Buffalo hasn’t sat on its laurels after releasing the original LinkStation. The Pro version not only comes in a more stylish black case, but offers a few new features that will make it appeal to a wider audience.
The Gigabit Ethernet port is one. If you’re sharing the LinkStation with scores of users or regularly transfer huge files, such as uncompressed video, the extra speed will be handy. We saw 15.2MB/s when reading from the LinkStation and 13.1MB/s when writing.
The new model also offers decent backup options. LinkStation to LinkStation backup is supported, so units can back up to each other automatically. A neat feature if you do have multiple units on your network is that a drive will play a tune when you ping it. Backups can also be scheduled to USB disks attached to the two rear USB ports. The contents of any attached disks are, by default, made public on the network, but you can change these permissions in the management interface.
Email alerts have been added, so you can be notified on events such as the disk or fan failing, and there’s now Active Directory integration. User and group accounts can be created, as can shared folders, but the process is more daunting than the wizard-based approaches seen elsewhere, particularly in Western Digital’s NetCenter.
Shared folders can be assigned as read/write or read-only, or you can select which users and groups have write access. You can also choose whether to let each share be visible to a combination of Windows, Mac or FTP users.
In the Maintenance section, you can configure backups (up to ten LinkStations are supported) and, unusually, choose the brightness of the front-panel LEDs. However, you can’t schedule a timed wake-up or power-down (the drive is designed to remain on 24/7), although it will power down after 30 minutes of inactivity.
There’s no support for printers, no web or media servers and no way to assign user quotas. But there is an FTP server and a built-in power supply for neatness. Plus, the LinkStation was quiet in use, registering only 34dBA from the side when idle from 10cm away. Further away, the sound isn’t noticeable, although seek noises can be heard.
Overall, the Buffalo is a great performer and a sensible choice if you need the FTP server and AFP support over the Maxtor’s printer and media servers.
This Review appeared in the April, 2007 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing