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BUFFALO LinkStation 421e Diskless Enclosure High Performance RAID NAS Personal Cloud Storage and Media Server - LS421DE

  • 2-Bay
  • Diskless System
  • 1 x 10/100/1000M
  • 1 x USB3.0 + 1 x USB 2.0
  • Pin It
  • Email this page
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Learn more about the Buffalo Technology LinkStation 421e (LS421DE)


LinkStation 421e (LS421DE)
IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.3ab


Port RJ-45
1 x 10/100/1000M
Port USB
1 x USB3.0 + 1 x USB 2.0
HDD Interface
2 x SATA (2 x Bay)


Form Factor

Hard Drive Performance

Included HDD Capacity
Diskless System
0/1/JBOD (Individual Disks)
RAID only supported when two HDDs are inserted


Supported Protocols


Internal AC 100-240V Universal, 50/60 Hz


Buffalo's LinkStation 421e Diskless Enclosure provides ultra fast shared storage and backup for all PC and Mac computers on your home network.

Simply add hard drives and connect it to your wireless router for high capacity centralized storage and backup, scalable up to 8 TB.

Equipped with a high performance processor, LinkStation 421e boasts transfer speeds up to 80 MB/s, twice as fast as a standard NAS or USB drive. Additionally, it's DLNA Certified and it can be used as an iTunes server for simplified media storage and streaming. While on the go, easy to use BuffaloLink service allows you to create a free personal cloud for easy remote access anytime, anywhere over the Internet, and even on your iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

With LinkStation 421e, you can back up multiple computers simultaneously and enjoy uninterrupted access to terabytes of storage anytime, anywere.


20-80% Humidity (non-condensing)

Package Contents

Package Contents
LinkStation 421e, Setup CD-ROM, Quick Setup Guide, Ethernet Cable, AC Adapter, AC Cable

Quick Info


  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year

Customer Reviews of the Buffalo Technology LinkStation 421e (LS421DE)

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  • Joseph W.
  • 6/27/2014 5:20:44 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsBRICK

Pros: Theoretically, a great NAS and media server.

Cons: Brick out of the box. Because I could not afford to buy the drives at the same time I bought the device on sale, I had to wait a month or two to get the unit setup. That was a huge mistake. The firmware was corrupt out of the box. First call to tech support ended up with downloading a new firmware version and being told the software would 'find' my device on the network. Not what I read, but ok we'll see. Tech was wrong, the device has a RANDOM SUBNET ASSIGNED. You will take years to try to get your PC to find the device. Call tech support back again. Get told, you can use the USB to update the firmware. Get a USB3.0 cable and attach the device to the PC. Win7 64 bit doesn't even blink when the device is attached. Try the firmware update software again. No dice.
So for all my money, I have a pretty red light that blinks seven times about every ten seconds.

Other Thoughts: So now I'm out a little over a hundred dollars for this brick because it's outside the RMA window.

Buffalo had a good reputation in the past, maybe that's where it is still.

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Alan K.
  • 6/26/2014 12:28:44 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsSome good some bad...

Pros: Price is low
Gigabit ethernet
2 bays
Raid 0/1/JBOD support
Email notification
Low power, low noise, lot footprint

Cons: You can't have spaces in the user names. This is a problem if you want to connect using your windows credentials without having to be prompted.

The devices stores its startup on the drives themselves. If you put new drives in the device, it fails to start. I found this out the hard way. There is a way to fix this, but documentation does not cover it. Use the firmware updater and modify the updater LSUpdater.ini file so that VersionCheck = 0 and NoFormatting = 0. With these changes you can then update the firmware which really formats the drives and writes the firmware to them so it can boot properly.

Hard drives are in a plastic tray that doesn't allow them to transfer their heat through direct metal contact to the enclosure. There is a fan however.

It seems to choke on heavy loads. While reading and verifying the crc of files I copied to it, one reported a failed crc and the other reported it could not be opened. A later check showed both files to be ok, but I've never had this happen before.

XFS filesystem is incompatible with windows. There may be tools to access it, but you can't just pull a drive and attach it to a windows system and get at the files.

Security is wierd. If you attach to a smb share, then disconnect, then attach again, it will not reprompt for the login/password. It caches it for a period of time I think. This is a pain because you can't disconnect and be truly logged out.

I experienced a slow issue with accessing it from a Windows 7 box at 100mbit, read speeds of <2mb/s that should have been 10 or 11mb/s. My other win7 box at 1000mbit worked perfectly. Enabling SMB2 on the device did seem to solve this issue.

Other Thoughts: The truth is this little unit really has a lot going for it. I almost kept it, but the cons started stacking up.

In the end I thought getting a small slim form factor PC and using it for a "NAS" would just be better for me. I can run Acronis on it, compatible filesystems, reliable security, etc.

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Gary S.
  • 6/23/2014 9:38:59 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat home NAS

Pros: Quiet - It sits two or three feet away from me on my desk, I can barely hear it over my pc's fans and the NAS is closer to me.

Simple/Easy - Set up was super easy in default configuration of Raid 0, but I wanted Raid 1. Click here, click there, let the light blink and do it's thing, usable during that time, after some time, I had 4gb mirrored.

Can use two 4gb drives - acquired the Seagate 4gb made for NAS, those are working like a champ too!

Gigabit Ethernet - finally replaced my 15 year old 10/100 switch with a 20$ gigabit switch, don't know why I didn't do it earlier! Difference was night and day on large transfers!

USB 3.0 - don't plan on connecting an external drive having 4gb now, but you never know.

Cons: The web interface is somewhat slow and choppy, but it does it's job. I spent $105 for a NAS system, can't expect it to be the $500 other variations.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Chris U.
  • 3/23/2014 6:29:37 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsFantastic

Pros: * Works
* Quiet
* UI configuration offers a lot of options
* User/Group permissions
* SSH is enabled
* No problem with 2 x 4 TB drives

Cons: * UI could use some additional TLC

Other Thoughts: * I am using this to power a WD TV Live media device. With 1.5 TB of DVD rips and video clips, there have been no load issues from this NAS so far.
* The device formats the drives on its initial startup, so you have to reformat them if you want to use RAID 1. This isn't a big deal.
* If all other electronics are off in the room, I can hear the fan but the sound is minimal.
* The "RAID Scan" error detection feature takes ~5hrs per TB per drive, and cannot be cancelled during the first run. I had not seen this in the documentation but I may have scanned it too quickly.
* SSH uses your device configuration username and password (default username: "admin"). It is running linux, of course.
* USB printer sharing did not work for me with Windows 8, but then Windows 8 is not working with the printer on my other linux box either. Could be an AV firewall issue.

I am still playing with some of the features but this NAS is working well for my intended purposes so far.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Leon M.
  • 2/27/2014 11:18:07 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: SATA III, easy to program, nice backup options, quiet operation
Fast data rates NAS to NAS and PC to NAS
Diskless - Customize to drive sizes you need
DLNA Media Server functions very well

Didn't try apps... WebServer, BitTorrent, PrintServer, etc.

Cons: Sleep Mode option does not wake on lan. You can not log in to the NAS for administration or access files from a network computer while in sleep mode. The is strictly a hard sleep and is timed by programming. To over ride and regain access, the NAS needs to be power cycled. Opting not use this function. Other Buffalo NAS models have better sleep controls and attributes.

Email report option requires your email account user name and password. Created an email account just for NAS reporting.

Other Thoughts: Purchased 3 Buffalo LS421de NAS LinkStations which are placed on our home network system for DLNA server, Church files, home business files, accounting files, personal files, software, storage, etc.

It is not mentioned in the descriptions posted that these have SATA III data rates and compatibility. You can customize the storage capacities by the drive sizes you choose to purchase or re-use.

All 3 NAS boxes setup and function flawlessly, and extremely satisfied with their operation and performance.

There some are things to be made aware of for installation and setup… especially installing “used” drives (pulls from a computer) that will not initialize.

Compiled the setup information of procedures I had to perform to prep, install, initialize and setup these little puppies, because the supplied instructions are a bit vague. And, you may run into the same issues that I faced, which were resolved by contacting Buffalo Tech Support a couple of times. This compiled info is posted on my company web-site in pdf format (link below).

BTW, Tech Support is excellent and very helpful. It is not my intent to circumvent Buffalo Tech Support in any form, but to share what I have learned and how issues were resolved.

If you have an interest in purchasing NAS’s, personally, would highly recommend the LS421de… on both merits of product and tech support levels. Totally satisfied would be an understatement.

As a final note and some icing-on-the-cake, installed 2 SSD drives (not on HHD compatibility list) in RAID0 config for DLNA media server… initialized without a hitch and works great. The NAS DLNA server works perfectly with the SSDs.

A previous post by another party, “files larger than 2GB… PS3 ‘file corrupted” comment was not experienced. 8GB+ media files serve out to computer and PS3 DLNA clients and to non-DLNA computers without problems.

PDF Link: Buffalo LS421de NAS LinkStation
Filename: Buffalo LS421de NAS LinkStation.pdf

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Steve R.
  • 2/6/2014 11:59:33 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDisappointed

Pros: Great enclosure, small neat, good construction

Cons: DOA, called Buffalo support to attempt reset-NO HELP.. rewrote installation 'ini' file NO help, as suggested from forum. would not boot, LEDs flashed with hard drive installed but still no boot..

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Steven S.
  • 1/29/2014 5:34:29 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsLoss of space to setup

Pros: Great performing NAS. Great Tech support! I have called about several issues, not with the product so much as reconfiguring it with different setups. ALWAYS easy to contact and understand and willing to help! I'd buy there products first just for the great TS.

Cons: See other thoughts.

Other Thoughts: One thin that I did not see posted and that caught me off guard. I have 2-4TB drives mirrored. Formatted is about 3.7TB, but I only had 2.6TB of room for data. Why? well it appears that the operating system, bios and room needed for web access is taking up a whooping 1.1TB of room. I don't know if this is typical of a NAS or not, I'm fairly new to the NAS systems. So if you think your going to get your full drives room for files, rethink.

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Todd V.
  • 1/16/2014 8:56:48 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDecent NAS, Terrible DLNA Server

Pros: It is fairly easy to setup users, groups and access permissions and transfers files quickly (compared to my other NASs).

Cons: I bought this NAS to primarily be my DLNA server for my video collection. It works decently for that - until you have a video file size that is larger than 2 Gb. When I use DLNA from my PC using Windows Media Player, the video plays fine. However, when I try to access the same file using DLNA from my PlayStation 3 (PS3), I get a Corrupted Data error. Files smaller than 2 Gb work fine. I can't believe that the problem is with the file or with the PS3 because I'm able to copy the same file over to both my Seagate GoFlex NAS and my Western Digital MyBookLive NAS and the DLNA access from the PS3 works fine on each of them.

Other Thoughts: I really don't care for the administration console on the other two NAS's, nor do I care for the transfer speeds or lack of RAID1 due to being single drive NASs, so I was really hoping the LinkStation would be the answer. It is looking more and more like I'll need to build a small linux PC to use as a media server.

I'm tempted to rate this only 1 eggs because it doesn't work for what I bought it for, but I bumped it up to 2 eggs since it is at least a decent network storage device with a decent administration console.

1 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 1/1/2014 4:26:44 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggsNickel

Pros: Works in JBOD fine, which is how I wanted it. Over 3/4 full with 2 3TB WD Red. Get 52+Mb/s with Explorer, 44+Mb/s with TeraCopy. Not shabby, would probably be faster with RAID0.

Cons: USB3.0 not so good; not working with any drive bay in hand that has 3.0.

Other Thoughts: Firmware update required a drive be installed - thought you should know. USB2.0 works on USB3.0 connector on front, and USB2.0 connector on back, but USB3.0 not so much. Has Dismount USB drive option that kinda works - wait a little and refresh. Faster on SMB1.0 than 2.0; how is *that* for weird?

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Joshua G.
  • 12/21/2013 12:42:54 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsFirmware busted

Pros: n/a

Cons: Booted the item for the first time, and I got 7 blinking reds...which is a firmware issue. The manual says to "contact Buffalo's tech support".

Not sure what they can do at this point. There's no way to communicate to the device to upgrade/update the device since the firmware is not loading.

Waiting from tech support at this point.

0 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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