In the case of a disk failure (or you just want to increase storage capacity), the Linkstation Duo offers an incredibly painless drive removal system. Simply apply light pressure to remove the front panel, then tug on the release loop whilst depressing the lower catch so the disk can be pulled out of the housing. The rail system used is smooth and can be operated singlehandedly. In fact, both drives could easily be removed and swapped in less than 30 seconds with no tools required.
Remote access as viewed from the iPhone
The must-have feature on Nas boxes these days is remote access and Buffalo offers this with its WebAccess functionality. Users can gain access to their files away from home using any web browser that meets the minimum requirements, including the iPhone’s Safari browser.
WebAccess allows the user to configure either a free account on Buffalo’s own DNS service or use other third party services such as DynDNS to use a fixed access address. Setup of either of these systems is quick and easy, allowing access to the NAS as soon as the correct user accounts are set up locally.
The WebAccess interface is conservative in design, enabling use in low-bandwidth environments, but provides a wealth of features ranging from the standard Open/Rename/Delete functions to providing fixed URL links and streaming of media content within the browser. It is also possible to upload data to the Nas remotely. Access to the main configuration interface isn’t available though
In addition to WebAccess, the Linkstation offers local streaming services to DLNA-compatible devices and iTunes library sharing. Music streaming to iTunes is flawless with little to no latency between tracks and video streaming produces a similar experience. 1080p content is played back smoothly with no dropped frames although audio takes a second to resume after a prolonged period of fast-forwarding.
Remote file viewing from the WebAccess utility
A BitTorrent client is also included with its own web interface. The client is straightforward to use, but the web interface is not configurable for remote access outside of the home network. This may be possible to achieve, but appears beyond the current implementations of this device.
My LinkStation Pro is painfully slow, both data transfer and web interface, and the drive bearings were noisy after about 18 months. I'll be looking elsewhere for it's replacement.
Hackability is great (in the good sense)
We've got an array of Linkstations (Pro & Duo) in our company, all with debian installed, locked down tight, only providing SSH. Great for a simple backup device that mirrors data at our homes.
This is why I like Buffalo drives. I'm not massively concerned about transfer rates as we use rsync to mirror our data, so massive sustained transfer rates aren't needed.
It probably uses software raid (like previous ones), so you don't even need an identical drive to swap in if one fails. This could also be the source of bottlenecks.
Security is awful
Administration through the web interface has no SSL option so the admin password is sent in the clear. Admin and user passwords cannot contain complex characters and are easily broken. Both flaws could be addressed in a software/firmware upgrade but despite complaints from users neither has been done.
Avoid until these issues are fixed.
Early model Link Station owner here
Does this model also have the problem with the allowable path name length being so short?
Not sure about that bottleneck
I am highly doubtful that the rotational speed of the hard drives has anything to do with the transfer speed bottleneck of this particular NAS box. Modern 5400 RPM hard drives easily produce sustainable transfer speeds of over 50MB/s. A slow CPU under the Linkstation's bonnet is the more likely culprit and is probably also responsible for the sluggish web interface.