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Features

The Link Duo uses the AJAX-based web admin GUI found on the TeraStation III and LinkStation Pro LS-XHL. Unfortunately, the admin responsiveness was much slower than I remember, with every page change taking 3 - 5 seconds. Browsing through the LinkStation Pro LS-XHL slideshow will give you a good idea of the settings supported by the Link Duo.

The interface also had the annoying habit of frequently returning to the Shared Folders page (Figure 4) when I saved changes on other pages (the Storage page most notably).

Folder setup page
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Figure 4: Folder setup page

This interface also suffers from the shortcomings of precious little status information and no logging found in other low-end Buffalo NASes. But these issues are probably not as important for the target home user as they are for business buyers.

Features supported by the LinkStation Duo are:

  • Individual drive, RAID 0 and 1 modes (no JBOD)
  • Network file sharing via SMB/CIFS, AFP
  • NT Domain and AD support
  • Users and Group creation w/ Quotas for both
  • FTP / FTP-S server (no logging)
  • HTTP / HTTPs file and admin access (not auto-forwarded)
  • Email alerts
  • Backup: Schedulable and immediate to other Buffalo NASes only (no non-Buffalo rsync support) and attached USB drive. One license for Memeo backup client included
  • FAT, EXT3, XFS write/read USB drive support. NTFS read-only support
  • Apple Time Machine backup support
  • Secure Web-based remote access (hosted @ buffalonas.com)
  • USB printer serving
  • UPnP AV / DLNA media server (Twonky Media)
  • iTunes server
  • BitTorrent downloader
  • UPS shutdown sync (via USB)

Buffalo is still dragging its feet on adding rsync support for network-based backups to anything other than Buffalo NASes. (Like everyone else, Buffalo uses rsync at the heart of its network backup / replication features.) So you still can back up only to another Buffalo NAS if you want to do it over the network.

Even though you can't configure the drives in JBOD mode, you can configure them in RAID 0 (the default), RAID 1 or as individual volumes (Figure 5).

Storage settings
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Figure 5: Storage settings

There is a handly built-in formatter for USB drives that provides FAT, EXT3 and XFS options. You can also check drives for errors on command and scan and automatically repair the RAID array on demand or on a scheduled basis (a handy feature more NASes should have).

Perhaps in response to the inroads that QNAP and Synology have made into Buffalo's market share, the Duo's features include the ability to act as a LAMP webserver, complete with configurable php.ini file and MySQL database server.

Figure 6 shows the setup page, which includes the php.ini editor. There's also a setup page for the MySQL server that contains an enable, port number field and working folder selector.

Webserver setup
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Figure 6: Webserver setup

Once you enable the webserver and then hit the Link Duo's IP address on port 81, you'll get the default index.php page that Buffalo has set up on the server, which calls phpinfo() to display all the current PHP settings.

I was able to log in via SSH using WinSCP and the web admin credentials. But once in, I couldn't even change directories. So it looks like Buffalo doesn't want you poking around the Duo's file system. A query to Buffalo came back with the reply that root access is not supported.

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