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Buffalo MiniStation Metro
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Buffalo MiniStation Metro

If you are looking for a semi-rugged portable hard drive, the Buffalo Technology MiniStation Metro is well worth checking out. The attached USB cable makes sure that you always have a cable on hand, while the included extension cable helps when the six inch cable is not enough. Available in a variety of colors and capacities, you should be able to find one to meet your needs.

Without a doubt, the best piece of software included on the Buffalo MiniStation Metro is TurboUSB. This is one application that should become a standard on all external hard drives. The performance increase that I received during testing can't be passed up. The other software, such as SecureLockManagerEasy, MemeoAutosync and ecoManager increase the appeal of the drive by adding these useful utilities. With these you have a way to secure the drive, use it to back-up your data, and finally a way to put the drive into a lower power state.

While a longer USB cable would be nice, having one built in to the drive is definitely convenient. Six inches may work when used with a laptop or if you have a USB hub on your desk, but for many setups the extension cable is just about necessary. eSATA connectivity would be an interesting feature... eSATA is a fast connection type that is growing in popularity, and it would be very helpful if this was available. Regarding the encryption, I would like to see a drive erase feature built in when you enter the password incorrectly; even if it was a user selectable option.

The Buffalo Technology MiniStation Metro 250GB USB hard drive can be found for sale at popular e-tailers such as Newegg.com starting at $79 (US). For an external drive with all the features and included software, this price is competitive.

Taking into account the features, performance (with and without TurboUSB), included software, and the semi-rugged design, the Buffalo Technology MiniStation Metro 250GB USB hard drive earns the Bigbruin.com "Highly Recommended" award.

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