Review Price free/subscription
Buffalo Technology DriveStation 2Share HD-CE500LU2 - Buffalo DriveStation 2Share HD-CE500LU2
As the appliance only has a Fast Ethernet port you're going to see the best performance over a USB connection. To test this we installed the 2Share on a Boston Supermicro dual 3GHz Xeon 5160 system running Vista SP2 and used a 2.52GB video clip to test sustained transfer speeds. Copying the file between the appliance and workstation without the TurboUSB utility installed returned read and write speeds of 30MB/sec and 24MB/sec, respectively.
With Buffalo's TurboUSB activated these speeds improved noticeably to 34.5MB/sec and 27.3MB/sec. Bring a good book if you're copying large amounts of data over the network as the same tests using a network share saw read and write speeds plummet to only 6.2MB/sec and 5.3MB/sec.
For general workstation backup you get a single user copy of Memeo AutoBackup. This is a useful tool that supports a good range of backup destinations including the 2Share in either USB or network modes. It runs on XP or Vista systems but don't try using it with Windows Server as this isn't supported and the installation will fail.
Memeo provides plenty of assistance in setting up backup schedules where you choose a destination device which can range from a local or network drive to a USB device or an iPod. AutoBackup is quite sophisticated as during the backup plan creation you decide how many file versions should be kept. The optional encryption keeps your backups safe but note that only Memeo will be able to restore them if you use this.
We created a backup plan to secure 13GB of test data over the USB port comprising some 14,000 files and this took nearly two hours to complete. Not particularly fast but the reason for this is Memeo creates a checksum for every file when it copies it. It then monitors your backup selections and secures modified or new files in real time so you only ever do a full backup once.
Buffalo delivers a neat little storage device with a trick up its sleeve as support for USB and network connections makes the 2Share very versatile. Features are minimal but the price is low, performance over USB is good and it comes with a useful software bundle which includes backup and encryption utilities.