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Storage

Introduction

Buffalo CloudStor Solo

At a Glance
Product Buffalo CloudStor Solo Personal Cloud Storage [CS-WX1.0/1D]
Summary Single drive, Marvell Kirkwood-powered NAS running modified Pogoplug OS that combines cloud and standard NAS features
Pros • Gigabit Interface
• Extremely easy setup
• Quiet operation
• Supports HTML5 media streaming
• No monthly subscription
• Aggregates media by media type
• Can be used for Time Machine Backups
• Free mobile clients for iOS and Android devices
Cons • No USB port for printer sharing or storage expansion
• Relatively poor file copy performance
• No included backup software

Many people want mobile access to all, or at least part, of their files. This has led to the increasing number of cloud storage providers. But what if you don’t want to pay a monthly fee?  Buffalo's line of CloudStor products could be your answer. 

Buffalo's CloudStors provide the benefits of a NAS for local storage and, through a partnership with Pogoplug, give you access to your own "personal cloud".  Since you own the device and it is using your network connection (and bandwidth), you have access to all of your files both locally and remotely, for no monthly fee.

Last year, Tim and Matt Smollinger reviewed the performance and features of Buffalo's original dual-drive CloudStor (CS-WX1.0/1D).  This product was Buffalo’s first entry into the cloud storage market.  Now, Buffalo has introduced the CloudStor Solo, a single drive version with reduced cost and a reduced feature set. 

Like all of Buffalo's cloud-based NAS products, the CloudStor Solo derives its cloud features from a customized version of Pogoplug's software.  And, like other CloudStor products, the Solo functions as a traditional NAS to provide you with local network access via SMB – ie, you don’t have to map your drives using Pogoplug’s software.  And, if you’re a Mac owner, the CloudStor Solo can act as a Time Machine target – even for OSx 10.7 (Lion).

To help you sort through their cloud offerings, Buffalo has provided a handy comparison chart shown in Figure 1.

Buffalo CloudStor product comparison

Figure 1: Buffalo CloudStor product comparison

What really jumps out in this chart is that as compared to the other products, the Solo is a single drive device and lacks a USB port. 

Under the hood, the Solo features the same Marvell Kirkwood 88F6281 CPU running at 600 MHz and the same amount of RAM (128 MB) that you find in the dual drive CS-WX/1D.  The 1 TB drive in the Solo is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000524AS).

If you’re into indicator lights, the Solo will disappoint you.  On the front panel, just below the CloudStor label (if you have the device laying flat on your desk), you’ll see a dim blue light.  The light blinks during boot up, and is solid during normal operations.  There are no indicators for disk activity. 

The back panel is also spartan, just a power connector, single 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and a security slot for Kensington-compatible cable locks.  There are no link or connection speed indicators on the Ethernet port. But if you look carefully, you'll be able to see a green network activity light inside the case. 

The case is well ventilated and provides adequate cooling for the Solo.  There is no fan to make noise or consume power.  Power consumption, according to my Kill-o-watt meter, measured between 12 and 13 W with a large file copy running.  While there is no scheduled or idle time drive spin down feature, you can create a schedule to put the Solo in sleep mode as shown in Figure 2.

Sleep Schedule configuration

Figure 2: Sleep Schedule configuration
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