Pros Easy to configure and use, very convenient
Cons File transfer is SLOW
Summary I wanted to use this box as two mirrored drives, and store my development files as well as digital media files on it. This way I figured whatever computer I used around the house, I would always be accessing the master development files, and the wife would have access to the digital pictures without worrying if the PC they were store on was on.
The box was very easy to set up and works great, but the performance is pretty slow. On my 100mb LAN, I only show about 33% utilization when transferring files, this is compared to the upwards of 80% utilization I get when transferring files between two normal machines (all XP pro) on my LAN.
I spoke with the excellent tech. support (24/7), and they recommended that I upgrade to the latest firmware (1.5 at the time). I did this, but no performance improvements seem to have been made. They told me they were aware of the performance issues and were working on a new firmware revision to address it, but gave no ETA.
One last comment, the firmware upgrade information does not appear anywhere on their website, you have to call tech. support to get it. I suppose this means I'll have to constantly check back to see when the next one becomes available.
This would be a great product if its performance was better!
Pros Good price for a lot of storage.
Cons Not capable of Gigabit speeds. Not Macintosh friendly.
Summary If you plan on using this device with a Mac only network look elsewhere. Although it is possible to install the device on a Mac network it is a little bit of a complicated process and it is, at this time, impossible to install upgrades.
But my biggest complaint is the speed. Buffalo advertises that the TeraStation uses Gigabit transmission rates but what they do not tell you is that the software RAID cannot handle Gigabit speeds. After several calls to tech support, a reluctant tech rep finally admitted that the software RAID was only capable of 5 Megabytes per second inbound and 11 Megabytes per second outbound. Customers on a base 100 network may never know the difference but if you are using Gigabit in your home or office the TeraStation will be obviously slow.
The final verdict: The TeraStation works well for PC networks running at 100 BASE-TX / 10 BASE-T only. Mac only networks and any network running at 1000 BASE-T show the TeraStation's compatibility and speed limitations.
Pros Does everything the manual claims it will do.
Cons Not designed for IT Services or "production" environments.
Summary Perhaps those who are dismayed at the TeraStations inability to meet their needs or those that have found "gotchas" or "issues" with this box should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they did the proper due diligence before purchasing (like download and read the manual from the Buffalo web site).
This device does EVERYTHING the manual claims - I have owned one for over one year and have put it through the ringer and it has never failed to meet my needs. On a 100MB/s LAN it is slow -HOWEVER- on a 1 GB/s LAN it rocks - even without Jumbo Frames on.
I considered gutting the box and placing the controller & drives into another case with removable drive bays for easy replacement in the event of a failure. I then looked at the TeraStation PRO which has removable SATA drives and an actual status display in addition to lights and bought it. The beauty of this is I now have one TeraStation backed up to another over a GB LAN with ZERO loading on my computers.
If you can't tell - I love this device and its new PRO variant even more. Just RTFM before you buy it to make sure it meets your requirements.
Pros Big Storage, pretty easy setup, small footprint, reasonable price.
Cons Hardware not fast enough for full gigabit, linux based limitations.
Summary We were surprised by one big minus that might have caused us to go a different route had we known earlier: since the system is linux-based, external USB backup drives must be formatted for linux or FAT, not NTFS. We exepected to connect USB drives for automated backups that could be read by windows machines, but we could not. Now we must backup only through IP connection, which much is slower and ties up another machine on the network.
We also expected access time and transfer time to be a lot faster than it is. The underlying disk hardware/software appears to be the speed-limiting factor, not the networking.
But overall satisfied anyway and will probably buy more of these.
Pros Cheap, pretty spinning lights
Cons Slow, poor security, no AD support
Summary I purchased two of these for my network to augment the Quantam NAS I bought to hold ghost images, archived backups and general network rubbish that has to be kept on line but not critical. I did buy two of them for less than half of the price of my Quantam box.
However, several things disappointed me. First they are slow to do backups to, a NTBackup job of about 95 gigs that went up to the Quantam in two hours took five to the TeraStation. Everything is Gigabit, jumbo frames, the lot.
Second is the security implenation. Having previewed the documentation from the web site I had found the one line that said AD was not supported. Fine, I will just create Admin accounts on the Terastations with the same passwords for pass through. Uh-uh, all our admin passwords are complex (uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols) the TeraStation only accepts dash and underscore other than letters and numbers.
Maybe I expected too much for the price, I could live with the slow speeds but the security problems severely limit their acceptable use for me on our network.
Having said all the above, I would love to have one of these at home to store pc backups, movies, pictures, music etc.