I must admit, coming into this review, I was a bit biased. Having owned a Four Bay NAS from Netgear two years ago, I was not expecting a lot from the Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus. I expected a low to middle of the pack device with average benchmarks, but I could not have been more mistaken. I honestly do not think Netgear could have done much more with this device. This was by far the easiest NAS Device I have every used and setup. It was plug and play essentially. I didn’t have to fiddle with any settings, it just worked. There was no tweaking the setup to get optimal performance, was just there. Anything I have thrown at this device it has handled and then some. I have to give credit to Netgears Engineers, I do not know what tweaks are hidden in the OS of the device, but the decision to use an Intel Atom dual-core processor was a great one. Its performance can clearly be seen.
Netgear also has a thriving Addon Community which provides add-ons from anything from Root SSH Access, to various Bittorent Clients, to Twonky Media Center (A great Multimedia manager. A device is only as good as the community behind it, and the Community Addons are growing every day. We have come to expect Itunes and DLNA Support from NAS boxes, but now with these add-ons, a NAS becomes much more. It becomes a backend for a Home Theater system. No longer do you need a computer to run the Home Theatre system. All you need is a NAS like the Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus and one of the multitude of Front End Devices like Boxee Box or Apple TV.
The Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus is available under the part number RNDP200U-100NAS for $454.00 shipped and the device comes backed by a 3 year limited warranty. You should be made aware that Netgear has two diskless 2-bay ReadyNAS Ultra 2 devices. The other is the Netgear RNDU2000-100NAS ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Home Media Server, which features a single-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor and costs $379.99 shipped. The model that we looked at for this review was the Netgear RNDP200U-100NAS ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus Home Media Server and it features a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor. What that boils down to is a $74 price difference between the two devices with the only difference being the processor. We can’t tell you how the single-core version performs as we don’t have it for testing, but the dual-core version is fast and we’ll have to assume that it’s worth the extra money.
Legit Bottom Line: The $454 Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus NAS is an easy to use, versatile NAS would be great for the every day user. With a magnitude of streaming capabilities, and intuitive Web GUI, this NAS would be perfect for even the most uneducated NAS user!