The ReadyNAS Duo comes in a black finish that houses two drive bays accessible via a front mounted door. You will also find the usual power button, drive indicator and activity lights, programmable backup button and USB port. The Duo may look small, but it’s big on features offered by some of the larger network appliances.
At the rear are two USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet port, reset button and power supply. Setting up the ReadyNAS Duo is a breeze, simply connect the power, Ethernet cable, turn on the power and in less than a minute it is ready to use.
The ReadyNAS Duo supports USB devices like flash and hard disks. You can configure the ReadyNAS Duo to copy the content of a USB flash device automatically upon connection to a specified location (shared directory). Files are copied into a unique timestamp folder to prevent overwriting previously copied content. This is useful for uploading pictures from digital cameras and music from MP3 players without needing to power on a PC.
Our review unit comes with two 250GB Seagate SATA hard disks, rather than the standard configuration of one drive (either 1TB, 750GB or 500GB) as listed on NetGear’s website. If you need to add another hard disk, simply fit the bracket on the drive, slot in and lock it.
The ReadyNAS Duo only uses X-RAID, an NETGEAR proprietary expandable RAID technology. The advantages of X-RAID include:
It is a one-volume technology, but it supports volume expansion, either by adding more disks or replacing an existing disk with larger capacity disks.
You can start out with one disk, and add an additional disk of the same or larger capacity when you need it.
Volume management is automatic. Add a second disk, and it becomes a mirror to the first—the expansion occurring while redundancy is maintained. The X-RAID technology allows users to add redundancy or expand it without much hassle. By using simple rules, X-RAID is able to provide volume management features previously available only in enterprise-level storage solutions.