Buffalo Linkstation Pro 2TB

8/10/2012 2:42:03 PM

The LinkStation Pro 2TB is a sleek single-disk NAS device that's about the size of a typical router. Unlike larger devices, it’s not designed to be opened or upgraded. It has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB port to which you can connect an additional drive to boost its capacity. The on/ off switch also includes an auto mode that lets the NAS device power down when it's not in use and power back up as soon as a connected PC tries to browse its contents.

Description: Buffalo linkstation pro 2TB
Buffalo linkstation pro 2TB

Configuration is easy. Clicking a big install button maps the NAS device as a network drive and prompts you to install Buffalo's NAS Navigator configuration tool. It also gives you the option of installing utilities such as Network-USB Navigator, which automatically detects and provides access to USB drives when you connect them to the NAS device. Another, TurboPC, purportedly increases transfer speeds between the NAS device and your PC, while TurboCopy supposedly makes Windows file copies faster, and NovaBackup lets you schedule backups.

We were pleased to find that we could detect the NAS device on our network and access its web interface from our browser without installing any software. The web interface provides all the tools you need to configure your device, from formatting its hard disk to creating users and giving them different access privileges.

Description: The LinkStation Pro is one of the most feature-packed NAS devices around, offering a wealth of extra features that range from the commonplace

The LinkStation Pro is one of the most feature-packed NAS devices around, offering a wealth of extra features that range from the commonplace

The LinkStation Pro is one of the most feature-packed NAS devices around, offering a wealth of extra features that range from the commonplace, such as remote web access, to an array of popular media-streaming options that let you share your stored movies and music. It can also act as a Squeezebox, DLNA or iTunes server. The USB port on its back panel can be used to share extra storage across your network or connect a USB printer. Other features include the ability to upload pictures in a designated directory to Flickr, connect an Eye-Fi wireless SD card, and back up content to the NAS device from Apple devices using Time Machine. It even has a BitTorrent client that lets you download items without having to leave your PC switched on.

Unfortunately, the LinkStation Pro is also remarkable for its extremely slow file transfer speeds. It's at its fastest if you install Buffalo's speed-enhancing tools on the computer from which you're copying. This software uses your PC's memory to cache data during transfer, but even when we used this we measured an average transfer speed of just 37MB/S in our large-file transfer test and 6.4MB/s in our small-file test. Without using the software, transfer speeds dropped to 27.4MB/s and 6MB/s respectively. Although its slow speeds are likely to be a problem if you regularly run large backups or stream media to multiple devices, you’ll have no problems streaming standard-desfinition movies or audio to a single client.

The LinkStation Pro 2TB costs around 9p per gigabyte, and its single 2TB drive means that you can’t set up redundant storage on a second drive. Despite its comparatively low price of $214, we recommend buying a two-drive device, such as Western digital’s my book live Duo 4TB.


Price: $214

Details: www.buffalo-technology.com

Verdict: This single-drive NAS device is easy to use, but it's slow

Network storage device: 2TB hard disk, 10/100/1 ,000Mbit/s network connection, 1 USB port, UPnP media, iTunes, print, USB disk, web, FTP servers

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