Buf­falo Linksta­tion 520 | £88.5555 |

Buy from Ama­zon: bit.ly/buff430 FEA­TURES ★★★ ★★ PER­FOR­MANCE ★★★ ★★ EASE OF USE ★★★★★ VALUE FOR MONEY ★★★★★

Web User - - Group Test -

Our other award win­ners of­fer a wealth of fea­tures, but they’re overkill if all you want is some­where to store files. The Linksta­tion 520 is boxy, with just two ac­tiv­ity lights for com­mu­ni­ca­tion – one for its own drives and one for the sin­gle rear-mounted USB port. The only other ex­ter­nal fea­ture is an Eth­er­net port.

In­side, it has a 1GHZ Real­tek pro­ces­sor and just 256MB of mem­ory, so it clearly isn’t de­signed to run apps or do any­thing other than look af­ter your files. How­ever, it has a sur­pris­ingly good user in­ter­face that makes it easy to set up dif­fer­ent users, cre­ate shared spa­ces and ac­cess them lo­cally or over the in­ter­net.

The Linksta­tion 520’s no-frills me­dia-serv­ing fea­tures can han­dle the es­sen­tials, in­clud­ing itunes and DLNA, so for a de­vice that costs less than £ 100 (with­out drives) it’s a bar­gain. It’s cheap to run, too, with low-power com­po­nents that con­sume less en­ergy than the other de­vices we tested.

VER­DICT ★★★★★ The Linksta­tion 520 doesn’t win our Bronze Award for great looks or flashy fea­tures but it’s a com­pact, ef­fi­cient NAS box that’s great value. If you’ve al­ready got some spare hard drives, it’s an in­cred­i­bly cost-ef­fi­cient way to get started.

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