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Thread: Asustor AS3202T

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    Asustor AS3202T

    Introduction

    Founded in 2011, ASUSTOR Inc., a subsidiary of ASUSTeK Computer Inc., is a leading innovator and provider of private cloud storage (network attached storage) and video surveillance (network video recorder) solutions. ASUSTOR is devoted to providing the world with unparalleled user experiences and the most complete set of network storage solutions possible.Today, we will take a look at ASUSTOR's latest 2-bay NAS, the AS3202T.AS3202T NAS was designed for home use, uses the same chassis as the AS3102T but this time we are dealing with a more powerful Intel J3160 processor, backed with no less than 2GB of DDR3L RAM along with support for Intel AES-NI encryption instructions.This allows the devices to use hardware encryption technology to increase the overall performance and access speeds to large amounts of encrypted data while also satisfying user needs for high performance storage, backup, remote access and security.Other components include three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI v1.4b port, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port and two internal 3.5" HDD mounts with support for single, JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes.The 2-bay unit can also output video signal on HDMI and the server can be operated this way without the need of a PC in order to work with other media-center applications, but also the very-useful Oracle VirtualBox or the well-known PopcornTime, which has been recently upgraded to a newer build. It provides multi-tasking and 4K ultra high resolution multimedia playback functionality. Real-time transcoding and scheduled transcoding functions are also provided, allowing you to enjoy an optimal playback experience no matter what device you use.



    Will it be able to exhibit the synergetic power of relatively modest hardware with the company's excellent ADM operating system once again? Read on to find out!




    Packaging & Contents

    Once again at the front of the box you can see one product picture, the model name, company logo and the main product features listed at the lower end as small icons.



    We do also get translations in many languages in the back area.



    Some of the NAS usage modes can be explored when looking on the lateral sides of the box.



    After removing the top cover, we will get to see that ASUSTOR guides us to the download section of their website in order to be able to start the installation process as quick as possible.



    In order to avoid damages during transit, the manufacturer has used quite a bit of foam material inside.



    The server bundle can be found in a separate cardboard box.



    If we take a closer look, we will get to see the supplied LAN cable, one power lead, the power adapter, one installation disk but also mounting screws.A Quick Installation Guide is also offered in multiple languages.




    The Nas

    The ASUSTOR AS3202T's external design is yet another implementation of the company's latest network attached storage system design scheme.ASUSTOR's logo is finished in brushed silver-colored finish recessed into the diamond plate cover, and placed near the top right corner,whereas a black, brushed hard plastic surface occupies a slim vertical portion on the left.



    The ASUSTOR AS3202T is constructed on a steel frame, while its shell that covers the remainder of the sides of the system is composed of black plastic.The textured plastic is reasonably resistant to fingerprints and scratches.



    Neither side comes with exhaust grills.



    Here we can see the stylish diamond-plate finished cover design.There are also no removable trays as the HDDs are installed internally.On the top left side, we will get to see the Power LED, System Status LED, Network Activity LED but also the HDD Activity LED indicator.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 AS3202T also features the LED Night Mode where it automatically adjusts the LED lights based on your settings.Further down we will get to see an USB 3.0 port but also something which would look as an IR sensor placeholder, which is functional since it would be use with a HDMI port.



    What we have at the back of the system is an extremely simple array of connectors.All two HDD bays are cooled by a single 70mm fan located in the back.A Kensington port is also available with the unit.



    A closer look at the interfaces will reveal the power button which on this model is placed on the back side of the chassis, but also the Reset button hole.Further down we do have two another USB 3.0 ports.



    The DC-IN port,HDMI 1.4b connector and Gigabit Ethernet port are located in the lower right side of the unit.



    A closer look would also reveal a close/open sign, which will instruct us when opening up the chassis.



    Speaking of the case opening sequence, we would first need to remove three screws in the back and then pull the cover to the back which contains the upper, right and bottom sides of the whole chassis.



    If we look on the bottom of the unit, we will get to see a small rubber foot in each corner, but also a ventilation grill placed in the front.



    An optional AS-RC10 remote control can be purchased to go with the ASUSTOR AS3202T. It is powered by two AAA batteries(not included). If you are looking to place your network attached storage system in your living room, and use it as a media center PC, this will be an absolutely invaluable accessory. The remote control is very compact, and extremely simple in nature. As you can see in my photo below, there is a power button at the top, with a Home and Settings button under it. A D-pad with an OK button in the middle is present to simplify navigation tasks. At the bottom, you will find the ASUSTOR logo, and a Back button on the left. On the right, a Play/Pause button is aptly labeled with its corresponding symbol. Overall, you won't find a simpler remote control, and I am happy it is quite intuitively designed.




    A Look Inside

    After the fast removal of the cover, we will end up with the left side of the case (the one which supports the motherboard) and a metallic frame which comprises of the drive bay section but also the back area which supports the 70mm fan and rest of the connectors.



    The drive cage does not contain trays for each bay and was design to support only 3.5" form factors.



    The hard disks aren't just held up by the screws when you mount them, they are also supported by the frame itself. This should make sure that there isn't any unnecessary strain on the SATA connectors and thereby also the drives.



    The tiny daughter-board inside the HDD cage provides SATA Data/Power connectors for each bay.The motherboard in itself is very simple and there aren't many parts on it.



    The Intel Celeron 1.6GHz Quad Core (burst up to 2.24 GHz) CPU is located right in the middle and it has a small heatsink for passive cooling. There is a lot of free space on the motherboard as there isn't any need for a lot more in a device like this.



    The mainboard's obverse side only holds the memory modules, which are soldered into place, and a small number of ICs.



    Eight Samsung K4B2G1646Q-BYK0 modules are soldered to the front and rear of the mainboard.



    The CPU is powered by a 2-phase buck regulator, and the filtering caps are by Apaq.



    The PCIe bridge for the SATA connections is held equally simple as the motherboard is.



    The monitoring IC is an ITE IT8728F.



    Here is the PCIe expansion card that hosts all two SATA ports.



    Here is a photo of Texas SN75DP139 ICs for HDMI 1.4a compliance.



    The flash memory has a capacity of 512 MB(ADATA IVM01-512MPHL).



    Close to the battery is the BIOS flash chip.



    Buzzer.



    The fan is from Y.S. Tech FD127025HB.It is a 70mm dual ball bearing fan specified at 0.30A for a maximum of speed of 5000 rpm. The rated airflow is 40.5 CFM and 7.2 mm-H2O static pressure at 41.0 dB of noise.




    Software Installation

    The utility will redirect us to a web page from where we can start the setup procedure.It is not mandatory to go this way, since we can also use the AiMaster utility for the same purpose.



    First we will be asked to specify a server name and a new password for the administrator account.



    The next step relies on the Time and Date setup.



    Network settings can be also customized next.



    The server will then list the detected drives and prompt for a RAID level creation.



    The setup procedure will then show us the steps it will perform until completion.



    This is not all! After these initial steps will be completed, we will be asked to create an ASUSTOR ID or enter up the credentials in case we already have one available.



    We can afterwards log in to the web interface (ADM).




    User Interface

    Right after the log-in, we were prompted to update the server to an even newer software version.ADM 2.6.3 R7I3 via online upgrade to strengthen ADM account security and system safety.



    What's New:
    Upgrade to SAMBA 4.4 to fix a security vulnerability (CVE-2016-2118, also known as Badlock)
    Upgrade to OpenSSL 1.0.2h to fix multiple vulnerabilities (CVE-2016-2105, CVE-2016-2106, CVE-2016-2107, CVE-2016-2108, CVE-2016-2109, CVE-2016-2176)
    Supports two push notification service providers: Pushbullet, Pushover
    Supports 2-step verification

    Change Log
    Fixed:ADM shows no icon due to oversized logs issue
    Fixed:mysql command does not work issue
    Fixed:unable to use domain name which includes to apply Let's Encrypt certificate issue
    Fixed:synchronization task stops after system/Backup Plan restarts issue
    Fixed:?External Backup hangs if the folder contains circular symbolic links issue .
    Step verification provides additional security for your ADM account. After configuration, in addition to your ADM account password, you will also need a phone verification code to sign in to ADM. With 2-step verification, you can protect ADM account privacy and ensure data security with both a password and your personal mobile device.
    Supported authentication app:
    Windows phone: Authenticator
    Android、iOS、Blackberry: Google Authenticator




    Pushbullet and Pushover provide push notification services over networks. These services are available on multiple devices, across different platforms and major Web browsers without costing any extra fees. ASUSTOR NAS now integrates Pushbullet and Pushover notification agents into ADM. Any system event can now be pushed to your phone, mobile device, or PC instantly, shortening your response time.



    Some pre-defined shared folders were also created by ADM, which is quite handy for our testing purposes.



    Let's go back to ADM and take a closer look.ADM does also come with a small presentation of the interface right after we log in.



    The GUI presents itself like a tablet OS, with large icons and if we have more applications installed, they can split through multiple pages.



    Let's dig in and check out the Settings area first, from where we can modify the system-wide settings. First we've got the General area, which takes care of the port settings/auto log-out timer but also the page style.



    Next we've got the Network settings available along with Wi-Fi (if a compatible dongle is connected) and Proxy settings.



    VPN options can be also set up from the next menu.



    Regional options come next with Date & Time setup, Time zone and System Language.



    The Hardware area will allow working with LED options, Buzzer behavior, adjust Power Management options for the system and drives, more Power options and also Fan Control.



    Notification options can be also altered from the next menu.



    ADM Defender area takes care of the Firewall options and Network Defender will allow us to specify trusted/black lists.



    ADM Update will work with the online services for keeping our server up to date.



    Recycle Bin options can be configured next and here we do also have the option to clear its current contents.



    Energy Saver menu puts together some of the power saving options.



    Ease of Access integrates the Cloud Connect options via Cloud ID, EZ-Router and DDNS settings.



    The server can be reset to factory defaults but along with this operation, all data on the drives will be lost too.



    The Registration tab will just list the current status of our ASUSTOR account.




    User Interface Pt 2

    Access control is where your users, groups, app privileges, and shared folders reside. Users can be added with just a few clicks and groups can be assigned just as easily to make administrating access to shared folders easy. Shared Folders can be created and added in no time at all and allows for advanced user access permissions.



    The activity monitor presents everything you need to know about what your NAS is doing in a very slick way. The percentage of each CPU (core) is displayed graphically, as well as memory, network activity, disk usage, and running processes.



    After logging in to our account, we will have available to us a large selection of modules, from both ASUSTOR and 3rd party.



    Backup & Restore is handy to each NAS user because we can replicate the data to other NAS servers or different cloud services/storage device.



    File Explorer is the place to go when working with files/folders on the NAS.In order to have all features available and direct access to the drives of the computer we are currently working on, we need to install Java.



    Storage Manager is in charge of creating volumes, spare drives, diagnosing drives and so on.



    ASUSTOR Portal is the ADM application which is in charge of the HDMI interface; from here we will be able to adjust General options, change current Wallpaper, adjust Favorite applications on the list, screen Resolution and so on.



    We can perform cloud drive backups without additional hassles; one example is DataSync for Microsoft OneDrive.



    Download Center is the place to go for downloading our favorite torrents; while the application does support drag-and-drop successfully, we do also have a Torrent Search option.



    Google Drive sync activity does also have a dedicated application.



    If we do have iDevices in our homes, we might as well install iTunes Server for easier multimedia content access across devices.



    Taking advantage of the multiple connectivity options to connect external devices like printers and wireless adapters is all handled in the External Devices application. External storage devices can be configured, as well as an external optical drive. Adding a networked printer is also available from this menu, along with setting up both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network adapters.




    Apps

    LooksGood is ASUSTOR'S offering for playing back and transcoding video files.



    Media Explorer does allow file browsing; the files will be played back in a separate browser tab.The player is based on VLC.



    SoundsGood is an audio player and will display all suitable content after it has been indexed.



    Another sync application is available for the well-known Dropbox.



    ASUSTOR'S Photo Gallery brings support for multi-level folder structures, increased thumbnail processing speeds, more sorting functions, auto rotation to correct orientation of uploaded images, a concealable side navigation bar that shows album folder structures, an intuitive search function and customizable browsing quality based on device and network environment which provides for an optimal browsing experience.



    Plex is also available offering multimedia indexing, playback and gathering suitable data off the web.



    Still,I was far more interested in how the AS3202T performed with my locally stored media. Navigating around KODI still felt a little slow, compared to most of the dedicated players I see but not to the point where it is anything like an issue. Where it mattered, with actual playback of a wide variety of files, the AS3202T would actually rank among st the best players I've used and I'am not embarrassed to say that came as a pretty big surprise.



    In terms of video playback the built-in Intel chip of the Asustor AS-3202T proved perfectly capable of switching refresh rates at 24/23.976, 25, 30/29.97 and 60/59.4 and 50Hz at all resolutions.More impressively, the Asustor AS3202T chomped through all our 4K/Ultra HD files bar 10-bit HEVC encodes but, again unlike last time, 8-bit HEVC proved no problem whatsoever. The only relatively routine video it failed with was VC-1 files at 29.97 frames per second but the far more common VC-1 at 23.976fps was handled perfectly. There's no support for frame-packed 3D, either ISO or MKV, but both would play back in 2D fine and there's no issue with top-and-bottom or side-by-side 3D content.In terms of support for HD audio codecs,I am very pleased to report the Asustor AS3202T played everything I had perfectly.My test files include regular DD/DTS 5.1 in addition to 5.1/7.1 DTS-HD MA/HR as well as Dolby TrueHD 5.1/7.1. Although I don't have an AVR supporting either Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, the assumption would be they would also play fine given they were passed-through as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA 7.1, respectively.As per previous testing, there were zero problems when distributing six separate 1080p videos to six devices simultaneously without the Asustor AS3202T seeming to break sweat and it perhaps might possibly be capable of more but I'd run out of displays on which to test.I can't attest that would be the case in your home but you should only need half decent networking kit to achieve similar results.I certainly can't envisage many, if any, domestic scenarios where the Asustor AS3202T wouldn't be more than adequate.



    The improved ASUSTOR NVR software for NAS devices includes support for the ONVIF Profile S (2.4.1) standard protocol, interactive electronic maps, the newest version of Safari (8.0.2) for Mac, and comes with an 30% increased display performance on Mac system.The system supports any Profile S certified camera products and the Surveillance Center 2.2 upgrade also further expands compatibility for cameras from AXIS, AVTECH, Samsung, TRENDnet and Zavio for more choice and flexibility.The new electronic maps can provide administrators with a quick view of all the IP cameras deployed and ASUSTOR'S Surveillance Center also supports direct HDMI output.It comes with four free camera channels and more can be bought as addition, but four should be enough for most home users. Couple that with the cross-platform monitoring via Windows and Mac Web browsers, HDMI local output and the AiSecure mobile app, users can stay on track of every action at any time.




    Mobile Apps

    ASUSTOR also have available for us an iOS/Android application which allows us to perform the setup procedure and also control the NAS without the need of a PC. After downloading the application from the store, we can detect the server on the local network.



    AiData is ASUSTOR'S file management app for Android devices. AiData allows you to browse the files stored on your NAS and also share them with family and friends.



    AiMusic allows you to stream music from your NAS to your mobile device, letting you enjoy your entire music collection while on the go.



    AiFoto is a photo app that interfaces with the Photo Gallery online photo album on ASUSTOR NAS devices to let users manage and view photos from the convenience of their mobile devices. AiFoto gives users the power to free up storage space on their mobile devices by backing up photos to their NAS while giving them the freedom to browse their photo collection while on the go.AiFoto features a refined and elegant user interface while providing an intuitive user experience. It features a plethora of customizable configurations such as one-touch uploads of mobile device camera rolls, storage capacity limit notifications during downloads, and upload conditions. Users are able to configure the app to only upload during certain conditions such as while using WiFi, while on a specific WiFi network or when the battery is being charged helping them to avoid incurring additional data charges.



    Playing movies and tv shows is becoming a bigger part of users life every day and the solutions to do so become easier as well. ASUSTOR already had a pretty good coverage on the area with AirPlay support, KODI and XMBC media players, as well as UPnP and DLNA streaming. But one had been missing so far and that was the official Chromecast support.That is not an issue anymore as the new AiVideos mobile app now supports Chromecast multimedia streaming playback, bringing the big screen entertainment experience to the last few ASUSTOR users who couldn't already enjoy it. After linking with Chromecast, AiVideos turns into a remote control allowing users to pause, fast-forward, adjust the volume and even configure subtitles at the touch of a finger.



    Used in concert with ASUSTOR'S Surveillance Center, AiSecure lets users take snapshots, record video, control PTZ functions on cameras and receive push notifications, allowing users to stay in sync with all the latest developments on their surveillance feeds.



    AiDownload is a convenient and easy to use, remote administration tool that interfaces with the ASUSTOR Download Center application on ASUSTOR NAS devices.This enables you to manage and monitor what your NAS is transferring while on the go.



    The all new AiRemote app turns your mobile device into a remote control for ASUSTOR Portal. Now you can control XBMC, Surveillance Center and browse the Internet from the comfort of your own couch!




    Test System & Methology

    I now begin the benchmark portion of this article, but first let me show you my test system and the software I used:

    OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD
    Mainboard X79 MSI GD65 - Intel SATA 6G controller in AHCI mode
    Processor Core i7 3960X at default configuration
    Graphics Cards GeForce GTX 580
    Memory 16 GB (4x 4096 MB) DDR3 1600 MHZ
    Power Supply Unit 1200 Watt
    Monitor Dell 3007WFP - up to 2560x1600
    OS related Software Windows 7 64-bit SP1




    Using two HDD's (Seagate Barracuda 1TB XT 7200RPM)for testing the NAS.




    Performance NASPT

    As you can see it's capable of pumping data around your network at 113MB/s.



    RAID0



    Raid1



    SHR



    CrystalDiskMark




    Temperature,Power Consumption & Output Noise


    Power consumption is in keeping with previous models, consuming only 10 watts when idle and rising to around 14 watts under load(1 Disk).Even if this was left on 24/7 it wouldn't significantly impact an electricity bill over the course of a year.



    The Asustor AS3202T is almost silent when idle.When you load the drives the fan spins up to counter the rising internal temperatures.You certainly wouldn't notice this device running against the noise of a standard desktop computer,for instance.



    The Hard Drive temperatures tend to sit at around 29 degrees C when under general every day operation,and increase to 40c when you start copying files across.



    Conclusion

    The AS3202T is the member from ASUSTOR and I have to admit that it doesn't have much to be jealous of its more high-end brothers something which is also evident from the results recorded in my charts.The diamond pattern on the front together with the otherwise simple black layout gives the AS3202T 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 NAS does also come with three USB 3.0 ports to which we can install different other storage drives, but also compatible Wi-Fi dongles, printers, UPS systems and so on.It has a built in HDMI 1.4b port for 4K video output support, and a hardware transcoding engine for improved performance. You can even throw in an optional remote, and turn it into a full-fledged media center system. Sure, you will see some frame drops if you are playing a 4K video while the system is busy with other tasks, but for most regular home workload environments, I do not foresee this to be a significant problem.If we do not have the server placed in a convenient area near the TV screen, we can always use the supplied ADM modules for working with multimedia content as SoundsGood, LooksGood or even Plex which is a multi-platform media center application. For browsing photos we do also have the Photo Gallery application which houses many of the features we have also seen from other manufacturers.ADM is always complemented by mobile applications like AiMaster which we have covered previously, AiRemote, AiData, AiFoto, AiDownload and more for setting up and controlling the NAS from a distance via smartphones or tablets.It still suffers from some issues the AS3102T had.The lack of HDD trays most likely won't be a set-back for home users who will install their HDDs once, without bothering with them afterward unless more storage space is required or one dies.As the AS3202T does not come with official support for 2.5" drives, but only 3.5", these can be installed with ease thanks to the included thumbscrews but the bays do not feature any vibration-dampening properties.It would also be nice if the end user could upgrade the amount of RAM inside the AS3202T but again for a home and small office NAS 2GB should suffice. Placing the power button at the rear also seems a bit strange and if you decide position the AS3202T somewhere high with its back on the wall you may not be able to turn it on and off just as easily as you would had the power button been at the front just like with the majority of NAS servers out in the market.



    The best aspect of this product is definitely its high performance-per-dollar ratio, which I believe will make it claim a good portion of the market pie in this category.ASUSTOR is on full frontal attack in terms of price and performance, the AS3202T is simply a terrific product that easily outclasses any NAS in this price range.Combined with the ADM software suite and applications this low power unit will be a terrific choice for a home server.If you are looking for a full featured 2-bay system that will exhibit the synergistic power of relatively modest hardware with the company's excellent ADM operating system, the AS3202T is a fine example of something that does it all. Seriously,$297 covered with a three year warranty ... that's worthy of my hard to Great Job award.

    Last edited by testman78; 06-26-2019 at 10:45 PM.

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