Netgear Surveillance Reviewed

By Ethan Ace, Published May 17, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

Netgear is one of the biggest IT brands in the world, with over a billion in annual revenue. Now, they are finally moving into the surveillance industry, with the ReadyNAS Surveillance Suite, what they call "The Industry's First Small Business Video Surveillance Suite." Can Netgear truly distrupt the surveillance industry? In this note, we investigate this release, what it consists of, and how it compares to current surveillance offerings from NUUO and Synology.

Overview

The ReadyNAS Surveillance Suite has the following key features:

  • Re-branded and 'enhanced' NUUO NVRMini2 software pre-loaded on the ReadyNAS line, Ultra models and up (business models, not consumer). Interested readers may see our coverage of NUUO's VMS for more information.
  • Minimum expected throughput handling is 80 Mbps on the low-end Ultra 2, scaling up on larger models. No restrictions on framerate or resolution are in place.
  • Licenses sold in increments of 1, 2, and 4, up to a maximum of 16 cameras per NAS.
  • Android and iOS apps available for remote viewing, though manual port forwarding setup is required.

A variety of models are available in the ReadyNAS line, from the 2-bay Ultra (about $350 USD) to the 2U rack-mount, 24-bay 4200 ($7,000+, depending on capacity), with capacities from 1-24TB. RAID is available on all models, with the lower end support levels 0 and 1, and upper tiers supporting RAID 5 and 6.

ReadyNAS Surveillance is available now. Online pricing ranges from about $70 USD for a single license, to approximately $200 for a four-pack.

Below is Netgear's marketing video which is a generic overview of their surveillance positioning:

Comparison to NUUO

Netgear's ReadyNAS most closely compares to the NUUO NVRmini 2, NUUO's NAS-based entry level NVR. Both support up to 16 cameras, with no framerate or resolution restrictions. Pricing for the two compares as follows:

  • ReadyNAS Ultra 2 2TB: ~$350 USD (Pricing from Amazon/Newegg, note that most online sources are more expensive)
  • ReadyNAS Surveillance 4-Channel License: ~$200
  • Total Netgear: $550 vs. NUUO NVRmini 2TB, 4-Channel: ~$1,100

Based on these prices, Netgear is about 50% less expensive than a comparable NUUO configuration.

Looking at a 16-channel system, prices compare as follows:

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  • ReadyNAS Ultra 2 2TB: ~$350 USD
  • 4 x ReadyNAS Surveillance 4-Channel License: ~$800
  • Total: Netgear 16 channels $1,150 vs. NUUO NVRmini 2, 16-Channel: ~$1,700

This results in about a ~$500 advantage for Netgear, a substantial difference.

Comparison to Synology

Netgear also compares closely to Synology, a commonly choosen NAS surveillance offering, as both have a wide variety of NAS models available. However, Synology's compact NAS models are moderately more expensive than Netgear, with a DS712+ selling for about $490 USD online, which includes one camera licenses. Additional camera licenses are similarly priced, however, around $60 for a single license. Taking all the above into account, we expect that preference in platform will weight more heavily than price in deciding between the two.

Market Impact

For those who prefer either Netgear hardware or NUUO's VMS, the ReadyNAS Surveillance line will be attractive, especially considering the drastic reduction in pricing. Those seeking a NAS-based solution for home or small office use may also find it of interest, as it is similar in pricing and feature set to competitors, such as Iomega and Synology. 

The biggest impact of the new Netgear surveillance offering is that it adds a low cost offering to a market segment (NVRs) that lack many options. However, it does not add new or superior technology.

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