May 17, 2011
- Easy to setup
- User-friendly software
- Mobile device sharing
- Network printing feature
- Lacking security features
- USB attached storage doesn't work right
- Some performance issues
The Buffalo CloudStor Pro (2TB) is an easy-to-setup networked attached storage (NAS) device that allows you to remotely access your files from any networked computer and from a remote location via computer or supported wireless device. It works quite well, but it does lack in security features and speed.
The Buffalo CloudStor Pro measures 5.1 x 8.1 x 3.4-inches (whd) and weighs about 5 pounds, so it can easily fit into any home office or small business setting. The black box has a simple design with three blue LED status lights on the front and a door hides two user-accessible 3.5-inch bays for Serial ATA hard drives. This model comes with a 2TB hard drive already installed in one of the bays, so that leaves one additional bay for future storage needs.
If you want to expand the storage capacity even more, you can connect an external hard drive to the USB 2.0 port on the back. We would've liked to also see eSATA connectivity, but the USB port can also be used to network a USB printer, so that's also a benefit. One issue that we had with connected an additional drive via USB is the inability to view the contents of that attached drive without being on the local network the CloudStor is attached to and to manually mount the CloudStor as a networked hard drive through the operating system, which is something that not many users know how to do themselves. Buffalo did tell us they are working on the issue and a firmware update to fix this will be available in "about a month or two".
Most importantly, when there are two hard drives connected to the Buffalo CloudStor Pro, it can configure them as independent drives or as a single RAID 1 storage volume, which makes a mirror image of one drive onto the other for backup purposes.
Getting the Buffalo CloudStor Pro setup is extremely simple, just connect it to your network via the gigabit Ethernet port on the back and go to the Web address listed on the setup guide to complete the setup. Once you do this, the drive will show up on your networked computers as a network attached computer (but it's really only a hard drive storage device). If you wish, you can install the PogoPlus software, which works on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Once installed, it will automatically mount the CloudStor as a storage volume on your local computer to make it even more seamless.
We really would've liked to see more in terms of security and encryption features. The Buffalo CloudStor Pro doesn't let you set a password for the whole storage volume or individual folders, which sort of limits its use if you need to store sensitive data or if you intend to use it in a small office setting.
The remote access features of the Buffalo CloudStor Pro are what really make this device shine. If you are not connected to your local network but still connected to the Internet, you can access your storage volume from anywhere on the Internet by using the PogoPlug software on your computer. Alternatively, you can also log into your CloudStor via your Web browser by going to http://cloudstor.pogoplug.com.
Even more unique is the ability to install PogoPlug's mobile client on Apple iPhone/iPad and Android devices. This mobile application lets you listen to music on the device, view stored photos and watch streaming movies.
The device does let you grant access to guest users so they can access your content on your Buffalo CloudStor Pro. For a little added security, you can require invited users to setup passwords before they can access your media.
In terms of performance, while the Buffalo CloudStor Pro is indexing new files or recently modified files, read/write access to the storage space can become rather sluggish. This indexing that the device performs is to create smaller and streaming-optimized versions of movie files for playing on mobile devices. If you don't intend on using this feature, you'll want to disable this indexing and optimizing through the device's settings.