Buffalo Technology MiniStation Stealth

This review is for the Buffalo Technology MiniStation Stealth 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive

Buffalo Technology MiniStation Stealth

I have to admit that this drive may be my new favorite go-to backup drive. When this drive dropped sub-50 dollars, I snagged it, and so far I have been pleased. I have used this device on various computers, including a PC (WinXP SP3), Mac (OS X Leopard), and Linux (various flavors).

Overall, I found this to be a very good drive.

The small form-factor was what caught my attention. It is my smallest portable drive thus far. The unit came pre-formatted as NTFS. It came with a few Buffalo tools, which I didn’t really care much for (I deleted it from the drive). I use my own backup script using robocopy, which has worked successfully for me.

Write speeds were within the range I expected, if not slightly faster. Large files (5GB video files) transferred at 22-25 MB/s. This was on par with a powered desktop external USB drive (25 MB/s). Real-world files (my entire “My Documents” folder) with mixed file sizes and types, transferred onto this drive at 16 MB/s. Again, this was similar to the powered external USB drive (17 MB/s).

The surprising thing was that this drive did not get hot at all. During and after the data transfer, the drive stayed relatively cool (merely warm to the touch).

I have been quite impressed with this drive that I am going to buy a few more as backup of my backups. Only time will tell if this drive will survive, since others have reported that their drives died in a matter of months.

The Buffalo Technology Ministation Cobalt is the newest USB 3.0 version of these drives.  However, it is currently unavailable through many sites.  I will review it in a few weeks.

Highly recommended.

Notable Features:

Back up and Manage Your Files with Buffalo Tools!

Buffalo Tools is a feature-rich suite of optional software included on many Buffalo DriveStation and MiniStation storage products. An

  • Buffalo’s Backup Utility: An easy-to-use and fully featured backup software for Windows PCs thatcan be used to back up one or multiple computers with a single Buffalo external hard drive.  Any or all of the following components of Buffalo Tools may be installed on Windows PCs.
  • ECO Manager: Energy efficiency tool conserves energy and reduces battery consumption by regulating the power usage of the hard drive, cutting power to the drive during extended periods of inactivity.
  • RAMDISK: A simple utility that allows you to create a RAM disk on your Windows PC, creating a small, but extremely fast environment to work on files in.
  • SecureLock: Windows software that provides complete control of the data encryption on your Buffalo external hard drive, providing password protection and software data encryption.
  • TurboPC: Performance enhancement utility providing up to 2x transfer speeds over regular USB 2.0 connections

Other Key Features and Benefits

  • Compact and Lightweight: Super-slim, lightweight design saves space for ultimate portability
  • TurboPC for Windows: Increase file transfer rates, boasting by up to 2X over competing USB 2.0 portable hard drives
  • Connect and Go: Preformatted NTFS and is ready for immediate use with Windows, and Mac and  Linux with NTFS-3G driver.
  • USB Powered: No external power supply needed, unlike the desktop external hard drives.  Perfect companion for your laptop or netbook.
  • Eco-Minded: Included ECO Manager conserves energy by cutting power to the hard drive during extended periods of inactivity
  • Time Machine® Compatibility: Works perfectly with Time Machine to back up your Mac computer

From the Manufacturer:

The Buffalo MiniStation Stealth is a high performance portable storage solution in a remarkably compact and lightweight contemporary form. Simply plug it into any available USB port on your PC or Mac® computer and instantly add capacity or store files to take on the road. The MiniStation Stealth’s compact design occupies minimal space and it’s USB powered so there are no additional cables to manage and no need for a separate power source. Included with the Stealth is Buffalo’s multi-purpose Buffalo Tools utility suite designed to enhance Windows® PC performance and user experience. It features TurboPC, a utility designed to enhance PC performance for up to 2X faster file transfers. Also included, Buffalo’s Backup Utility protects your important files and documents by backing up your PCs to your Buffalo external hard drive and it provides an easy-to-use data restore function. Store, back up and transport your content instantly with plug and play connectivity.


About Ask Conrad
I am a University Professor. A Neuroscientist by trade, and a technophile/geek on the side. My work and research is heavily dependent on computers and state-of-the-art technology. I like Jazz and Bossa Nova. I play the piano, guitar, and ukulele.

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