An entry-level storage solution for all the data in your home, the Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T ($ 169.99) is a reasonably priced two-bay network attached storage (NAS) device that offers a handful of features typically found on more expensive NAS products. It’s not often that you see multi-Gig LAN ports or 4K video transcoding capabilities at this price point. The AS1102T is also a solid performer that’s easy to set up, and it comes with a generous selection of apps. It’s our new Editors’ Choice for affordable two-bay NAS devices.
Quad-core processor transcodes 4K video
The AS1102T uses the same black housing as the AS3102T v2 and AS3203T Asustor models that we reviewed several years ago. It measures 6.5 x 4 x 8.6 inches (HWD) and requires no tools to access the internal drive bays. The front panel sports a diamond-shaped design and gold Asustor logo, along with a USB 3.2 port and LED indicators for power, status, LAN connectivity and drive activity. The rear panel contains a 2.5 gigabit (2.5 Gbps) LAN port, a second USB 3.2 port, a reset button, a power button, and a power jack. You won’t find the secondary LAN, WAN, and HDMI video ports that you get with the AS3102T.
The AS1102T is powered by a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of DDR4 RAM and 8 GB of flash memory. A 70mm fan keeps all of these components cool. The device supports 4K video transcoding and can accommodate 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives (not included) for a total raw capacity of 36 TB. Adding an expansion bay module increases the potential total gross capacity of 180TB. This NAS supports RAID 0, RAID 1, Single and JBOD volume types, as well as EXT4 file system.
You manage the AS1102T using Asustor’s ADM 4.0 operating system, which offers a handful of features not found on previous versions. An improved search engine, updated OpenSSL connectivity, and user-friendly web server tools make management tasks a bit easier than on previous Asustor devices. The web-based ADM console offers a Windows-like user interface that makes it easy to create and share folders, back up data, configure drives, and download applications. You can also use a series of Asustor mobile apps to control some NAS functions, although the app lacks the full functionality of the ADM console.
When you open ADM for the first time, you will see a desktop with 14 tiles including Storage Manager, Access Control, App Central, File Explorer, Activity Monitor, Online Help, and settings. Activity Monitor allows you to view CPU, memory, and network activity. You can also monitor drive usage statistics here in a colorful pie chart format.
Tap the Access Control tile to create shared folders and user groups, as well as to assign app privileges. Storage Manager is where you will create and manage data volumes, view drive health statistics, check for bad blocks and other disk errors, and view Self Monitoring Analysis and Report Technology (SMART) drive information. ).
With File Explorer, you can browse and manage files stored on the NAS, assign folder permissions, and share links to files. Use the Backup and Restore tile to configure the AS1102T for remote synchronization and to configure cloud-based backups and create backup schedules.
App Central, meanwhile, is where you access and download over 100 Asustor and third-party apps. Application categories include home / personal apps, business apps, security, backup & sync, web hosting, office productivity, and bulletin board, to name a few.
To change network settings, configure fan speed, and manage system error notifications, use the Settings tile. Here, you can also configure ADM Defender to protect the NAS from malware and enable media mode, which reserves part of the NAS memory to help improve transcoding and media streaming performance.
AS1102T review: easy setup, fast performance
The AS1102T is a snap to set up. After installing two Seagate 10TB IronWolf drives in the racks, I connected the NAS to my router and opened a browser on my desktop PC, which was also connected to the same router. I typed $ acc.asustor.com in the address bar and downloaded and installed the Asustor Control Center software, which immediately recognized the NAS. I pressed the Uninitialized button and configured my time and date settings, as well as my network settings (DHCP or manual). Then I selected RAID 1 for a total capacity of 9.09TB.
The initialization process took a total of a few minutes, but it took about 20 hours for the software to synchronize the drives before the NAS was ready for testing.
The AS1102T got quick scores in our file transfer tests, in which we use a 4.9GB folder containing a mix of music, video, photo, and office document files to measure the performance of reading and writing of the NAS. (Learn more about how we test NAS and hard drives).
Its write speed of 89 Mbps was faster than the QNAP TS-230 (75 Mbps), TerraMaster F2-210 (70 Mbps) and Synology DS220j (87 Mbps). It also managed 89 Mbps on the read test, outperforming the QNAP TS-230 and TerraMaster F2-210, both of which achieved 77 Mbps. The Synology DS220j was just a little faster at 90 Mbps.
The best affordable two-bay NAS
If you’re looking for a two-bay network attached storage device with a multi-gig LAN but don’t want to spend a bunch, look no further than the Asustor Deskstor AS1102T.
This reasonably priced entry-level NAS might not offer the multiple network and video ports you get with more expensive models, but it does give you a single 2.5 Gbps LAN port and provides hardware-based 4K video transcoding. It uses a tool-less enclosure and is managed using Asustor’s user-friendly ADM software, and it comes with a nice selection of apps that let you use the NAS in a number of ways. All of this, taken together, deserves our Editor’s Choice AS1102T award for low-cost two-bay NAS devices.
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