Network Storage Tips

Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 Review

ReadyNAS Ultra 4 Drive Network Storage

Page Highlights:
Product Snapshot Review Video
Product Application, Pros & Cons Feature List
Bottom Line Where To Buy
Review Detail Related Products

Product Snapshot

ReadyNAS Ultra 4 

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netgear readynas ultra 4 rndu4000 

Buy A 0TB Ultra 4 Now

netgear readynas ultra rndu4220 

Buy A 4TB Ultra 4 Now

Model RNDU4000 RNDU4220
Installed Disks
Max: 4
Diskless 2 x 2TB
Capacity *
GB = Gigabyte
TB = Terabyte
n/a (Usable)

RAID0: ~3.73TB
RAID1: ~1.86TB
Expandable Yes + USB Yes + USB

Ideal Application:

- Home network storage, home music server, entertainment media server
- Small Business, SOHO (small office or home office) network storage


  • Netgear ReadyNAS – Solid, reliable, feature rich, easy to use
  • Intel 1.66Ghz Atom Single Core CPU
  • 1 GB DDR2 SODIMM Memory
  • Compact, energy efficient
  • 2 – High speed gigabit ethernet (10/100/1000) ports
  • 4 Hot swap drive bays
  • External USB support
  • Supports Windows, Mac & Linux computers
  • iSCSI target with expansion support
  • ReadyNAS Remote
  • TiVo Compatible
  • Media Shifting with Skifta (DLNA)
  • Transcoding with Orb for streaming on mobile devices
  • Native SATA II support
  • Attach a USB printer to share
  • Handles media sharing, streaming well
  • Snapshot with scheduling
  • VLAN support
  • Internal Power Supply (no brick!)
  • 3 year warranty
  • Active online support forum


  • RAID6, (X-RAID2 dual redundancy) not available (Ultra 6 does offer)
  • As a Pro-sumer device, carries 3 year warranty, not 5
  • As a Pro-sumer device, No Windows AD integration support (affects business use only)

Bottom Line:

The Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 is being promoted by Netgear for home network storage, with a BIG emphasis on entertainment media streaming.

Truth is, this is just a speed upgraded ReadyNAS NVX (a GREAT NAS, to be sure) with some business features removed. The NVX can do media streaming too.

But this is an exceptional home network storage device that is perfectly adequate to base an entire small business network around also, just happens to be so versatile as to be an excellent premium choice for home use also. These NAS devices deliver the power you need to run bleeding-edge applications and the flexibility you want to store, share and protect your prized multimedia collections.

With RAID1 or RAID5 you have the comfort of knowing that no data is lost if you lose just one drive and get it replaced promptly, but who needs that hassle? A more reliable drive gives you better piece of mind.

This NAS is a solid, versatile and reliable performer. If you like, you can start with a diskless unit and add your own hard drives or just 2 drives and expand as you have need. With the built-in XRAID2 functionality, you can simply add hard drives with no reconfiguration or reinstallation of any kind necessary.

If you currently do media streaming or think that would be in your future (hint: it should be), then this is high powered choice sure to make you happy.

Review Detail:

The Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 improves upon the NVX model in some ways and utilizes some of the most advanced network storage technologies available. Intel Atom CPU running at 1.66Ghz, a healthy 1GB of RAM, 2 gigabit network connections and iSCSI capability tell you that this NAS is ready for business if you choose, and even faster than the NVX.

There are no lines to draw between home network storage and business network storage with this unit. If multimedia storage and access is your thing, you can even get access to your files when you are on the road with your mobile device. Yet, dual gigabit network connections and RSync capability make it obvious that Netgear sees the Ultra being used in the office as well.

Certain business features, though, like Windows AD integration and Dual NIC teaming are not supported on the prosumer lineup from ReadyNAS which includes the Ultra models.

It supports SATA I & SATA II hard drives, with native support for SATA II. This network storage device performs well.

You can attach external USB hard drives and create shares on those drives as well. Keep in mind that performance will not be as high as the internal drives, nor will there be benefit of RAID technology on those external drives. In a business environment, I would only use those external drives for on-site backup or for offloading seldom used data that is backed up somewhere else but you want to have ready access to.

One of the benefits of buying any ReadyNAS product is the auto-expandable X-RAID technology. The Ultra 4 has the newer X-RAID2. While you can configure the drives as a larger, non-redundant data store (RAID0), doing so means that if a hard drive fails you lose data. This is not acceptable to me, but you can decide for yourself.

RAID1, on the other hand, allows 1 hard drive to fail without losing data. The unit can easily be configured to send you an email when this happens allowing you to immediately backup!, then replace the failed drive and restore data redundancy. The downside of this is that the NVX then offers you only half the storage size. But what good is a huge data store if you cannot depend on it?

If you configure with more than 2 drives, you can move up to RAID5, which allows you a larger data store, percentage wise of total disk space installed, than RAID1.

I highly recommend letting the X-RAID2 give you the optimum storage size while maintaining disk redundancy. This is actually the easiest option for you as well.


The ReadyNAS Ultra 4 makes an excellent home network storage device for storing data on redundant drives, sharing data, photos both within the home and even with secure remote access via the internet. Display photos, movies or other multimedia on your PlayStation or XBox; attach to the NAS for access to music libraries played with iTunes, Squeezebox, etc. Use the built in BitTorrent for downloads.

Multimedia, though really makes these Ultra’s shine:

  • First TiVo® compatible DVR network archiving and
    storage device
  • First storage with transcoding capabilities from Orb™
  • First storage with media shifting capabilities from Skifta™

If you have a small business where you need to either store data on a more reliable platform than just your PC or need to share files with coworkers, the ReadyNAS Ultra is an extremely competent network server to build your network around. The ReadyNAS can function as your file server, print server, DHCP (network addressing) server and provide software and storage for individual PC backup.

The ReadyNAS Ultra, like other ReadyNAS devices, can even replace a Microsoft Windows Server or Small Business Server if you decide you want to simplify and save on maintenance, licensing and consultant costs.

Backup Options:

The Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra really shines, as all model in the ReadyNAS family do, when it comes to data backup. Remember, RAID1/RAID5/X-RAID is NOT data backup! It is data reliability and availability. RAID1 (otherwise known as mirroring) means that hopefully you never have to restore a backup due to media (drive) failure. It does not protect you against data corruption (virus, power loss) or accidental deletion by the user.

Let’s face it, network attached storage is all about your data. So to make it available and reliable, we use redundant disk technology (X-RAID2 in the Ultra). To make sure we do not lose it to fire, theft, natural disaster or even our own error, we back it up.

Backup with any ReadyNAS network attached storage device can be done using any combination of the following methods:

  • Local backup to an attached USB hard drive
  • Backup to another ReadyNAS unit, local or in a remote location using RSync
  • Online backup (in the cloud backup) using the built in support for ReadyNAS vault online backup service based on ElephantDrive technology

Where To Buy:

Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 RNDU4000 (Diskless) Diskless Shop Best Price on RNDU4000
Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 RNDU4220 (2 x 2TB) 4 TB Shop Best Price on RNDU4220

Review Video:



  • Intel Atom Single Core CPU @ 1.66GHz
  • 1 GB DDR2 SODIMM Memory (non-ECC), 1 slot 2GB max
  • 4 Hot-swappable locking disk trays
  • 2 – 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
  • 3 – USB 2.0 ports
  • SATA I & II drives supported natively
  • LCD Display (IP Address, Space Available/Total)
  • Dimension: 205 H x 134 W x 223 D mm (8.07 H x 5.28 W x 8.78 D in)


  • Auto-expandable X-RAID2
  • RAID levels 0/1/5 (Flex-RAID configuration)
  • Multiple volume support (Flex-RAID)
  • Hot-swap support
  • Background sync and Smart Sync resume
  • Life Support mode


  • Single volume auto expansion (X-RAID2)
  • Journaled file system
  • User and group level quotas
  • Disk set can be migrated to Pro series ReadyNAS

Network File Services:

  • Windows, Mac & Linux client support
  • CIFS/SMB for Windows & Mac OS X
  • AFP 3.1 for Mac 9 and OS X
  • NFS v2/v3 for Linux/UNIX
  • HTTP and HTTPS for web browsers
  • FTP and FTPS
  • Rsync
  • WebDAV
  • ReadyNAS Remote
  • Print Sharing

Media Streaming:

  • ReadyDLNA
  • TiVo Compatible
  • Orb Transcoding for mobile
  • Skifta
  • SqueezeCenter
  • Network DVD player compatible
  • Apple iTunes server
  • Sony PlayStation® 3
  • Microsoft® Xbox 360, MCE
  • Sonos Digital Music System
  • Netgear EVA Digital Entertainer HD

Network Security:

  • Selectable security mode
  • Windows ACL
  • Encrypted network logins
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Network Options:

  • DHCP or static IP
  • NTP
  • WINS Server
  • DHCP Server

System Management:

  • RAIDar™ discovery and monitoring agent
  • Frontview™ Setup Wizard and Advanced Control
  • Configurable performance options
  • Device health status
  • Comprehensive enclosure and disk monitoring
  • Email alerts and event logs
  • Network UPS monitoring


  • Integrated Frontview™ Backup Manager
  • Programmable backup button
  • Backup over CIFS/NFS/FTP/HTTP & Rsync
  • Backup to/from USB Disks
  • Built-in support for Time Machine
  • Syncing between multiple ReadyNAS devices
  • Full and incremental backups
  • Built-in support for ReadyNAS Vault™

Software Included:

  • Mimeo Premium Backup (3 users Windows/Mac)
  • ReadyNAS Photos
  • Embedded BitTorrent client

USB Device Support:

  • Hard disks and flash drives
  • Support for FAT32, Ext2, Ext3, and NTFS
  • Cameras
  • Printers
  • UPS


  • Approximate 48 Watt usage
  • Internal 120w Server Rated Power supply
  • Disk spin down option
  • Power on scheduling
  • Automatic shutdown initiated by UPS low battery

Warranty & Support:

  • 3 Year coverage (This is a Pro-sumer Unit)
  • Exceptional online support forum

Related Products:


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