|At a Glance|
|Product||Buffalo LinkStation EZ (LS-L500GL)|
|Summary||Low cost networked storage drive designed to be a simple to install and use as a direct-attached drive|
|Pros||• Good value (capacity for the price)
• Dead simple to set up and use
|Cons||• Disappointing performance
• No flexibility or expandability
Buffalo Technology is obviously familiar with the Network Attached Storage market, being one of the top producers, with a wide product line. One product they recently decided to add in order to expand their customer base is a low-cost, single-drive NAS that is as simple to use as an external direct-attached drive.
In other words, Buffalo set out to produce a product with the installation simplicity of a direct-attached hard drive, but the flexibility of a networked drive. While they achieved the goal of low cost and ease of use, they did make a serious tradeoff to get there.
The rear panel of the EZ (Figure 1) houses the power button (the small black button near the top), a recessed reset button, the fan grille, the 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, a slot for a locking cable and the socket for the power cable.
Figure 1: Rear view of the LinkStation EZ
The EZ includes a setup guide, power "brick," setup CD, and an Ethernet cable. It also comes with fairly easy-to-use backup software that has useful features such as multiple file versions and data encryption.
Setup of the EZ is, as expected, exceedingly simple. It comes with a Quick Setup Guide, but even without this, all you need to do is put the CD in and follow the instructions. If you can't find the CD, you can download the NAS Navigator from Buffalo's website, but you'll be missing the Memeo backup software.
You can still access the EZ without any of these things, but you won't be able to change any of the settings. However, since there is no password by default, if you weren't planning to change any of the settings anyway, there's no reason to install the NAS Navigator software (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Installation of the Buffalo NAS Navigator software and setup of the EZ
The Setup Guide states that the EZ and NAS Navigator will work with a Mac, and although I have no doubt that it does, I didn't have access to a Mac with which to test it.