Initial unit setup is made easy thanks to the bundled NAS Navigator software – which is incidentally also available from the Buffalo Tech website if you don’t happen to have an optical drive handy.
This software tracks down any Buffalo related drive on your network and offers shortcuts to both the device web interface and to the mapping of the storage within. You can bypass this software and use a direct IP login once you ascertain the IP via your router interface.
The Nas Navigator system is simple, clean and works well for people new to this technology. I have to admit, once I played around with it for a few minutes I never touched it again.
We immediately noticed that our firmware was out of date so downloaded it from the Buffalo Tech website and performed the update procedure via the unit interface. It took about 10 minutes in total, including the reboot required afterwards.
Once the main interface is accessed via the IP address, the user logs in with the default password of ‘password’. This can be changed later if you share your network with other people.
The screens above show the main information window and the shared folder which is automatically created via the software. It is a relatively simple user interface which while not offering the same level of control as more expensive solutions offers a solid array of functionality for the target audience.
We were surprised (and happy) to see full support for 9k jumbo frames. This can really help with large file transfers over gigabit networks if the controller is up to the task.
There are a wide array of features on the unit which will mean you will probably want to leave it powered on all the time. DLNA and UPnP compliant media streaming is a strong asset to have and we experienced no issues with media center on Windows 7 and also it fully supported our Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 units. The option to use the NAS as an iTunes server will surely appeal to a wide audience of people also.
Additionally, they offer a built in Bitorrent client which lets you download any files you wish – its easily set up via an interface panel and accessible via a smartphone, meaning you don’t even need your computer turned on to start downloading over your network.
There is a USB port on the back of the Duo which can cope with a couple of demands. You can connect an external drive to the unit which can then have data transferred to it either on a scheduled basis or when the Function button is pressed. You can also transfer media files from a USB storage device to the Duo and this allows files from a camera to be moved painlessly for storage.
Performance according to Buffalo themselves is around 40MB/s – 166 percent faster than the previous models. Obviously to achieve this you will want to be connecting to a gigabit network/switch.