Buffalo LinkStation Live NAS drive review: Buffalo LinkStation Live NAS drive

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.5
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 6.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Easy to set up and configure; good price; includes print server and DLNA media server, USB ports for connecting printers or USB hard drives, Gigabit Ethernet, and backup software; comes with 24-7 support.

The Bad On the slow side, especially with reading files; no RAID capability.

The Bottom Line The Buffalo LinkStation Live has a lot of features and the right price to make it a really compelling home NAS drive, but its slow speeds give us pause.

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Buffalo LinkStation Live

The Buffalo LinkStation Live is a network-attached storage drive designed for home users who want to share files over a local network. It includes a built-in print server and a DLNA-compliant media server that allows you to easily stream multimedia files to other DLNA-compliant devices. At $350 for the 500GB version, it's quite a deal, given its bells and whistles. On the downside, it's not the fastest at writing, and it's downright sluggish when reading files. For comparison, the similarly priced Ximeta NetDisk Portable is much faster, but lacks both servers. Also, as the LinkStation Live contains only one disk, you can't set up a RAID array, as you can with the more expensive and faster HP Media Vault MV2020. While the Buffalo LinkStation Live is a good product for the money, its slow read speed gives us pause. If you want the fastest network storage, we say go for the Ximeta NetDisk Portable, even though it's slightly more expensive (in terms of features) than the Buffalo LinkStation Live. If you're willing to spend a little more money for a more flexible drive that offers even more features, spring for the HP Media Vault MV2020.

Design
The Buffalo LinkStation Live NAS drive is compact and will easily slide in next to your router or hub. The charcoal-gray drive stands 2.4x6.3x8.5 inches. It can only be oriented in one direction. The front of the drive houses the power button and four LEDs. On the rear of the drive, you'll find the power port, an Ethernet jack, and two USB ports for connecting printers or USB hard drives.

Features
The Buffalo LinkStation Live comes in four capacities: 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, and 750GB (for this review, we tested the 250GB version). All versions contain a single, 7,200rpm drive. Setup is simple: just connect the drive to your router or hub using an Ethernet cable and plug in the power cord. Then run the included CD to install the LinkNavigator utility. Upon installation, two icons should appear on your desktop: one will take you directly to the folders on the LinkStation drive, and the other will open the LinkNavigator window. You also can access the drive by going to My Computer; during setup, the drive is automatically mapped to drive letter L (or the next available letter if L is already occupied). The LinkNavigator lets you check on the status of all the LinkStations and Buffalo TeraStations on your network, while the Web-based configuration interface lets you set passwords, change access permissions, manage attached drives, add or delete shared folders, and otherwise configure your LinkStation Live drive.

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Where to Buy

Buffalo LinkStation Live NAS drive (320GB)

Part Number: HS-DH320GL Released: Jan 18, 2007

MSRP: $289.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 18, 2007
  • Connector Type 4 pin USB Type A
    RJ-45
  • Total Storage Capacity 320 GB
  • Type standard
  • Data Link Protocol Gigabit Ethernet
  • Compatibility Mac