Buffalo Technology TeraStation III review

£650
Price when reviewed

Buffalo’s TeraStation family has looked in danger of being an also-ran for a while now, but the latest TeraStation III aims to remedy this with a host of new features.

First up are hot-swap hard disks, welcome replacements to Buffalo’s quick-swap feature that required the appliance to be powered down before they could be exchanged. The review unit came with a quartet of 500GB WD Caviar SATA Blue drives, but the appliance supports drives up to 2TB in size and RAID5 arrays.

Processing power receives a modest boost from 500MHz to 800MHz, while memory is upped to 512MB. The USB port count remains at two, but you now get a pair of Gigabit ports that support load-balanced and failover teams with six teaming policies to choose from.

The new NAS Navigator 2 utility locates the appliance and provides access to network shares and a drive-mapping service. The web interface can be reached from here and this sees some major graphical refreshment. The system came preconfigured with all drives in a RAID5 array, but it’s easy enough to change to mirrors or stripes, and the appliance supports two, separate arrays and hot-sparing as well.

Client support is good with Windows, Mac and Linux clients in the Buffalo club, and the appliance offers a local user database for access security, or it can integrate with an AD server. FTP services can be activated on selected shares and secure FTP transfers are also supported.

The Extensions tab on the web interface shows Buffalo has acknowledged multimedia, although you get only a DNLA server and no iTunes support. WebShare looks more useful, as this allows you to designate shares that can be accessed remotely over the internet via a web browser. A BitTorrent client is also provided, and the TeraStation can now function as a destination for the Mac OS X Time Machine service.

More controls over power consumption are provided, as you have three timers for putting the appliance to sleep at scheduled intervals. A power mode switch at the rear ties in with the Navigator software and the appliance will wake up when a PC loads it.

For workstation backup, Buffalo now provides Memeo AutoBackup, although it’s a pity it couldn’t stretch to more than a single-user licence. It has the ability to back up new or changed files in real-time, which could be useful, but only Memeo can restore files if you use this.

In our performance tests, the TeraStation returned read and write speeds of 48MB/sec and 26MB/sec with copies of a 2.52GB video clip. FTP speeds were marginally better, with FileZilla reporting 60MB/sec and 28MB/sec respectively using the same test file.

The new TeraStation III brings in some much needed enhancements and includes a good selection of backup facilities. Considering the price includes 2TB of storage, it does look comparatively good value.

Basic specifications

Capacity 2.00TB
Cost per gigabyte 28.2p
RAID capability yes
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Services

FTP server? yes
UPnP media server? yes
Other media servers None
Print server? no
Web hosting? no
BitTorrent client? no

Connections

Ethernet ports 2
USB connection? yes
eSATA interface no

Security and administration

Kensington lock slot? no
Admin support for users yes
Admin support for groups yes
Admin support for disk quotas yes
Email alerts yes

Software

Software supplied Buffalo NAS Navigator 2, Memeo AutoBackup

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