Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T, video analysis
Sleek design and solid construction
Online storage devices or NAS are not usually products that we are moving to one side or that we have the need to show, hence certain concessions on design issues can be allowed, even so, if they comply and offer an attractive finish, then better than better.
In this case Asustor maintains a good balance as it does not sacrifice design, but it also does not give it more prominence than it should and could imply a price increase for certain materials or finishes that it could use. So what it offers from my point of view is a product that you can physically have in view in any place that does not clash beyond the fact that instead of a black box you would have preferred another color. For example, the soft color that other NAS or network drives do offer. But if you think so, take a look at the images and I will tell you details.
Physically it is similar to previous solutions that we have already been able to try here. With a front and sides that are not flat but play with somewhat striking shapes and that give a certain attractive touch to the overall design. Obviously it will be a matter of taste, but the truth is that it does not clash and provides something more than a simple rectangular box.
Of course, despite the fact that the front part gains attractiveness due to the glossy finish, being made of plastic it is easy that if it is in an area where it can have a lot of friction it will end up scratched. However, this cover that serves to cover the access to the two bays can be removed and an aesthetic product remains. In addition, since the fastening system is magnetic, there are no holes or other type of system to fasten it.
Otherwise, the materials are generally solid and convey quality. It may not be at the top of the Asustor range of course, but it is not far from other proposals of different brands and similar prices or sometimes something higher. So very good and being a two bay model it is quite compact and easy to locate anywhere in the house. As long as you have an ethernet socket nearby or the possibility of carrying a direct cable from the router without disturbing there will be no problems. Although you can also connect a WiFi adapter via USB, but it would not be the recommended option.
Two bays and many possibilities thanks to ADM
Leaving aside the aesthetic and materials issue, which is always somewhat personal and is limited by the price of the product itself, let’s talk about its technical characteristics and everything it can offer a model that is considered “entry-level” or entry-level in all this NAS servers.
To begin with, the first thing to know is that it is a two-bay NAS. That means that you can only use two hard drives, so the configurations you will have access to are JBOD, Single, RAID 0 and RAID 1. Being 36TB the maximum it supports with two drives of 18TB each.
In my case, I tested them with two 4TB Seagate Ironwolf drives, which are specific proposals for use in NAS. So you won’t have to worry about them being active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Something that not all users know and where many problems and bad experiences come from this type of storage solutions. Because using disks for desktop computers is not ideal, since they are designed for other uses and types of access.
Logically, you can also place other drives that are not 3.5 ″ HDDs on this NAS. You can use two SSD drives and you would gain performance. Although the price would go up a bit more if you want to have similar capabilities. And of course, this is not a NAS where maximum performance is really sought but maximum flexibility of use.
In addition to all this, as with other solutions of the brand and thanks to the use of the different USB ports of which I will give you more details later, a total of up to 252 TB of storage could be achieved through expansion units. But if you need more capacity, possibly this should not be the NAS you should buy.
The two bays offer quick access. You just have to remove the cover that covers them and remove the drives through that tray system that even for the use of 3.5-inch drives does not require the use of screws to fix them. Which is always interesting. If you want to use 2.5-inch drives, whether mechanical or SSD, you will have to resort to the use of screws so that they are well fixed.
Known how the storage units are introduced, a review of the rest of the connections and details:
- On the front you find a connector USB A 3.2, the power button, another that activates the backup of the connected external drive and a series of LED indicators to know the status of the device (used bays, network status, USB connection, etc.)
- In the back we have two additional USB A 3.2 and a connection ethernet 2.5 Gbps plus a K-Lock security connector
Ready, as you can see, it is a product that again proves to be much simpler than the Lockerstor that even offered HDMI output and the odd extra, but it is another range and it is logical that there are these cuts. But for the public to whom it is directed, these options will not be lacking, on the contrary, they would be more than enough if they are looking for online storage and enjoy the main advantages of a NAS.
Here, on the topic of possibilities, is where the Asustor NAS operating system comes in: ADM (Asustor Data Manager). In its version 4.0 you will continue to have access to a set of very varied applications with very good performance despite having somewhat more limited technical characteristics for depending on what things, but for (again) those that are asked of this model are more than enough.
With a 1.4 Ghz quad-core processor, 2 GB DDR4 RAM and 8 GB of flash memory, the truth is that both the system when being configured and when using the apps for backup copies, storage, management and viewing of photos, 4K video transcoding, etc., the equipment is unwraps really well.
Access to content remotely is fast, something that is mainly due to the use of the 2.5 Gbps ethernet connection that it integrates. This is something that not all similar NAS offer and the truth is that it shows in use. It is true that depending on the equipment you are using, you will or not have to resort to the use of an adapter, but for future use it is interesting to already have it.
To control ADM you can not only use access through a web browser, there are also applications for mobile devices. Ideal for when, mainly, you want to access from outside the home.
Therefore, although talking about ADM and all its possibilities is complex, because there are many possibilities it offers, this is the basic thing you should know and with which the investment of both disks and the device itself is easily amortized in the medium and long term :
- Personal and private cloud to have all your files accessible from wherever you are
- VPN network configuration
- Photo manager and storage
- Automated backups
- Media server and serial organizer, movies and music
- Web and / or podcast server
The moment you start using some of these options, you will see that amortizing the device is much easier and the investment will weigh less.
Great performance for a NAS at a good price
Use a NAS is not mandatory, especially for home users who do not have great needs when it comes to accessing their content from anywhere in the world or what they usually do, they supplement well with other existing solutions. Even so, it is always good to keep them in mind, especially if you are one of those users who decisions such as the change to be a paid service if you want more than 15GB of capacity in Google Photos does not convince you.
In these situations, the home user who is looking to create his own personal cloud will find this solution from Asustor a solid proposal that combines price, options and performance very well.
Regarding other ranges, it loses aspects such as the possibility of adding NVMe M.2 units, with which to improve performance, but if you require that type of solution it is clear that you should bet on other NAS models. Because here the idea of Asustor is to offer a domestic and personal solution that is easy to manage and above all safe, both due to the hardware used and its software.
In that sense, although renowned brands such as Synology or Qnap also try to do it the best way they know how, you may want to consider this option. Especially if you are looking for entry-level and more basic NAS.
However, you have the last word. For the 269 euros it costs, it seems like a very good option. You have to do the calculations well to make it profitable and investigate everything that it could offer you now and tomorrow, but otherwise there is no doubt that it is a device that you do not usually regret buying. On the contrary, maybe later you think why you haven’t done it before.