Published on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 22:15
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Roughly 7 years ago if you wanted to surf the web or playback your media collection onto your large TV screen you had two easy choices, either build a small HTPC system which you could also use as a download server or opt for one of the newly introduced hardware media players. Things however became even more complicated if you wanted to build a surveillance system to safeguard your property since you could either use the same HTPC (or any computer for that matter) and pair it with IP Cameras or choose a standalone DVR device. Needless to say that if you wanted to be able to do all of the above the more appropriate solution would be an HTPC since not only would it save space but it would also reduce the overall cost significantly. There were two problems with that solution however, first that you'd need to spend more to purchase software licenses (especially for multiple IP Camera setups) and that even a small HTPC would use quite a bit of electricity when running 24/7. NAS Servers changed all that when they entered the market for good in 2009 thanks to their multiple functions, small size, limited power consumption and reduced cost (always compared to a full HTPC system). Well it did take 4 years for people to actually get to know and trust NAS servers but today they've advanced so much both in terms of performance and features that in some cases they can even replace entire server systems. Today’s review is about one of the latest NAS servers to hit the market and more specifically the AS-304T by ASUSTOR which is aimed at Home and Power Users alike.
Founded in 2011, ASUSTOR Inc. is a leading innovator and provider of private cloud storage (network attached storage) and video surveillance (network video recorder) solutions. We are devoted to providing the world with unparalleled user experiences and the most complete set of network storage solutions possible.
ASUSTOR is certainly a very new player in the market but that didn't seem to hold them back since just by checking its specifications sheet it's not hard to realize that the AS-304T is amongst the most advanced mid-end NAS Servers we've tested so far. More specifically under the hood we find an very strong Intel ATOM 1.6GHz Dual-Core CPU (CE5335 SoC model combined with the Intel GMA3600 based on the PowerVR SGX 545 IGP) paired with 1GB DDR3 RAM by Samsung (unfortunately the RAM is soldered to the motherboard and can't be extended). The list doesn't stop there however so ASUSTOR has also equipped it with a total of 4 USB ports (2xUSB 2.0/2x USB 3.0), Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI version 1.4a port and 4 SATAII/III bays compatible with both 2.5/3.5" drives. Surprisingly enough although their ADM 2.0.3 software suite may not be as complete as the ones offered by QNAP and Synology still it has gone a long way since 2011 and offers pretty much everything you'll ever need and then some. To see is to believe however so let's see exactly what the latest AS-304T 4 Bay NAS Server by ASUSTOR is all about.