Buffalo 2TB MiniStation Safe
A fast USB 3.0 drive with encryption but a lack of Mac software support
£109 Manufacturer Buffalo, buffalo-technology.com
Requires OS X 10.4 or higher Connectivity USB 3.0 Weight 240g
This shock-proof hard drive packs in 2TB of storage and has several interesting features up its plasticky sleeve. The drive uses USB 3.0 and is bus powered (although it needs too much power to run off an unpowered hub or keyboard port). Although the drive can be read in OS X (it’s NTFS formatted), you’ll want to format it as Mac OS Extended for full read and write capability – a downloadable guide to formatting is available should you need it. Likewise you’ll also need to download the quick setup guide, user manual and Lock and Go encryption software (interestingly, more apps are provided for PC users). Lock and Go isn’t yet officially compatible with Yosemite, which is a shame as it’s the key piece of the drive’s 256-bit software encryption.
The great news is that the drive’s performance is super quick; we copied a 1GB test folder of images in just under 13 seconds – that’s reaching peak copy speeds of around 90MB per second.
Aside from the basic Mac support, the drive’s main issue is that it’s more expensive than comparable options from WD, Samsung and Seagate among others – presumably because of the security features. There are more appropriate Mac options out there.
Extremely speedy, but better options are available for Mac users considering the limited software available.
Buffalo needs to do more to match the experience and feel of rivals such as LaCie and Samsung.
Very fast performance
Plasticky look and feel
Poor Mac software options