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NAS Reviews

Performance - Four Bay

The chart below shows the RN214, AS5104T and TS-453 Pro. File copy Write and File Copy Read results were consistent across all RAID levels (RAID 0, 5, & 10) for all NASes at or close to the maximum throughput available with a single client using Gigabit Ethernet.

The RN214 had slightly different NASPT HD Playback & Record and 4x HD Playback scores for all RAID levels than the other two NASes. eSATA backup throughput was significantly lower than the ASUSTOR's; the QNAP has no eSATA ports. Backup performance to USB 3.0 drives was also lower for FAT and EXT3. For NTFS, the RN214 essentially matched the TS-253's performance and both were better than the ASUSTOR AS5104T. iSCSI continues to be a problem for the RN214 with the lowest write and read throughput of the group.

NETGEAR RN214, ASUSTOR AS5104T and QNAP TS-453 Pro Benchmark summary comparison

NETGEAR RN214, ASUSTOR AS5104T and QNAP TS-453 Pro Benchmark summary comparison

The NAS Ranker placed the RN214 at #11. I created a composite image of the two pages so you can see where each product sits. I also removed the QNAP TS-653 Pro and TS853 Pro, since they were six and eight drive versions of the TS-453 Pro.

The #6 ranked ASUSTOR AS5104T as well as the less expensive #9 ranked ASUSTOR 5002T (not used in comparisons in this review) also are priced lower than the RN214 (the AS5104T just barely). The #4 ranked QNAP TS-453 Pro ranked the highest of the compared group, but it also carries a higher price tag.

TOTAL NAS Rank for RAID5 test method Revision 5 NASes

TOTAL NAS Rank for RAID5 test method Revision 5 NASes

Looking at the subcategories, the RN214's strengths and weaknesses are easy to spot. It received relatively poor scores for write benchmarks primarily because of its poor NASPT Directory Copy Performance for all RAID levels. Relatively slow rsync backup helped it earn a #10 ranking for backup. And, as noted above, it was up against some tough competition in the iSCSI category were it earned a #10 ranking as compared to the AS5104T's #2 rank and the TS-453 Pro's #8 rank.

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the NETGEAR RN214, ASUSTOR AS5104T and QNAP TS-453 Pro Turbo NAS

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the NETGEAR RN214, ASUSTOR AS5104T and QNAP TS-453 Pro Turbo NAS

Closing Thoughts

This review primarily showed whether the Annapurna Labs quad core processor provided improved performance vs. the dual-core version used in the RN20X series ReadyNASes. The results clearly showed it doesn't, at least not when a single Gigabit Ethernet connection is used.

Table 3 shows the two-bay NASes compared, plus the QNAP TS-251, that ties with the RN202 for #3 rank. There are clearly less expensive ways to get as good if not slightly better performance in a two-bay NAS.

2-Drive Rank Price
NETGEAR RN202 3 $281
QNAP TS-251 4 $305
ASUSTOR AS5002T 2 $306
NETGEAR RN212 6 $330
Table 3: Price/ranking comparison for similar 2 drive NASes sorted by price

Table 4 tells a similar story, but for four-bay products. ASUSTOR's AS5004T is included in this grouping because of its low price and higher rank than the RN214.

4-Drive Rank Price
ASUSTOR AS5004T 8 $399
ASUSTOR AS5104T 6 $495
NETGEAR RN214 11 $500
QNAP TS-453 Pro 4 $570
Table 4: Price/ranking comparison for similar 2 drive NASes sorted by price
Updated 11/2/2015

The bottom line is that if you've homed in on a ReadyNAS because of its unlimited volume snapshots, five levels of data protection, ReadyCloud or other unique features, the RN202 or RN204 are probably better ways to spend your money if you plan to connect it via a single Gigabit port. Moving large media files from multiple clients with both ports configured in link aggregation, no performance degradation with Anti-Virus enabled and smooth Plex video transcoding would be your main reasons for opting for the RN21Xes.

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