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Buffalo LinkStation Duo review



Our Score


Review Price £128.11

Quoted Price: 1TB version (LS-WX1.0TL/R1)

You don't need me to tell you why NAS devices are just about the best thing since sliced bread. Aside from the peace of mind afforded by knowing all of your critical data is safely backed up in the event of your PC kicking the bucket, said files can also be accessed from multiple computers or even, if you store media on your NAS, by a games console or TV. It is, as the kids say, "pretty rad."

Buffalo has been in the business of making NAS devices for a long time now and it's produced some excellent examples - an original TeraStation served as TrustedReviews' storage repository for several years. This particular model is pitched as an upgrade to the LinkStation Pro Duo and despite dropping "Pro" from its name should prove the superior device.

For a device that's never likely to be a centrepiece of your home computing setup the LinkStation Duo looks attractive enough. Its compact dimensions of 86mm x 204mm x 127mm should help with hiding the device out of the way should you so desire. Plus the Duo isn't intrusively loud unlike some NAS devices I've had the (dis)pleasure of testing.

As the name betrays, the LinkStation Duo is a two bay NAS device, available in configurations of either 1TB, 2TB or 4TB - fitted with two 500GB drives, two 1TB drives or two 2TB drives respectively. These can be configured in either RAID 1 or RAID 0, or with each drive showing separately - the foremost of which is obviously the safest.

The two hard drives are accessed by popping off the front cover, revealing two quick-release bays. As such, it's the work of a moment to pop out an old drive and place in a new one. There's no facility for upgrading the Duo's storage capacity in-place, but that's hardly a major criticism; just be sure to pick the right drives initially.

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January 8, 2010, 11:13 pm

Hi Hugo - Nice to see your still around.

I was talking to a friend the other week about how the rate of news stories had decreaed of the last year then we realised we hadn't seen a news article wrote by you for ages and they were mostly from. We came to the conclution you'd left the site.

Show how much attention I really do pay.


January 9, 2010, 3:37 am


I have a lot of .wav files that are DTS encoded will they stream from this bit of kit. They don't from a ReadyNAS Duo just get white noise, they stream ok from a Windows Home Server to my Pioneer SC-LX72.


January 9, 2010, 3:26 pm


Hi, I have one of the original Linkstations - 'steam' powered ;) ....and have DTS encoded wav files streaming. Surely its about the decoder end of the chain not the stream source? Which is, after all, just a digital stream like any other data. You get white noise because your not decoding the stream locally these units do not have decoder software they are just 'dumb' NAS boxes.


January 10, 2010, 3:36 am

@gunholio: FYI, Hugo's been part of the reviews team for several months now. You can find him in the MP3, NAS, and sporting goods departments.


January 10, 2010, 1:53 pm

great review, looks like a sturdy little NAS... any word on whether it is compatible with +2tb drives? it's one of the qnap few caveats that i'm looking to circumvent!


January 11, 2010, 4:39 pm

@trukspin: The ReadyNAS Duo shouldn't have any issues playing DTS encoded WAV's, apart from being a decoder issue like @Chocoa said maybe it could be bandwidth, have you enabled Jumbo Frames on your NAS?. The ReadyNAS is a fantastic piece of kit and with SabNzbd installed means it's the only device I need to have on 24/7.


January 11, 2010, 9:50 pm

so if you put all your music on this and use it as a itunes server does it show up like a shared libary on another computer or is it added in so you can sync from it?


January 12, 2010, 2:06 am

@Ed: Ok. Thanks. I read pretty much all the new, but cherry pick the reviews.


January 13, 2010, 2:27 pm

Does the drive come with 2 x 500gb or 1 x 1tb?

What would you choose between Netgear Stora MS2110 and Buffalo LinkStation Duo?

Dean Apiagyei-Williams

January 26, 2010, 3:46 pm

Just to share the love... I found the 2TB version of the Linkstation Duo on Ebuyer for around £165 INC VAT!!!! - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/...

Richard London

May 11, 2013, 3:36 pm

OK until it breaks - then replaced with refurbished unit.
I bought my Buffalo in November 2010 and reasonably happy with it. Shortly before the warranty period ended the drive failed. I returned it to Buffalo who sent a replacement. The replacement was a refurbished drive and during the process of copying my files onto it this replacement exhibited an error. At this point the warranty period had expired and Buffalo would do nothing further for me. Really you should expect to get around 5 years out of a drive before it might fail. Do a search of the internet for other unhappy Buffalo customers before you consider purchasing this.


June 6, 2013, 11:40 pm

Exactly two years old unit failed, very light usage remained mostly off, yet it died. Buffalo recommended replacement of entire unit at my cost of course.

Angel Vardum

June 9, 2013, 8:16 pm

Stay away from Buffalo NAS devices.

I have an older LS-W1.0TGL/R1 model, which has died on me today, after a few years of very light usage -- good thing I kept a backup of it, so I lost only a fedw files. But even before it died, it was pure disappointment.

Impaired usability: It's a network attached storage, supposed to stay up to serve files on demand. It has an "auto" setting for it, but I could not make it work from multiple computers. So when I need a file for my Mac, I had to run upstairs and turn on my Windows computer, so that It would wake up the NAS. Silly. Startup time for the device from the "auto" mode is close to one minute - way slower than to plug a portable USB drive.

Dismal performance: the documentatino did not specify the throughput, but it has two disks in RAID 0 array, and is equipped with 1G ethernet -so I thought I would get around a hundred megabytes per second out it - yet in reality I could not get anything more than 10MB/s. Contacted their support - they said it's weird, recommended firmware update, which I did, but nothing seemed to help.


August 30, 2013, 2:37 pm

Completely disappointed. I have the Pro Duo LS and it is NOT user friendly. No operating instructions. Poor setup instructions. Tech support is excellent however but be prepared to spend time on the phone trying to configure your device the way you want it. Pain in the bum!

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