Buffalo LinkStation Mini NAS Appliance Review - Buffalo LinkStation Mini Review


Just like a fully grown NAS appliance, the LinkStation Mini is completely configurable via a browser interface, and once again Buffalo has made the whole process as simple as possible for the user. Assuming you’ve left your internal network pretty standard, the LinkStation Mini will try to grab the IP address. So, simply typing that IP into your browser will take you to the login page for the device. The default administration login is “admin” with a password of “password” – obviously it’s advisable to change these login details as soon as possible.

Once logged in, you’re greeted with the Home screen, which displays the name of the device, the actual model name, the IP address, current date, how the storage is configured and how much space is used/free. The left side of the window has a list of configurable options, each of which can expand into sub-tabs. The Disk Management tab for example, has sub-tabs allowing for formatting, erasing, RAID setup, USB settings etc.

You can also setup access control for individual users, while also creating groups with varying degrees of access permission. You can create any number of shared folders on the LinkStation Mini, meaning that you could limit each user to their own folder, while keeping everyone else’s data hidden. Obviously the ideal is to have a shared area for everyone to access, while allowing each user to have a private area. The beauty is that it’s incredibly easy to configure shares, users and groups, so that even if you don’t have extensive knowledge of network management, you’ll have no problem setting up the LinkStation Mini.

The LinkStaion Mini can also be configured as a media server, and since it’s DLNA compliant, other DLNA compliant devices will be able to stream directly from it with minimal fuss. Of course being a NAS box, any decent media adapter should be able to stream content from it anyway, but a bit of extra functionality never hurts.

Just like any NAS appliance, once the LinkStation Mini is connected to your network and powered on, all the PCs in the Workgroup should be able to see it. However, there is an argument for loading on Buffalo’s NAS Navigator 2 application. This utility will list all the LinkStation and TeraStation boxes on your network, and give you a simple user interface for accessing them and configuring them. That’s all well and good, but hardly necessary – what is quite compelling though, is that this is where the Auto setting on the LinkStation Mini comes into play. If you have the device set to Auto, it will power down if no one is accessing it, however, if a PC running NAS Navigator 2 starts up, the LinkStation Mini will wake up and spring into life.

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