Thank you very much for soliciting input. I was becoming used to being ignored on Netgear's forums.
Several others have already responded with some good points. Here is what I would add:
To your point about backing up NAS/UNC's, you are correct in general, and I frankly don't understand the reasoning behind the near universal lack of support for this, given the growing prevalance of NAS in the consumer market. However, it turns out that despite what they say, I have found that pretty much all of them (Acronis, Mozy, etc.) will in fact allow you to back up from a mapped drive if it is mapped at login. The clear disadvantage of having to back up NAS this way is that you must map a drive to each share you want to back up, and the account that does this must be logged in (there are ways around this last point, though). Although it's inconvenient, this method will work and allows one to use reasonably priced services.
Which leads me to your inquiry about alternative pricing plans. I once again don't get why it should matter at all to an online backup vendor where or from what device the data comes; I am purchasing a given amount of backup capacity and should be able to use it in whatever way I choose. I can't see that the source device has any bearing whatever on the cost of providing the service. So, no, I would not be particularly interested in a device-restricted plan. A lower-priced "home use" plan might be of interest to me, but I would need to understand what restrictions it would entail. Would you base such a plan on less frequent backups and therefore lower bandwidth usage, or what?
As for functionality, yes -- I would love to have the ability to see space usage on an individual folder (and subfolder) basis. To my mind, the lack of this feature in a backup product which charges based on space usage is inexplicable except as a mechanism for increasing revenue. In the same vein, the lack of an ability to automatically delete from backup those items which have been deleted at the source hobbles the entire product and again seems like a revenue-enhancement ploy. Providing only for manual data deletion is an overly simplistic form of data protection and makes any kind of space management an exercise in time and patience. It should not be necessary for me to explain better ways of handling this; every other vendor has done so.
Now for some slightly less severe annoyances:
1) Under the Backup/Restore tab, after selecting Manage Backup Jobs, so much (vertical) space is consumed by the top logo and the various banners that the area left for displaying the actual job listing is tiny, requiring constant scrolling. How about maximizing work area and minimzing the extraneous elements?
2) There is no useful help information accessible on the website. Clicking the Help button on the right simply loads the Netgear general support page. How about some FAQ's, at least? Explain how to back up all home directories. Explain how to exclude folders and files; whether wildcards are supported, etc. Explain how the continuous backup works -- how often & what triggers it. I could go on and on here. There is nothing, though. A big FU to the user -- go somewhere else to find the answers, it says.
3) The operation of the website itself has myriad inconsistencies. The one that annoys me the most is the fact that after I delete a subfolder from a folder AND empty the trash, the subfolder still is displayed under the hierarchy in the left pane. This makes it darn difficult to keep track of what I've deleted and what I haven't. This happens with the Trash, too. Put some stuff in there, Empty Trash, and folders and subfolders still show under Trash on the left. Click on Trash, and it says "No Item in Trash", but click on a folder still showing under Trash on the left, and the items within still display. Is the trash emptied or not? Who knows?
4) Reporting is clumsy and unituitive. How about providing standard time ranges (the last week, month, etc.) in addition to the current custom range? How about integrating error information with the backup job status instead of making us have to look it up separately? How about a pie chart showing account usage by share instead of the almost useless total?
And, again, I could go on and on. Really, the ONLY virtue Vault has going for it is the integration with Readynas.
ReadyNAS NV (1TB)
ReadyNAS NVX (8TB)
Netgear Router & Gb Switches