4.5 year update: Still works fine; just replaced both 1TB HDDs with 2x 2TB hard drives (original RAID 1 array was at 78% capacity). No issues with the rebuild or restoring the data (and now enjoying the headroom of 27% capacity after the upgrade); just be prepared for the long time it will take the full RAID array to rebuild.
3 year update: Still works fine; part of my daily data back-up plan.
2 year update: Still running strong.
Seven month update: rating change to 4 stars (from 5 stars) for due to support web site usability for firmware and utility software updating (the utility software is for the Windows GUI environment; the firmware is for the NAS device itself). Solid 5 stars for backup and network data access.
As part of a recent Windows re-install on my desktop computer, I checked for updates to the firmware and user interface utilities. It was relatively easy to find that newer versions of both were available on Buffalo's support site. The discovery, however, is where the "easy" ended.
In order to download the utility software, users must provide both a model number a serial number in a web form. If you no longer have the product box, you'll have to turn the unit upside down to find the serial number sticker (and you'll certainly want to power down the machine before doing so!). There are three separate bar codes and numerical labels on the bottom of the unit:
--the MAC address (labeled as such)
--a serial number (mixed letters/numbers beginning with the model name, and labeled "F-S/N"...presumably the serial number needed for the software download
--an unlabeled bar code with 14 numbers.
Surprisingly, the *unlabeled* number is the one needed to proceed with your download.
While this is very counter-intuitive, my call to their toll-free number was answered in one ring (and with just two voice menu options) by a knowledgeable tech who clued me in patiently and quickly on which number to use (the unlabeled one, of course!).
One the firmware and software was downloaded, the updates were painless.
-Firmware: extract the zipped download file, select the only executable file present, and enter a password when prompted (after the updater discovers the NAS on your network).
-Utility software was a standard application install in a Windows environment.
Six months after this NAS arrived, I added a DLNA-compliant, Internet-enabled Sony HDTV to my hardware mix. I was looking forward to streaming video, images and music from the NAS to the TV and its connected A/V receiver. Beware: your total count of DLNA-enabled files is limited to 30,000. Trust me: exceed this and you will NOT have a happy DLNA experience. Get under that cap, and it's relatively straightforward to set-up the service on the NAS and access it via the DLNA-compatible device. The file count limit was found not in the NAS user guide (or elsewhere on Buffalo's support site that I could find); fortunately, it was clearly presented in --of all places-- the TV's embedded interactive guide.
DNLA bottom line: videos and music are cataloged and available for streaming with no problem...but it can't properly navigate designated images. Go figure. So: it works for 2/3 of the media categories its supposed to support.
Original review content:
If you take your data backups seriously, you might already have a big pile of external hard drives...and maybe some hard drive enclosures. This is probably a pile that grew as your digital music, photo and video holdings increased and the cost of mass storage decreased.
Transitioning to a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution might help reduce your backup hardware clutter while offering access to your files from multiple computers in a wired or wireless network. Buffalo Technology's Linkstation Pro Duo WS-WV2.0TL/R1 is a strong candidate for such a backup and networked data storage solution.
But, be prepared before you plunge: this is not a choice for the technical novice. While most users can probably work through this machine's core functions without great heartache, before spelunking in even its most common options, you should already be confident in understanding how storage devices interact with wired and wireless networks, and be prepared to make fundamental decisions about disk file format and Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) setup options. If these skills aren't in your comfort zone: large capacity hard drives are very affordable these days. Just add more of the size you need to accommodate your current and near future holdings, connect them internally or externally, get them running with a decent automated backup application, and free up the brainpower you'd devote to NAS administration for other tasks:-)
If you feel you do have the technical cred to become an NAS maven, then read on.
The hardware for this unit is substantial. Two SATA hard disk drives (HDD) are mounted vertically in trays behind the removable front cover; no tools are required for installation or removal. Mine arrived with two Samsung hard drives , each with 1 TB capacity (more on this later). These 54000 RPM drives have a decent reputation for running cool and quietly. The control unit runs a 1.6 GHZ processor over Linux (Samba) architecture for its combined file and print services (compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems...although some interface features may be absent in the cross-platform environment).
The enclosure includes an RJ45 Ethernet port (for connecting to a router, for establishing its IP address, for its browser-based control functions and ultimately, for its data transfer chores) and a USB port. The USB port can accept either a printer (with one-way functions for printing services only; no multi-function device support or 2-way printer utilities), an external hard drive or any USB-driven device (except for multi-port hubs or multi-slot card readers).
External appearance is clean and simple. On the right front corner are three staus LEDs (power, function and info/error). The rear contains a 3-position power switch (on, off and auto). The auto function originally synched with the computer that shares a wired Ethernet connection with the router, but once I set up the DLNA server function to wirelessly deliver content to offboard devices, I simply leave it in the ON position at all times.
The full range of available features is very dense. Prepare to spend considerable time exploring the user interface. The included (.pdf) user guide is very well written, although some of its screenshots are too small to read easily.
Initialization for first use took approximately 12 minutes. There was a firmware update available from Buffalo, which I installed before proceeding with any data transfer or disk functionality.
This NAS requires a fixed IP address on your network. Since most home routers use dynamic IP addressing by default (for both wired and wireless devices), you'll need to be familiar with how to force your router to assign a fixed IP address to an attached device.
Data transfer rates:
While any discussion of data transfer rates will represent a snapshot that includes multiple variables, data tranfer via this unit's Ethernet connection is about 10 MB/second to the desktop's internal SATA drives and an external USB 2 drive. By comparison, internal desktop SATA-SATA data rate is about 33 MB/second, and SATA-USB about 24 MB/second.
The default configuration for this NAS is RAID 0 (striping). RAID 0 treats the two 1 TB drives as a single volume, offering 2 TB of capacity. If one disk fails: all content is lost. In these days of cheap storage, not a choice I'd make for myself or recommend to others.
The browser-based user interface easily allows the array to be changed to to RAID 1 (mirroring). RAID 1 duplicates the contents of one drive onto the other. Effective storage capacity is equal to the size of the SMALLEST drive installed. In the event of a drive failure, replace the failed drive and the mirrored content will then be rebuilt from the good one after installation. This is the redundancy I prefer for networked storage. For this configuration, 1 TB of storage is available. Changing RAID types took less than 10 minutes. Note: make this change BEFORE adding data, which is lost in a change of RAID modes. The interface offers excellent error trapping, including written warning that you are about to lose your data AND forcing you to match a 4-digit code it displays when you agree that you understand your about to commit your bits to the deep...
In addition to the RAID options, you can configure these drives as independent volumes.
File system options:
This device supports FAT32, NTFS (only via the USB port) HFS+ and XFS. XFS is its default configuration, and the only one offering full read/write and control functionality. The XFS format is new to me, and I can't comment on the result if an XFS-formatted drive is accessed outside of the NAS environment (via a Windows system, either through either an external hard drive enclosure or an internal SATA install).
The web-based interface is simply laid out, and generally intuitive. It allows you to set up users and groups with different levels of access to directories you specify. However, the range of advance features is broad, and this is not a package for the technical novice.
The included utility disk includes programs (TurboCopy and TurboPC) designed to speed up file copying in Windows and optimize hard drive transfer speeds through RAM cache. I did not install or test either one.
It also includes a backup program, NovaBackup Professional. I have another backup program I use, but tested this anyway. NovaBackup Professional offers two methods of duplicating data: "backup" and "copy". Copy does just that, while "backup" breaks the total volume of copied data into roughly equal sized chunks of its proprietary file format (.ndb). When you need to recover them, it recreates the files in a destination location using its "restore" function. The "chunked" backup approach is primarily for users making their backups to tape instead of hard disks or solid state drives. If you're not backing up to tape, I don't see any value added to this approach (which mostly seems to add something else that can go wrong when you least want it to) and am sticking with my current backup solution (Centered Software's "Second Copy"), which recognized the NAS drives and copied data there without issue. If you don't have another backup application, then NovaBackup's copy function is easy to use for either manual or automated data archiving.
Here are some of this device's other capabilities that I haven't (and probably won't) exercise:
--NAS control and data access functions via the Internet. These "WebAccess" capabilities are facilitated via Buffalo's web site. The configuration instructions include this prudent caveat:
"WebAccess allows you and other people to access files on your computer from over the Internet. If you use WebAccess, configure your folder security settings carefully so that the right people (and only the right people) can access the shared folders." I don't have a pressing need to manage my data remotely to make this risk --even if small-- worthwhile. This not an evaluation of Buffalo's security, just an assessment of my own computing needs. The configuration instructions are detailed and well written.
--Print server. I don't need this, and prefer not to give up the added printer utilities that would be lost by controlling my printers outside of their native Windows environment.
--BitTorrent Client: I don't do peer-to-peer sharing. This isn't a value judgement on the practice; I just don't. The user guide includes this advice: "Warning: Do not download copyrighted files without permission from the owner." This is good advice. Not enabled by default.
--MySQL server: Yeah, I could use this machine for MySQL services, if it were in my technical wheelhouse...but it's not. Not enabled by default, the user guide includes this advice: "A MySQL database may be installed and linked with the web server. The LinkStation's MySQL server is for advanced users only. Do not enable it unless you know what you're doing." Refreshing again.
--This device can serve multimedia content to DLNA-compatible hardware. I don't have any such harware, so couldn't test it. Hmmm: maybe time to shop for a new TV!
--This device can deliver iTunes content (MP3, M4A, and M4P) to networked machines. I was able to access and play both audio and video content from the NAS to two computers wirelessly accessing my network. Note: no value added for me since I have DRM-free (non-iTunes store content) music residing on multiple machines. If I wanted to centralize my multimedia content, I might consider a dedicated media server instead; I'm not familiar enough with the current market for these to make a recommendation.
Bottom line: If you understand the fundamentals --and a little more-- of file format choices, RAID configurations and the interaction of storage devices with local and extended networks: this is a great choice. If any of the above scares you, this might be more technology than you really need or can effectively manage.
on January 26, 2011
I purchased this NAS for a mirrored backup of my data and to stream pictures, music and videos to a PS3 and a couple of laptops. It works great for these tasks. Setup was easy. I gave the NAS a static IP address, updated the firmware, changed the drives from RAID0 to RAID1 and setup a media server. It only takes a few clicks to change the RAID configuration through the web interface, but the actual re-sync can take hours. You can still use the drive during this process. It took 95 minutes to transfer 135GB to the NAS using a gig network. It bounced between 20-30 MB/sec, but the overall average was about 1.4 GB/min. Single file transfer rates are much faster, less than 30 seconds for a 1GB movie. That's plenty fast for me. Noise levels were on par with two hard drives spinning at full speed. The unit is silent at idle.
The PS3 and two laptops on my network (all wireless) see the NAS without any issues. Media Player and iTunes stream music from the drive without any lag. The PS3 takes up to 5 seconds to start playing a song, but that's a well documented PS3 wireless issue. Once playing there is no lag. Auto backups from two laptops and a desktop work great using SyncBack. I didn't install the bundled NOVAbackup software so I'm not sure how well that works.
For me the Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo is the perfect balance of price and performance. For 2 6 0 dollars you get a 1.6GHz CPU, 256MB DDR3 RAM, 512kb flash, Gigabit NIC and two 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 hard drives. Not a bad deal. The 1.6GHz QNAP and Synology enclosures are faster, but almost twice the price after you buy the hard drives. The less expensive D-Link, Iomega and Netgear dual drive enclosures are slower in the reviews I read. Similar to the older Buffalo LinkStation Duo.
Overall I'm very happy with this product and would recommend it.
on March 4, 2011
I purchased the Buffalo Technology LinkStation Pro Duo 4 TB (2 x 2 TB) RAID NAS to stream videos to my home Linux settop boxes and remotely to my Linux touchscreen netbook via VPN. This LinkStation is DLNA certified so I felt very confident it would work with those UPNP/DLNA clients.
- About the footprint of a small toaster and half the height.
- Cool temp and quiet operation.
- Consumes just 45 watts so a UPS on it will last a long time.
- Gigabit ethernet (my home net is Gigabit).
- Web Interface does almost everything.
- Preconfigured for Raid 0 (optimized for speed) and the XFS filesystem.
- Lots of built-in software to support squeeze and even a MySql server.
- Excellent streaming performance with Boxee Box and XBMC.
- Drive noise is sometimes audible.
- Can't be initially setup without Proprietary client (see below).
- Settings not restored after a drive check.
- Start up and shutdown are a little slow.
- Sometimes "sleeps" so initial connections can take slightly longer.
Getting the LinkStation operational was a little challenging. The initial setup client is a Windows program. I keep a sacrificial Win XP box around for just such situations. I switched on the NAS for the first time, and installed my windows client on the same network. Unfortunately, the NAS defaults to an IP/Mask not compatible with my home network which made it unreachable. But the Windows client allows you to temporarily "zap" the IP to whatever you like, so that was the first thing I did - assign it an arbitrary unused IP on my home net (like 192.168.1.30 or something).
Next, I connected to its Web console and gave it a permanent static IP address and mask on my LAN so that I could always locate it easily.
Now that it was reachable, I downloaded the current rev of the firmware along with the Windows loader program. It found the NAS and upgraded it without incident. I was then able to connect from my Linux desktop via the web interface, and had no further need for the Windows client.
The web interface is excellent with lots of well-organized pages and menus to control every aspect of the NAS. The first thing I did was change the admin password, of course, and add a user account. Set the Windows Share workgroup. NTP time sync is oddly set to a DNS name in Japan which won't work. I reset it to the IP of an NIST server in Chicago (yes, it expects an IP address -- not a DNS name). It synched up fine. Then I went to the system menu and performed a disk check to auto-fix any drive anomalies. After that completed, I was ready to load data.
When you turn on the drive it doesn't start immediately. It must boot/shutdown like a pc does. Be patient. When the blue light on the front of the drive stops flickering, it's ready to use. The on/off switch has a 3rd position called "auto". This allows the drive to hibernate and to wake up when it senses a connection from the proprietary Windows client. This feature is useless to me as a Linux user, so I only use "on" and "off".
You can load data using a USB drive or the network. The USB interface loads all the data from the drive to a preset location. I chose to use the network because I wanted to organize and weed the data as I loaded it, and some of my files were too large to fit on my FAT32 formatted USB drive.
I can connect to the NAS using Samba from OpenSuse, Ubuntu, and Mint (and of course, Windows). But only after I figured out that I must use the Share Name "share" in the connection arguments, otherwise the connection hangs after the password prompt. File transfer is fast and flawless.
One minor annoyance, if you perform another disk check (I do this at least once a week), the Media Server is, of course, disabled. It must be enabled manually again via the Web console when the check completes. The Media Server gets an error on startup telling you to update something that always fails. You can ignore this -- it works fine without it. Shares are auto-enabled by default.
UPNP/DLNA video streaming is excellent. The LinkStation advertises itself via UPNP as expected. My video content is encoded as H.264 Mpeg4 with metadata interleaved every 500ms. I have a mix of resolutions at 480p, 720p, and 1080p. Both Boxee Box and XBMC play all perfectly. My Nokia N900 phone can see the LinkStation too, and play the 480p when connected by WiFi. The LinkStation does not do transcoding.
For remote access to my home network, I use NeoRouter Pro. I have 60Mb/sec down 5Mb/sec upstream service. The LinkStation doesn't have a client for NeoRouter and so cannot be exposed directly to VPN. UPNP/DLNA port forwarding is notoriously finicky, so I use a different approach. On my home NeoRouter gateway machine (Linux), I simply connect to the NAS using Samba (mount it as a Windows share), then expose it with rygel. UPNP/DLNA works great this way. Just for fun, I was also able to set up my trash Windows box as a NeoRouter client and did the same thing using the excellent tVersity server. Both rygel and tVersity are free.
I would have given this NAS 5 stars if it had more up to date documentation, was more Linux friendly (after all, the NAS runs Linux), and the Media server glitches were addressed.
on June 22, 2011
I specify NAS drives for many customers. I own several Buffalo NAS drives for my own network. I thought the concept of the LS Pro Duos was sound, when set to RAID 1. So I started specifying these for my customers (I sell audio & video home network streaming systems).
So far, I've either purchased or sold 4 of these units. 3 of the 4 (including my own) has failed. 2 of them ended up with a corrupted RAID arrays, and all data was lost. Fortunately, other backups of the data existed, but still a huge time vampire for me and my business. The 4th LS Pro Duo ended up with some sort of unknown error that has yet to be resolved.
Granted, 4 units is a small sample size. All units were using firmware 1.41. And that may have been the problem but 1.42 has not been out very long so, at the time of this review, I don't currently know if 1.42 will solve the problems.
Until I've had enough time to gauge 1.42's effectiveness, I have to give this product a huge thumbs down. And that's a shame, as this particular product has so much potential, if it would only stay working.
Tech support has been pretty darn good though and except for 2 instances, wait times were <5 mins. And for these 3 failures, I've spent multiple hours on the phone with tech support.
So for now, I'm back to specifying the single (non RAID) Buffalo LinkStation Pro NAS drives, which have been pretty reliable for me (when the proper firmware is installed on them).
on July 16, 2011
I chose the NAS because of the speed and the option to put my own drives in the chassis if something happens.
I received the NAS and set it up in RAID 1. Got all my info on it and used it for streaming to my TV thru PS3. I was very happy with the NAS until one day I get a message that my drives were offline. I ran diagnostics on the NAS and disk 1 came online. I did a reset and disk 2 would not come online. I checked for new firmware and tried that. I was still not able to add disk 2 back into the array.
I called tech support and was told I should replace the drive since my data was not being protected. I told them it was 2 months old. Now they wanted me to run a bunch of test and did not want to send a drive out for the system. All of the sudden they felt the drive was ok even though at the beginning it was recommended to replace. After a couple of hours troubleshooting I was finally given an RMA # for a new drive. I sent in the bad drive and received a new drive 2 weeks later. I put the drive in the drive in the NAS and it will not let me add it to the system. I call tech support and they have me update the firmware the NAS. NAS still will not see the disk. Tech support wants me to try the drive on something else. I explain that I do not have a system that supports the drive. Tech support tells me to call back during the day to see if they can help me. I called back the next day and go thru the test again. They still want me to test the drive. I explain I have no way to test the drive. Finally they agree to replace the system.
3 weeks later I finally get the refurb NAS. It has a 90 day warranty so lost 7 months of warranty when they replaced the NAS. I start it up and it will not let me set in RAID 1. I reformat it and still not luck. I notice the firmware is old and go the 1 I put on the last NAS. It finally lets me setup RAID 1. I then get messages that both disk cannot mount and RAID 1 is not sync. The great thing is every 2 minutes or so a message will come up saying that you have NAS issues. So off to buffalo software downloads. I find out there is a newer firmware. I then proceed to do a new firmware update again on a drive that is supposed to be factory refurb and working. Finally everything looks good so proceed to restore all my data to the NAS.
Well go into the NAS to getting settings back to normal and Media server option will not come up. I reboot hoping that will fix it, no go. So another call to tech support. I call and they want me to edit the firmware file and say it must of loaded wrong. I proceed to do what they say and I tell her I do not have the option. She says are you running XP. I tell her no I have Windows 7. She tells me oh we do not support Windows 7. She says you will need to get Windows XP or Vista. I tell her I only have Windows 7 systems. She says well you could return the unit and we might be able to fix. I explain I just go this one from factory 3 days ago and do not want move my data. She says there is no other choice.
I decide I will call back later to see if I can find a better tech. 2nd call I get a different tech and she says I will have to get XP or Vista. I explain that XP and Vista are no longer options for systems. She then argues with me that XP and Vista can be purchased many places. I explain that unless I buy a used system it has not been on the market for over a year now. Still I am just blow away that they think I am going to install a new OS just to fix their firmware issue. Tech support explains that they do not support Windows 7 and will have to call Microsoft if I need help. I tell them I am not going to spend $50 calling Microsoft to trouble shoot Buffalos firmware issues. Windows 7 has been out for almost 2 years and has a service pack 1 they should be able to work with it since it the current shipping OS.
So after a month and half I have a refurb unit that is missing a major feature and have the choice of sending it back or finding someone with XP and borrowing their system to troubleshoot Buffalos firmware.
If you like having your data maybe sort of protected, missing features, tech support that is shady, and spending lots of time talking to people stuck in the past, then this is your device.
on March 5, 2011
I looked long and hard at NAS boxes. I read the reviews and the forums at smallnetbuilder.com. I looked at all the manufacturers... Synology, Qnap, Netgear, and D-Link just to name a few. You had you usual great and bad reviews. When I started to compare ease of use and cost though, the Buffalo Linkstation started to rise to the top. Buffalo's NAS boxes had issues in the past, but this was a new version with pretty great specs. Comparable models from other companies above were over $150 more and most didn't come with the hard drives... so add another $140 for that.
When I got the unit it was much smaller than I expected, which was great. It fit nicely in my setup. Installation was simple. Plug it in, install the software, all done. A few more minutes to configure and I was good to go.
I have 3 desktops (1 vista and 2 Win7) and a laptop (WinXP) sharing all my media files from the LinkStation. I also have a Xbox 360 that can see and stream the data.
All in all, it was a great buy and a great value.
on January 3, 2012
Buffalo Technologies '''''
Buffalo Technologies really dropped the ball by not QA/QC the Western DIgital Drives which shipped with the device. One of the two drives arrived with a "skipping" / "hiccup" noise that occurs every few seconds. I immediately called Buffalo Technologies for a tech support / warranty and the representative told me "...the drive needs to fully fail before we can send you a replacement drive. I recommend that you continue using it as is until the drive fails." I was surprised by there suggestion so I told the representative that I'll return it to Amazon since I just bought it NEW. I can't say I understand Buffalo Technologies position on this even though the drives are Western Digital, it's still their product which should have been QC'd correctly.
As always, Amazon fulfillment was GREAT! After Buffalo Technologies failed to be helpful, I returned to Amazon.com and started the return process. Amazon shipped a new unit to me ASAP & will have the faulty drive picked up by UPS the following day.
on June 11, 2013
I purchased the Linkstation Pro Duo 4TB with high hopes due to it's fantastic price and feature set - especially the RAID capability. Unfortunately, the device ended up being a dud. The webUI out of the box was in Japanese so I dug into the admin guide and using the screenshots I navigated my way to the language change section. However, the primary reason for the bad review is the NAS device will intermittently lose its connectivity on the network. When this happens you can ping the device but you will not be able to access the webUI or access any of the file shares. The only way to get the device back is to physically unplug the device and perform a hard reboot. When it comes back up, the device will stay online anywhere from 12 hours to as short as 30 minutes before it becomes unavailable again, thus requiring another reboot.
If you take a look at the Buffalo support forum, there is a buried thread that addresses this very issue and it looks like a lot of people are experiencing the same issue with no fix in sight. I have returned my Linkstation and will move on to a more reliable device.
on March 24, 2012
This product is not for the faint of heart. I consider myself reasonably savvy regarding computers and tech but have had no formal education. An enthusiast if you will. However, Buffalo has made the setup of this product sound much easier than it really is. First you must have a wireless router that allows for UPnP (universal plug and play) which doesn't normally come with your run of the mill $25-$50 router. This is just a fair warning for you all.
Second, the Mac/PC compatibility. This is only about 1/2 true, in my experience. I started by establishing my network on my desktop PC. This worked flawlessly. The program provided walked me through the steps and it was done...too easy! Then I went to my wife's MacBook...different story. The software loaded fine, found the device but I could not make the computer recognize this as a network storage device. It kept trying to mount the device like a USB detachable device even though there was nothing physically attached to the computer. This resulted in being able to see the device and view files but not access, download, or save to the device. The same thing happened with the iTunes integration. I could see the device on my wife's MacBook and I could even see the music I backed up from my PC but I couldn't play, access, or backup to the drive. I called Buffalo customer support and while very friendly, they couldn't solve the problem. Called Mac, their response was that it was a formatting issue with the device. Called Buffalo again. The device is formatted to work with both PC and Mac out of the box, again not their problem. So at this point the best I can do for my wife is to have her access the device via the online interface. Here she can save her files, music, whatever and access my PC files but it is definitely not the full integration promised by Buffalo. I have some networking experts in my circle of friends who have also tried to troubleshoot this issue to no avail. I'm still trying to work this issue out and I'll post an update if I get it figured out.
Lastly is the mobile devices. My wife and I both have iPhones and we have an iPad. Buffalo offers a free app for Android and Mac devices. Obviously my experience is with the Mac version only. Basically the app works ok but not great. You can upload files to it and you can access your music and videos. The music and videos have to be specific formats so you have to be careful there or it won't play through the app. Othwise it seems to work well. The only real frustration with the app is that if you have a folder with a lot of data in it, you'll be waiting a long time for it to show on your screen. This is expected, however the is no indication from the app that it is working during is time so I took some getting used to and patience before I figured that out.
Over all I think this is a decent product. It is a good investment for someone who legitimately just wants a network storage device for home use. This would not be my choice for a media server given the lackluster mac interface and finicky mobile app The only caution I have is with Mac users. You really need to know your stuff to make this work. I have several friends who know much more about Mac than I do and they too were stumped as to why this didn't work as it was supposed to. That being said, minus the iTunes shared integration, and the computer (so far) bring unable to recognize it correctly I can still save to it and access my files it is just an extra step or two. Frustrating but not a deal breaker considering similar products got much worse reviews and were twice the cost of this device.
on January 2, 2014
I bought this piece of <insert_bad_word_here> box to act as a "server" to host my two SATA disks. Note one of the disks is 800GB with 75% of data.
BIG MISTAKE. The moment i put in my disks, start it up, the box will format both disks WITHOUT WARNING.
The instruction manual shows just pictures (no instructions, be it English or any language).
I am surprised this company hasnt been sued yet. I read on their forum, many others have had the same problem.
Another problem I had was when it boots up the first time, it wont work out of the box. The utility software that comes with it (in a CD) asked me to download new firmware. Fine, I went on the website and tried to download new firmware and uploaded as instructed and it went to a "firmware update loop" where it got stuck at firmware update.
This is the part where it is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. If you didnt wait long enough, you accidentally power off the box, YOU WILL BRICK THE BOX (in other words, break the box beyond repair by ordinary people). The only way to recover is to read online tutorial to reinstall the linux from scratch, and even I find it tedious (I am an electronic engineer).