Buffalo LinkStation Mini 500GB review

The Buffalo LinkStation Mini 500GB is tiny, but powerful enough to be a contender

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  • Easy to use
  • Low power consumption
  • DNLA ready
  • Remote access


  • Warranty void if drives changed

This palm-sized NAS drive is designed for home use. Its fanless, well-ventilated enclosure means it runs almost silently, and it's small enough to fit just about anywhere.

Inevitably for a drive this size, it uses 2.5-inch hard drives. The model reviewed here offers two 250GB drives, but a twin 500GB version is also available.

You can set it up as a RAID 0 drive to enjoy the full capacity of the installed drives, or RAID 1 to mirror your data and protect against drive failure, but the drives aren't user-accessible, so you can't replace a failed unit.

The LinkStation Mini's feature set belies its size. It has a built-in BitTorrent client, an iTunes server and a print server should you wish to connect a USB printer. You can stream media to a DLNA-compatible device, which is good news if you own a PS3 or Xbox 360.

The LinkStation Mini's WebAccess feature enables you to store, share and access files from any web browser on a PC, Mac or iPhone, and backup is provided by the bundled software. You can control group and user level security.

The LinkStation is easy on energy consumption; Buffalo claims it uses 60 per cent less than most NAS devices. It can be set up to switch off with your PC, but if you want to access files via the internet or your network, it's best to leave it on.

The LinkStation Mini puts in a performance that matches its larger competitors. Its price per gigabyte ratio isn't great, but if you shop around you can save quite a bit on the RRP. You can't upgrade or replace the drives without invalidating the warranty, but it's well worth a look.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Storage Server
Total Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
RAID SupportedYes
Product FamilyLinkStation Mini
Total Number of USB Ports1
Number of Hard Drives Installed2
Brand NameBuffalo
Number of USB 2.0 Ports1
ManufacturerBuffalo Technology (USA), Inc
Product ModelLS-WSX500L/R1-EU
Product NameLinkStation Mini LS-WSX500L/R1-EU Network Storage Server
Product LineLinkStation Mini
RAID Levels1
Manufacturer Part NumberLS-WSX500L/R1-EU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.buffalo-technology.com/home/
Marketing Information

The first Network Attached Storage product in the world using 2.5" hard disks! The Auto Power on/ off function enables the LinkStation to turn off automatically when you shut down the last PC or laptop with installed NAS Navigator software. So small and compact that it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, with features such as 60% lower power consumption, fanless operation and low noise make the LinkStation Mini the ideal storage solution for anywhere in your home.

Limited Warranty2 Year
Weight (Approximate)500 g