While we've long preached about the importance of backing up your data the increasingly popular way is to set up a NAS device. Backup, media hub and remote data access all in one, what's not to like? Consequently it isn't surprising to see current NAS market leader Buffalo making another push into the consumer space with two new units: the 'LinkStation Pro' and 'TeraStation Duo'.
Dealing with the former first, the LinkStation Pro has a rather funky living room friendly design which looks likes the paint from a PlayStation 3 collided with an Xbox 360 (to pleasing effect). It's a single drive unit with 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB capacities and vitally comes with support for DNLA media server and WebAccess to enable streaming of audio and video content straight to your PC, Mac, console, DNLA compatible TV or even iPhone.
Data transfer rates are good as well at up to 66MB per second while 'Direct Copy' can transfer media files from digital cameras and camcorders at the touch of a button. Both USB and 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports are available.
From here the TeraStation Duo takes things up a notch. It's a dual Ethernet, dual drive NAS that comes with RAID 1, Active Directory, 128bit disk encryption, dual hot swap functionality and a built in print server. On top of the sensibilities, the Duo also knows how to have fun with its own DNLA support, WebAccess and even a native bittorrent client. Performance virtually matches that of the Pro at up to 65MBps.
Rather cleverly, the Duo can also detect when it is not being accessed by any computers on the network and power down, cutting energy consumption by up to 66 per cent.
Both the LinkStation Pro and TeraStation Duo go on sale this month. The Pro costs £189.99, £229.99 and £359.99 for 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB models respectively while the Duo will set you back £459.99 for 1TB and £569.99 for the 2TB edition. Three year warranties come as standard.
Yep, NAS is far more useful than your usual backup drive...