One of the best NAS devices on the market—on paper
When it comes to computer networking products, there are a few companies that always come to mind. Buffalo is one of them. Storage devices have always been a part of Buffalo's repertoire, so including the TeraStation Pro Quad in this roundup was a no-brainer. The "Quad" in the moniker refers to the four drives that come preinstalled in the NAS, with options for 1TB, 2TB, or 3TB drives at various price points. Buffalo chose a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom to run the TeraStation Pro, and 2GB of RAM provides more than enough memory for most purposes. The configuration we tested came complete with four 1TB drives. Inside the box, you'll find Ethernet and power cables, a quick-start guide, and a software and documentation CD. Buffalo also includes 10 licenses of NovaBackup Business Essentials.
Buffalo chose to keep the drive trays accessible from the front of the unit, though they are enclosed behind a locking door. The door locks at the bottom, but the handle is located at the top; this causes the door to flex when you attempt to open the door without first unlocking it. An LCD panel graces the front of the TeraStation Pro and provides simple configuration and diagnostic information. The back of the device has a generous array of connectivity options: two gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0, and two USB 3.0 ports. The USB ports support both external drives and printers, while the Ethernet connections can be configured for load balancing or failover.
Buffalo is all business with the TeraStation Pro Quad. The result is a NAS geared toward the workplace and short on consumer features.
The software end of things is where Buffalo really shows its business bias. The most apparent tools in the web-based interface allow you to locate your NAS through beeps and a flashing LCD, features that are primarily suited to users with several NAS devices. Other prevalent features, such as Active Directory integration are key tools for business environments, but are of little use to home users. BitTorrent downloads are supported, as are DLNA and iTunes servers, though configuration for media-centric functionality is pretty sparse. One rather compelling feature is the WebAccess service, which allows you to create a friendly URL for accessing all of your files.
Performance is the biggest cause for concern in our opinion, as our large-file copy to the NAS took a whopping 2 minutes, 4 seconds. Compare that to Synology's DS411+II coming in at 28 seconds, and you can understand our disappointment.