Buf­falo LinkS­ta­tion LS520DE

A net­work drive that fails to im­press

Mac Format - - APPLE CHOICE - Nick Peers

£123 from Buf­falo, buf­falo-tech­nol­ogy.com fea­tures 1GHz dual-core CPU, 256MB mem­ory, 2x SATA II bays

This is a no-frills, two-bay net­work drive with RAID (0 or 1) sup­port.

The base model is disk­less – we tested it with a 3TB Sea­gate drive. It’s much smaller and lighter than other two-bay drives we’ve tried, and while the plas­tic cas­ing seems durable, the drive cad­dies are a bit flimsy. It’s rounded out by a USB 3.0 port at the back for adding more stor­age.

Func­tion­al­ity is sim­i­larly stripped back. High­lights are a pri­vate cloud and BitTor­rent, along with AFP, Time Ma­chine, DLNA and an iTunes au­dio server. The drive is mostly easy to set up, with a Mac app that takes you to its web in­ter­face, though we had a weird blip with need­ing to dis­able then re-en­able AFP for SMB file shar­ing to work cor­rectly.

The drive’s per­for­mance is dis­ap­point­ing. Tests drew at­ten­tion to its old SATA II in­ter­face: us­ing SMB, it man­aged 49 and 30MB/sec

in se­quen­tial read and­write op­er­a­tions for stan­dard (small) trans­fers, 13 and 30MB/sec for ran­dom ones, 98 and 73MB/sec for large trans­fers, and 93 and 76MB/sec for very large ones, mak­ing it the slow­est NAS we’ve tried in a while.

Ul­ti­mately, the LS520DE is too ex­pen­sive, given the Zyxel NAS520 goes for about the same and out­classes it in fea­tures, con­nec­tiv­ity, power and, large trans­fers aside, drive speed.

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