Last updated on June 27, 2010
Do you have a lot of critical data on your home computers that you would like to backup regularly? Do you wish that all your data was in one place and accessible from all PCs in your home? Are you struggling with multiple copies of your photos and videos?
A network-attached-storage box (NAS) like the Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo might be what you need. I have been using the 1 Terabyte version (LS-W1.0TGL/R1) for a couple of months now and it has really made a difference. This is capable of RAID-0 (striping) mode for performance and RAID-1 (mirroring) mode for redundant storage. In the RAID-0 mode, you get two disks of 500 GB each, giving you a total of 1 TB of fast storage. But if you want the safety of mirroring your data onto two drives (so that even if one of them failed, your data would be accessible on the other), then you can configure the box to RAID-1 mode, and get an effective storage space of about 500 GB. In my case, I chose the RAID-1 mode because I am using this as a common storage disk for most of my data.
The LinkStation comes configured in RAID-0 mode, and it is easy to change it to RAID-1. The web-based configuration interface is fairly intuitive, and you can easily create users/groups and shares, and set up access rights if you wish. The network interface is 10/100/1000 Gbps capable, and it also has a USB-2.0 interface with which you can expand the storage capacity with an external hard-disk. It has a nifty web-access feature with which you can share pictures, video and other files; your friends and family can view these externally through their web-browsers.
I have also set-up automated backup of all my PC drives using Norton Ghost onto this box. So this box is serving as a common storage for most of my data, as well as a backup drive for whatever data is left on the PCs. Recently, I had to completely reinstall one of my Windows-XP machines, and it was easy to backup all my data from the PC onto the LinkStation before reformatting the PC’s hard-disk for a fresh install.
Having a large storage disk on the network at home has saved me a lot of time and headache and at under $300, this is worth the money, especially if you have a lot of data and multiple computers at home.
For details, visit the LinkStation product page.
[See also: Buffalo LinkStation Administration.]