Articles: Networking

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Additional Features

You can use your LinkStation Pro Duo to host websites. The web server supports php and MySQL. You can change the server’s port and load your own php.ini file. Website content is placed into a system folder or its subfolder.

Data protection can be ensured by means of the integrated backup tool. It allows entering up to eight backup tasks, each with an operation schedule, a list of original and destination folders, and a few additional options. You can choose any shared folder to back up. The destination folder can be either on the same or any other Buffalo NAS on the same network. You can also use USB disks formatted in EXT2/3 or XFS (FAT32 has file size limitations whereas NTFS is not supported for writing).

The latest firmware adds support for Time Machine. You just specify a NAS folder and a folder on your Apple computer to enable backups.

Like most other home NASes, this model offers several media servers. The DLNA server can be updated separately from the main firmware. It doesn’t offer too many settings. You can only choose a folder with media files, indexing period, and whether to load data from USB disks automatically. The server can index the following formats: JPEG, BMP, PNG, MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV, WMV, M2TS, TS. MP3 tags must be in Unicode for correct indexing. Users can be prohibited from accessing this service by the admin.

The second media server is iTunes. It allows choosing a folder for indexing audio recordings in MP3 and AAC formats.

The third server is Squeezebox for Logitech players. Besides MP3 and WMA, it supports lossless formats including FLAC. You can choose such settings as data folder and server port and even access the server's full-featured web-interface.

The NAS can download files via BitTorrent using the uTorrent client we have not yet seen in other NASes. It is one the most popular PC clients of this kind, so we are glad it is now implemented in NASes. There is a password-protected web-interface for accessing it. You can choose individual files from a torrent to download, assign bandwidth priorities and seed any data you like (you can apply rules to seed until a certain rating or time).

There are a lot of mTorrent settings you can change: ports, speed limits, operation schedule, etc. We guess the only difference from the desktop version of the client is that you cannot work with multiple folders. All downloads are stored in a single shared folder. The client is very fast and can make full use of a 100Mbps connection.

The NAS supports browser-based access to its files via the Web Access feature. A folder can be accessed freely or using authorization. Data is encrypted with HTTPS.

The Web Access interface is user-friendly and has special versions for mobile devices. You can do any standard operation with your files here, including downloading and uploading. Buffalo offers an exclusive service similar to dynamic DNS for connecting to the NAS remotely.

The photo hosting Flickr is supported, too. The NAS can automatically sync your Flickr account with a shared folder in either direction. For example, you can publish new photos by simply copying them to the shared folder.

You can also automatically load photos to the NAS from digital cameras with an Eye-Fi card that combines flash memory with a Wi-Fi controller in a standard SD case.

If you’ve got more than one LinkStation NAS in different locations, you can use the Web Access Connect service to sync their data via the internet.

The Network-USB Server feature enhances the NAS's USB capabilities. It consists of a NAS server and a PC client and can be used to connect any USB device. For example, we successfully used external disks with multiple partitions, some Wi-Fi modems and all-in-ones (for printing, scanning and even accessing their integrated card-reader). On the other hand, we couldn’t make our Bluetooth controllers work, so the server software has to support the class of devices you want to use.

When Network-USB Server is in use, the NAS’s USB port is at the disposal of the server and you can’t use it for backup copying or anything else. The client software can be installed on several computers on your LAN to connect USB devices to specific PCs manually.

Functionality Enhancements

Buffalo doesn’t encourage enthusiasts to access the NAS’s console. However, there are ways to connect via ssh and install additional software packages (see for details).

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