Buffalo LinkStation Duo LS-WX1.0TL/R1 review
Cheap for a 1TB dual-bay NAS drive with a good line-up of features, but performance is mixed
Review Date: 4 Feb 2010
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £157 (£184 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
There's usually quite a leap in price when jumping from a single drive NAS device such as the ZyXEL to a twin-bay product. With more advanced controllers to squeeze into the budget, and more physical material, that's not surprising. But the Buffalo LinkStation Duo blithely ignores such restrictions to come in at an uncommonly low price.
It's a reasonable £157 exc VAT, and that's not for a diskless device. Pluck the front panel from its mountings and you'll discover a pair of 500GB Samsung HD502HI hard disks mounted in quick release slots beneath. The disks can be configured as a RAID0 or RAID1 array, and although the build quality is a little rattly compared to the peerless Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (web ID: 249128), it's fine for the price.
The front panel is flimsy and plasticky and, bar a triplet of status LEDs, pretty bare. The same goes for the rear, with just one USB port alongside the main Gigabit Ethernet socket. Just the basics are catered for.
Elsewhere, there's little to fault. The LinkStation is cooled by a single fan, and it's a quiet one too; in a living room or bedroom you'll struggle to hear its whir from 3m away. There's a full complement of media, storage and backup features. Log onto the Buffalo's admin pages and you'll find user, group and storage allocation administration tools, a DLNA-compliant UPnP media server, a BitTorrent client, and Apple Time Machine support. More advanced features encompass a web server with support for MySQL databases and a schedule that allows you to switch it off and on remotely.
Where the Buffalo starts to fall behind is in its ease of use: the web-based admin pages are sluggish, with frustrating load times and an old-fashioned-looking layout. There's no sparkly Flash-based front end here, the likes of which we saw in the dual-bay Netgear Stora MS2110 (web ID: 354088).
Performance, too, was disappointing. While large files transferred to the drive at a perfectly acceptable rate of 20MB/sec and were read back at the same rate, small files taxed it beyond its capabilities. Speeds dropped dramatically to 2.5MB/sec while writing our batch of 3,000 small files, and a similarly snail-like 4.4MB/sec when reading them.
That performance anomaly prevents us from recommending the LinkStation Duo, which is a shame, because otherwise it's a perfectly competent NAS drive: cheap, quiet and with a solid feature set.
Author: Jonathan Bray
Time for a ....
Round-Up Review of current NAS devices? I mean Home File Servers, not Media Players, presuming that most people really need a place to stream their millions of files from, and already have a TV etc. Thanks.
By Wilbert3 on 18 Feb 2010
- Child abuse showdown "hijacked by ignorant MPs"
- Government wheedles more funding for online child protection from ISPs
- AMD’s "Seattle" ARM chips set for 2014 release
- Microsoft offloads cheap Surface RT tablets to schools
- Outlook.com to ditch linked accounts over security fears
- Adobe’s subscription-only Creative Cloud goes live
- Skype rolls out free video voicemail
- Spotify confirms UK outage
- Google builds system to identify child abuse images
- Google balloons beam broadband to remote areas
- Huawei Ascend P6 review: first look
- Adobe Illustrator CC review: first look
- Let MPs tell us what they really want ISPs to block
- Adobe Photoshop CC review: first look
- WWDC 2013 and iOS 7 launch: live blog
- Sony VAIO Pro review: first look
- Want child porn blocked? Meet the IWF
- Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Manage a mailing list with MailChimp
- Best Linux distros for 2013
- 36 best Android apps
- How to track a stolen phone, laptop or tablet
- The man who teaches the world to Google
- 38 best iPad apps
- Moving PC made easy
- 35 best web apps
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Facebook "click on the photo" scams: how they work
- Three alternatives to Word's spelling and grammar checker
- Google two-step verification: a must for business email
- Microsoft Office and the death of upgrades
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW