Buffalo LinkStation Switches off
Are you looking for an entry-level NAS system and don't have the spare parts to roll your own? Buffalo's LinkStation 420 uses a fairly basic platform, and we have a few critiques, but it's otherwise a simple and affordable storage solution for the home.
Buffalo is no stranger to the network-attached storage world. Surely that means the company has learned all of the lessons needed to build successful products, right?
The technology inside Buffalo's LinkStation 420 is fairly typical of entry-level NAS hardware. Its Marvell Armada 370 SoC consists of a 1.2 GHz ARMv7 processor with 32 KB of L1 instruction and 32 KB of L1 data cache, a 256 KB L2 cache, and a 16-bit DDR3 memory interface. To that bus, Buffalo attaches 512 MB of memory. The SoC includes two Ethernet MAC controllers, support for a pair of SATA ports, and a USB 2.0 controller, so connectivity is somewhat limited. There's a single GbE jack and one USB 2.0 port exposed on the device. USB 3.0 isn't yet standard at the entry-level.
Buffalo gives you a choice of two 1, 2, 3, or 4 TB hard drives already installed in its LinkStation 420, obviating the need to study a hard disk compatibility list and picking storage yourself. The sample we're testing came equipped with a pair of 2 TB Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001-1CH1 3.5" drives.
The LinkStation 420 sports a BitTorrent client, a DLNA server, an iTunes server, a print server, and a USB device server. It can also serve as a Time Machine-compatible backup target for a Mac. When it comes to backing up its own disks, the LinkStation 420 is able to use attached USB drives or another NAS server.
Specifications: Buffalo LinkStation 420
8 TB gross capacity (max.) 2 x 2 TB Seagate Barracuda ST2000DB001-1CH1
1 x USB 2.0
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