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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable RAID solution for home server
Good product for the price (paid $404 from Amazon). The price attracted me to this, since the "real" RAID 5 solution w/o performance issues are around ~$600~$800 w/o the hard drives. Bought it to protect my distributed data around 5 computers, and enough performance to keep all the files from the computers on the networked NAS drive, and protected.

RAID 1...
Published on January 29, 2009 by Young

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great hardware, lousy software
I have used Buffalo products for work in the past and found them to be rock-solid reliable. I bought this for home use for backing up photos, music, videos, and other assorted digital detritus that has accumulated over the years. It is perfectly sized to fit comfortably on a bookshelf.

The problem with this product is that the software is unable to find the...
Published on July 19, 2009 by E. R. Markus


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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable RAID solution for home server, January 29, 2009
By 
Young "GoRedSox" (San Jose, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Buffalo Technology LinkStation Quad 1 TB (4 X 250 GB) Network Attached Storage LS-Q1TL/R5 (Black) (Personal Computers)
Good product for the price (paid $404 from Amazon). The price attracted me to this, since the "real" RAID 5 solution w/o performance issues are around ~$600~$800 w/o the hard drives. Bought it to protect my distributed data around 5 computers, and enough performance to keep all the files from the computers on the networked NAS drive, and protected.

RAID 1 (mirroring) was not my preference, and RAID 5 (parity, N+1 protection) was, which limited my choices to quad drive models.

Positives
- Easy management via browser, reasonable security and read/write privilege settings, even without setting up SMB server or equivalent (did not test the SMB server authentication yet).
- DLNA - for those who have DLNA TV, and TV connected to home network, the expected DLNA functions (content discovery, streaming, etc) worked well.
- Worked well with other SATA drives. Originally came w/ 4 x 250 G WD drives, and I put 500 G Maxtor, Seagate, WD, and Samsung drives, and all got recognized and ran without any issues.
- USB expansion -- I have a few of USB drives, that got instantly upgrade to NAS operation by connecting them (2) to this unit. Seems to handle mixed file systems fine: at least for NTFS and FAT32. Power on/off the external units as I need them.

Neutral
- Performance is reasonable -- works near 100% bandwidth in peaks over Fast Ethernet (100 Mb/s), but at Gigabit Ethernet speeds, it only peaks around 150~220 Mb/s. In human perception terms, no noticeable delay using files on NAS for editing or streaming music or video, but copy (e.g. back up) of 500 G data takes about 7~8 hours (compared to local disk to disk copy taking about 1~1.5 hrs).
- Performance during disk fault recovery operation is very good -- When fully operating, I removed a drive (simulated disk fault), and added a different drive (500G). The file server (access, copy from and copy to NAS) degraded performance was NOT noticeable during the fault recovery (as it shouldn't). A large directory copy (~20 G) was measurably noticeable (about 20~25% longer copy time).
- Performance per price point is reasonable that is.

Negatives
- RAID 5 should work on 3 or more drives. LinkStation Quad only supports RAID 5 on 4 drives. So, my original plan of using 3 drives for protected (and recoverable) data (e.g. family photo, work files), and 1 drive for bulk storage media (e.g. mp3 music, family video, etc) is not an option. So I configured RAID 5 over 4 internal drives, and put external USB drive for unprotected bulk storage.
- RAID initialization takes several days, YES, SEVERAL DAYS!. Manual warns about this, and it is true. I had several extra 500G drives, and had uses for 250G drives, so I bought the cheapest LinkStation Quad (1 TB model), and replaced it w/ 500G drives to get 2 TB (raw, before RAID). This replacement forced me to do format and the RAID initialization -- in my case, it took 2.5 days straight. The break down is about 1.5 days for individual drives to be low-level formatted to XFS (for 500G), and about 1 day to get RAID initialized (for 4 x 500 G) RAID 5 mode.
- Major ISSUE for Power users, but minor for casual users: Tested the gradual upgrade of the system capacity -- meaning start w/ 4 x 250 G, and start replacing each drive with 500 G, allowing to recover each time. When all 4 drives are replaced higher capacity drives, the unit SHOULD use higher capacity automatically, but it DID NOT. Had to remove all data, re-init the RAID 5 array (again 1 day), at which time the system reported higher capacity, and then put back the data (again about 1 day for 500 G).

Short Recommendation on selecting models (circa 01/2009) based on Price and Time only:
I bought 1 TB model, because I could use 4 x 250 G on my desktop PCs. But all the headaches and time does not justify the price difference. The 2 TB model is the best option (price, capacity, and upgrading w/ your own drives, all considered) if you have no use for the 4 x 250 G drives. 4 TB model seems to be the same price as if you bought 1 TB model plus 4 separate 1 TB drives (and you end up w/ "free" 4 x 250 GB drives. Again valuable only if you have use for those).

Not yet tested but will test:
- Access to this NAS storage behind home router from my work that has both firewall (incoming and outgoing), using both Buffalo's portal as well as fixed IP configuration. If this works well, my extended family could pull family photos directly from my home server, and I could access my personal documents on this NAS from work!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Media Device - IMO - Even A little Better than HP Media Smart Server, July 21, 2009
By 
Larry Joe "Ken" (Northern California) - See all my reviews
I initially bought the NAS to use for additional storage and for the RAID capabilities. I currently also have an HP Media Smart EX470 Home Server that I use to backup my home PC's and as a Media Server to stream audio and video through XBOX. I wanted a backup of the server so that I would not have to spend countless hours re-ripping my entire DVD and CD collection in the event of a Server crash.

However, once I received the Buffalo Linkstation - I noticed that it is actually superior to the HP Media Smart device when used as a media server. It is designed with a network interface (like you use with your router) and the setup is extremely simple. I noticed a significant improvement in video quality when streaming video to XBOX. I am using a D-Link Dual band Wirless N Router and a D-Link DAP 1522 wireless dual band switch - streaming the video signal on the 5.0 ghz band. The video quality is amazing!

The Buffalo Linkstation also allows you to access your files remotely via the internet. Again the setup was simple. Once configured, I successfully logged into the Linkstation remotely with my Laptop and was able to download a 1.5 gb video file in about 15-20 minutes. Not great - but far better than anything I can achieve with the HP Media Smart Server, as the HP device does not support remote access with Windows XP unless you're using Media Center 2005 - or with Windows Vista unless you have Vista Ultimate or higher.

Like the Media Smart Server, the Linkstation also has the ability to interface with itunes and can be used to play your music files remotely. It even works with iPhone!

I cannot speak to the backup software that is included as I have not tested it and do not plan to use the NAS for that purpose. The linkstation performs so well as a media server that I will strictly use it for that purpose and will continue to rely on the HP Media Smart Server (and the Windows Home Server software) to be the backup solution for my home network.

The Linkstation is also a greener alternative to the Media Smart Server. The Linkstation has an "auto" setting that shuts down the server when the pc's on the network are powered down or hibernated - saving energy. Once any of the pc's configured on the network "wake up" or are powered on - the Linkstation automatically powers up and becomes available again on the network. I have tested this with both pc's and both laptops on my network and the feature worked perfectly each time.

This device would have achieved a 5 star rating if it were not for three reasons.

1) The device is very slow when doing direct data transfers. If you are looking for a speedy device - look elsewhere. Download speeds over the gigabit port when moving files from the HP device to the Linkstation are excruciatingly slow. I choose to do my file transfers overnight when sleeping in order to avoid frustration over the slow transfer speeds. I did notice that if I first copy files from the server to a sata hard drive and then move the files from the hard drive to the Linkstation that the transfer speeds improve significantly.

2) The choice of hard drives included with the product. The unit ships with Hitachi Deskstar hardrives (nick-named "deathstar" as they are notorious for premature failure). I will be replacing the drives with more reliable Western Digital or Seagate Sata drives.

3) No E- Sata support. E-Sata would have dramatically improved the data file transfer speeds when moving files between devices.

The HP Media Smart Server does have some advantages over the Linkstation.

1)The Windows Home Server interface and add-in capabilities.

2)The HP device is much faster at data transfer (once the recommended memory and processor upgrades are performed). If you are a media smart owner and have not performed the hardware upgrades, you can find detailed step-by-step instructions (with pictures)to perform the upgrade at [...]

I am actually a big fan of Windows Home Server - but personally I don't take advantage of the add-ins in Home Server so I probably over-paid for the server in terms of actual use. I find that the web-interface of the Buffalo device gives me all the access I need to a NAS/Media device.

All-in-all, Good Job Buffalo! Definitely recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slower than a big $$$ NAS, but excellent value for the money, April 1, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Buffalo Technology LinkStation Quad 1 TB (4 X 250 GB) Network Attached Storage LS-Q1TL/R5 (Black) (Personal Computers)
I'm using this as a 450GB RAID 10 (mirrored/striped)array.

If you are curious as to why RAID 10 rather than 5, take a look here:

[...]

Unit was up and running 10 min after it came out of the box. It took about 2min to break down the the factory array configuration, around 6 min to rebuild as a RAID 10 array, around 85 min. to verify array integrity and around 15 min to work my way through the on-disk documentation and through the admin utility to get everything set up to my liking. Life should always be like this, it does not get much smoother or more painless than this installation!

This unit does NOT allow hot-swaps, by default the array shuts down if a drive failure is detected (this setting can be overridden).

Additional external USB drives are supported, and this worked flawlessly for me. but you cannot specify one as a hot spare. Per the docs you can also use the NAS as a print server, I have not tested this fucntion.

To date I've not pulled a drive to determine how fast a rebuild would be, and I don't know if you could migrate to larger drives in the RAID 10 configuration - another reviewer notes that you can't do this in a RAID 5 array.

On my Gigibit net copy throughput at the factory default settings is around 180 Mb/sec for a 2BG directory with a mix of file sizes up to 10Mb - quite respectable IMO for inexpensive NAS but only around 40% of the throughput of something like a HP at 2-3x the dollars.

Still, it's doing what I need at a *very* attractive price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great hardware, lousy software, July 19, 2009
I have used Buffalo products for work in the past and found them to be rock-solid reliable. I bought this for home use for backing up photos, music, videos, and other assorted digital detritus that has accumulated over the years. It is perfectly sized to fit comfortably on a bookshelf.

The problem with this product is that the software is unable to find the LinkStation on my network. Even after disabling my software firewall, it still won't install. Whoever wrote the software just assumed that "everything will work" and didn't bother to build in any way to manually configure anything. Also annoying is the fact that it steps through the hardware installation instructions on each attempt to install.

I was getting ready to return the product when I noticed that the LinkStation appears in the network and I can access it through the web browser. It appears that one can configure this product without the software which is just fine with me.

A few other notes:

-The LinkStation Quad defaults to Raid 5.
-There is a switch on the back for Manual/Auto. In Auto (the default position), the LinkStation may power off unexpectedly.
-Although the box shows a hard drive removed from the LinkStation, the label is blurred. Mine has 500 GB Hitachi Deskstar drives.

UPDATE: After living with this for a few years, I have started noticing a few issues. Since buying it, I have bought a new television to which I can stream videos, but the built-in media server is not compatible with my Samsung television. Unfortunately, it seems that Buffalo and Samsung are playing hot potato with tech support and I am no longer in the mood for dealing with the issue. It is a real shame, since it would have fit in great as a media server.

Copying to/from USB devices seems to be buggy and not straightforward. For some reason, it is not possible to use the web interface to copy any file without going through the PC. For some unexplainable reason, only certain filetypes can be copied directly.

Overall, my satisfaction with this product has greatly diminished. Buffalo has stopped posting firmware updates (the latest is from around the time I purchased) and the latest firmware does not correct the issues that are the source of my dissatisfaction. It is now unlikely that I will purchase Buffalo products in the future given this experience. I am now looking into rolling my own home server.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Hassel!, December 28, 2009
By 
Todd Haehn (Maple Grove, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I spent several days copying data that was on many USB drives and then backed up all my computers to the Buffalo LinkStation Quad 6TB NAS. I knew from the reviews that it would be slow, so that was OK. After getting all the data on it I started to play with the software. I though the software was very complete and worked great. After I was able to get the e-mail notifications to work, I kept getting messages that there were HDD errors on unknown disk and data was lost. Immediate replacement of the disk was recommended. I forwarded one of these messages to their tech support and was told to back up all my data and re-setup the RAID array to see if the problem goes away. If it doesn't they would replace the hardware. As you can imagine, it took me several days to back up the data (the backup software always failed to do a backup to the USB drive attached). The speed of this drive became a huge factor when I had to do all the copying. I decided to just return the drive as I didn't want to go through this whole process again.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible experience, November 15, 2009
I bought this product from Frys. The first unit failed after I changed the configuration to RAID5, I returned it after technical support gave up. I got another also from Frys, this one failed also after changing the configuration to RAID 5 , in a different way and technical support gave up again. In both cases I had not data on the drives, attempting to change to RAID5 was the first thing I did. I had reviewed all the steps I took with technical support and I had done nothing wrong.

On the second unit we also attempted to upgrade the firmware and this attempt failed as well.I am using a mac laptop, a linksys router and my other network devices, such as my other "western digital" network drive is working fine.

I hope this helps.
Mayel Espino ><>
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with hard drive choice, November 6, 2009
By 
EJG (Albany, NY) - See all my reviews
I'm a little disappointed to see that my 6TB Quad came with 5400 rpm drives. They are also the HD154UI/JP1 versions which are slower than the HD154UI F2EG Desktop class versions. The LinkStation Quad reviews that I have read were based on 7200 rpm drives.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Just plain disappointed, January 16, 2011
By 
Michael Ngarimu (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Pros: 8TB! (~6 in RAID5). Only reason it's getting 2 stars from me. I have a number of external FW800 drives I wanted to consolidate and still have some level of redundancy so was looking for a large capacity and inexpensive (remember what the "I" in RAID used to stand for?) solution. ~$US900 seemed better having to go higher end for the same storage capacity.

Cons:
SLOOOOOOW to say the least; I'm seeing a max. of about 9MB/s (so that's 72Mb/s) on a GigE network. Test was conducted using a CAT6 cable directly connecting test machine - MacBook Pro - to the NAS device i.e. no intermediate router or switch. NAS with default RAID5 configuration. I've tried transfers over AFP (Apple's flie sharing protocol), SMB/CIFS, FTP and rsync (yes, the device has an rsyncd running on it) all using a MacBook Pro as the originator of the transfer. To migrate terabytes of data onto the device I'm finding the best compromise (and I hate to compromise when I've just forked out nearly $1k for this) is to mount the shares locally on the client and then use rsync. This way at least *when* the transfer is interrupted due to whatever reason, and this happens more often than I'd like (I'd like 0 occurrences), then at least I can use rsync to resume where the transfer left off, especially if it was in the middle of a large file. One reviewer mentioned they were able to achieve ~150-220Mb/s peak but I cannot concur. With the transfer rates I see and even peaking at 220Mb/s what is the point of even having a 1000Mb/s interface? 802.11n would cater for these transfer rates.

many problems with permissions (especially when rsync); As I mentioned the unit has an rsyncd running - YAY! Or so I thought. Looks like Buffalo LinkStations allow you to sync between two LinkStations and they use rsync to do it. Awesome I thought. I'll use rsync to transfer my data incase the transfer(s) are interrupted. I suspect, but have not confirmed, that the LinkStation rsyncd's default umask is something that does only allows read-only access when rsync'd data is transferred via rsync. I found that if I used the --chmod option for rsync I was able to get part success but as mentioned above the best compromise was to use rsync over the client/transfer initiator's filesystem.

intermittent presence on the network; for some reason whenever you change something a simple as group membership for a user or permissions on a share the entire NAS disappears from the network! Not an option if you have user(s) accessing the device simultaneously and need to modify/add users/permissions intraday.

problems configuring multiple users for individual/group access to specific shares; I'm using the device primarily over AFP. Initially I had problems setting up individual user access to specific shares. My ideal situation is to create groups and assign share permissions via group membership but initially my test user could was always denied write access. After many iterations of deleting and recreating shares, users and groups it's finally working using group membership only.

checking the RAID5 array takes about 5 days!

UPDATED 1/25: I'm going to try and reconfigure RAID10 to see if there is any increase. If not I will be exchanging/returning the unit to try the Terastation 8TB since the price difference isn't that much more.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Do not purchase this product!, January 25, 2011
My unit is toast and still under warranty but that means nothing because the replacement unit that I received from Buffalo was also defective.

I lost data that I could not recover simply because the unit locked up on me.

The company was completely unhelpful.

The amount of time that was wasted on trying to fix this and deal with the Buffalo tech support is the worst part.
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2.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good for me..., August 21, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this item in Feb 2010, and all I can say is that it has continued working for me. I leave it on all the time. I also have a TeraStation I bought from 2007 which has also been on 24x7 all this time and is still working.

Update: I'll update the review. To be fair, not exactly sure what the problem is... Could be the hard drives themselves, but whatever the case, I've noticed corrupted files on the device. This makes two Buffalo NAS products which I cannot rely on... Now I'm trying Seagate.
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