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Buffalo Technology LinkStation Pro: One Hot NAS!

Introduction

At a Glance
ProductBuffalo Technology LinkStation Pro (LS-250GL)
SummaryFastest yet single drive SATA-based NAS with gigabit Ethernet
Pros• Really takes advantage of its gigabit Ethernet port
• Jumbo Frame support
• FTP server
• Supports Active Directory and external user authentication
Cons• No print, Web or UPnP serving options
• No sleep or idle spindown

Buffalo Technology has been in the consumer NAS game since pretty much the beginning so its flagship LinkStation has been getting a bit long in the tooth. The company tried a tweak last year in the form of the Gigabit LinkStation, but the minor performance boost provided by the gigabit port has been outpaced by newer products.

Enter the LinkStation Pro with both a handsome new black enclosure (the better to blend in with media room gear) and completely new hardware platform. Although some of the functionality of the Link Station has been lost in the transition, the Pro really delivers on performance, as we'll see later.

While the Pro has a new squared-off black plastic enclosure, the port complement is the same as the original LinkStation and "Giga" versions. The only change is that both USB 2.0 ports have been moved to the back panel. The Pro has its power supply built in, which is easier to deal with than the largish brick-plus-power cord arrangement sported by some of its competition. There is a single 2 inch fan, which to my ear was barely audible, even during the heavy load of testing.

The only controls are a Power / Shutdown switch on the front and reset-to-factory-defaults switch on the rear and the front panel indicators are Power, Link/Act, Info and Error. The difference between the Info and Error indicators is that the Info light blinks when you have a message waiting in the client utility and the Error light flashes an error sequence when the Pro has a problem.

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