Update 4/2/2007: Corrected wrong info on iTunes playback.
|At a Glance|
|Product||Buffalo Technology LinkStation Live (HS-DH250GL)|
|Summary||Single SATA drive NAS with built-in DLNA UPnP multimedia server.|
|Pros|| FTP, DLNA and UPnP AV servers
Built-in backup to other LinkStations, TeraStations or attached USB storage
Gigabit Ethernet with 4K and 8K Jumbo frames supported
|Cons|| Poorer performance than LinkStation Pro which is built on the same hardware platform
No FTP server logging
No support for SMTP authentication for emailing logs
Conflicts between PCast and DLNA servers made picture viewing difficult
Last fall, we reviewed Buffalo Technology's LinkStation Pro and concluded that while it offered great performance and took advantage of its gigabit Ethernet port, it lacked media serving capabilities. Buffalo addressed this concern in January at CES when it announced its new series of LinkStation Live products.
Replacing the LinkStation Home consumer NASes, the LinkStation Live series, available in 250GB, 320GB, 500GB and 750GB capacities, is built on the identical hardware platform as the LinkStation Pro. But instead of Active Directory support, the LinkStation Live contains a DLNA-certified streaming media server and USB print server.
If you compare the LinkStation Live with the LinkStation Pro, you'll discover that the cases are virtually identical, with Buffalo changing only the color scheme. The case of the LinkStation Live has an attractive gray finish, compared to the black case on the "Pro".
The four front panel LEDs indicate power, link/activity, info and error status. As a matter of personal preference, I prefer individual disk activity and LAN activity indicators such as found on the DLink DNS-323, but for a home-based NAS, a single LED suffices.
Figure 1: LinkStation Live Rear View
On the rear panel of the LinkStation Live (Figure 1), you'll find a gigabit auto sensing Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, a power connector, hardware reset button and opening for the single fan. In comparison to the DLink DNS-323, the fan on the LinkStation Live is significantly quieter, although in fairness, the DLink has to move more air to cool its two drives. Buffalo deserves kudos for including a security lock slot on the back panel. In a small office where physical security could be an issue, the ability to lock down your NAS with a notebook cable is a nice feature.
It's not too difficult to open the LinkStation Live, though there's really no reason that you'd ever need to. I popped it open to see if the layout and components were the same as found in the LinkStation Pro.
Figure 2: LinkStation Live Circuit Board
A close inspection (Figure 2) showed that the LinkStation Live is built on the same Marvell Orion 400 MHz 88F4182 Media Vault Processor and the same Marvell 88E1111 gigabit Ethernet controller as found in the LinkStation Pro. I especially like the embedded power supply, which makes for a much neater installation than units that use "wall warts" or in-line external power supplies.
The LinkStation Live also uses the identical Western Digital 7200 RPM SATA drive found on the Pro (our test sample came with a 250 GB drive). As with the Pro, there's adequate slack in the cable that allows you to lay the drive next to the case while still connected (Figure 3).
Figure 3: LinkStation Live Interior View
Check out the slideshow for an admin interface tour.