I’ve had remarkably good luck with the Buffalo Linkstation Pro 500GB. It’s a 500GB network attached drive. It supports 1GB ethernet and seems reasonably fast and most important very compatible. Works super well with Windows XP and even with Mac OS X which is amazing. The main issue is that 500GB fills up pretty fast these days, so time once again to look for the latest:
* “PC Magazine”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1639544,00.asp did a review two years ago which selected the Buffalo, but they now have a great “NAS”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1639544,00.asp section that goes over the basics. Right now they are recommending RAID configurations for reliability like the “Iomega SorCenter Pro NAS 150d”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2128034,00.asp. Its quite expensive at $800 for 1TB but has four 250GB drives in at RAID configuration. It’s small at 10″x7″x12″. It comes configured as RAID 5 which means you get 750GB usable, but you can have one disk fail and everything still works. My main conclusion is that this is great for a small business but maybe a little overkill for our network which only really needs this to backup the storage on personal computers. You can get 750GB for about half the price if you go lower end.
* “PC World”:http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,125072-page,1/article.html also keeps a review set and likes a completely different set of machines. The “Netgear ReadyNAS NV+”: for instance is more expensive at $1100, but it very fast so good for a real server setup. Another good compromise is the “Maxtor Shared Storage II”:http://www.pcworld.com/product/specs/id,29306-c,harddrives/specs.html also with 1TB and just $450. It is a single terabyte drive, so like the Buffalo Linkstation, not super redundant
* “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/network-storage-devices/p/69/ is interesting because it shows what’s popular. It shows that SimpleTech STI-NAS 500GB is a best seller. It is an amazing $135 for a 500GB drive. Almost too good to believe. “Newegg”:http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16822100016 reviews say it works, but isn’t very fast because it only has 100Mb Ethernet. If you want speed, you really need 1Gb Ethernet and computers that support it. For most laptop oriented installations like we have at work it will be fine though since laptops are either 100Mbps Ethernet or much slower 54Mbps shared channel Wifi. Not clear if it supports Macs. It is just $135 because the underlying 500GB drive is just $105 or so now and there is $35 of other hardware. Makes the $400 Buffalo Linkstation 750GB look pretty expensive doesn’t it? 500GB by the way seems to be the sweetspot for these devices. They are between $140 to $250 for that. Buffalo is at the high end at $275 or so.
* “Newegg”:http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000240124%20115750974&bop=And&Order=RATING&Pagesize=100 is a big enough site now that its ratings are meaningful. Those users like the Thecus N2050UD which is $140 but where you need to install two hard drives in it, so you can built it yourself.
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