Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-XHL (1TB) review

£157
Price when reviewed

You might think that performance-wise, one NAS drive is very much the same as another. But as previous group tests and standalone reviews have proved, the performance levels vary hugely from one unit to the next. We were keen, then, to find out if the speed claims on the packaging of Buffalo’s latest NAS drive had any foundation.

Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-XHL (1TB) review

Buffalo says its LinkStation Pro LS-XHL is up to twice as fast as its predecessor, the LinkStation Pro LS-GL. That’s some claim, considering the LS-GL is a Gigabit Ethernet device, just like this one.

Alas, we can’t verify those claims since we haven’t reviewed the LS-GL, but what we can say is that it’s among the quickest single consumer NAS drives we’ve tested. It’s a darned sight quicker than the LinkStation Live 500GB we reviewed in our last Labs test, writing a large 3GB file at a rate of 31.8MB/sec and reading it back even quicker at 34.8MB/sec.

It still isn’t up there with the likes of the twin disk Synology ds209+, which wrote 3GB at a rate of 34MB/sec and read it back at 44MB/sec, nor the Thecus N3200 Pro and the QNAP TS-119 Turbo in iSCSI mode. Do bear in mind, though, that this drive is cheaper and comes with 1TB of storage as standard; its rivals are invariably sold diskless.

Elsewhere, it’s well equipped too. The usual suspects are all present and correct, including UPnP and iTunes server support, a BitTorrent client plus the web interface is clear and easy to understand.

Then there’s Buffalo’s WebAccess tool. This utility is designed to provide remote access to those who don’t have a static IP address without having to fiddle with dynamic DNS services. Simply give your NAS a name, enable the facility, and Buffalo’s servers will do the rest for you. All you have to do is go to www.buffalonas.com and type its name into a box and you’re in.

There’s also a UPnP setting that’s aimed at removing the need to set up port forwarding on your router, though we couldn’t persuade this feature to work.

Despite this, there’s much here to like, and with such a reasonable price, a great turn of speed and a good selection of features, it’s hard to find fault elsewhere. If you’re after a simple, quick NAS drive and don’t want to faff around installing drives yourself, look no further.

Basic specifications

Capacity1.00TB
RAID capabilityno
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Services

FTP server?yes
UPnP media server?yes
Other media serversiTunes
Print server?yes
Web hosting?no
BitTorrent client?yes
HIbernate on idle?yes

Connections

Ethernet ports1
USB connection?yes
eSATA interfaceno

Physical

Dimensions45 x 156 x 175mm (WDH)

Security and administration

Admin support for usersyes
Admin support for groupsyes

Software

Software suppliedMemeo AutoBackup

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