Buffalo LinkStation VS CloudStor
The Buffalo CloudStor has been added to the NAS Charts.
Or you can think of it as a Pogoplug device that supports two built-in 3.5" SATA drives, which also supports SMB file sharing without having to load the PogoDrive client software on machines that want to reach its shares via SMB network browsing.
Either way you think of it, the CS-WX1.0/1D model Buffalo sent for review has the same hardware platform as the aforementioned LinkStation Duo, i.e. 600 MHz Marvell 88F6281 Kirkwood SoC with 128 MB of RAM.
This model comes with one Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1 TB (ST31000528AS) loaded, leaving the other slot empty. You can also buy a version with a single 2 TB drive loaded (CS-WX2.0/1D) and a 2 TB CloudStor Pro model (CS-WV2.0/1D) that is built on the LinkStation Pro Duo ("WVL") hardware platform, which has a 1.6 GHz Marvell 88F6282 Kirkwood and 256 MB of RAM.
If you decide to add the second drive, you have your choice of treating the drives individually, or configuring a single RAID 0 or 1 volume. Note that there is no RAID level migration. So if you want to move to RAID 0 or 1, you'll need to back up your data and restore it.
Also note that the OS lives on a partition on the pre-installed drive. So you can't pull the drive out and start from scratch with a larger drive.
LAN connection is via a single Gigabit Ethernet port that does not support jumbo frames. There is one USB 2.0 port on the rear where you can connect a printer to share via Pogoplug printer sharing.
Buffalo CloudStor rear panel
The CloudStor's noise was very low despite its fan and I didn't notice any drive noise in my quiet home office. Power draw measured a meager 9 W with the drive running. There are no drive spindown or other power saving features that I could find.
We're going to take a look at the CloudStor's features in more detail in a future SmallCloudBuilder review. But, for now, if you're familiar with what a Pogoplug can do, you know what a CloudStor can do. The CloudStor does add a few tricks that you don't normally get on a stock Pogoplug device, i.e.
- SMB network browsing without installing the PogoDrive client
- BitTorrent downloader
- Apple Time Machine backup support
- Emailed notifications
- Multiple users
Actually, the last two features are also supported on standard Pogoplug Biz models [reviewed].
Performance tests were run with latest 1.00 build 1.17 firmware using our standard test process. I normally don't run these tests on "cloud" NASes. But since the CloudStor also operates as a standard SMB-browsable NAS, I thought it was fair to see how fast it was for that use.