IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Buffalo LS520 2TB review

Considering it includes two 1TB drives, the price may be initially attractive, but there are better options

Price
£147
  • Cheap; Good backup support;
  • Setup tools and firmware are clunky and dated; Extremely disappointing performance;

Buffalo supplies its compact two-bay consumer NAS populated, with a choice of dual 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB drives. Despite this, it's kept the price surprisingly low, meaning you can grab the 2TB version for the same price as some unpopulated two-bay rivals.

If you want to buy the entry-level version now and upgrade later, it's no problem - open the front-facing door and the two WD Green hard disks emerge neatly in their slide-out bays.

It's a shame that the software setup process isn't so easy, requiring you to visit Buffalo's website, download its NAS Navigator software, install it and then find your NAS before you can even get going.

If the tool seems dated, the firmware isn't much better, seemingly designed to resemble an old Linux desktop interface - complete with dry control panels that make everything from configuring DLNA media access to providing remote web access slightly awkward. The LS520 can handle all your backup, file-sharing and media vault duties, but other NAS devices make it easier.

In some respects, the features are fairly basic. There are file-management apps for iOS and Android, but nothing to match the Dropbox or OneDrive-like features of other NAS drives. At least safeguarding your files isn't a challenge, with NovaBackup bundled for PCs and full support for Time Machine. The remote-access features don't do anything more than provide access to the same desktop interface, and, as a DLNA server, the LS520 isn't exactly the snappiest around.

In fact, performance is the LS520's biggest issue. The combination of a 1.1GHz Realtek ARM Cortex A9 processor with just 256MB of RAM didn't make for stellar speeds - the LS520 could only manage read/write rates of 101MB/sec and 89MB/sec respectively with the larger video files, and a woeful 24.9MB/sec and 23.3MB/sec when churning through our smaller files - a sure sign that the CPU and RAM are struggling to keep up.

As a cheap, all-in-one solution the Buffalo may look tempting, but we'd advise plumping for the superior WD My Cloud Mirror 2. There isn't a 2GB version, only 4GB, but even at 260 inc VAT it's well worth the extra cash.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 261.

Verdict

As a cheap, all-in-one solution the Buffalo may look tempting, but we'd advise plumping for the superior WD My Cloud Mirror 2. There isn't a 2GB version, only 4GB, but even at £260 inc VAT it's well worth the extra cash.

Featured Resources

What 2023 will mean for the industry

What do most IT decision makers really think will be the important trends and challenges in the coming year?

Free Download

2022 Magic quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM is evolving into a security platform with multiple features and deployment models

Free Download

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide unified endpoint management services

2022 vendor assessment

Free Download

Magic quadrant for application performance monitoring and observability

Enabling continuous updating of diverse & dynamic application environments

View Now

Most Popular

GTA V vulnerability exposes PC users to partial remote code execution attacks
vulnerability

GTA V vulnerability exposes PC users to partial remote code execution attacks

23 Jan 2023
Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria
data breaches

Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria

26 Jan 2023
European partners expect growth this year, here are three ways they will achieve it
Sponsored

European partners expect growth this year, here are three ways they will achieve it

17 Jan 2023