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Buffalo LinkStation Live 1TB MultiMedia Network Attached Storage with Built-In BitTorrent Client
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Dependable, silent, and easy to install. Seamlessly store and share your music, photos, and videos with LinkStation Live with Bittorrent. Easily stream your favorite music and videos directly from LinkStation Live to a PC, Mac, or DLNA media player. Password protect files for added security and use NovaBACKUP Professional to automatically backup precious data for ultimate protection. Share a printer with other users or add a DriveStation for increased capacity. Access and share your multimedia collections from anywhere at anytime using Web Access. The user-friendly LinkStation Live makes sharing simple.
Dependable, silent, and easy to install. Seamlessly store and share your music, photos, and videos with LinkStation Live with Bittorrent. Easily stream your favorite music and videos directly from LinkStation Live to a PC, Mac, or DLNA media player. Password protect files for added security and use NovaBACKUP Professional to automatically backup precious data for ultimate protection. Share a printer with other users or add a DriveStation for increased capacity. Access and share your multimedia collections from anywhere at anytime using Web Access. The user-friendly LinkStation Live makes sharing simple.See all Product description
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As well as storing data files (word documents, visual studio projects, etc) I wanted a NAS with good media serving features. I have an Xbox 360, a Playstation 3 and a Roku Soundbridge that I wanted to be able to stream music, videos and photos to.
My music is an iTunes library of Apple Lossless files (around 30mb a track). I have currently loaded about a third of my CDs into the library which is now approx. 4,000 tracks/102GB. This NAS serves this library flawlessly - I've never had it skip or respond in a slow manor. You can get a momentary pause while loading the track listing for the first time (I tend to find all 4000 tracks take around 3/4 seconds).
I have around 60,000 photos which stream to my Playstation 3 no problem. Many of the photos were taken on my Digital SLR (high quality JPEGs - often around 8/9mb a file). There is a delay (few seconds) when loading these files, but my PS3 is currently operating over wireless, so this is likely to be a big contributor - the JPEGs load quickly on my wired desktop (100Mbit) from the file share.
Videos I don't have many of. The aim is to put a lot of the kids films/tv programmes on here so they don't ruin the original discs! I have yet to do this, but I have put a few test videos in the form of divX files and a couple of high definition camcorder clips. These worked fine on the PS3.
Being a software developer and IT/gadget geek my family have 3 desktops, a laptop, a Soundbridge, a 360, a PS3 and an iPhone all using this NAS. It seems to manage without problem with the very basic tests I've performed (making all devices stream music, browse shares, etc, at the same time).
When loading my files onto the device it didn't seem overly quick - however not too slow either. I think it was using my 100Mbit network to the max. I am going to upgrade to a 1000Mbit network soon, so I'll have to wait and see how much the NAS will utilise that!
The only thing I've found so far which I could complain about is power management. I've enabled schedules to turn the device on a 9am of a day and turn it off again at 10pm weekdays/midnight weekends (you have 3 schedules you can setup). This is fine. The unit goes into a standby mode when outside these hours (hard drive spun down, etc).
However, I came home from work the other day at 5pm. My wife had been out all afternoon, so all network devices were off, and the drive was on and spinning. I've checked a fair few times and it doesn't appear to even spin down the disk when not in use - a little disappointing! I'd have thought this was basic power saving in this day and age.
I haven't tested it much on the 360 yet, but my friends have and they say it's fine.
Overall I'm very impressed with the unit and would recommend it to any for home use. Other than a few minor criticisms, which are not a big problem for me, the unit does exactly what I want in a small, quiet, attractive casing. I feel that it deserves the five stars, especially when compared to the competition.
I spent a long time looking at other devices which all had horror stories of slow media servers, etc, but a couple of friends recommended this one (they have them). There's not a lot of reviews of this model out there as it's quite new, but so far so good!
When I read the other reviews on this product. I think I tuned out the "warnings" and just concentrated on what I wanted to hear. Bad idea. This drive could be so good, but in the end, its just a very poor work-in-progress.
Just to set the scene - I have about 35 years in the IT business either as user or support. I am also a programmer and have built several of my own desktop PCs myself. So not a casual user who "doesn't get it".
I wanted to use this drive as what its designed as - a share-able file repository both in the house and from remote locations. The good news is that after roughly an afternoon's hard graft, I managed to get most of the meat n veg functionality working. I have not attempted FTP, using it as a print server, or streaming bit torrent data.
So - the stuff you need to know about this drive:
1. Its very very very noisy. OMG - what's going on? if you have ever heard hot water going through pipes from an immersion heater, this is the noise. It is located on a wooden window sill and without being rested on a paperback or something similarly "dampening" the deep reverberations would be unbearable. No seriously. What were the designers thinking of?
2. This drive is NOT a normal external hard drive. Beware! You will NOT see it in "my computer". It has its own NAS Navigator software which a) does not boot on startup as the preference says and secondly, even if you set the drive to be "auto shut off" it takes ages to react (both on and off).
3. This means that you cannot (at least I cannot see how) use it as a backup device with say Norton Ghost because you would not be able to navigate to it using windows explorer.
4. The drive is slow. Transferring 57GB from my Western Digital elements ext drive to it took about 3.5 hours. You may think this is speedy but I don't. Also, very very slow for web access, but more of this later.
5. When you boot up, you have to wake up Nav Naigator in order to access the drive. What a performance that is. Takes about 5-10 mins for the software to find the drive again and for it to spin up. Can't be doing with that :(
6. Web Access. I hope you guys wanting to buy this are very computer literate. Port forwarding on your router? Configuring the drive access with minimal instructions? Need to know the right port numbers? Take a schlepp around the internet for some more time wasted looking for instructions/help/hints. (If you need to know, its port range 9000 to 9001). Then even when you have scaled all those obstacles, the display of files is soooo sloooow. Don't get smart and think you can pop round to Grannies in West Lothian, log into Buffalonas and display 50-100 pictures from your digital camera in anything less than like 1 hour. I'm not even joking. Check it out yourself.
Stay clear, amigos. This drive es la basura!
And then it stopped booting. Support suggested that I reboot the device 15-20 times (!) in order to send it into "Emergency Mode", but this didn't work, so they're offered to replace it for me. Unfortunately, that means I'll lose all of data. That's not Buffalo's fault, but they said that if I open the box to try to get the data off the drive myself, it will void the warranty. So either I can buy a new LinkStation and try to get the data off the drive, or they will send me a new LinkStation and I'll lose everything forever.
Given this experience, I wish this device had the following feature: EASY BACKUP TO A USB DRIVE. The drive is able to copy data FROM a usb-based drive, but not TO a usb drive. This makes it almost impossible to back up and, therefore, a dangerous place to keep large amounts of data.
So I'm going to crack this baby open and see if I can salvage my data. Then I'm going to buy a similar NAS called a StorCentre ix2 since that comes with two drives in a RAID config. I hope it's as good as the Buffalo was.
Good luck with yours!
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