I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received this product for free in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.
It’s hard to remember a time before digital photography. When I got married in 2000, we hired a photographer, as most couple do, and bought several disposable cameras packaged specifically for weddings. We scattered them throughout the reception and ended up with some pretty hilarious candid photos.
Fast forward fifteen years and couple the digital camera with trips to Europe, Asia, the Caribbean. Or even more importantly, A BABY! The number of digital photos we’ve created over the years numbers in the thousands. And once I started blogging, I started a whole new library just for work. So where do the photos reside? For many years, only in iPhoto and every time Apple had an upgrade, we’d inevitably lose something.
Let’s flashback again. Remember Napster? The idea of free music shared by one and all was amazing! Until the record industry decided to prosecute. So we entered the era of music downloads. We purchased music from iTunes and then converted all of our CDs to digital and promptly got rid of them.
Guess what? When we update iTunes, we inevitably lose a few songs here and there as well. Ah, Apple. I love ye. Mostly.
There’s a decidedly unsexy yet easy way to ensure that you have a place to keep thousands of your files (music, photos, whatever) and ensure that they’re safe from the ravages of unsavory upgrades.
The ReadyNAS storage device from NETGEAR is perfect for even more than storage and I’m here to break it down for you.
I’m pretty tech savvy but even I needed my IT guy (i.e., my husband) to explain it all to me. And then I translated it for you.
In case you missed the video (or just couldn’t take 4 1/2 minutes of me talking with my husband), NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. It’s a very large (although that part is configurable) storage system that you place on your network. It’s a way to centralized your storage and data and makes it easy to access from any computer in the house. OR THE WORLD. More on that in a bit.
The ReadyNAS 212 arrived diskless, a word that provided my husband and me hours of giggles. It basically means that it’s a device ready for disks of your choosing. NETGEAR provided me with two 1 TB drives. If you watched in the video, you’ll know that two drives are required so that all the data is mirrored (basically, redundant and protected). My husband, however, decided immediately that we needed two 4 TB drives because, you know, bigger is better.
As mentioned in the video, it’s got a dual gigabit ethernet (meaning you can have a lightning fast connection). And the device itself is fast too with a 1.4 GHz quad core processor. But there are two features that make this semi-tech girl super excited.
1080p HD streaming and transcoding
What that really means is that you can put all of your media (music, videos, movies) in one central place and easily stream it to one of your network devices like an Apple TV. No more clogging up your family computer hard drive with copies of Disney movies that you don’t necessarily want to watch. Put them in storage and bring them out when you want, and you don’t even have to get up off the couch.
Build your own cloud with ReadyCLOUD
In the video, you might have heard me exclaim, it’s like your own private Google Drive! To which my husband said yes, but really meant, sure, honey, if that’s how you understand it. He corrected me an called it my own private cloud and he’s right. Because I can access anything on that storage device remotely through the ReadyCLOUD site. After setting up my device, I can set up access so that my files are available to me from anywhere I have a network connection.
Now, the big question. How much might this set you back?
If you purchase a diskless system like I have, the ReadyNAS 212, you’ll find a starting price over $300. This is the best way to go if you want to buy your own drives. My husband happens to work for a hardware company and decided to spec it out with some great 4 TB drives (which would typically run you about $200 a piece). But if that’s not your thing, you can buy it configured with two 2 TB drives or two 3 TB drives.
Fun fact: I used to work for a company called Teradata so I’m all too familiar with terabytes (TB) of data!
And if you’re still confused or your brain has shut off because it all sounds too technical, check out some of NETGEAR’s videos that probably do a better job of explaining things than I do.
Any questions? Ask me and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out.