.

  • emeriz

    I have all of my important photos and documents backed up with Backblaze, but would love to have them onsite as well somewhere besides my main desktop machine. A NAS unit like this also allows me to stream from my pc’s and devices without having multiple copies taking up space. This would also allow me to have backups of my ripped dvd’s, which I don’t currently back up offsite due to bandwidth.

  • pblaisse

    Having to go through the hassle of backing up my drives is an ongoing and painful experience. In fact, I just encountered a drive failure this week. The drive was not even a month old so yo can imagin the frustration. I have looked at you have hit on the main reason I did not go with them. My fear is not beig able to recover from a failed Drobo unit. I do like the possibility of the Netgear unit. Being newly separated from the military, I will have to wait before thinking about purchasing the unit. Great review Colby.

  • MisTay

    As a newbie to photography, to have a ReadyNAS Pro RAID backup system would ROCK!! :) My beginning shots have been of performing arts students. Sometimes as many 300 shots per show. So, as you can imagine my “lightning fast brain” :) is starting to churn as to how to best keep this many files organized, saved and backed up. Currently I’m using my MacG5 hard drives along with an external drive as my backup vault. Haven’t lost any photographs, thankfully. Would hate to lose any. My wedding photos were lost by my photographer, so I definitely understand how priceless photos are!!!! – Great Review!!

  • Levonjensen

    It would be nice to have everything backed up right now i do it by hand with seperate drives and it takes a while!

  • Napalm Dragon

    My wife and I are entering a profound period of our lives. She will give birth to our first child in June. Recently we went on a personal adventure together. We built a small trailer, and made it look like a shack. It kept us warm and confortable for our 7,000 mile journey through New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, California and Oregon on our way back home. I took many photographs and my only viable option was to carry a small hard drive with me. I was always nervous that it could breakdown, or be lost in the travels.When we returned for Christmas, we told our families about the pregnancy, then made this video to announce it: I had Netgear’s ReadyNAS Pro RAID System, I would have taken advantage of it’s internet connectivity to upload the gigs of video and photo’s while on the road, and download what I need or want for editing.If I win the prize, I’ll use it to store and share the gig’s of images and footage that I’m sure I’ll want to share with family and friends for our next creative family adventure.I’d feel secure knowing that I have a great way of networking my home, and accessing my files, video, and photo’s anywhere anytime, without the limitations and costs of online cloud storage.Thank you.Bhak Jolicoeur (AKA) Napalm

  • msalderson

    My story is knowing the importance of backups. I have a WHS that I have had running for about five years, then I came home one day and I noticed it was off. I thought to myself “that’s strange”, and then asked my wife if the power had gone out or had she turned off the server (I knew the answer to that, she never touches anything in man land). Tried the on switch but no joy. So I started troubleshooting all the things like power supply, checked the APS (yes all is on battery backup), but couldn’t find anything wrong. So I decided to buy some new components, thinking that the drives were probably okay, I wanted to update anyways. Well to make a long story a little shorter, something spiked somewhere, the circuit cards of two of the three drives were severely burnt and nothing else. I was actually able to recover data off of one of the drives by changing the circuit card on the back with another of the same brand. Luckily, I had another backup of all the critical data and only lost a few items. Never rely on a single source for your backup.

  • fizzux

    I take more pictures than my hard drive space allows. Call it an itchy shutter finger…… But I don’t have the scratch to get another hard drive, and if I have a hard drive fail, all my work is lost. :-(

  • mattpayne11

    As you know Colby, I do a ton of panoramics – which KILLS my hard drive space. I’m already sharing several disks with friends via Crash Plan and its very tedious indeed. I’d love one of these bad boys to keep my photos safe and secure. Great review man, really appreciate it…

  • dieseldan

    Just curious, but did you measure performance? I know my Drobo is dog-ass slow. As a Drobo user, the concern about the proprietary RAID system is valid, but I’m getting 12MB/sec Read speeds via FW800 or USB.

  • rvd03

    i could have used this when my computer blew up, figuratively of course, had all of my mp3(100k+ song collection), avi, jpg and iso’s on my 500gb internal seagate when i go and hit the power button and i get black screen saying “A disk read error occurred” and holy crap, everything gone!!!! could not repair jack sh*t and had to toss the drive. now i have external drives for backup but those are just a dropkick away from taking a crap on me too. TRUE STORY.

  • franklyscarlet

    I have been sitting here trying to write this comment off and on for thirty minutes. Every time I start typing something that sounds somewhat cohesive one of my kids comes up and starts asking me questions, or they start fighting or tattling, or one of them sits down and decides my shoulder looks like a good napkin. Why do I need this?! Because I have enough stressful, chaotic moments in my life and backing up my images shouldn’t have to be one of them ;) And with that… I think I will go tuck my children into bed 20 minutes early tonight.

    • ColbyBrown

      @franklyscarlet Congratulations…you are the winner of the ReadyNAS Pro 4 :)

  • 1000wordsvegas

    I can tell you all a pre-digital horror story. I had been shooting weddings for approximately 20 years when a hurricane rolled in. I loaded all my family albums into our van before evacuating. I had stopped shooting professionally at that time, and had all my negatives tucked safely away – so I thought. It never occurred to me to take those with us. When we returned a week later (the soonest we could get back), much of our home was molded. The negatives couldn’t be salvaged. My entire portfolio was destroyed. I don’t know that I would have thought to digitize them prior to the hurricane, but I store and replicate everything now. Yes, the ReadyNAS Pro is definitely on my must-have list now!

  • jhendelman

    Just a few weeks ago I lost my main drive. Luckily, it was still under warranty (I typically don’t have that luck). I had just backed up that drive a few hours prior to the crash, something I had not done in a long long time. So long I am ashamed to admit! (Again, I got really lucky)This would be really sweet to have! Thanks for giving us the chance to win!

  • kurpav

    I’m not disciplined. I shoot my photos and load them onto my hard drive. I didn’t realize that even shooting at 6MP would slowly eat up what little space my computer had. I recently purchased a 500GB portable drive just to be able to provide a little breathing room. I can’t even imagine the flexibility something like this would give, but really I’m just culling more with the understanding that I do not need to keep every single blurry shot I take.

  • marjoriemcdonald

    I have a RAID system (1TB mirrored) that I purchased one year ago… it’s already 3/4 full and I’m looking at options… this would be a fantastic solution, if I understand correctly that I wouldn’t have to basically by 2 brand new (larger) hard drives to replace the ones I have, and start all over again.

  • Gerry Green

    I have desktop drives of varying sizes all over the place. Some are connected directly to my laptop with Firewire and one is connected via USB 2 to my Time Capsule. And, they are all running out of room. To say the least, I could benefit from a clutter perspective by installing a ReadyNAS. I have been looking at a Drobo because I had used them in my previous job but since the network interface is extra I always stopped just short of clicking “Add to Cart”. The expandability is very attractive because as a photographer shooting lots of raw images I can fill a 1T drive in no time. Whether I win or not, I will certainly consider the ReadyNAS over the Drobo.


    Ah man. The Read Nas would hit the spot for me. I setup a NoRaid system a few years back and it works pretty well but I had to pull an old computer out and retro fit it with some hardware to make it work. It is overkill for a backup and a ReadNas box would just be perfect for me. I store all my photos and video I shoot on my backup and in the cloud and on 2 other drives. I’d love to actually use a proper backup system to protect my valuable data. Thanks for the great information on the readynas system!

  • saperboy

    Family photos are irreplaceable and I know that for a fact when I lost a bunch of photos when my pc crashed. Since going from film to digital, we don’t make prints often enough like we used to. Making efficient centralized backups are a pain. ReadyNas system would really be of great help. From your review, this sounds the perfect way of having an efficient and easy backup system.

  • outaboutphotography

    Well I am a total newbie at all of this… I had no clue about how my portraits eat up my hard drive space, I have a small desktop portable drive by WDS.. it was a gift from my hubby who thought it would be good to start backing up my pictures and music files, I don’t know a whole lot about computers or all the digital world, I was taught old school film and still have many of my negatives, I would love to get them on a digital file and keep new and old files safe. Thanks for sharing all this overwhelming information.

  • weaverjd

    Like all parents and amateur photographer of this digital age I have a camera that I take pictures of my family and our times together with. The NAS storage could have prevented the time lost in the story below. Two months ago my machine started to act funny. Thinking it was virus i updated my anti-virus software and started looking everywhere but the obvious. Several days after the anti-virus update my computer shut down and the drive started to make a clicking noise. I identified this as a stuck head in the systems main drive. After contacting several data recover places I feared data recovery was just to expensive ($699 cheapest quote) to aid in the recover of all, yes i didn’t make a backup like a moron, my pictures. I spent several days in a panic trying to figure out how i would recover these pictures without letting my wife know i had lost them. I needed to free the head from the drive without damaging it or opening up the hard drive. I took a gamble and froze the hard drive in a ziplock bag overnight to shrink the metal a little. Next using BARTs recovery software from a friend i was able to recover all the pictures from the bad drive. This process was time consuming, nerve racking and something i would not want to do again. I would use the NAS as a backup storage unit / media hub. I found your review enjoyable to read, quite informative and not overly technical.

  • jamerz3294

    Having a system like that would have greatly increased my chances of finding just the *right* photograph, to finish off a project. Of course, the project was running late, I was behind, and yes, the dreaded blue screen of death happened. On a side note, the old fashion desk top that was more horizontal than vertical, made a great place for the puppy to nap. Nice and warm…. wish I had house trained him first.

  • cgranados

    Hi Colby. I have a dream!! or maybe I should Said “I have a digital dream” I look myself in the near future connecting a Readynas Pro to my Netgear Router with 2 CAT6 cables to enhance performance, Setting up the SqueezeCenter add-on to stream music from the Readynas Pro over my Logitech squeezebox system to all my rooms!; streaming videos over my powerline adapter to the PS3, and over wifi to my android tablet and smart tv!

    But the best part of these dream is the peaceful mind of having all my precious memories (videos, photos, data) protected by the best NAS system on the planet !!

  • dangphotography

    For years now I have been shooting out of passion instead of employment. I have shot a few weddings for close friends and family though and I have had to back up thousands of Raw files onto Dvds for safe storage. I have had a NAS box on my wish list for a long time, specifically this one in particular. I would be thrilled to have such an amazing setup, not only for photography, but for my current studies in computer forensics. Excellent review! :)

  • loopjohng

    I was helping a friend rebuild his computer and didn’t have the disk space to copy all his files. Copying his picture files to DVD after DVD took a lot of time that could have been used to get his system up and running correctly again.

    This Netgear NAS box would have been a lifesaver!

  • JesseSnow

    I had over 300GB of photo’s, music, and family movies lost when a 2TB external drive crashed and burned. I spent several hundred dollars getting almost 90% of the data recovered. I have since invested in a ReadyNAS Duo as backup but would love a Pro4. If I win I promise to donate the Duo to a school. There are only two kinds of computer users in the world, those who have had a hard drive crash….. And those who will.

  • barryshaffer

    Appreciate your views on this Colby. While, knock on wood, I don’t have a data loss story to share, I do see where this device should definitely be in my future. My current backup approach is a single, external 1.5Tb drive PLUS a Carbonate account. But with my current 700Gb library, it’s taken about a year for Carbonite to complete its initial backup. I REALLY hope I never need a full recovery from Carbonite – Readynas would help with that. Also with that kind of storage space, I could finally start to archive files & pull them of my local drives. Carbonite doesn’t support archiving, and I understand hard drives need to be spun up from time to time or they’ll go bad-so storing archives on old hard drives is not a safe option.

    PS: I think you have a typo in your article as I only spend $59 a year for Carbonite.

  • jcmanna

    I enjoyed your review and found it very informative. I had a hard drive failure once and I was able to recover most of my data except for all of my email contacts. It was a bad experience. You think that this would of taught me a lesson, but. I find myself playing Russian Roulette with not backing up my hard drive again. I have been considering my options for backing up all of my treasured photographs and a NAS drive would be the best option. Thanks for a great review. Oh by the way, I hope you pick me to win.

  • pdlstudios

    I have a WDShareSpace NAS and it failed to work after a WD firmware update. I ended up recovering my photo library in the end through other software, but the FW update messed up the directory structure for some reason. Not much faith in WD NAS anymore to say the least. This looks like a great improvement and I would love to win it. Thanks for the chance!!

  • Jonathan Dingman

    I have 120gb+ of photos, mostly of lolcats and lolpuppies, and it just takes too long to backup all the lolz..I need a faster way!!

  • Ttech2

    Was working on some photos on several systems using the “Share” feature of Windows and the connection died, when I went up to see why – the drive failed. It had been on a nvidia raid and the drives failed within two weeks of each other leaving me with only dvds of the backups.

  • Peyton Hale

    ill send you my mailing address :)

  • Ed Lark

    I take mine home with me from Death Valley!! ;)

  • AlenPasalic

    man,this stuff is great…would love to have this so i dont need to worry about HD possible breakdown.

  • ReadyNAS

    Can I win too? ;) oh wait…

  • Mikux

    I use external sata drive for my photographs and external usb drive for backups. The whole system is difficult to manage and this would be a perfect solution.

  • mrichmon

    I have multiple hard drives with backup data scattered through my office. Getting this data organized and stored in a single data store such as a ReadyNAS would help significantly in getting my data under control.

  • girlincloud

    There is another option to backup data to cloud storage powered by Amazon S3. Check out CloudBerry Backup

    It is onetime fee and the rest what you pay for Amazon S3. Besides, there is no proprietary data format and you can access your data using other Amazon s3 tools. It supports all AWS regions, Reduced Redundancy Storage and access to cloud storage using the virtual drive. There is also a special version designed for Windows Home Server


    CloudBerry Lab team

  • davidny

    I bought a NAS thinking it would be great to use to store stuff on. Then one day the sole drive in it failed and I only had a partial backup on DVDs of which some were unreadable, so I lost a lot of stuff. The RAID and NAS combination is an ideal solution.

  • MichaelBonocore

    Well, I went to Europe for the first (and only) time in 2010. 3 weeks with 4 of my best buddies. Of course, I am the photographer in the group, so I captured every moment, from the beautiful landscapes that included the grounds of the Louvre at night, the Eiffel tower, Buckinham Palace, the lush green hills of Ireland, the old Communist land of East Germany, the beautiful architecture of Prague, the enchanting canals of Amsterdam, and the busting metropolis of London. Not to mention the countless Bro-mantic adventures that happened along the way. So after 3 weeks, and over 3,000 photos later I landed back in the states. Behind on some paid work, I uploaded the photos to my Western Digital External Hard Drive. I processed wedding after wedding, and then, when the time came for me to process my Euro-Trip, of course, my hard drive exploded (Not literally of course, but that would have made a way better story with the same end result). Of course, all my photos were gone with my hard drive failure. All. Those. Epic. Photos. I think I processed about 17 total HDR photos before the failure.

    I have since started backing up all of my important RAWs on the “Cloud”. Problem with the cloud is, it is damn expensive. But with an epic setup like ReadyNAS Pro RAID backup system, I can ditch some of that expensive cloud storage, and maybe it will prevent me from losing an entire group of friends in one fell swoop, like my the loss of my Euro Pictures did. *Sigh*

  • Napalm Dragon

    My wife and I are expecting our first child. We’re very excited about it, and made this video to announce it: We made this video from footage captured during our recent 7,000 mile road trip through the midwest and the west coast. Our only viable option was to carry an external hardrive with us on the road. We had concerns about loosing it, or the hard disk failing. If we’d had Netgear’s ReadyNAS Pro RAID System connected to our home network, it would have given me much greater peace of mind on the road. We could have uploaded all our files to the drive and still have access to them on the road. The system looks far more reliable then a traditional hardrive, and I know that in the future, it woul come in handy for hosting, and sharing our files on out home network and with family. Being able to make more videos and showing them to people who visit, easily on the home system would be fabulous. On our next road trip, we’d know that we won’t loose our data, and we could even access our files for “on the road” editing. Super Cool.

  • JacobJamesPhoto

    The first couple of thousand photos I ever shot where stored on an old seagate drive which unfortunately crashed. All the photos were pretty much lost. Luckily I was a pretty bad photographer at the time anyway so the quality of the images are not the same as I am shooting now. Now I am taking my photography much more seriously I understand the need to regularly back-up. I am planning on travelling for 4.5 months in SE Asia and I feel that the features of this drive would be perfect. They would allow me to back-up along the way to protect from hard drive failure whilst I am there. Also they will give me a safe location to place my photos and videos on my return. I’ve always been told to learn from your mistakes and I’ll tell you now I don’t want it to happen again.

  • Tanyiah

    Hello! Nice stuff! If I had one like that I would put in all the helping foundations websites I love for free or for a minimum price. And some online courses for people of all ages, that want to increase their knowledge and can’t go to school. Anyway, if this contest has a random, then I can’t participate. because of my religion.

    Thank you Colby ;-)

  • lauraehorn

    Wow I would LOVE this! I have to delete or save to CD (which is a pain as I have limited space).

  • renz052496

    The trend of digital photography is going wireless; like the new release Nikond D4 with wireless support. I’m just a beginner but every time I go home with camera, I have to rush upstairs (sometimes leaving my shoe on while the wife is not looking… you know…) to get upload my new pics to my deskstop, then sync my USB harddrive for backup. Now with ReadyNAS, from my doorstep, I can start uploading my pics with automatic backup.


  • pcdokter

    till now i have foto backup’s on 2 usb disks (one clone’s the other) it’s not ideal and í’m looking for an alternative and stumbled on this review, it’s looking promising for the features i need and i’m thinking of buying one. teh foto collection keeps growing rapidly and i need a secure solution for backing up of the foto’s i’m making and for those i already have..

    my worst nightmare is that my usb disk’s will crash some time simoustanely.. i have a canon EOS1D MII and a EOS7D and thousends of photo’s that desperately need a safe place… so i would be very happy if i win one :)

  • edking

    I’d love to have one of these not only for me artistic photography but after losing some family photos that I never printed or backed up I really can understand the value now of having a system in place. A lighthouse or sunrise will always be there but the photos of my kids will only be memories that I need to keep locked away in my head since of a computer crash, I should mentioned I did to a recovery and was able to get several of the images but lost a bunch that I could never replace. A great review and not matter if I qualify or not this will be something that I need to look into come the future.

  • MattShalvatis

    Oh boy, just thinking about this gives me a headache. Sounds like I could spell relief N-E-T-G-E-A-R.

    Anyway, true story. Our son is a gamer. And if it’s sold in a store, then it must be fine for his computer, even if it’s a 2011 game and his computer is a three year old model. So he installs this game, or at least a reasonable attempt at such, and his computer goes haywire. Slowly at first, then eventually resulting in something called the “black screen of death.” Or whatever Microsoft calls it. Anyway, it’s not pretty. And of course any time something like this occurs, papa is called to try to rescue the day.

    But there’s some problems. There’s always some problems. And bad papa often ends up walking away all frustrated and stuff. Why would this be?

    Well, we’ve got language and technical barriers in this house! I know English and technology in English, my son is still iffy with the English, with native languages of Russian and Ukrainian and technology, probably in Russian, but I can’t swear that 100%. My wife’s fluent in Russian, and knowledgable enough in English and Ukrainian, but doesn’t understand technology in any language. Oh, and I have a Mac (in English) and my son has a Windows PC, all in Russian, of course. So we often end up in our family three ring circus, my son trying to explain the problem in Russian, my wife trying to translate the non-technical parts into English while skipping over the technical parts, and me running around like a chicken without a head, all the while screaming “Oh, the humanity!”

    And of course our son has a book explaining Windows XP, but suffers severe allergic reactions to reading and actually trying to figure things out for himself. So after finding articles (in English) that might help, running a quick and dirty translation using Google Translate and printing it out for him, he still can’t figure anything out. And I’ve already wasted a few hours of my time, of course! Time to call in a “Master,” as my son calls him.

    Well, a few hours and a “masterful” sum of money later, paid for by dear old papa, of course, the master gets the boy’s computer up and running again, leaving the son happy and the papa a few pounds lighter in the pocket and again screaming “Oh, the humanity!” So, would I have loved to have an easily accessible backup of his whole system, easily restorable by a semi-amateur like me?

    Well, you tell me…

  • snipes01

    I really enjoyed reading your review. Will definitely consider this NAS as an option to resolve my storage challenges. I have several external hard drives and things scattered across them. No complete index of what is where, and no data protection. This looks like the perfect solution.

  • phillydarts

    Wow, would this be great to have or what? I have over 55,000 photos and just got a new DSLR and I’ve been taking photos fast then Carbonite can’t keep up with the rate I’m shooting photos with my new Canon camera.

  • yviedall

    A Network Attached Storage system would be ideal for my home. I could set my phone and my teens’ phones to sync all of the day’s photo captures, use it to store the experiences I have from behind my Nikon’s lens, and have an always on connection to a vault of work I’ve created over the years. It would have enough space to safely store images and Photoshop creations. I wonder how my work would change if I knew that I could save many different versions of a picture without worrying about hard drive space? I could keep one version in B&W, and then save again in HDR, blow up images and crop that one where Uncle Bob was picking a wedgie. That would be a great poster to use at his up-and-coming roast! Oh the possibilities!

  • wabasha

    I shoot in RAW. I would use this for backup. As for Photo site, I don’t think it reads RAW, so I have to convert them to JPG first. The X-RAID2 is interesting. Seems very easy to expand.

  • DerekDickerson

    You have no idea what your talking about Ready Nas is garbage you clearly have gotten a kick back. Ready nas failure rating is 40% higher and you cannot recover data bye bye photos.

    They both run on Linux and both are software raid one just protects your data and the other one does not. I see about 6 customers a month with these failing

    • NickChillPhoto


      There is an appropriate, professional way to respond to a post when you disagree with the content, and then there is your way.

      I can tell you that if I was in need of an IT guy and saw your post, I would avoid you. However, if you replied with a constructive counter-point, making me question @ColbyBrown’s perspective, I’d think to myself; “This guy really knows his stuff” and I’d probably go out of my way to hire you.

    • ColbyBrown

      @DerekDickerson Received a kickback? Good times Derek. Enjoy the freedom of the Internet to express your opinion. The two devices that I have have been working great. But you probably know me and my equipment better then I do :)

  • DerekDickerson

    As a IT person maybe i should start doing ratings on cameras?

  • mauilopezp

    As part of a family with two film students and a marine biologist who is also a fan of photography, this would come in handy if my dream of starting a documentary production company. This could prove to be an excellent piece of equipment to start putting stuff together, especially if it can be accessed remotely since we currently do not live together.

  • jsammy

    This would have been a fantastic device to have had when my primary storage drive died not once, but twice, this past year. The ability to stream and backup, both locally and remotely is most intriguing. I’ve started looking into NAS solutions and this one is looking mighty fine.

  • Zoo

    Just reading this and knowing all the problems it would solve in our house had me all in a blither. Storage is always at a premium in our house and the amount of money invested in internal and external drives over the years probably exceeds what a RAID system would have cost us. The ability to EFFICIENTLY stream across ALL of our devices though…with my husband gaming and listening to thousands(S) of songs let along all of the movies we watch…that would bring a little bit of bliss to our small home. The remote access and Photos II- what I wouldnt have given to have them when we were at STURGIS this summer! We could have been streaming live video of downtown Sturgis (Bike Week) to our motorcycle club or downloading the pictures of me falling into a Prairie Dog hole when it happened. It will even allow me to maintain my contacts globally when we move overseas! Thanks Colby for bringing this to my attention!

  • greg1

    It would be great to win, but has been part of my plan to have an off site replicated copy of my storage. Your review outlines the same process I used to choose the ReadyNas Pro as my solution.

    I just returned 2 Drobo’s that were supposed to be my primary and off site, but had so many issues that I ended up returning them. Instead, I just bought a ReadyNAS Pro 6 to be the main storage location for the family. I’m using ~6TB for pictures, music, videos, Time Machine, and a virtual machine lab environment. For the folks worried about losing pictures, you need a backup strategy. A NAS is only going to solve part of that issue. I also recommend you take a look into a backup tool. I highly recommend Crashplan. It’s a free PC/Mac/Linux software backup solution that easily lets you backup to multiple destinations (like other machines you own, or to friends machines). There is also a fee-based service to backup to their datacenter (comparable to Carbonite and Mozy). Being able to easily have data replicated multiple places is awesome (both close by in case I accidentally delete something, as well as off site, in case someone steals all my stuff or my house burns to the ground). Some graphical diagrams:

    Now I need the off site replication and my plan will be complete! :)

  • Avesh

    Hi …

    My story is very simple but I think that there are a lot people out there for whom my story would sound very familiar. I am an amateur photographer. I have thousands of images that are just pretty pictures to other people but memories are the world to me.

    I have images of animals, landscapes, mountains, flowers, my wedding, my son’s birth, my son’s first steps, my son’s first day at school. I have read tutorials, blogs and articles on photography and processing to make these images the best I could. The memories associated with them are priceless. I don’t have the heart to delete any of the images, even the ones I know are bad.

    I, of course, backup all my images. I backup to a number of external usb drives. The process is tedious and time consuming and intermittent. My main drive crashed after a really bad lightening storm … Months of work was gone. There was an angel watching over my images though. I had my backup. After a couple of hours a night for 3 weeks of diligent work, I managed to recreate the processed work.

    It would be absolutely devastating to lose these images. I still have lots of plans to embarrass my son at his 21st birthday and wedding …

    Thanx for the review. It was very insightful

  • toddsipes

    Literally, only a month ago, I thought I had lost every photo I had ever taken due to a virus/format gone wrong. After a couple days of work, I managed to recovery everything except the previous month of photos. It wasn’t heartbreaking but I had to re-do some jobs. I thought about getting a Drobo, but I’ve read too many reviews of slow transfer rates. I’m just now looking for a rock-solid RAID system and this looks like it will do the trick. Thanks, Colby!

  • PatrickOConnor

    I had several hard drives, went to migrate to larger ones, and for one moment had only one BIG (500GB at the time) Lacie drive holding all my work files from several years as a wedding photographer. The disk failed. Real long story short, I spent 3600 dollars to get the data back, and this would help avoid that :)

  • jazure

    I have always kept backups and never had to use them. Call me lucky, but in reality I think that just means that I am due for a failure. So I need to shore up the defenses even more. All these image files are eating disks like crazy, and I am not fond of burning DVDs anymore. Something like this would be perfect :)

  • weslum

    More storage. More feature. More redundancy. Good! Need. +1. Like!

    Great review Colby. Thanks for writing this up…definitely something I’ll look into.

  • Shoct1

    Colby, great review! Thanks for all the information.

    My desire for such a device isn’t one of need. Recently I lived in a unit that was part of a remodeled Victorian house. As I got to know my neighbors I found that girl upstairs was attending school and the couple across the hall took work home with them, both needing internet connections. Well, I had a fast cable modem, plenty of bandwidth and no longer gaming so I offered to share the connection. Getting the router set up and them reserved on it was easy enough, I’ve done that plenty of times, however it was when I had the brilliant idea that I would also share with them the mass amount of music, TV shows and movies as something fun for the house. Try as I might (read: banging my head against my desk) to share drives and folders my upstairs neighbor was able to listen to one album of mine and then the magic stopped. Cursing Bill Gates I started researching other ways and recalled looking at network storage when I was an independent contractor. I had actually looked at a NetGear unit early on and originally planned on picking one up, just never did. Now I’m looking at the device again as a way to lighten the load on my computer, share with those around me, play my music wherever I am in the house and potentially access information remotely.

    Not the greatest story, I know, but I do appreciate the potential of such a device. Hopefully the recipient will take advantage of the possibilities.

  • zeroburn

    No real tale to tell, I pay attention to data retention and security – I think the unit just looks bloody awesome!

  • Andrew Marston

    The ability to securely store and access photo files from anywhere on the globe would enable me vastly more flexibility in shooting for non-profits for free and ultimately more useful to them as a resource.

    – ISSUE: Relief focused non-profits absolutely need photography but often can’t afford to hire pro shooters.

    – THE GOAL: Travel and shoot for such organizations for free enabling them to provide more aid.

    – THE PLAN: Generate enough income through photography to allow both time and money to work pro bono with increasing frequency. The ball has started rolling with my photography based income and investing in a solid data management system that works online is an immediate need to move forward.

    – THE ROAD BLOCK: A quality RAID system like the ReadyNas Pro is $700. Like top-end camera gear, quality workstations don’t come cheap.

    – SOLUTION: Winning this $700 ReadyNas Pro RAID giveaway would allow me to invest $700 in other ways to help the cause rather than investing it in buying a RAID system.

    ~Andrew Marston

  • atnguyen731

    Getting more and more into photography, so would definitely need a way to back up…my photos and music.

  • jeffnic

    Storing my pics on a secondary laptop drive and would love to have a more robust solution

  • dpasirst

    Last year: My wife had all her photo’s on a laptop…that started to get noisy…specifically a clicking sound :-( Or rather a click of near death. I managed to get most of her photo’s off with some ninja magic (and a whole lot of repeating the following a loud “please work”). Clearly, having a ReadyNAS would be awesome and could have fully saved the day – with the following functions as the review points out 1) Network Attached Storage as a network backup, 2) RAID (disk replication to guard against a single disk failure), and 3) ReadyNas Photos II (which is perfect for us).

  • KylenSeely

    Hi @CBphotography09 are there any other emergency data recovery services that you would recommend? I’m in the market. . .

    • CBphotography09

      @KylenSeely What are yours needs? How much space? Need quick access?

      • KylenSeely

        @CBphotography09 probably not professional grade, buy I have about 28GB of images I need to back up, better safe than sorry . . .

        • CBphotography09

          @KylenSeely If just want fail safe backup then you can’t beat Carbonite for cloud storage.

        • CBphotography09

          @KylenSeely Anytime!

        • KylenSeely

          @CBphotography09 cool, thanks a million.

  • speleofool

    When would a ReadyNAS have come in handy? Any time in the last 10 years! Or right now.

    My primary storage problem is music. I stopped counting my CDs around the time I filled a bookshelf I built that holds about 900. Now it only holds about half of my collection. The rest have been living in a half dozen mismatched cardboard boxes that have never really had a permanent home, but have spent too many years migrating from place to place like unwanted vagrants until inevitably getting evicted once again by my better half.

    Perhaps if I were less stubborn I would have given in by now and run all these discs through iTunes to convert them into MP3s. I could fit my collection on an inexpensive external drive and even back them up onto a second external drive. Problem solved, right? Well, no, not for me. I’m a stickler for quality and I won’t be happy until I have a true digital archive of my music: one copy of everything in FLAC format with rich metadata tags for reference only, one copy in a lossless format for high-quality playback on my home stereo system, and one copy in a compressed format that I can sync to my iPod. As a rough guess, that will eat up maybe 2TB of space.

    Technology has finally advanced to the point where external drives large enough to hold my music collection are affordable and readily available. But what about the future? If I buy something just spacious enough to accommodate my needs now, how long will it be until I outgrow it? And what then? I need something that can expand with my growing storage needs over time. I need something that can protect not only my data but the hundreds of hours I expect to invest ripping CDs, editing metadata, scanning cover art, etc. I need a ReadyNAS.

    In fact, the ReadyNAS is such an ideal solution for my needs that I just bought one on Christmas Eve. I got the ReadyNAS Pro 6 and am just starting the process of building my digital music collection and checking out the other cool things I can do with it. So, wait, why would I still want a ReadyNAS Pro 4 then? What would I do with it? Well, how about giving it to a friend to keep for me so I could use ReadyNAS Replicate to protect my music from catastrophic loss in the event of a fire or theft? That’s peace of mind.

    Honestly, I would be happy for the ReadyNAS to be awarded to someone who doesn’t have any storage solution yet, but has a need like mine. I would use a second one, but I don’t need it. I’m just so thrilled by my ReadyNAS I felt like taking the time to tell my story.

    Thanks for the review, and congrats to the winner!

  • tomcampone

    I’m looking for a great backup system for my growing Aperture library. I’ve used a Drobo in the past but have been unimpressed. I’ve always wanted to try a ReadyNAS but I haven’t had the cash to invest in this backup system.

  • samuel beard jr

    GREAT review! This would come in handy for me as my current backup regimen includes two different Mac systems, an external hard drive on one, and burning the photos to DVDs. Cumbersome, but workable. Having something like this would make that “cumbersome” aspect go away. It would also prevent a recurrence of an event recently that caused me to lose some photos. My hard disk crashed on one of my Macs, basically just dying. I began using the second hard disk in it (it’s a Mac Pro), and had the OS on it. So, I’m downloading photos from my camera onto the Mac Pro (this was before I started putting them on my iMac, as well), and I THOUGHT I was putting them in one location. However, because of a re-install of Lightroom, I was actually putting them on a DIFFERENT drive. When I went to get a new hard drive and try to copy things over, including all necessary items in the various drives, I THOUGHT I had all of my photos. However, those few times I downloaded photos onto one of the drives went to a drive that I ended up totally zeroing out all data and reformatting for a fresh install of the OS wiped out some of those photos! Now, there doesn’t appear to be any way for me to get them back, and I hadn’t burned them to a DVD yet as things were a bit hectic and confusing trying to get things running as normal again! So, I’ve lost some images, some of which I took for someone else, and I have no access to them anymore! Yeah, I know, I know. STUPID mistake! But, I promise that if you give me the ReadyNAS Pro 4, I will NEVER make that mistake again!! 8^D And considering I’m having a hard enough time convincing my wife of the need to get a new camera body and a lens or two I could REALLY use, I don’t think she’d go for buying one of these puppies! Thanks for the opportunity to win this great giveaway!

  • jpowlus

    I have a Drobo S and it gives me a heart attack every few days when it decides to just not work for a while. It is actually my second one, since the first one died and was replaced. I’m now out of warranty and I need to find a replacement for it (and the replacement will NOT be another drobo).

  • lucasappelmann

    I could use such a system very much since I have to access my photos and videos (which take up considerably more space) from both my stationary PC, my laptop and my wife’s Macbook. I’m constantly out of storage and plugging in external USB disks is neither elegant nor fast.

  • laurinov2

    As a newbie starting to build a photography business this is EXACTLY what I need!!!

  • cbfriedland

    I am just starting out and already amassing a very large number of GB’s of space for my images. I have been using a USB hard drive to act as a backup, however my main hard drive is beginning to fill and my applications are slowing down. Winning this would allow me to be out shooting and honing my skills instead of spending time worrying about data management. Thanks for being so generous in giving this away to someone. Cheers!

  • jenncuisine

    It is actually one of my new year’s goals to develop a reliable backup system for my work. I have had so many close calls because I was looking for one of my portable drives to find photos, at one point my ipad was the best backup system I had. I love the RAID system and have been thinking this is exactly what I need!

  • medb1

    Would just love to win!!! would uses it for back up and storage for my photos! Thank you for the review:)

  • KirkJordan

    To be honest, I have been thinking of buying a Drobo product. I simply didn’t know of any other options. And what I read here makes sense. Not that I could digest it all…But the idea of adding to storage while out in the world really intrigues me. I currently have my files stored across 5 or six external hard drives, none with redundancy. My new love is time-lapse, so where I once took a dozen shots I now take thousands. I am taking a big chance of losing vital content… plus it all gets pretty hard to find. This device could easily revolutionize my life. So, I would be eternally thankful (or some fraction thereof) if ReadyNas / Netgear would come to my rescue.

  • ObeyMyBrain

    Right now I have several external hard drives which I manually back up to. Having a more convenient system would be a dream.

  • Wicked_Beav

    Would love to really get my hands on one of these… been needing one for awhile. Lovely review.

  • JuanTigreros

    I have been looking for a backup solution for a while and this setup seems the best choice for me. Not my photos can be finally safe :)

  • ww9rivers

    That is a long review! What interest me most are the “remote” and “replicate” features. I may be missing the details, but it seems that it would require all ReadyNAS boxes be registered with Netgear. I myself have been using Acer’s Windows home server products, which has been fine so far.

  • JDodsonPhotog

    Yeah, last year both my desktop and laptop went to blue screen heaven within the same week. It was a harsh blow and I was down for about a week. Luckily, I was able to bring them both back to life, but without the music, photos, videos, everything. I did, however, have everything important backed up on DVDs. I was able to get everything back that I needed, but it was way scary because burned DVDs are not always reliable and it’s laborious to get it all back to normal. Not to mention that it is a major pain to be burning discs all the time. So, having one of these Netgear units would help me to breath easier and be much more convenient.

  • Joshua Reber

    This would make it so I always have access to my files anytime! I am always near an internet connection but with my laptop I have limited access to my files because my hard drive is so small! Instead of backing up on multiple devices and carry them with me I could just leave it at a friend’s while traveling and access any important files! I am always on the go and this would be amazing to have!

  • aineo

    Some years ago I was totally oblivious to the value of backups. The funny thing was, I was a computer repairman who preached the value of backups. Don’t get me wrong, the IMPORTANT things were backed up. I thought that was all I needed. After all, my computer had always run well, therefore it would always run well. I knew how to take care of it, so I wasn’t going to become infected or have a hardware failure, right? NO! Life was fine until I started hearing this really funny noise coming from my tower. What happened next is much of a nightmarish blur. The computer stopped, and would not boot again, at least not with that hard drive. It was at that moment that I realized my definition of important was not the same as it was when I made the IMPORTANT backups. Oh no! I lost so many things I could never recover, so many things that took untold hours to produce in the first place! Ughhh!

    A few years later I was busy working away on my business computer, and all of a sudden the famed BSOD hit! I was a faithful believer in backups at this time – backing up at least once a month. Even though a backup had happened in the not-too-distant past, I had prepared some really important document earlier in the week that were almost complete and were due the next day. I also had numerous emails that had been recently received, which also had not yet been backed up. Despite my efforts, all this recent data was lost. Hours and hours, truly days and days of work LOST. Ughhh! Even as a believer in backups, I had been nailed again! There was no way I could reproduce all this work in the time frame it needed to be reproduced. There was some data that could not be reproduced. Wow, there went that sinking feeling in my stomach again.

    Anything short of immediate backups onsite and an offsite solution is not enough when the data is irreplaceable. The answer to all this is this product, the Netgear ReadyNAS Pro and a secondary copy offsite. If it is important enough you would have that sinking feeling in your stomach if it were to disappear, it is important enough to back up properly.

  • dwslate1971

    this device would help me out a great deal my wifes is home bound and has just recently started selling her quilling crafts online and had taken thousands of pics of what she had made to post online for sale when her computer shorted out and took every picture, description, etc. with it almost all these pics are not replaceable she worked hard for what she had and when she lost it all wich sent her into bad deppression shes starting to get things going again and i would love to give her a device like this for her be able store everything she does in a secure dependable place with out having to wory about losing everything again but at this present time i can’t afford to by such equipment if i won this it would make life so much better for my wife i’m just trying to make it where she dont feel so worthless and help give her a since of accomplishment thank you for this opportunity and i hope i do win thank you again

  • irev4nikon

    This would be a great asset to our church office! With website and images growing exponentially, a lot of issues would be solved, and secure! Love the simplicty! A definite +!

  • ColbyBrown

    Is this still down?

  • helsmack

    I would have liked having it after I converted all my CDs to .mp3 and got rid of them all. I kind wish I had thought about this more before my hard drive when up in smoke. :D

  • qbix

    This device would’ve been great the last four times I’ve upgraded my PC. I build my own systems, and I always end up accumulating extra hard drives with data I want to keep. I now have over 6 hard drives of different sizes just sitting there waiting to be emptied into one big NAS box. I would need more than 6 terabytes to store all my media, which is not just photos and music, but also tons of footage which takes way too much space. I know, my story isn’t a sad one, but perhaps this is a way of preventing one! I will now cross my fingers hoping I win :)

  • danielsirois

    This would be usefull to save all my 3 kids digital photos and video as a backup unit, I would be ok for a couples of years with that NAS. The performance and features of that device looks great! Thanks for sharing the info! +Daniel Sirois

  • LaurieS

    I have been backing up my images on separate external drives and have gotten to the point that I am feeling overwhelmed and not organized when trying to find files and am very nervous about the possibility of losing images, including the 14k images I recently shot in Africa. I need to find a good solution!

  • zervin

    Oh man, if I had a ReadyNAS, I wouldn’t have 60GB of music stuck in Google Music..Worst places it could be I suppose, but I would much rather have it in my grubby little hands. Thank’s to the miracle of alcohol, I decided that I should migrate my file server to a new OS, case, and mobo at the same time…After several shots of Hendricks Gin, ahh the sweet cucumber princess…A feat like this would have been a no brainer for me on most nights, I had everything stored on a software raid10, and I have done much more complicated surgical procedures. But alas, it was not meant to be, 3 shots and one misplaced / later, I was staring at a blank folder. As the sweat started to build up on my brow, I thought, ok still one good drive, I can hard recover from the single drive, should have enough data to recover…tick tick tick, clank, tick tick tick, clank…Curse your SEAGATE!!! The dreaded tick of death, other drive must have already been dead, I just failed to notice….If only I had a ReadyNAS, I wouldn’t have an entire music collection stuck on google servers, gone but not forgotten. Maybe one day they will allow syncing DOWN!!! until then, I can only hope for a ReadyNAS and more Hendricks Gin.

  • ejeg

    Love the idea. And need something bigger. I got numerous portable harddrives and usb sticks and stuff spread on multiple machines. If I lost everything on my laptop that got 2 external harddrives connected to it it would take a lot to collect everything so I have it in accessible manner again.. a NAS with raid like this would allow me to keep all my stuff in one place that is safe and no longer have to have the 2 external harddrives hooked to my laptop.

  • jpmaidment

    Well basically i currently use a series of HDD’s to back up all my data and i’m starting to lose track of what is where and where is what. So if i had a readyNAS i would be able to have all my data securely in one place and would be able to setup an automated backup system meaning i don’t lose track of my stuff again!

  • bnizzle

    The one time i could have used this was when attending a family wedding in Thailand. Spent 4 days in Thailand prior to the wedding and took heaps of videos and photo’s of all things. Including some of me diving!

    Got forward to the day before the wedding and guess who ahs no space on the video camera to take any more photos…. you guessed it; me :(

    If i had the ready NAS-remote. i could have saved my photo’s instead of having to delete half of them

  • ronniebrugge

    Tell a story about when a Ready NAS Pro would have helped? Well, when I had two external hard drive backups both fail at the same time as was down to my third and final backup.

    You don’t have to tell me the importance of these – I have been backing up my photos on a ReadyNAS Pro for a couple of years now – and on a ReadyNAS+ for a few years before that!

  • bigtruck1369

    I am a living example of how a READYNAS can be helpful. I am so disorganized with multiple internal drives, external drives, offsite back up and I think I still have things archived on DVDs. This would keep my photos more organized, safe and easy to access!

  • gumplug

    More storage = More Photos. More Photos = More fun. More fun = Enlightenment. Thus from this giveaway we can conclude that Colby Brown has the ability to grant Enlightenment.

  • barefootliam

    This December when we went to do our Christmas cards, we discovered the Mac wasn’t working properly. The problem? The kitten had chewed through one of the USB cables, and now the USB ports are fried! We could replace the mac, but we can’t afford to replace all the software on it right now – and it’s running an old OS X operating system that can’t even boot off an external DVD. The solution will be to get another identical Mac, I fear, and spend a few days getting a hybrid system working.

    But right now I can’t back it up either; a NAS would let me connect remotely and do that. It happens my own external USB drive for backup died at about the same time, and also my desktop computer started having problems (possibly because we had a massive power brownout, although the desktop is on a UPS power conditioner).

    I’ve been thinking about setting up a raid-based media storage centre for the house / home office for a while now, since I do photography and my partner is an artist, and I run a stock image web site ( and accessing stuff from lots of different computers is a pain.

    The last NAS I got required custom Linux kernel modules that were out of date before the unit even arrived, and I only ever used it over USB fastened to a single computer. I nearly bought a new one this past month, but (1) it’s an hour’s drive to the store, over the bridge from the island, and that can actually be dangerous in winter, and (2) where is the money? :-) But still, those Boxing Day sales were awfully tempting!

    Now, where did I put those kitten photos?

  • ncorman

    Thanks for the great review.

    On a flight a few years ago from Dulles to Denver, while I worked on my laptop in my business class seat the woman next to enjoyed the champagne like it was water. Probably not the smartest thing as she was drinking at altitude with the pressurization. Somewhere around the Mississippi out of the corner of my eye I see the latest glass of champagne go flying my way and before I can react it ended up landing on my laptop. That is when the fun started as flight attendants came running with towels but with the sticky solution leaking out of my keyboard it was already too late making the remaining two hours of the flight quite interesting. With a destroyed laptop and the unknown status of my data I learned at that time the importance of backing up and also welcome more solutions to the mix especially now as a photographer.

  • mangonut

    Thank you for the review! I would have loved to have had this in place when my hard drive crashed and took all my daughter’s baby pictures with it to drive heaven. :'(

  • bearwood

    One of these would be so cool. I am just trying to figure out a better backup system right now and this would fit in so well. Our last Raid array blew up taking one drive out of the 4 with it. Lost about 10 days of photos which included our daughters formal :-(

  • vogelp

    Terrific. Perfect for a school where we need to manage large quantities of images for school yearbook projects. Tape backups no longer cut it when someone needs a quick file restoration.

  • Fone_Fanatic

    My main laptop has fried 3 of my HDDs. Would love to go SSD but the prices are still a bit high.

    I do carry around a couple backup 2.5″ HDDs in enclosures but I’ve had those fail on me too.

    I was going to purchase a simple NAS device on black friday but after reading reviews of the specific one on discount, I decided not to.

    Thanks for your in depth review because now I know this is exactly what I need!

  • aperros

    Nice review (:

    I have a dozen HDDs here and there, it’s a total nightmare! The NAS would greatly improve my mental health!

  • Leo Noordhuizen

    I have a very powerhungry NAS built from my previous computer… But it doenst use THAT much power that investing in a good NAS would pay back for the power used. So….

  • genetiks

    I’d love to have the readyNAS system, because as a photographer and media enthusiast with almost 18 separate hard drives ranging from 60GB to 1TB in size, I desperately need to consolidate. However, the main reason I need the readyNAS system is because my late night/early morning “emergency” runs to my office to pick up forgotten drives/files are starting to become a hazard to my health. Recently, I was forced to make a 2AM run to the office and actually fell asleep at the wheel (the recent addition of a new baby to our family has made sleep deprivation a fact of life). Thankfully, I was stopped at a red light. This was the prvoverbial “straw” for me. Man, I hope I win this thing.

  • maineimaging

    I’ve been looking at Netgear’s Ready NAS system for a couple of weeks now. I currently use LR, PS, and Aperture, depending on the project. I have two- WD 2 TB external HD’s. Both have died and been replaced at least once. I have a third WD 1TB external HD that I used to back up customer files. A month ago, that died. I also have a 500GB back up for time machine, and 2 Seagate 500GB external drives I just picked up so that I can send large video files to my customers, as most of them don’t have a Blu Ray reader. I really think I’m ready for some serious NAS! If I win the diskless system, I promise to fill it with 2TB drives as soon as I can!! Thanks!

  • TPR

    This would serve as a backup solution to my HDD and PicasaWeb especially when it comes to storing RAW files.

  • jancellis

    i am so ready for a NAS raid system….. as a photographer and a businessman i cannot stress the importance of making/having recent backups and preferably not in the same location as pointed out by colby brown. fact of the matter is ,it is only a matter of time before any hard drive fails,but that it will fail eventually is a certainty ! with this system to replace a failed drive without any loss of data whatsoever is so easy just slide out the old and slide in the new and that is done my friends without any downtime or loss of data ! its a dream come true. and just to finish off those of you not familiar with RAID it gives you an advantage of hugely increased speed executing instructions compared to none RAID systems .thankyou

  • jaivelu

    I just longing for that day when I’ll lay hands on this one. Its been such a relief to found a reliable storage device at last. This one will fit pretty in my operations room. I have gone through a lot of horrible times without a NAS raid system in place. So, I am beginning to dreaming that day…. Lets hope sooner than later…..:?

  • glyphon

    I currently have a Windows Home Server NAS that is dying. It is constantly losing it’s connection to the network, and the only way to get it back is to reboot the machine. The machine is on it’s last legs and needs to be replaced. I’m currently using it to back up my photos and music collection (with redundancy) and is desperately in need of replacing. It uses Microsoft’s version of custom raid, called drive extender, so the amount of data that needs to be moved is larger than any of the computers in the house can hold.

  • jliddil

    During Hurricane Irene we had a surge and lost power for a week. My Old HP MediaVault single disk unit bit the dust. I did have things also backed up to the cloud. Now I only have a single drive and need some type of RAID device. It is not a matter of if but when my current drive will fail.

  • daniel marques

    Thanks for the article, ReadyNAS would definitely make my life easier. I’ve been backing up my data on 3 external drives and one other computer, since the HD’s are not that big my back-up are scattered across all that. I’ve beer considering readynas for a while but the price tag is a little high, and the HD’s are overpriced after those flood problems in Asia. It looks to be a really good product and I would love to win it.

  • brad4duke

    I backup all my photos to an external drive after every shoot to free up space on my laptop. Recently I got a sick feeling when the external hard drive I had been using for a few months wouldn’t turn on. Not to worry, I replicate that hard drive to another every time, so I was sure I had a backup. I go to the backup drive and in horror it tells me 100% is available. Luckily I was able to get the first drive working and make a new backup of it immediately. But ever since I have been on the search for a more reliable RAID solution.

  • nboone1984

    This would have been great for all the family pics i have scan to my computer but keep on my external hard drive that then when i am 600 miles away from home and my mom want me to show the whole family and i dont have any with me!

  • msinderson

    Very nice review. This seems to be a worthy competitor to the Drobo, especially for photographers.

    This seems like a perfect solution for the “media addicted” photographer. One of the ways I’m hoping to build my skills as a photographer is to shoot as much as possible, in as many different locations as possible, and all those RAW files start to add up! The ability to stream media pretty much anywhere is a huge benefit when traveling. I plan on taking more and more photography related trips and having the ability to easily access images from the road is a huge benefit.

    On top of the streaming and access abilities, the redundant backup is very appealing to me. I recently had a “hiccup” with my desktop and luckily I had a (one) backup but it sure would be nice to have an easy way to generate multiple backups at once.

  • ajw93

    I used NAS systems for many years at a previous job and let me tell you, swapping out RAID drives saved our butts on many a day. It was before netgear made them, but a very similar system. Easy to use, to remote into, and it was a great streamer and a great straight-up storage space. We used it as our intranet server, among other things, and it was great. I love that there’s now an option that photographers can use to do their work safely and efficiently — from anywhere! Thanks for the review!

  • paulwood

    Great review. I currently have a 1st generation Drobo that is slow and loud, and probably not long for this world. It’d be nice to win it’s replacement before I lose everything.

    • paulwood

      *its. #grammarnazifail

  • Deb Lamson

    This is a great review and it was done is such a way that I totally understood everything. Well everything enough to know that this is a system I would love to have. When I think of all the photos I have lost over the years due to changing technology (mostly disk burning) Wow… Thanks for reviewing and giving us a chance of winning one of these awesome ReadyNAS Pro systems.

  • Augphoto

    First of all, thank you Colby Brown (or should it be +Colby Brown, lol) for posting this informative review. Thank you also for visiting my Google+ page and advising me to wait for your review. If you don’t remember, I made a post about finally biting the bullet and would possibly be ordering a Drobo. You said this review would be coming shortly and I decided to wait to see what you had to say. I ann glad that I waited. Anyway, the Drobo idea first came up because of problems. Isn’t that usually the way. I made the original post when I had a near-catastropic mishap. I did not lose my photos (thank God) but temporarily lost my connection to them and was pretty much dead in the water as far as working with them. You see, my computer itself went down. I took it to Apple for repair if possible (which they were able to do, by the way). In the mean time I needed to get back to work on my photos and went to my wife’s computer for relief. I had to install Lightroom on my wife’s machine and then find a way to access my photos from an external drive. It was not as easy as I thought, as it turns out. All my original photos were there, as expected, but none of the working copies or data was available. All my edits were gone as were all my presets and customizations. Don’t get me wrong, having your ‘originals’ is the ultimate goal after a catastrophe and I understand that. However, although not quite as important, all of your edits being missing and have to start back at square one with your originals is not fun, either. This event was good in that it got me thinking of my backup strategy, yet again. Like many commenters on here, I had several external hard drives scattered about my working area. I’ve had hard drives fail in the past and I DID LOSE irreplaceable photographs. So, some time ago I learned the hard way the meaning of backups. I have my originals on no less than three drives. I still always fear losing my data on these drives but this new incident with my computer simply brought the whole backup thing to the forefront for me once again. I feel people should review and renew their backup strategies every once in a while. We should always be on guard for holes in our plans and be prepared to plug them holes, perhaps with newer technology. Although I am not yet sure, but based on you review, I feel the ReadyNas Pro System may be just what I need. The fact that the ReadyNas can be accessed from any computer anywhere would sure help if ones computer went down and it’s obvious to be helpful when a hard drive fails. It seems to have all the backup bases covered except for off site storage and yet this seems to also be doable with their Replicate option. And I truly love that the ReadyNas does not have a proprietary system, as I can easily see the advantage.

  • cumbytexas

    From the purchase of my first digital camera I started looking for a way to back up and keep track of everything. After backing up every picture I had ever taken to the computer and then to CD’s, I purchased an HP MediaVault and my solution had been met. It was network-able which was great for my growing family and the numerous computers in our household. My mother-in-law lives next door and I have her wired in as well to our network. Tragedy struck when my HP MediaVault died. As much as I hate to say it, it was probably my fault. I had been doing some electrical work on my house and I had shut the power off by the main breaker. I can’t be for sure but it is possible because I did not do a proper shut down on my server that everything became corrupted. I had a local computer place work on repairing the data and retrieved allot of my pictures back but not in the same order or date they originated. I was now on the search for a new home server and I stuck with HP. HP had just released their new media server and after reading and comparing between the HP MediaServer and other hard drives on the market my choice was made. It is still in use but I have been looking into the future and your article was so enriched with the “proper” information that anyone would be able to make a sound decision concerning their back up needs. I just watched some Drobo promos with Cali Lewis and I think the Netgear sounds more promising in the long run. Again, thanks for your awesome article!

  • RL_Wood

    My experience isn’t as much traumatic as it is frustrating! I recently signed up for a Cloud Solution (not Dropbox) that was VERY reasonably priced for “unlimited” storage capacity. I should have remembered the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. This system is constantly crashing, the site continuously goes on and offline. I’ve set it up as a “networked” drive, but when it disconnects it stops all transfers from taking place. I’ve had the service for over two months and have only been able to transfer about a TB of data.

    I currently have two physical backups of my data and thought an online solution would be a much safer bet for me. This is not turning out so well. :( Pretty sure THIS product will be my answer. Thanks for posting this review.

  • werlecreative

    First, great review. I don’t know that I have read such a comprehensive review for a NAS RAID before. Thanks.

    I am a self-employed graphic designer and illustrator. I currently have the original Drobo and while it works, it is not networkable, I do not have access to it remotely and I often struggle with the same issue you have with the proprietary issues that come with a closed system. I have been looking for a replacement for a couple of years now. I have a small home office and multiple computers that would benefit from the backup and especially the networking capabilities.

    There have also been a number of times while I am at a client’s office, and I needed to access files or archived files on my Drobo from my home office. Remote access would ease these types of situations, help smooth out my work flow at times and something that I would use frequently. I would also feel much more comfortable knowing that I could leave my home office and access client files at anytime and anywhere.

  • nchill4x4

    I am always confronted with the dilemma of accessing my photo library when away from home.

  • EmptyJay

    My laptop died, taking all the family photos with it. Nothing on the HD was recoverable. :(

  • LarryBurton

    I have the unit and havent been able to get it configured Support is only good for 90 days then they want to charge

  • diroloko

    I spent 6 years on the road for work. I was all over the US and overseas. Having a ReadyNAS to connect to and store all of my images would be have been awesome! Instead I burnt and mailed to my house countless DVD+R’s over the years.

  • Matrishwa

    Excellent! The comment section is working!

    Sometimes, you just never know what will happen when it comes to technology. Most of the time it works as advertised, but sometimes it falters. Seems that it happens at the most inopportune times, Murphy’s Law, as it were. I understand the importance of backing up information, yet budget constraints can be an issue at times. Thus my own situation. Just so happens that I have been looking for a backup solution like this. Perfect timing for the giveaway, before I actually lose my photo collection. Ironically, just as I was ready to fill out the comment section… WHAMO! Murphy joins me! Thinking my chances were dwindling, I used the contact link and was able to email Colby. This is what I sent:

    Message: Like so many other things in life that could go wrong, as I read through the ReadyNAS giveaway, the comment section was “down for maintenance”. As such, I was not able to leave feedback for a chance to win. If this kind of thing happened to my photo stock without a backup, I would be up the creek without a paddle. So, please consider this my entry and my +1 as that too was missing. Here’s to hoping I win… Cheers!

    My response was quick, but the story continues. I work odd shifts at times, thus was unable to repost, as was suggested in the response. Still wanting to be a part of the giveaway, I emailed again as my phone can email, but not internet. Explaining my dilemma, I was informed I still had a little time left. I rushed home and… here I am! So once again, here’s to hoping I win, but having fun with the journey… Cheers!

  • artkog1

    I work with more then one computer and it is always a chalenge keeping everything in sync. What is even more difficult is while traveling making sure you have a backup of your images that is not with you. Having an easy way to send them to your home while you are on the road would be great for those times equipment is lost or stolen. The remote replication is a great feature in case something happens to your primary location. I have thought of putting a server together to do some of this but ReadyNas has everything I could ever want without all the work.

    Thanks for the Great Review

  • jaypgphotography

    I could have used it a year ago when the network card in my one month old Drobo died and the only way to get it replaced quickly was to sign up for their support program for a year.

  • shaymatthews

    This would save me huge headaches now! I don’t currently have a good redundant storage system. I’m using a patchwork of external usb drives and internal hard drives. At one time I used online backup, but with the amount of data I’m dealing with the cost became prohibitive. I have always wanted to use a NAS to simplify moving photos, and all my other media between computers. The ability to connect on the road would be huge. I wouldn’t be so crazy making sure I take the right files with me.

  • SimplexStudios

    This would be huge for my small little business! The review is excellent and I am ready to buy (or win!) Having all my photos on a backup system like this would be incredible!

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