Buffalo CloudStor Pro: The Personal Cloud Solution I’ve Been Looking For
It’s hard to believe that truly mobile computing strolled onto the scene just 5 years ago. And in that time, we’ve gone from being thrilled to be able to take some of our content with us on our mobile devices, to glad that we could keep some content synced across all devices, to craving a system that made all of our data available anywhere. Despite all of the efforts made, nobody has been able to deliver a solution that is seamlessly integrated into my workflow across all devices and makes my data accessible. Buffalo’s CloudStor Pro does just that – it instantly and painlessly creates a personal cloud network for all of your data that you and all of your devices can access from anywhere in the world.
In our brief tests the Buffalo CloudStor Pro proved to be an incredible product. A startlingly simple experience coupled with blazing fast performance makes this one of the best and most desirable devices that I’ve ever tried. Uploading or downloading data remotely was quick and painless and sharing files or folders is a snap.
I have to re-emphasize that point. Even from the beginning, the Buffalo CloudStor Pro is painless. To set it up, just take it out of the box, plug it in to your router, plug it in, and then select which model you have on the activation website. There’s no writing down serial numbers or providing special activation codes. No installing software (unless you want to) or providing WiFi passwords. How did they make it so easy? My guess is that Buffalo’s system looks for a signal coming from a CloudStor unit from the same IP address as the computer you’re using to activate the device. But don’t worry, if their system doesn’t automatically find your new drive (though it worked flawlessly for me), then you can always enter the good ‘ole serial number.
But surely this product can’t be all rainbows and sparkles can it? Oh but it is! Both of my MacBooks and my Windows 7 PC instantly recognized the 1TB CloudStor Pro (there’s a spare HD bay for future expansion). And while the web-app isn’t the most impressive looking application that I’ve ever used, it’s completely functional and responds quickly.
What makes the Buffalo CloudStor truly impressive, are all of the additional features packed into this personal cloud hard drive enclosure. You can truly tell that the folks building this are using this at home themselves. The single 1TB drive in a dual bay enclosure means that there’s room to expand up to 4TB. No monthly service fees make this an affordable solution at around $250. There are preset options for streaming your media to your PS3 and Xbox 360, optimizing video playback, uploading/printing files via email, or leveraging the built in BitTorrent client. There’s also a host of Backup options for automated home backups (including TimeMachine for Mac OS X and Active Copy for Windows). Oh, and the CloudStor drive will also automatically present you with libraries of your music, photos, and videos from anywhere on your drive, so that you can browse them more easily (or share to Facebook – yes, that’s built in too). And don’t forget the free 5GB of cloud storage. Perhaps what impressed me most was that after enabling PS3 streaming, my PlayStation instantly recognized the network drive. No more dealing with funky workarounds using an extra PC as a media server. THIS is the good life.
Indeed, the biggest downside is that the CloudStor Pro must have an active Internet connection to be of any use – even on your local home network.
All in all, the Buffalo CloudStor Pro has changed me. I once again believe that we can have a completely seamless and unlimited personal cloud solution.