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DAS + NAS = Buffalo's DriveStation FlexNet

New storage device from Buffalo offers both DAS and NAS functions.

The DriveStation FlexNet

It can be a hard choice between a direct attached (DAS) and a network attached (NAS) external storage device. The former offers high-speed data throughput but requires a computer, while the latter can work by itself with a throughput speed that's limited by the network connection. How about not having to pick one over the other?

Buffalo Technology is offering that option on Monday with its new DriveStation FlexNet storage device. The device comes with both 10/100 Ethernet network storage functionality for it to be an NAS and a USB 2.0 connection for it to work as a regular external hard drive. However, it can only work as either at a time and has a button that quickly toggles between the two modes.

Other than that, the DriveStation FlexNet is a single hard-drive storage device (hence, no RAID configuration) with a compact and sleek design. It ships with Memeo AutoBackup, has a one-year warranty, and features the useful TurboUSB technology. TurboUSB can boost the USB 2.0 speed up to 20 percent faster than other standard USB drives. I personally witnessed this in SimpleTech's re-drive, the only device I've reviewed so far that features this technology.

The new DriveStation Flexnet will be available in late September with an estimated price of $250 for the 1TB version. There are also 640GB and 500GB versions that cost $170 and $150, respectively.