The LinkStation Quad has a DLNA-compliant media server. As noted in the LinkStation Mini review, Buffalo has integrated Packet Video's PVConnect server, which is based on TwonkyVision's server. As with the LinkStation Mini, Buffalo’s proprietary PCast server is not integrated into the Quad.
The PVConnect server has options to refresh at preset intervals as well as an option to refresh the database “now”. I tested by loading up the Quad with about 30GB of media files. I was able to see the iTunes server on both Mac and PC clients, and was able to play back music on both.
Time Machine is a relatively new feature for Buffalo. If you’re a Mac user, you already know what Time Machine is. For those in the Windows world, Time Machine is backup software that is built into the Mac OS. It takes hourly, daily and weekly backups of your Mac.
The Time Machine feature in the Quad, shown in Figure 8, allows you to use the NAS as a Time Machine storage location. I had a bit of difficulty getting it to work properly, but a Buffalo support engineer solved the problem.
Figure 8: Time Machine Configuration
It appears that the communication between the Mac and the Quad is sensitive to the host name on the Mac. While the Mac OS allowed me to name it “Craig’s MacBook” apparently the space and apostrophe created problems. I renamed my Mac to “craigsmacbook” and used that to configure the LinkStation along with the Ethernet MAC address. Problem solved. You must enter the MAC address of your Macintosh separated by colons and the host name should not contain spaces or punctuation.
Once configured, you just switch the location for the Time Machine backups under system preferences on your Mac as shown in Figure 9. You’ll need to log into the Quad with a valid user name/password.
Figure 9: Change Time Machine Backup Location
Figure 10 shows a backup in progress from my Mac to the LinkStation Quad.
Figure 10: Time Machine backup to the LinkStation Quad in progress
Sending Mail Alerts
We have “dinged” Buffalo on virtually every NAS review for lack of SMTP authentication, so it’s only fair to acknowledge that Buffalo has finally updated SMTP configuration options. In fact, now, they are quite good.
Figure 11 shows that you can now specify both POP3 and SMTP ports, choose from three login options, and, if your IPS requires SSL or TLS, the LinkStation supports that, too. There are also four notification triggers as shown below. Mail notifications worked as expected. For my ISP, Comcast, I configured “pop before SMTP”.