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Buffalo LinkStation Duo - Buffalo LinkStation Duo

By Hugo Jobling



Our Score:


Initial setup is made easy thanks to the bundled NAS Navigator software, which will hunt out the Duo (and any other Buffalo NAS) on your network and give it a shortcut to both the device's web interface and to mapping its storage to a network drive. Another feature that could prove useful is the Auto power option. In this mode, the LinkStation sits idle until a PC with the Navigator software tells it to wake up. Although this isn't exactly useful when using non-PC devices or web access, obviously.

There are a number of features available on the LinkStation Duo that might incline you to leaving it fully powered all of the time. UPnP and DLNA compliant media streaming is one plus point, showing no problems using Media Centre on a Windows 7 PC, an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3 - as you would hope. If you use iTunes then the Duo's ability to operate as an iTunes Server will likely prove useful.

A built-in BitTorrent client should prove useful, too, letting you download all of those freely distributed files you're so keen on. Linux distributions, Nine Inch Nails' The Slip - that sort of thing. This is configured through its own separate interface, which is perfect for control with a smartphone - why turn on your computer just to start a download?

A USB port on the back of the Duo can serve a couple of functions, some controlled by the logically labelled 'Function' button found above it. The simplest of these is to connect an external hard drive to the Duo, which can then have data transferred to it either on a scheduled basis or when that Function button is pressed. Alternatively, that function button can initiate transfers from a USB storage device to the Duo. Oddly, only media files will be copied, though at least these are placed into appropriate folders. Usefully, this works for files on a digital camera or camcorder, too.

According to Buffalo, one of the major advantages of the Duo over its predecessor is a maximum transfer rate of 40MB/s - 166 per cent faster than before. As such you'll definitely want to be using a direct, Gigabit Ethernet connection as such swift transfers put my aging 85Mb/s HomePlug kit to shame.

Transferring a 3GB ZIP file of various MP3s to and from the LinkStation Duo returned a 37.2MB/s read and 22.3MB/s write speed, while that same assortment of files separately gave a slower 29.6MB/s read and 17.6MB/s write. While that doesn't make this an outstandingly fast NAS device, it does at least make it an honest one.


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/produ...

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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