Buffalo Tech returns to the router game, updates NAS lineup

Buffalo Tech returns to the router game, updates NAS lineup

Summary: Several weeks ago, I posted about a court decision that lifted the ban on Buffalo Technology selling its routers and access points in the U.S.

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Several weeks ago, I posted about a court decision that lifted the ban on Buffalo Technology selling its routers and access points in the U.S., which it had done for many years. No doubt expecting victory for some time now, the company was ready within a month to tout its new Wi-Fi lineup, which I got a chance to see a couple of weeks ago in a Vegas hotel suite.

Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH routerBuffalo is introducing three new routers, as well as a hat trick of network adapters. Two of the routers are based on the Draft N spec, with the $99.99 Wireless-N Nfiniti High Power Router & Access Point (WZR-HP-G300NH; pictured) at the higher end and the $79.99 Wireless-N Nfiniti Router & Access Point (WHR-G300N) priced for more value-oriented consumers. The biggest differences between the two are that the WZR-HP-G300NH comes with USB and Gigabit Ethernet ports, adjustable antennae, and a quality-of-service (QoS) mode that prioritizes multimedia content streaming over the network. For price-conscious consumers that don't want to make the step up to 802.11n, Buffalo is also offering a 802.11g router in the form of the $59.99 Wireless-G High Speed Router & Access Point (WHR-HP-G54). One thing Buffalo is not offering is a dual-band N router like D-Link, Linksys, and Netgear have. According to the Buffalo rep I spoke with, the company's thinking is that the high-end ($100+) router market is too small for it to worry about for the moment.

Of course, Buffalo is releasing USB-based network adapters to go along with the new routers, though it isn't offering a 802.11g one to go along with the WHR-HP-G54. Instead, it's offering the $79.99 Wireless-N High Power Compact USB 2.0 Adapter (WLI-UC-G300HP) and $69.99 Wireless-N Compact USB 2.0 Adapter (WLI-UC-G300N); the primary difference is the pricier unit comes with a flip-out antenna. If size matters, Buffalo is offering the teeny-tiny Wireless-N Ultra Compact USB 2.0 Adapter (WLI-UC-GN; pictured) for $59.99 It measures just 0.6x1.6x0.2 inches.

Buffalo TeraStation IIIWhile Buffalo will need to play catch-up in the router space, it's already a market leader in network attached storage. It looks to build on that success with several new NAS devices, and it's even trying to reduce confusion over its business and consumer lines by labeling the former TeraStations and the latter LinkStations, and not mingling consumer TeraStations and pro-level LinkStations as has happened in the past. The new TeraStation Duo is the first TeraStation to support just two drives, and it comes in 1TB (the $319.99 TS-W1.0L/R1) and 2TB (the $399.99 TS-W2.0L/R1) flavors. There's also the TeraStation III (pictured), which can handle four drives, and comes in the $1,299.99 2TB TS-X2.0TL/R5 and the $2,299.99 4GB 4TB TS-X4.0TL/R5. Both new TeraStations support RAID Level 0 and 1 configurations, hot-swappable drives, and Mac OS X's Time Machine feature, sport a pair of USB ports with printer server capabilities, and can work as a DLNA media server. They also have power-saving features like a scheduler that can automatically shut down the device during off hours. With room for more drives, the TeraStation III also offers RAID Level 5 support.

Buffalo LinkStation ProOn the consumer side, the new LinkStation Pro has a sleek look and competitive pricing: $209.99 for the 500GB LS-XH500L and $299.99 for the 1TB LS-XH1.0TL. While it has many of the features you see in competing NAS drives—a pair of USB ports, DLNA server support, Web access to your files— it stands out with an iPhone app that lets you access those files on your phone, including streaming media content. The one-year warranty's a little on the thin side, however. I hope to take a look at one when they become available soon, so stay tuned.

Topics: Hardware, Networking, Storage

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7 comments
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  • reviews

    if you can, please post reviews of the devices (especially the new NAS's). thanks.
    reverseswing
  • Ed: proof reading skills needed .....

    "There?s also the TeraStation III (pictured), which can handle four drives, and comes in the $1,299.99 2TB TS-X2.0TL/R5 and the $2,299.99 4GB TS-X4.0TL/R5"

    So for 1 Grand more I get a measly 4GB hard disk ? Me thinks that should be 4TB ....
    Linux_4u!
  • Worst Customer support EVER!

    Buffalo support is either criminally negligent or at least spectacularly inept.

    I have been struggling with a Linkstation II that refuses to stay connected to the LAN for almost 1 year.

    Most of my support emails went unanswered. Those that they did deign to respond to took weeks. I finally cajoled them into taking a look at my defective unit (shipped at my expense in the original box).

    I heard nothing from them for the better part of a month (fortunately I did set up and receive a UPS delivery email). One day, a plain unmarked box landed on my front porch with a NAS in it, and nothing else. No repair tag, explanation letter, invoice, instructions... nothing. I have no idea if this was my origial unit, a refurb or whatever (I forgot to write down the serial number before I shipped it to them... oops) I have no idea if they ever even looked at it, or just put it in another box and sent it back. The later is likely, as the identical problem resurfaced almost immediately.

    More unanswered pleas for help ensued. Eventually, I received a snotty email informing me that they had sent me an RMA, and nothing else (not even the alleged new RMA). I have since gotten no response from multiple email attempts, and am left with an expensive door stop.

    I will never again buy a Buffalo product.
    mitch@...
  • Who cares about Buffalo's routers? I want more info on their NAS.

    I'm not clear on this relabeling gear to differentiate the consumer & business lines. I have a TeraStation (the original) purchased a couple years ago for home use. I never saw it advertised or promoted for business use. I bought it specifically because it had RAID 5 capability, and if I'm storing all my family photos on disk, I certainly don't want to be at risk of losing them to a single disk failure. When I last looked at LinkStations, they were all single disk or non-raided disks. Why would Buffalo (or any consumer-oriented NAS maker) seemingly push consumers away from RAID? And why are those "business oriented" arrays so expensive? I paid about 500 bux for a 4-disk, 1-TB actual/750 GB useable, RAID 5 array a couple years ago ... this stuff should be getting cheaper, not more expensive! What gives?
    Gravyboat McGee
  • Great News

    The best Wireless-G router I ever got was a super-inexpensive Buffalo WHR-HP-G54. I still use it today. Not only can it send (and receive) a signal nearly as far as wireless-N, but you can load the DD-WRT firmware onto it.

    The thing has never had so much as a hiccup, and obviously has survived the test of time.

    I have no idea about the complaints about their customer service, because I never needed it. The only thing I know about Buffalo is that they made great wireless routers, and I am very happy to see their return!
    Speednet
  • RE: Buffalo Tech returns to the router game, updates NAS lineup

    Are there any performance/range comparison documentation between the new Buffalo routers and possibly Linksys and/or Netgear, D-Link, Zyxel, etc?
    mrsimonsez@...
  • RE: Buffalo Tech returns to the router game, updates NAS lineup

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