Buffalo LinkStation Pro NAS server
It's true what they say about NAS boxes, once you've had one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without.
With the everyday consumer now armed with a multitude of devices both in and out of the home, centralised storage makes implicit sense. Trouble is, network-attached storage (NAS) - and indeed networking in general - continues to be perceived as costly and complicated.
One product that hopes to change that notion is Buffalo's LinkStation Pro - a compact NAS that promises high performance, dependability and ease of use.
Available in 1TB or 2TB capacities - priced at around £150 and £200, respectively - the LinkStation Pro measures just 45mm x 156mm x 175mm and comes finished in a glossy-black plastic that'll tuck neatly into most home environments.
Keeping things simple, there are no removable drive bays for further expansion - it simply comes as is - and the built-in 3.5in hard disk can't be removed. Should the pre-installed drive happen to fail, you'll need to call on Buffalo's two-year warranty.
While the hardware is clearly streamlined, Buffalo manages to keep the LinkStation Pro armed with many of the software features expected from a home-user NAS. A built-in DLNA media server makes it easy to stream music and video content to just about any modern media player, there's a built-in BitTorrent client to manage your downloads whilst your PC is off, a USB port for copying/backing up data or attaching a printer, and a 1.6GHz processor at the heart of the system that promises transfer speeds of up to 76MB/s.
Continuing the keep-it-simple mantra, the rear of the device offers just four straightforward functions - a USB 2.0 port used for external storage or USB printers, Gigabit Ethernet, a power connector and a basic on/off switch.
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