The lack of detailed instructions like “connect a cable, press the power button” can be confusing at first, especially considering the NAS’s close integration with cloud services. So we downloaded the full user manual and looked through it carefully. Everything turned out to be easy enough. You turn the NAS on, wait for it to boot up and then go to the Pogoplug website to register by providing an email address and agreeing to the terms and conditions. Formally, the NAS cannot be made to work without internet access but you can actually get to it via your LAN if you learn its IP address (from your router’s log files, for example), specify its name (CS-WVxxx where xxx is the last three characters of the MAC address) or use the NASNavigator2 tool. We’ll talk about the cloud services later on.
The CloudStation Pro Duo coming with preinstalled HDDs, you can use it right out of the box. The two HDDs are going to be accessible as shared folders. There is a web interface for setting the NAS up. It works via HTTP as well as HTTPS. You need to provide an admin password to log in. The default password can be changed for higher security. The interface and menus are simpler than those of the LinkStation Pro Duo. It is available in several languages, including Asian ones.
We tested our CloudStation Pro Duo with firmware version 1.12 build 2.30. We updated to that version using the manufacturer’s update tool.
The preinstalled HDDs work as two individual disks by default but you can combine them into a mirror array. There are no other possible usage variants. For example, you won't be able to combine them into a single disk with one network name. The HDDs have multiple partitions, including system and data ones. The data partition is XFS-formatted, like in the LinkStation Pro Duo. When changing configuration to RAID1, you can keep data from either of the disks intact.
The CloudStation Pro Duo doesn’t offer any means of monitoring the status of HDDs. You can't even view their model names, SMART information or temperature. There is only a single Health parameter for each HDD.
Installing fresh new HDDs is not supported officially but you can use the tools and instructions for firmware restoration, available at the manufacturer’s forum, to revive the NAS in this situation. When a disk fails in a RAID1, you have to turn the NAS off, replace the failed HDD, turn the NAS on and select the RAID1 recovery option in the menu. You can use the same method to replace the preinstalled HDDs with new ones. Just don’t forget to make a backup copy of your data beforehand.
The IP address of the NAS’s Gigabit Ethernet controller can be set up manually or acquired automatically. Jumbo Frames are not supported. You can change the NAS’s network name, but not its workgroup.
User accounts are created on the NAS by entering user names and passwords. The CloudStation Pro Duo doesn’t support user groups and disk quotas and cannot be integrated into a domain.
Shared folders are created by the administrator. Access rights, supported protocols (Windows/SMB and/or Mac/AFP) and cloud service availability are specified in the properties of each folder. You can also specify folders for the NAS’s integrated services: BitTorrent, Time Machine and Direct Copy.
Files stored on the NAS can only be accessed over the LAN via CIFS and AFP protocols.