The ASUSTOR AS-604T is landing in New Zealand thanks to Dove Electronics and I had one here for a few weeks to test it. The AS-604T is a four bay NAS with its own operating environment called ADM.
You access and manage ADM and its applications through a web site available on your ASUSTOR when you first start it. While it's a pleasant implementation in terms of visuals, it lacks a bit of the refinement we see in other environments from competitors. But this doesn't make it less powerful. It is actually a very easy to use environment with almost everything being guided by wizards.
Disk management for example is a breeze. When I got the AS-604T here I decided to blow the existing storage volume and in doing so it automatically offered to create a new one for me, including options for performance or reliability. If you have the four bays full it will default to RAID 6 and use the maximum available - for example with four 1 TB WD drives you end up with 1.79 TB storage available.
Obviously we know that RAID is not completely error proof and backup is important. The ADM offers support for a variety of backup strategies out of the box, including remote sync, FTP, external storage backups and cloud backups using Amazon S3.
Local users and group management is very easy and allows flexible security management when combined with shared folder access rights.
Users can access shared folders via a variety of services, including CIFS/SAMBA, Mac File Service, FTP, WebDAV and others. The AS-604T can also be used as a Time Machine repository.
Like other modern storage devices the AS-604T allows users to extend its functionality by installing "apps". Those apps fall in different categories, including blogs, message boards, databases, education, eCommerce, media servers, office productivity and more. The AS604-T also supports MySQL and will host websites for you.
For example in Media Server you will find a Plex Media Server, DVBLink TV Server, iTunes server, UPnP Media Server and so on. Under Office you will find CRM platforms and document management tools.
This makes the AS-604T a flexible tool for use in a small office, home office or as a storage/digital content distribution solution for enthusiasts.
The AS604-T comes with a number of inputs, including two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports.
Two ethernet adapters allows you to aggregate those for improved bandwidth or fallback support, including options to use different aggregation modes (round-robin, active backup, XOR, 802.3ad, Adaptive Transmit Load Balancing and Adaptive Load Balancing.
In terms of network the AS-604T is so far the fastest NAS I had around here. Using a gigabit LAN connection I managed to copy large ISO files (mainly Windows 7 and Windows 8 MSDN ISO files) and thousands of smaller files (digital photos in JPEG format) with peaks of 90 MB/s, almost three times faster than my existing Synology NAS.
But not everything is fast like that. The Intel Atom 2.13 GHz dual core processor had a hard time when I tried to stream some HD content via the Plex Media Server, failing to properly decode the content. It had no problem with lower resolution content (720p) from our digital camera though.
The unit is very quiet and the LED display in the front is pretty handy when you need to get information quickly. It also goes to a deep sleep helping reduce power consumption and comes back alive pretty quickly when a network request arrives.
- Very easy to configure NAS
- A good variety of apps
- Flexible settings
- Fast network performance
- Some apps still evolving and need some development to get features up to levels found in other NAS models