It's true what they say about NAS boxes, once you've had one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without.
With the everyday consumer now armed with a multitude of devices both in and out of the home, centralised storage makes implicit sense. Trouble is, network-attached storage (NAS) - and indeed networking in general - continues to be perceived as costly and complicated.
One product that hopes to change that notion is Buffalo's LinkStation Pro - a compact NAS that promises high performance, dependability and ease of use.
Available in 1TB or 2TB capacities - priced at around £150 and £200, respectively - the LinkStation Pro measures just 45mm x 156mm x 175mm and comes finished in a glossy-black plastic that'll tuck neatly into most home environments.
Keeping things simple, there are no removable drive bays for further expansion - it simply comes as is - and the built-in 3.5in hard disk can't be removed. Should the pre-installed drive happen to fail, you'll need to call on Buffalo's two-year warranty.
While the hardware is clearly streamlined, Buffalo manages to keep the LinkStation Pro armed with many of the software features expected from a home-user NAS. A built-in DLNA media server makes it easy to stream music and video content to just about any modern media player, there's a built-in BitTorrent client to manage your downloads whilst your PC is off, a USB port for copying/backing up data or attaching a printer, and a 1.6GHz processor at the heart of the system that promises transfer speeds of up to 76MB/s.
Continuing the keep-it-simple mantra, the rear of the device offers just four straightforward functions - a USB 2.0 port used for external storage or USB printers, Gigabit Ethernet, a power connector and a basic on/off switch.
Buffalo's aiming for a blend of simplicity, performance and ease of use. Let's find out if the LinkStation Pro delivers.