Buffalo gets it. NAS drives and advanced routers aren’t technically for the faint-of-heart. The basic features are easy enough, but to take advantage of the best features can be like rocket science to most. Buffalo has just announced BuffaloLink, a cloud service for easily accessing your home NAS data from anywhere in the world, and they also announced a new router user interface (and router) that has us giddy over its simplicity and usability.
BuffaloLink is a beautiful new “cloud service” where you can access all of your content from a Buffalo NAS drive using any computer of phone from anywhere in the world. The web interface is touch-friendly and extremely familiar to anyone who’s ever used a media center or file manager. There’s no advanced set up, just a username and password. There’s an Android and iPhone app which also allows you to access data, and better yet, you can download (or offline) data like movies and music for playing whenever you want. Best of all, setup is easy and Buffalo takes care of all of the complicated security settings. The BuffaloLink cloud service is free for anyone who purchases a compatible Buffalo NAS drive, there’s no recurring fees. It will first be available with the Buffalo LinkStation 400-series.
Over the summer we reviewed one of the fastest routers on the market, the Buffalo 802.11qAC AirStation. Between us, and no bull, it’s been the most reliable router we’ve ever owned. In 6 months, we haven’t had to restart it once…which is the ultimate test. This year Buffalo will be releasing two new 802.11AC routers with a better price point and better specs. They’ll both feature a dual-core CPU, enhanced wireless performance, beamforming, USB 3.0, and best of all: a new amazing UI. The new UI will also be available from the cloud, anywhere in the world. The interface is broken into a number of touch-friendly icons, where all of the advanced features are explained and made easy.
Here’s a use-case: a parent can log onto the router from work and limit usage or completely stop usage to any or all of their childrens devices (any parent, not just a tech savvy parent). The router resolves all of the device names, so the user doesn’t even have to bother with IP addresses. The router UI will also be accessible from iPhone/iOS and Android devices. There’s a Quality of Service (QoS) feature that allows a user to set the bandwidth priority between video, audio, web, and bit torrent downloads.
The Buffalo LinkStation 400-series starts at $229 MSRP for a 2TB drive (LinkStation 410D), but you could also buy a two-drive NAS enclosure for $149 (LinkStation); both are compatible with the BuffaloLink cloud service. The new Buffalo 802.11AC AirStation starts at $149 for the WZR-D1166HP. We should see a really nice new lineup of all of these Buffalo products around the end of Q1 2013.
For more information, check out the Buffalo CES Press Release.