Buffalo LinkStation Live First Impressions

I managed to snag a Buffalo LinkStation Live in time for some weekend tinkering. I fully expected a weekend of geekery, but the LinkStation Live makes it’s somewhat advanced features such as Time Machine Support and a built-in BitTorrent client simple, and thus slightly boring.

Of course, most of you probably aren’t looking for excitement in such an inherently unexciting product but rather functionality. The LinkStation Live has functionality, and it has it in droves.

The first thing that dumbstuck me with the LinkStation Live was it’s diminutive size. I was expecting, for some bizarre reason, something similar in size to (or at least approaching) an Xbox 360. What I pulled out of the small box, however, is barely larger than the 3.5″, half terabyte disk that it houses.

As far as its liberal feature set is concerned, I was a little skeptical about the BitTorrent client, in particular, simply because I didn’t believe the LinkStation live would have the processing grunt to deal with multiple peers and pull files down at a reasonable speed. It turns out I was wrong. Not only does it effortlessly suck down torrents as fast as I can with uTorrent on the desktop, but it also boasts core functionality such as Upload/Download throttling, the ability to change the incoming connections port if you have a draconian service provider, and even the ability to set what ratio a download should seed to until it stops altogether.

These features hang together nicely, making a brilliant fire-and-forget torrent client that will let your computer get some much-needed (and power saving!) sleep whilst you download files overnight.

What it lacks, however, is a seemingly obvious feature: time based download throttling. What I would love to do is throttle downloads and uploads between about 10am and 12pm, and then open up the download speed to unlimited in the early hours when nobody is likely to be using the internet. This isn’t out of consideration for other internet users, I just want to let torrents trickle down during the day so they don’t interfere with my, or my partners browsing.

The Time Machine functionality is similarly straight-forward, you flick a switch and, voila, a folder you’ve selected on the LinkStation disk will appear in your Time Machine disk selection screen.

Thus far I’m incredibly impressed with the LinkStation live. I want one already. Well, truth be told, I want a 2tb LinkStation Pro.

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