Nathan Edwards Jun 24, 2008

Buffalo TeraStation Live

At A Glance


The installer slaps a shortcut to the TeraStation Live right on your desktop.


Slow data-transfer speeds; the price ($1,300!) gives us a heart attack.

Our little hearts were ablaze with excitement when we busted open the chunky Buffalo TeraStation Live. And with good reason; on paper, the four-drive NAS device looked like it was going to be an easy winner–its two terabytes of total storage in a RAID-5 configuration made us smile.

As it turns out, we celebrated prematurely. The Buffalo TeraStation Live performs about as well in a file transfer test as it would in a foot race. Surprisingly, it was the only NAS device of the four tested here that had slower read times than write times. At 5:16 (min:sec) to transfer a 3GB file from the NAS to a PC, you’ll be in for a bit of a wait should you decide to use this device as a media hub–you might as well put in a vacation notice at work if you’re copying two terabytes’ worth of data.

Write speeds were marginally better but still not fast enough to catapult the TeraStation Live to the front of the file-transfer footrace. That said, the TeraStation Live offsets the pain by packing a few neat features into this otherwise plain-Jane device. We love the device’s user-management settings—a handy web interface makes it easy to add new users, assign users to groups, and control file-access operations.

Also handy is the TeraStation Live’s built-in media server feature. We were able to pull up a shared batch of MP3s on iTunes with no problems whatsoever. But this rounds out the feature list for this NAS device. Nothing distances Buffalo’s NAS box from its competitors in terms of features, which forces us to rely on its slow transfer speeds for an overall verdict. We’d recommend the TeraStation Live for its data redundancy and ease-of-use, but like this device, we simply run out of steam for further praise.

Buffalo Terastation LiveQNAP TS-109 Pro
Small 1:20
Large 5:16
 Write test
Small 1:05
Large 3:50
We used the CD contents of Maximum PC’s November 2007 CD for the “small” file testing, and a single 3GB file for the “large” testing. All scores were averages of three transfer trials. Scores for the QNAP TS-109 enclosure were obtained using a provided 750GB Seagate 7200.10 Barracuda drive.

Buffalo TeraStation Live

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