New To The Charts: Buffalo LinkStation Quad

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Tim Higgins

The Quad represents the high end of the home-focused LinkStation line, but is currently the lowest-priced four-drive diskful RAID 5 NAS available (~$360 for 1 TB).

It is based on a Marvell Orion storage processor platform with 128 MB of RAM and gigabit Ethernet port supporting up to 9 K jumbo frames. The 1 TB model comes with four 250 GB Seagate ST3250310AS Barracuda 7200.10 cold-swap drives that are configurable in JBOD and RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

Power consumption is a low 34 W and there is no idle disk spin down mode. Programmable shutdown and startup is supported, however. Fan and drive noise is very low.

The two USB 2.0 ports support UPS connection, external storage expansion, USB printers and push-button file copy from flash or USB drives.

CIFS/SMB and AFP network file systems are supported, and you can join Microsoft NT domains but not Active Directory for user authentication. UPnP AV, DLNA and iTunes media servers are available as well as USB printer and FTP servers.

Backup for Windows and Mac OS clients is provided via the bundled Memeo application. Scheduled backups can be done to attached USB drives or other LinkStation or TeraStations.

Performance ranks the Quad toward the bottom of the NAS Charts with RAID 5 writes with a gigabit LAN connection averaging 9 MB/s for file sizes between 32 MB and 1 GB. RAID 5 read performance for the same conditions was better at 20 MB/s, but still relatively low for other RAID 5 products.

Read the full review.

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