PROS / It includes military-grade shock resistance and is water and dust proof.
CONS / Automated data backup can only be scheduled in hourly increments.
VERDICT / Although its data backup software leaves a bit to be desired, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is rugged and durable, allowing you to take it just about anywhere.
Due to its ruggedized construction, military-grade shock resistance, water and dust resistant casing, and hardware-based encryption, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is among the best portable external hard drives available. Although it’s not encased in rubber, the inclusion of internal bumpers that absorb shock keep the hard disk safe from damage if dropped or impacted.
The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC connects to your computer for the transfer of data files by way of an integrated USB 3.0 cable. The drive and provided USB 3.0 cable are also reverse compatible with USB 2.0 technology. This external hard drive’s recognition time, which is the length of time that the average computer takes to recognize the external hard drive when it’s plugged in via USB port, is a brief five seconds. It comes in two storage options: 1TB and 2TB.
The MiniStation Extreme NFC has software that enables you to schedule automatic data backups from your computer to the drive. One limitation is that backups cannot be scheduled in weekly or monthly increments, and are limited to hourly backups up to 24 hours in advance. The software interface is a bit complex, which you may find challenging, and there is no wizard to walk you through the installation process.
Additional software security features include hardware-based encryption, which allows you to password protect the drive. You can also use the included NFC smart card, which enables you to bypass password entry to gain access to the drive.
The external drive weighs 10.5 ounces and measures 5.5 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches. Although it is encased within a plastic chassis, it was manufactured with military-grade shock resistance and, according to the manufacturer, can be dropped from a height of 3.9 feet (1.2 meters). It is also dust and water resistant, but not waterproof.
Backed by a three-year limited manufacturer warranty, the MiniStation Extreme also offers technical support that can be reached via an online contact form. The Buffalo website also includes numerous support avenues, including FAQs, online forums and downloadable documentation.
One of the best available portable external hard drives on the market today, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is both rugged and highly versatile. The convenience of its integrated USB cable is of additional appeal for those who like to travel light. Some limitations, like the ability to only program automated backups in hourly increments, may cause you to seek out data backup software from a third party, but this may be a minor consideration for those more interested in durability over software functionality.