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Buffalo CloudStor Pro review: It's all about the Internet

CNET reviews Buffalo's latest CloudStor Pro NAS server.

The Buffalo CloudStor Pro is based entirely on the Pogoplug service and requires a live Internet connection to work well.
The Buffalo CloudStor Pro is based entirely on the Pogoplug service and requires a live Internet connection to work well. Dong Ngo/CNET

During the hands-on with Marvell's first plug-in network storage product, the SheevaPlug computer, which later on became the engine of the Pogoplug service, I was wishing that the device were more of a full-featured NAS server, instead of just a tiny device that worked with a USB external hard drive. And the wish came true when Buffalo announced the CloudStor Pro at CES 2011.

But, as they say, maybe I should have been more careful what I wished for.

Related links
• A closer look at the SheevaPlug
• Full review of the Pogoplug 2
• Full review of Iomega's Cloud Edition NAS server

Based entirely on the Pogoplug service, the CloudStor Pro depends on the Internet for its setup process, which is quick and easy, as well as for most of its functions to work. This makes it less of a network-attached storage (NAS) server and more of an Internet-attached server. Like all other Pogoplug devices, such as the Pogoplug 2, the CloudStor Pro offers an easy way to share data, especially digital multimedia content, over the Internet.

Owners of the device can easily share content with others by e-mail, and once shared the content can be played by streaming it directly from the Web interface or on mobile devices via the Pogoplug mobile app. Of course, this means the performance of the server depends on the speed of the connections to the Internet at both the server end and the remote client end. For most connections, I found that it works out OK.

For the local network that the server is plugged into, however, it offers just the support for Time Machine and a very basic way to share one public folder. Any other extra functions would require software to be installed and a connection to the Internet to work.

As the CloudStor Pro is indeed a full-featured dual-bay server that supports RAID 1, the lack of broad support for the local network, RAID 0, plus its intermittently buggy firmware make it not an ideal network storage for regular home users. Pogoplug fans, however, will no doubt love it. And at just around $240, with one hard drive of 2TB included, the CloudStor Pro is definitely worth an upgrade from the Pogoplug 2.

For more information on if this server is for you, check out CNET's full review.