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Features

From the Buffalo website, here is the list of TeraStation features. It appears that this list hasn't been updated to include the new 5000 series features (iSCSI target support and Video Surveillance).

Network and Storage

  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN with aggregation, multi-homing and failover support
  • Jumbo Frame support
  • SMB / CIFS, NFS, AFP network file systems
  • User and group level accounts
  • Active Directory
  • DFS
  • TeraSearch file indexing and search
  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 51, 60, 61 levels (no JBOD)
  • Volume per drive
  • Multi-volume support
  • Scheduled and on-demand backup to attached USB drive

Backup

  • Direct copy from USB device to NAS
  • Scheduled and on-demand network backup to other Buffalo NASes only w/ optional encryption and compression
  • Real-time replication with failover
  • Amazon S3 backup
  • 10 licenses of NovaBACKUP Pro (Windows only)
  • Apple Time Machine target support

Media

  • DLNA / UPnP AV server with PS3 and Xbox 360 support
  • iTunes server
  • Squeezebox server
  • BitTorrent downloader

Other

  • Trend Micro anti virus (requires 1, 3 or 5 year license; no trial included)
  • HTTP webserver with PHP and MySQL support
  • Print server
  • USB storage sharing
  • Email alerts w/ immediate trouble notification and daily reports
  • Syslog support
  • UPS sync
  • Sleep / wake schedules

It is good that Buffalo has expanded the TeraStation's features with additional media and safety features. But it lacks an add-on / app system to enable easy enhancement.

Hands On

Though the user interface has changed, many of the features remain the same as on previous TeraStation products. I’ll comment briefly on the new features and a couple that deserve special mention.

Remote Access

Many NASes have a fairly simple remote access setup process. But using the advanced menu interface to set up remote access on the TeraStation 5200 wasn’t really very intuitive. Buffalo must have recognized this, as they posted a 15 minute Tech Tip Video on their home page that shows you how to setup remote access. The video, by the way, is very helpful.

The EasyAdmin interface also has a wizard to help you set up remote access. However, if you are using the advanced interface, you have to enable WebAccess for each share that you want to make available to remote users. This is done in the File Sharing, Shared Folder menu. Note that for this share, WebAccess is enabled, and user cellison has read/write rights to the folder. Of particular importance is the WebAccess Public Mode setting.

For remote access, you must enable WebAccess for a share

For remote access, you must enable WebAccess for a share

If you “Allow Anonymous”, anyone with the remote name of your TeraStation has full read/write access to any shares enabled for WebAccess. If you Allow All Groups and Users, all users and groups have full access to shares enabled for WebAccess, but they have to log in.

If you want to lock down access, choose “Use Inherited Folder Permissions”. With Inherited Folder Permissions, only authorized users of the TeraStation have access, and their access is restricted to whatever folder permissions they have on WebAccess-enabled shares. So, for example, with inherited folder permissions, if a user doesn’t have rights to a WebAccess enabled share, they also won’t have remote access. If their permissions are Read Only, their remote access will similarly be restricted to Read Only.

The WebAccess service, also on the File Sharing menu has to be configured and enabled. I enabled the service and allowed UPnP to configure the firewall settings on my NETGEAR WNDR3800 router and UPnP opened the ports properly. Once configured, you navigate to www. buffalonas. com and enter the name that you assigned to your TeraStation.

Log in and you’ll have access to the shares according to the security settings. You can browse your shares, stream music, view thumbnails and large sized images and even stream video. The screenshot below shows that if you right-click on a file, you can upload, download, copy, move, delete, open and share files.

Remote Access to the TeraStation through a browser is an excellent experience

Remote Access to the TeraStation through a browser is an excellent experience

Once configured, Buffalo has a decent remote access solution. But it depends on opening holes in your router's firewall, which shouldn't be necessary with today's remote access technology. Requiring opened ports also means that Buffalo's WebAccess will be a hassle to set up if your network has cascaded routers, such as when your cable / DSL modem also has a router that can't be bridged and you have added your own router.

The odd thing is that Buffalo's remote access uses a web portal—buffalonas. com—so that you don't have to worry about dynamic DNS. In contrast, WD's wd2go remote access service also uses a web portal, but doesn't require any port opening and works through multiple NATs (routers).

Buffalo has remote access clients for other platforms, too. From the instruction manual, here’s some handy information about WebAccess on various platforms:

WebAccess client information for different platforms

WebAccess client information for different platforms

I installed the iPad app and was able to successfully connect to the TeraStation. However, the iPad client warned that an encrypted SSL might not be able play streaming music and video. Indeed, I tried both, and confirmed I couldn’t stream either.

Media Services

I enabled DLNA services and created a share named Media. I then enabled DLNA for that share and copied my normal set of audio, image and video test files to the share. I tested image, music and video files on my standard DLNA test device, a WDTV Live media streamer. All media types streamed as expected.

However, I ran into one problem that I hadn't anticipated. For photos, apparently the either DLNA server or the WebAccess service creates thumbnails of images. Those thumbnails, in addition to the full-sized images, were published. The thumbnails appeared on the media streamer with multiple file extensions. For example for a file named test. jpg, the media player displayed test, test. JPG. 4L and test. JPG. M. Unfortunately, these published thumbnails made for a bad slideshow experience, since typically, a highly pixelated full-screen thumbnail preceded the standard-full screen normal resolution image.

Here's a list of supported media formats for the DLNA server.

Buffalo TeraStation DLNA File Support

Buffalo TeraStation DLNA File Support

I also enabled the iTunes server for the media share. I checked for the iTunes server using iTunes on both Windows and MacOS platforms and it appeared on neither. After I restarted the iTunes service, the TeraStation iTunes server appeared on both platforms. Music playback was as expected.

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