That dilemma challenged me recently when my Western Digital 750GB MyBook failed. Actually, the drive itself was salvageable, but the outer ‘workings’ failed, a common occurrence with the WD MyBook line. In the picture, you can see some of the equipment, including a circuit board, that failed. I needed to purchase a new SATA cable, but after connecting it to my XPS 400, I had two drives hardwired into my desktop. Problem solved! Now, though, I wanted again to access a central storage depository from anywhere on my home network. Just to bring some of you to speed, my ‘mutt of a home network’ supports:
- a MacBook Pro running OSX
- an Asus eeePC 701 running Xandros
- a Dell Mini 12 running Ubuntu
- a Dell E1705 running Ubuntu
- a Dell XPS 400 desktop running Ubuntu wirelessly
So shared storage is a great thing in my house. Then I also utilize a Brother low-end network laser printer. That’s our network in a quick overview. So, you can see that in shifting between machines, a NAS makes perfect sense. Either that or a home server. While the server would definitely work well, I do not think technically I am that sophisticated yet. So, the NAS route was decided upon. Now, the next issue. Finding one that will be supported across many OS. I actually involved one of our trusted vendors. I told her up front this was a private purchase, but she still provided me with the high level of support I always received for our business. After a few hours, she recommended a few, including the Buffalo LinkStation ProDuo.
What I liked off the bat was the size. Not too large. The picture actually makes it look larger than it really is. I still have not opened it, and the two hard drives inside could be small, but I appreciate the smaller size. Some points for this:
- supports RAID 0 and RAID 1. What that means to the home user is you can have the full size (1 TB for my model) or split it in half and have duplication. I decided, with the amount of photos of my girls, music library, and other crucial files, backup was more important, so I utilized RAID 1 and have one 500GB drive that backsup automatically to the other. If one should fail, I can utilize the second one.
- supports static IPs. I really struggled recently with all my devices on our network. They were all set up to have dynamic IPs, especially when turned off. The headache comes when you try to access the web-based applications for those devices. And the IP changes! That happened many times with my Brother printer, and I continually printed out spec sheets to see what the IP changed too. With the LinkStation, I set it right away! Most devices have this capability, but it should not be overlooked.
- Should you need additional storage, you can find two USB slots in the back and easily increase storage space
- While I have not yet utilized this feature, and may not, Buffalo developed a web-interface to allow you access to the LinkStation outside of your network. Could be good, but I would want to check the security first.
So, roundup: I do not work for Buffalo. But in looking at a variety of solutions, this works will in my mixed environment. If you run Linux, Mac, and Windows at home across different machines, the LinkStation will support you!