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HeadToHead: Infrant ReadyNAS 600 vs. X6

Introduction

Infrant ReadyNAS 600

Infrant ReadyNAS X6

Infrant Technologies is a relatively unknown company that started out in 2001with the goal of creating a specialized network storage processor chip. After realizing that goal, they first embedded that chip into a board-level OEM product, and recently branched out into offering entire NAS appliances built around that board-level product.

This review will focus on two of Infrant's appliances aimed at the SOHO / Small Biz crowd - the ReadyNAS 600 and just-introduced ReadyNAS X6. Both products are available in 1 TB and 1.6 TB sizes, which aims squarely at the TeraByte NAS market that Buffalo Technology has had practically all to itself since the introduction of its TeraStation [reviewed here].

Although the pair is priced slightly higher than the Buffalo products, you can also order either model sans disks and add drives as your budget allows. While the ReadyNASes don't quite hit the buck-a-gigabyte mark established by the TeraStation, I found they have features and performance that make them well worth a look if you're planning on laying out about a grand to satisfy your networked storage appetite.

Both products come in 8 X 8 X 9 inch (20.3 X 20.3 X 23 cm) metal utilitarian cases that won't win any design beauty awards as you can see from the product shot that heads this review. The ReadyNAS 600 comes in black and the X6 comes in silver, but they're otherwise indistinguishable from each other. So throughout this review, unless I note otherwise, all descriptions and screen shots apply to both products.

Disk activity lights for each of the four drives plus a power indicator are arrayed across the front panel, while the Link and Activity LEDs for the single 10/100/1000 Ethernet port are relegated to the back panel (Figure 1), along with the power socket, two USB 2.0 ports and power switch. The ReadyNAS can handle AC mains from 100 to 230 V for its 150W power supply, but you'll need to set the red switch you see in Figure 1 accordingly. And yes, that covered slot to the right blocks a single empty PCI slot on the system board.

Figure 1: ReadyNAS rear panel
(click image to enlarge)