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Buffalo LinkStation Mini SSD review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 631
inc VAT

It's impressively compact, but the LinkStation Mini SSD's price is so high and its performance so slow that it's impossible to recommend.

Specifications

0 disk bays, 2x 120GB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

http://www.kikatek.com

The LinkStation Mini SSD is a compact network- attached storage (NAS) device that comes fitted with a pair of 120GB solid-state disks (SSDs).

It’s outwardly identical to the LinkStation Mini 1TB, which comes with a pair of 2?in 500GB hard disks instead.

When the Mini SSD is configured as a RAID 0 array, 240GB of storage is available. However, if one of the two disks should fail, you’ll lose all your data. Only 120GB of storage is available in RAID 1 mode, but your data will be safe if a single disk fails. The LinkStation is sealed shut so you can’t replace failed disks yourself.

SSDs typically use less power and generate less heat than 2?in hard disks. However, in our tests there was almost no difference in power consumption between the SSD and hard disk versions of the LinkStation. We were also surprised by how warm the SSD model became when left on overnight. We suspect this is due to its lack of fans and reliance on passive cooling, so you’ll want to keep it in a well-ventilated area.

Another advantage of SSDs over hard disks is that they can be significantly faster. However, the SSD LinkStation copied both large and small files at an overall speed of around 12MB/s, regardless of whether it was configured as RAID 0 or RAID 1. This is disappointing for an expensive SSD-equipped NAS, as it’s no faster than the hard disk-equipped model, but it’s not a complete surprise – the performance bottleneck in most NAS devices tends to be the internal control circuitry or your network connection, rather than the disks themselves.

The LinkStation shares the same discovery utility and web configuration interface as other Buffalo NAS devices. This is a good thing, as both are logically organised and generally easy to grasp. The interface for creating user accounts, sorting them into groups and assigning access permissions for different folders can be slightly confusing until you get used to it, though.

We had no trouble sharing a USB printer or the contents of a USB disk across our network. It also worked well streaming movies and music to a UPnP network media player, but iTunes refused to recognise it as a music server. Files can be copied to and from the LinkStation from any internet-connected computer thanks to its remote access feature. You’ll have to adjust your router’s settings manually, though, unless it supports UPnP port forwarding.

We liked the original hard disk-based LinkStation Mini, but had doubts whether its small size fully justified its high cost. This is especially true for the SSD version, which is even more expensive but offers no benefits over its predecessor, never mind other NAS devices. We can’t see any reason to buy the LinkStation Mini SSD.

Basic Specifications

Price £631
Rating **

Storage

Capacity 2x 120GB
Formatted capacity 218GB
Default file system XFS
Price per gigabyte £2.63
Interface SATA 300
3.5in drive bays 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0
RAID modes RAID 0, RAID 1

Interface

Ethernet ports 1
USB direct access ports (front/rear) 0/0
Other USB ports (front/rear) 0/1
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Other ports none

Networking

Ethernet connection speed 10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play support yes
UPnP media server yes
iTunes yes
Print server yes
USB disk server yes
Web server no
FTP server no
Protocols supported TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, NFS

Miscellaneous

Size 82x41x135mm
Weight 500g
Vertical positioning yes
Ethernet cable included yes
Additional features remote access, Active Directory support, Time Machine server, UPS support
Power consumption active 10W

Buying Information

Price £631
Warranty two years collect and return
Supplier http://www.kikatek.com
Details www.buffalotech.com

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