I’m an old man so I’m only slowly getting used to the idea of storing all my data in the cloud. I’m still very much a fan or a good old-fashioned hard drive, which was the way we’d take all our data with us in my day. Buffalo’s Ministations have always been a great way to carry a lot whilst only costing a little so we were delighted to get to play with their latest incarnations.

Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacity the USB 3.0 devices offer high-speed data transfers of up to 5 GB/s. I found that they work really well with modern routers as you could set them up as a Network Drive without having to worry about an additional power lead. Transfer speeds were reliably fast – anything that wasn’t a giant movie file zipped along and it was great for backing up working documents and media files without long waiting times. However it’s not really designed for intense work – I designated it as a scratch drive for a video project and notice the slight lag that would probably become frustrating over time.

The drives are, as all external hard drives should be, small and unobtrusive, with a cool understated pattern on the front. The 500Gb version is just 11.5 mm thick, super quiet and a mere 165 grams in weight.

Need a quick and easy solution for shuttling documents around? Or a simple way to get into backup or shared storage networking? The ministations are great devices. Need something a bit more hardcore for music or moving image work? Look a little higher in the range.

The MiniStation family is compatible with all popular operating systems, including Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP and Mac OS X 10.6 or later. The new MiniStation devices are available from Buffalo’s online UK distributors, which includes Dabs, Amazon and eBuyer, at an SRP of:

500GB: £46.99 inc VAT
1TB: £66.99 inc VAT
2TB: £159.99 inc VAT