4 disk bays, 4x 250GB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
Buffalo’s LinkStation Quad is surprisingly compact for a four-disk NAS device.
Our test model came with four 250GB disks and can be configured as a RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10 array. Unfortunately, no matter which RAID configuration we chose, it was the slowest of the four-disk NAS devices here and came near the bottom of the table in our tests.
Replacing a faulty disk is easy. The front panel slides off, giving access to the four drive bays. The disks are screwed into drive sleds and are easily removed. If a disk fails, the Quad can even let you know by email. The device supports UPS, so it can turn itself off safely if it detects that it’s running from UPS power.
The Quad uses the same setup utility and web configuration interface as its cheaper single-disk counterpart, the LiveStation Live, so it’s straightforward to set up. As with the Live, you can access your files remotely through a browser. Remote access works well and there’s even a mobile version of the website. Uploading multiple files is tedious, though, due to the poorly designed upload interface.
A USB printer or the contents of a USB disk can be shared across the network. The removable front panel that covers the drive bays has a hole for the front USB port, but it can still obstruct the port, so you’ll need to remove it. Files can be downloaded over BitTorrent without a computer, but as downloads are managed through the web configuration interface, other users could tamper with the settings if given access to this feature. We had no trouble using the Quad to stream music and video to a network media player, but iTunes didn’t recognise it.
The LinkStation Quad is a generously specified NAS, but its performance is disappointing and it’s expensive at 47p per gigabyte. If you want a RAID-capable NAS device and can live without the fancy features, it would be cheaper to build one using Edge 10’s EdgeStore NAS400, although it’s much noisier than the Quad.
|Default file system||XFS|
|Price per gigabyte||£0.47|
|3.5in drive bays||4|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||0|
|RAID modes||RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10|
|USB direct access ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Other USB ports (front/rear)||1/1|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Ethernet connection speed||10/100/1000Mbit/s|
|Universal Plug and Play support||yes|
|UPnP media server||yes|
|USB disk server||yes|
|Protocols supported||TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, NFS|
|Ethernet cable included||yes|
|Additional features||Time Machine server, remote access, BitTorrent download manager|
|Power consumption idle||32W|
|Power consumption active||34W|
|Warranty||one year RTB|