Articles: Networking

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A well-known maker of network equipment and storage devices, Buffalo Technology offers external HDDs with USB 2.0 and 3.0 interfaces as well as network attached storage products for home and corporate users.

This review will be concerned with the LinkStation Pro Duo NAS which has two disk bays and comes with preinstalled HDDs in two configurations: 2x1 TB (that’s the model we’ve got for our tests) and 2x2 TB. The SOHO-oriented LinkStation series also includes NASes for one and four 3.5-inch HDDs and a special LinkStation Mini for two 2.5-inch HDDs.

Buffalo’s NASes fall into two groups depending on their performance. The high-performance variety has the word Pro in the product names, like the model we are going to test today.

Package and Accessories

Buffalo focuses on retail market, so its products have eye-catching packaging. The red-and-green box is surely attractive. You can view the product's photos, features, specs and usage scenarios on the sides of the box.

Besides the NAS itself, the box contains an external 12V/4A power adapter with cables for different wall outlets, a white LAN cable (of the modern flat variety), a CD with software, a user manual, and a warranty card.

There are several NAS-related utilities, a backup tool and electronic versions of the user manual on the CD. The basic utilities for setting up and managing the NAS are also available in Mac OS versions. Updates for the firmware and utilities can be found on the manufacturer’s website. You need to specify your product's model name and series number to download some of the files.

We will describe the system tools provided with the NAS later on. As for the backup tool NovaBACKUP, it is not bound to the LinkStation and can actually work with any network folders. It can be used to copy, restore and sync folders and offers a lot of setup options including an operation schedule, file filters, write verification, etc.

The TurboCopy and TurboPC tools are not described in detail by the manufacturer, so we can only tell you that the former sets Windows up in such a way as to improve copying speed whereas the latter creates an additional hard disk buffer in system memory. We don't think they are going to be very helpful in modern OSes, though.

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