ASUSTOR AS1002T 2-Bay Entry-Level NAS Review

Introduction


It isn’t everyone that needs the fastest NAS model on the block with all sorts of fancy features, sometimes you just want something simple, effective, and cheap. ASUSTOR created a great NAS for just such a scenario and dubbed it the AS1002T. The AS1002T is a 2-bay entry-level NAS and today I’m taking a closer look at the NAS, its features, and performance.

ASUSTOR only just released the 10-series a little while ago and these are the first ARM-powered NAS devices from ASUSTOR. Next to this 2-bay unit that I’m reviewing today, ASUSTOR also created a bigger brother to it with 4-bays. However, it is the AS1002T that I’m reviewing today and this NAS is powered by a Marvell ARMADA-385 1.0GHz dual-core processor and comes with 512MB onboard RAM. That might not sound like much, but it should be plenty for normal file-serving and streaming purposes at home. The Marvell ARMADA-385 CPU offers both hardware encryption engine and floating-point unit, but it only consumes a small amount of power; a truly efficient little NAS with a power consumption of just 13.2W during operations.

The diamond pattern on the front together with the otherwise simple black layout gives the AS1002T a great design and it isn’t as boring as a plain black unit would be. It would look equally nice next to your entertainment system or TV as it would in your home office.

The 70mm fan on the rear of the unit provides the cooling and the NAS only produces 19dBA of noise during idle mode and 32 dBA during use. That’s not much at all which is a great thing, a device that will run 24/7 needs to blend into the background and be forgotten.

The AS1002T is a basic NAS that provides basic connectivity. It comes with a single Gigabit Ethernet connection that in itself is sufficient for most personal setups where low-end switches wouldn’t allow for link aggregation anyway. Adding more would just increase the price. You get two USB 3.0 ports that not only support storage drives but also USB UPS devices and printers that then easily can be shared over your network. WiFi and Bluetooth adapters are also supported on the AS1002T

The NAS features a completely tool-free installation with two thumbscrews on the rear of the unit to open it. Once they are out, you can simply slide the case apart and install your hard disks. The hard disk installation is tool-less too thanks to the included thumbscrews. A simple way to make it easy to install the drives and keeping everything cost-effective. The downside here is that you cannot swap slide out the hard drives as easy and during use as you would be able to with an NAS that features ejectable drive trays. Again, that would have been an unnecessary cost increase as most home users won’t swap drives at all. Once it’s running, it’s running.

Thanks to the ARM CPU, the AS1002T is a very efficient little NAS. It only consumes 13.2W during operation and 6.6W during disk hibernation. The AS1002T features automatic standby for both internal and external disks, auto fan control so it never spins more than needed, and power scheduling for on, off, and restart. These are all features that are great for the environment, hardware, and electrical bill.

The LEDs can be dimmed to fit just the scenario you put the NAS into and whether you want to see them or not. The AS1002T also features the LED Night Mode where it automatically adjusts the LED lights based on your settings.

Despite the low power consumption and eco-friendliness, the AS1002T NAS still performs great. It is capable of providing a read and write performance of up to 95MB/s reading and 110MB/s writing with the 3TB WD RED test drives that ASUSTOR used for the specifications.

Besides just being a network connected storage, the AS1002T is a great multimedia companion. The CPU’s built-in floating-point unit is able to quickly process large amounts of photo thumbnails, allowing you to instantly transfer and browse photos at any time. The rich variety of multimedia server applications is able to smoothly stream high-definition multimedia entertainment to devices such as UPnP/DLNA players, web browsers on computers, tablets and smartphones.

As I previously mentioned, the ARM CPU features a built-in encryption engine, allowing data to be completely protected from the moment it is first stored on the NAS. This means that you never have to worry about your confidential data falling into the wrong hands even if your hard disks become lost or stolen. The built-in hardware encryption engine features read speeds of over 39 MB/s and write speeds of over 31 MB/s for encrypted data. This is only about a third of the speed non-encrypted files would have, but it is still plenty for most operations that involve sensitive data.

ASUSTOR’s AS1002T is naturally powered by the ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) 2.5 firmware that provides users with the latest enhanced core functions such as internal backup, shared folder based network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots. Optionally, users can download more apps such as Syslog Server and DataSync for Microsoft OneDrive along with newly upgraded versions of existing Apps such as Photo Gallery and LooksGood. The NAS unit will of course also work with ASUSTOR’s mobile apps for tasks such as system management, file management, backup, downloading, media sharing, home surveillance and more, allowing users to have effortless and continuous access to their NAS while on the go.

Packaging and Accessories

The ASUSTOR AS1002T box is a simple white with all the relevant information right on the front, such as compatibility, basic features, and specifications, as well as a photo of the unit itself. The rear features a few more information in a variety of languages.

Inside the box, you will find an AC power adapter and a power cable that is suited for the region you bought the unit in. There is an LAN cable, software and manual disk, setup guide, and eight thumbscrews to mount the drives.

ASUSTOR Announces Stylish and Budget Friendly 10 Series

ASUSTOR has launched a new line of entry-level NAS devices called the 10-series and it is the first ARM powered series from ASUSTOR. The new NAS units AS1002T and AS1004T are powered by a Marvell ARMADA-385 1.0GHz dual-core processor and come with 512MB onboard RAM. That should be plenty of performance for normal file-serving and streaming alike.

Intel’s x86 based CPUs aren’t the cheapest on the block and opting for an ARM based solution can cut the costs quite a bit. The ARMADA-385 shouldn’t be discarded due to that as it comes with hardware encryption engine and floating-point unit while it only consumes a small amount of power; a truly efficient little NAS.

The AS1002T is a 2-bay NAS and the AS1004T is a 4-bay NAS, but other than that they are the same. You get two USB 3.0 ports where one of them is placed on the front as well as a single Gigabit Ethernet connection. Plenty to hook everything up and get a good performance. The NAS units are capable of providing read and write performance of 95 MB/s and 110 MB/s.

The diamond plate finish gives the units a nice touch and the installation is completely tool-less thanks to the hand-screw design. There is one more minor difference in the two units: The AS1004T comes with a 120mm fan where the AS1002T only has a 70mm fan.

“ASUSTOR’s 10 series was designed with both hardware performance and modern aesthetics in mind,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “The devices also feature the convenient use of hand screws, which allows users to easily remove the outer cover and complete hard disk installation without the use of any extra tools.”

Both NAS units feature ASUSTOR’s ADM (ASUSTOR Data Master) 2.5 firmware that provides users with the latest enhanced core functions such as internal backup, shared folder based network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots. Optionally, users can download more apps such as Syslog Server and DataSync for Microsoft OneDrive along with newly upgraded versions of existing Apps such as Photo Gallery and LooksGood. The NAS units will of course also work with ASUSTOR’s mobile apps for tasks such as system management, file management, backup, downloading, media sharing, home surveillance and more, allowing users to have effortless and continuous access to their NAS while on the go.

Key Features for the AS1002T and AS1004T

  • Marvell 1.0 GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • Pre-installed 512 MB Memory
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port, LED Indicators
  • Back of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port, Power Button, Reset Button
  • Hand Screws, Easily Remove Cover and Install Hard Disks Without Additional Tools
  • Supports Hardware Encryption Engine
  • Supports RAID Volume Management RAID 0/1, Single, JBOD (AS1002T)
  • Supports RAID Volume Management RAID 0/1 /5 /6 /10, Single, JBOD (AS1004T)
  • Maximum Supported Capacity of Hard Disks: 12TB (AS1002T)/ 24TB (AS1004T).
  • Supports Seamless System Migration