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Upgrade path from 3TB Readynas 202

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Occasional Visitor
Hello, would very much appreciate thoughts on my upgrade options - I have a Readynas 202 which I bought over 6 years ago and added my own WD Red 3TB disks - I'm using X-RAID and mirroring the drives. It has been largely fine, but I'm nearing capacity so would like to upgrade it. As it happens I've also got two 6TB WD Reds from around 2016-2017 (so before the SMR scandal) which are about to be removed from a different system and become available. The are both about 5-6 years old and have around 800 days power on time, HD Sentinel says they are PERFECT and have 1,000+ days of life remaining.

First up, would anyone caution against using the old 6TB drives in place of the existing 3TB drives in my Readynas 202, as a straight upgrade? Is it foolish to use old disks in this way, perhaps inviting potential issues in the not too distant future given it is just a 2-bay system?

The other factor is that I've noticed the 202 can't cope as well as I expected with media playback via DLNA on my new Sony A90K. Just watching medium-bitrate 1080p MP4s causes skips, and it takes an age to start watching a video in the first place - this shouldn't be my network which is wired gigabit between the TV and the Readynas. So I was thinking about whether I could upgrade the 202, given it is over 6 years old - but then stumbled upon the news that Netgear have discontinued Readynas, and so my first choice no longer exists. Also I'm concerned about whether Readynas OS 6 will get any updates in the future if they are shelving the product line, so this adds to reasons to move on from the 202. Any thoughts on that?

So, if I go for a completely new NAS, is there any particular reason to go with (or indeed avoid) any of the three main options of Synology, QNAP or Asustor? I realise that is a much-had discussion, but would appreciate any thoughts based on my use-case - we use the NAS for document / photo storage mainly, along with backups from various PCs in the house and I'd also like to use it to watch some media on my TV. I don't plan to use it for virtual machines etc. but I would like to have a capable system that will last a good few years. Oh and I have no intention of allowing access to the NAS from the outside world. Note that I currently back the NAS contents up to a USB drive on a daily basis via rsync.

One of the things about Synology is that their current HDD compatability list doesn't include my 6TB WD Reds (WD60EFRX) so I had thought about avoiding them for that reason, but then maybe I should be getting new drives anyway so that doesn't count against them? General thoughts would be much appreciated!
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Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
DLNA shouldn't / wouldn't be the issue. The suspect would be the TV not direct streaming and needing to transcode the file into something it can read.

With that in mind you could swap in the 6TB drives and be good to go with an add on streamer that can handle the native file format and make it pure packet streaming. I use this one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08YYTVKGZ/?tag=snbforums-20 - so far it's handled just about everything I've played on it. For $40 it's a worthwhile investment.

Now, as to the whole RN not being sold anymore. That's a good indicator it's time to think of a backup plan for when it fails.

There's a ton of different ways to approach this scenario. I for instance would use a PC instead of an off the shelf option and have been for years. Why? because I'm not bound to using shady firmware from manufacturers and open to the security risks associated with them. Also, having more control with large data is ideal rather than outsourcing it to some company where there's potential backdoors from coders that are lazy.

If you want something off the shelf though for ease figure out how many bays you want 2 might be ideal for now but, 4 might be better if you want more speed over the network using Raid10 w/ 4 disks. The downside to R10 and off the shelf if you need higher than 1GE ports on the NAS to get full use of the speeds. A NAS that will let you insert a PCIE NIC of any speed would be what I would be looking at. This makes a world of difference as network speeds just keep going up. This is why I use a PC as Network Shared Storage using SMB. In my setup I have 5 disks w/ 4 in the R10 and the other as a hot spare that will take over if one fails w/o intervening. With the 4 disks though I hit 400MB/s+ in data speeds which puts me at a 5GE NIC which allows full speed data + room for other communication if it's saturated.

So, what do you use your NAS for regularly? Just streaming to the TV? A central location to save downloads to?


Occasional Visitor
Many thanks for the reply! It is interesting what you say about DLNA, I had in my head that I'd used the RN 202 over DLNA a few years back on a Panasonic TV from 2013 and I didn't have any issues. I guess I just expected a brand new Master Series Bravia to be better and handling stuff like that instead of worse! As it happens I have just bought an Apple TV (not like me at all but it helped with something specific) - seems that it is possible to use DLNA by installing some apps from the app store, so that could work. Might have a play with that and as you say it probably makes sense to use the 6TB drives right now and then form a succession plan after.

I've been looking at DIY a lot and keep changing my mind. Part of it is the size of the thing, I don't have a lot of room and the RN 202 is very compact, quiet and doesn't use much power. I did consider the Jonsbo N1 which is bigger than an off-the-shelf 2-bay NAS but still pretty compact. I started to have my doubts though when I read debates about importance of ECC memory, AMD processor support (I'd probably use a spare 3700X) and streaming plugins vs jails (or something) - this was all related to FreeNAS. Also people arguing about PCIE lanes and bottlenecks, and about expandability of ZFS.... I ended up giving up on the idea a bit TBH!

In terms of use, it is mainly a documents and photo store but also it houses our music collection (accessed via a Raspberry PI running PiCorePlayer), backups from various PCs in the house and I do want to use it for streaming videos to watch on the TV in future. Might well be that the RN 202 would be fine for our needs for another 6 years (if I find an alternative video streaming solution as you suggest) but the worry then is lack of future security updates for Readynas OS 6 given Netgear pulling the plug...

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Well, you could do a pi as a NAS using a USB 4-bay enclosure too if you want compact and low power. I'm not sure what kind of throughput a pi can do from an I/o perspective but people use them as routers and get gigabit speeds from them.

Skip the gimmicky os options and kiss it. I use Ubuntu for the os for all of the functions I'm running from router to nas in the same box. Slot of the options over complicate things. IIRC the fastest enclosure I've eyeballed is 20gbps which would get you 200mb/s through the pi or less if it has a gig port. Then you just create a share folder and mount the drive array to that location and you have a NAS.

Media types can be tricky though. I picked up an atsc3 tuner for my ADL setup and natively I can tune and get audio to work on the new format but I can't when recording in Plex because the audio codec isn't supported as it's not open source yet. Sometimes a file had issues if it's a bit much for streamer to handle natively and then it buffers or crashes the app.


Occasional Visitor
How have you backed up the files on the RN202 ? external USB drives ?
Yes indeed, a drive connected to the rear USB port that runs an rsync backup every night. I have thought a few times that I should have another backup too, maybe if I get a new NAS solution then the RN202 could become a backup-NAS?

Well, you could do a pi as a NAS using a USB 4-bay enclosure too if you want compact and low power.
That's an interesting idea, I hadn't really thought of that, will look into it!


Part of the Furniture
Have a second copy done routinely. Uncompressed files. Make sure you can access and read them on a pc.

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