PROS / The preloaded Buffalo Tools software is a useful addition to this drive.
CONS / The lack of a sleep mode and power switch may hurt the life of the device.
VERDICT / The DriveStation Axis Velocity's balance of usability, design and security options make it an excellent digital storage device.
Buffalo Americas is fairly well known for its digital storage solutions, and the DriveStation Axis Velocity is a solid desktop external hard drive. It combines high usability, high-quality design and good security features to give you one of the best desktop external hard drives available. The Axis Velocity earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award – thanks in no small part to the pre-installed Buffalo Tools software.
Ease of Use
We noticed the absence of any type of sleep mode on this external hard disk. Even when your computer goes into sleep mode, the Axis Velocity runs as fast as ever. The LED indicator does not change color or show any change in status. In addition, without an off switch, the DriveStation Axis Velocity always stays on as long as it's plugged in. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you have set the desktop external hard drive for scheduled backups, but it may hurt the life of the device in the long term. You'll also want to look at power consumption, because the drive continually eats up electricity.
For the most part, external hard drives come with preloaded software. Instead of just acting as an oversized flash drive, the software lets you control and customize your backup files. The real benefit to this digital storage device is the addition of the Buffalo Tools software. With this software, it's easy to schedule backups and restore documents from your backups.
The personal cloud storage through WebAccess is a great bonus. You have to configure your router and firewall settings, but once you do, you can access your files from any internet connection. The downside of Buffalo Tools software is that it is not compatible with Mac operating systems.
There are three models available in the Axis Velocity series, ranging from 1TB to 3TB in size. All of them have USB 3.0 interfaces, which gives you access to quick data transfer if your computer is USB 3.0 capable. The drive's enclosure is a sleek black box that should look at home next to most other consumer electronics. Keep in mind that since the drive doesn't have a sleep mode or an off switch, the blue activity LED is always on. In a bedroom, the light is bright enough to be annoying.
In terms of security, the DriveStation Axis Velocity is impressive. It uses 256-bit AES hardware encryption. That protection, along with the password you choose at setup, keeps your files secure. There's also a Kensington hardware slot on the drive, which enables you to lock the Axis Velocity to a desk, table or anything else. This prevents potential thieves from easily grabbing the hard drive – and your data.
As with any consumer electronics, the support options are an important consideration in case something goes wrong or doesn't work like it's supposed to. The Axis Velocity comes with a two-year limited warranty. That's a fair amount of time for you to notice any factory defects, but three-year and longer warranties are common in the hard drive industry.
The online manual can help you learn about your hard drive and troubleshoot any problems you have. FAQs are also available on Buffalo America's website. If those resources fail you, then you can contact the support team via phone or email.
The DriveStation Axis Velocity from Buffalo Americas is one of the best external hard drives, coming close to the top. Its combination of usability, design and security features is impressive. This device doesn't do much to save power, because it doesn't have an off switch or sleep mode, but the Buffalo Tools software makes this desktop external hard drive an excellent choice. This is a great desktop external hard drive with only a couple of small flaws.