An Excellent Entry-Level NAS for Your Data

The Asustor Drivestor 2 supplies an total excellent expertise for these getting began with network-attached storage. Whether or not you are an absolute newbie or simply need an entry-tier NAS to begin with, the Drivestor’s stability of energy and accessibility permits you to scale up with out a lot expense hooked up. Whereas there are some efficiency limitations and minor points, these do little to decrease the general bundle.

Specs

  • Model: Asustor
  • CPU: Realtek RTD1296 1.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Reminiscence: 1GB DDR4 (not expandable)
  • Drive Bays: 2
  • Enlargement: {Hardware} enlargement by way of AS6004U
  • Ports: 2 x USB3.1 Gen-1, 1 x 2.5Gb Ethernet port
  • OS: Asustor Disk Supervisor (ADM)
Execs

  • Entry-level NAS with 2.5GbE port
  • Good mixture of Asustor and third-party app choices
  • Toolless set up provides elevated accessibility
  • NAS administration and entry by way of desktop and cellular apps
  • Darkish mode and improved search options
Cons

  • Non-upgradable 1 GB of RAM
  • No SSD caching
  • Occasional app bugs and glitches

Purchase This Product

Asustor Drivestor 2 (AS1102T)

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When coping with network-attached storage, there’s quite a bit to contemplate. The Asustor Drivestor 2 (AS1102T) makes an attempt to simplify a lot of this by honing in on fascinating options for a large number of customers. With a tighter deal with house and private use, a smooth design that will not look misplaced in your shelf, and a few severely quick connectivity, can the cheap Drivestor 2 present what you want?

Asustor Drivestor 2 Design


Asustor Drivestor 2 finish

With the AS1102T, we have now Asustor’s entry-level albeit fashionable mannequin. At a look, it’s a two-bay NAS measuring out at H6.5 x W4.02 x D8.58 inches (H165 x W102 x D218mm) whereas weighing simply round 2.5 lbs. For its total design aesthetic, Asustor has managed to maintain it refined with out being too sterile.

The entrance of the unit options an Asustor brand in rose gold and a faceted design end. Neither component is simply too loud; the NAS unit can mix in properly with different electronics.

As soon as powered on, there are 4 LED indicator lights on the entrance maintaining you conscious of the ability standing, system standing, community, and arduous drive. For these wanting to maintain their NAS extra discrete, you’ll be able to modify the LED brightness, modify the system buzzer triggers, and in addition arrange LED night time mode scheduling.

At each the again and the entrance, there are USB 3.2 ports for simple exterior gadget entry. 

The rear 70mm exhaust fan runs quietly; you’ll be able to tweak the velocity settings in the event you want although.

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Asustor Drivestor 2 Technical Specs


Asustor Drivestor 2 cables and thumbscrews

With the Asustor Drivestor 2, there’s loads of deal with its purple 2.5GbE port, permitting for superfast connectivity if in case you have the suitable networking package to pair with it. In the event you’re evaluating this inclusion to different 2-bay NAS fashions from the likes of Terramaster, QNAP, and Synology, you are sometimes coping with both the next value level, hyperlink aggregation by way of two 1GbE ports, or a single 1GbE port solely.

However why does it matter? With the Drivestor 2’s purple 2.5GbE port, there is a attainable increase to your most switch speeds from a possible 100 MB/s to 250 MB/s.



Reasonably than gate this characteristic to larger specced “enterprise” fashions, Asustor has opted to place it on its entry-level unit.

To assist energy the Drivestor 2, there is a Realtek Quad-Core 1.4 GHz CPU and 1 GB DDR4 of reminiscence. To assist make the most of this reminiscence higher, it additionally comes with a media mode that reserves 512MB of RAM for multimedia duties. 

Moreover, on the leisure entrance, you can too transcode, stream and play multimedia in 4K.

Drive Selections for the Asustor Drivestor 2


Supported Asustor NAS grade Seagate Ironwolf Pro HDD options

With the AS1102T, there’s numerous potential energy in each its velocity and {hardware} to your house use. Nonetheless, you will want appropriate drives to your network-attached storage. 

When it comes to its listed specs, the Drivestor 2 helps two 3.5” SATA III arduous drives.

However not any drives will do. You should purchase dependable NAS-grade drives that may deal with the fixed workload.

 For the testing of the Asustor Drivestor 2, we used two Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives. There are a number of explanation why these are particularly properly suited to this Asustor NAS.

First off, Asustor’s Drivestor 2 itself comes with a three-year guarantee; in the event you’re simply trying on the common Ironwolf drives there’s a three-year guarantee to match it. With the Ironwolf Professional nonetheless, you’ve a guaranty of 5 years. Plus with each common and professional variations, there are three years’ price of knowledge restoration.



When it comes to heavy-duty operation, these drives are able to work 24/7 not like the common arduous drives in your pc, they usually’re ready to switch a considerable amount of information to or from the drives. Commonplace IronWolf drives are rated to 180TB per 12 months; Ironwolf Professional ought to be capable to deal with 300TB per 12 months.




With IronWolf Well being Administration, it is also extremely easy to get an in depth inspection of how your drives are doing. After putting in this app in your Drivestor 2, you’ll be able to go into Storage Supervisor and get a way more detailed well being report, whether or not that is temperature, standing, or a have a look at their workload over time.



So in the event you’re searching for a dependable drive to pair with the AS1102T, there’s a wide range of capability choices and value tiers to select from.


Drive Set up for the Asustor Drivestor 2


Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS toolless installation

After selecting what precisely you need in a NAS and what drives you’ll be utilizing, set up can typically show a frightening course of.

 With the Asustor’s Drivestor 2, it’s a totally toolless set up. Each the casing and your drives are held in place by way of the included thumbscrews for the NAS.



So there’s no false commercial right here. After unscrewing the 2 thumbscrews from the again and lifting the case off, it’s a matter of sliding in your drives and securing them on both sides. 

It’s a really fast course of; in the event you’re the sort that’s anxious about dealing with drives it may be over earlier than you realize it.

Getting Began With the Asustor Drivestor 2


Asustor Control Center and EZ Connect apps

Now in the event you’re a brand new NAS consumer, chances are you’ll not know what RAID option to go together with. In the event you go straight in, Asustor’s drive quantity settings display screen provides some steerage by way of what number of drives are required and whether or not there’s information safety with that choice. 

Nonetheless, in the event you’re unfamiliar with RAID normally it is best to get a fast rundown on all of the totally different RAID sorts.

For the Drivestor 2, there’s the choice to decide on: single drive, RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD configuration. 

Because the AS1102T is only a two-bay NAS, I opted for RAID 1 for its information redundancy (the place the identical information is saved on the 2 drives always). This comes at the price of efficiency however does imply that if a single drive dies, you will not lose information. RAID 0 will lead to larger efficiency as information is striped throughout the drives; however with twice the danger, as both drive failing will imply whole information loss.

When you’ve made your selection, you may get the NAS began; it took just a little over a day for full drive initialization.

Accessibility With Asustor Knowledge Grasp (ADM)


Asustor Drivestor 2 ADM app view

Asustor’s Drivestor 2 runs a customized OS known as Asustor Knowledge Supervisor 
(ADM). Nonetheless, that does not imply you’ll be able to’t make it your individual. For starters, there is a devoted darkish mode, customized theme choices, and a totally customizable log-in web page.

When it comes to app administration, it is similar to what you’d encounter on any cellular gadget. Apps may be moved round, sorted into folders, or organized by presets.

Configuring some settings may be much less consumer intuitive, nonetheless. Managing your shared folders by way of the Entry Management app, as an example, versus File Explorer, would not make as a lot sense. Regardless, whether or not you are studying the way to entry issues by way of Asustor School or trial-and-error, a fast search can assist you get the place you want a lot sooner.



Sometimes, you’ll be able to enter a partial key phrase and discover the app you need on the shop. Nonetheless, in the event you use some extra normal phrases like sync or DLNA, chances are you’ll not get the app you’re after. In the event you don’t get the outcomes you need, you’re higher off coaching your self to be extra precise in your search.



Total, ADM provides stable efficiency. I’ve solely skilled slowdown and efficiency dips when overloading too many apps onto the NAS. And this may be prevented by merely disabling apps that you just aren’t at the moment utilizing.


App Selections and Choice with Asustor’s App Central


Asustor Drivestor 2 app central installed apps example

So how straightforward is it to get began with Asustor’s apps? 

In the event you’re taking a look at loading up your NAS and exploring all of the choices on the market, you’ll be able to go about it by way of a wide range of methods.

 In the event you’ve ever used an App Retailer earlier than, you’ve absolutely seen the choice to kind between high apps or the most recent apps.

You too can discover Asustor managed choices or flick thru tailor-made classes.

 Many Asustor apps will provide you with some pop-up prompts to assist get you began or determine the mixing. So there’s a profit there to picking them versus third-party apps in the event you’re unfamiliar.


SoundsGood app Asustor

So how do the apps carry out?

 As one may count on, there’s a plethora of backup, information switch, and normal connectivity choices. 

Plus for house media administration, the likes of LooksGood, Photograph Gallery 3, and SoundsGood present guided media administration for these trying to follow Asustor’s personal first-party choices. They will take a second to synchronize appropriately with the information however afterward they’re very easy.



For some customers, your curiosity will lie in third-party app help. With the choice to run a PLEX server, as an example, you’ll stream your individual media and even reside TV with a suitable tuner. You may definitely go previous the extra normal house use and media-centric functions with full help for Docker, Portainer, and NAKIVO as properly.



All-in-all, exterior minor hiccups or bugs, every part works properly. And there’s numerous satisfaction within the capacity to customise issues precisely the way you need. Whether or not you’re targeted on information storage, media administration, or virtualization, there are a plethora of choices suited to each newbie and intermediate customers.

Bettering NAS Entry and Administration by way of Apps

With the AS1102T, there’s additionally a wide range of desktop software program and smartphone apps for additional ease of use. 

Nonetheless, there are some downsides to those relying on what OS you utilize. For macOS customers, as an example, there are restricted desktop apps accessible (solely Management Middle and Obtain Assistant). The cellular apps do not have these gated restrictions.

Asustor EZ Join and EZ Sync deserve particular observe. WIth EZ Join, it is extremely straightforward to entry your NAS from anyplace utilizing a Cloud ID. Whereas, EZ Sync makes back-up to create a steady backup folder by following a number of easy prompts.


In all circumstances, the apps largely simplify the method. You will nonetheless run into some occasional bugs and glitches with these; you’ll be able to keep away from numerous complications as a newbie by letting these automate your connectivity or NAS procedures.

Using the two.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port


Asustor Drivestor 2 rear fan and ports

With Asustor, there is a normal push for a extra accessible 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ecosystem to your house community.



The standard CAT5E and CAT6 cables you have already got at house help 2.5Gb Ethernet. So there’s no rewiring or something needlessly difficult. 

As an alternative, it’s simply matter of utilizing equipment to unlock that potential as wanted to your set-up.

In case your motherboard would not have a 2.5GbE port built-in, or maybe you are utilizing a laptop computer that may’t be upgraded by way of a PCIe card, you are not out of luck. Asustor has made it straightforward to avoid this by way of its cheap AS-U2.5G2 2.5Gb Ethernet USB adapter. This upgrades your Ethernet to 2.5Gb speeds utilizing USB Sort-C or the included USB Sort A adapter.



Now whereas you should utilize this to straight join your pc or laptop computer to your NAS for upgraded speeds, there are some limitations and it is just a little awkward to arrange correctly.


Asustor NAS accessories



So that is why you must also have a look at a 2.5Gb Ethernet swap. Asustor has launched the ASW205T (“Swap’nstor”) as a cheap entry-level unmanaged swap with at least 5 2.5GbE ports. So whether or not you’re trying to hold that sooner connectivity throughout a number of NAS models or to enhance issues just like the AS1102T’s obtain velocity, it’s a straightforward improve that is so simple as plug and play.




When evaluating switches, the Swap’nstor sometimes runs cheaper than QNAP’s unmanaged swap. And in the event you’re utilizing the AS-U2.5G2 USB adapter in conjunction, It’s extremely straightforward to notice your connectivity at each step of your set-up by the uniform LED indicator lights. Reasonably than having to verify your community connection in your NAS, you’ll be able to inform at a look whether or not you are related at normal gigabit or 2.5-gigabit speeds.

Efficiency Testing with the Asustor Drivestor 2


Asustor AS1102T Blackmagic Disk Speed Test RAID 1 configuration

With all this discuss, let’s contact just a little on efficiency outcomes after upgrading our community to benefit from the two.5-gigabit speeds.



To check this, I copied information to 2 individually mapped community drives. In each circumstances, I achieved just a little above normal gigabit Ethernet speeds. 

It wasn’t pretty much as good because the efficiency figures touted by Asustor with the 215 MB/s learn and 270 MB/S write; however these are carried out below excellent lab circumstances. 



Secondly, I used AJA System Check and Blackmagic Disk Pace Check to do learn and write assessments for a 1 GB file of variable resolutions.


Asustor AS1102T AJA System Test RAID 1 configuration

Efficiency outcomes right here ought to be saved in thoughts that it’s carried out below a security set-up with RAID 1 with NAS-grade 7200RPM spinning HDDs, so these are the limiting issue slightly than the community.



To actually benefit from that added community velocity and obtain nearer to Asustor’s claimed outcomes, you will both want to make use of solid-state drives (SSDs) for RAID 1, or mix two common HDDs in a RAID 0 configuration (striped for successfully double the efficiency in comparison with working individually).

Ought to You Purchase the Asustor Drivestor 2

For whether or not you buy the AS1102T, it boils all the way down to what you’re anticipating by way of efficiency. 

As an illustration, there’s no choice to improve the included 1 GB of RAM on the gadget, so your capacity to run digital machines or a number of Docker containers might be restricted. I sometimes seen the NAS hovering between 50-80% reminiscence utilization with a traditional quantity of apps put in.

Equally, there’s no choice for issues akin to SSD caching. You will get higher efficiency through the use of SSDs as the primary storage drives, however normally, in the event you’re an fanatic or creator that already is aware of you want extra efficiency or desires extra RAID choices from the go, chances are you’ll want to look throughout Asustor’s different picks or use their NAS selector instrument.




In case you are somebody desirous to benefit from network-attached storage with out spending a fantastic deal, the Drivestor 2 stands out for being nearly significantly cheaper than Synology’s two-bay Diskstation. In the event you’re wanting a newbie NAS that can allow you to discover ways to make the most of its apps and create a sooner, easier-to-access file setting for private use or collaboration there’s numerous worth within the AS1102T.



With a tagline that “it’s the little NAS that may”—that is true normally. In case you have practical expectations of the Drivestor 2, there’s a lot to have a good time.

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