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Asustor AS6204T NAS Review

Our Verdict

The Asustor AS6204T doesn't bring a lot of new features to the table but it does deliver some that, when needed, make this a unique product. We would like to see it ship with more system memory or a lower price point to compare better to other new NAS appliances recently released.

For

  • The Asustor AS6204T has more IO options than most will ever need but the features are there should you chose to use them. This happens more often than not. Once you have a NAS appliance at home its easy to start offloading tasks to the small low-power box sitting in the corner.

Against

  • This model doesn't give users as much bang for the buck compared to the Asustor units we've tested before. It's still a very powerful system for the price.

Specifications, Pricing, Warranty And Accessories

Another black-box NAS may seem soporific, but the Asustor AS6204T packs Intel's latest Braswell-based SoC. That Celeron N3150 consumes very little power and adds hardware-accelerated AES encryption to a lower price point.

Asustor was actually the first NAS vendor to incorporate Braswell into its appliances. Four models were introduced at the end of 2015 packing Intel's latest: two sporting four drive bays and two others with a pair of bays round out the company's AS6x0xT family. Between them, Asustor employs two different processors. The AS6102T and AS6204T feature a dual-core Celeron N3050 that runs at 1.6GHz and accelerates to 2.16GHz. The AS66202T and AS6204T get a quad-core Celeron N3150 that maintains a 1.6GHz base clock but only speeds up to 2.08GHz Turbo Boost frequency.

The new SoCs come armed with Intel's AES-NI to speed up data encryption and decryption. Most home users probably won't bother with encryption, but any office that works with sensitive information will welcome the opportunity to reduce the compute requirements of keeping it safe. Encrypted volumes are nothing new to powerful storage appliances, but most are subjected to a large performance penalty with the feature enabled. AES-NI helps circumvent this to a degree.

Braswell improves performance further by arming the new Celerons with dual-channel memory controllers. More bandwidth enables 4K video playback with up to 7.1-channel audio, for instance.


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We've come to expect a lot of I/O from Asustor and the AS6204T doesn't disappoint. Its ports expand the number of roles the platform can play, giving it utility beyond just a medium-capacity file server.

Of course, that remains its main job. You get four hot-swap drive bays and a healthy list of supported RAID types. Two eSATA and four USB ports on the back facilitate external expansion in case you run out of room on the internal disks. Further, a single USB 3.0 port up front allows quick backups to the appliance; pressing the button surrounding that port automatically pulls in data from the attached device.

The AS6204T also supports several multimedia capabilities through its HDMI 1.4b port and S/PDIF audio interface. Beyond its ability to pipe out movies, the HDMI connector also lets you see what's happening on as many as 25 IP camera streams (though you'll need to buy extra licenses if you expand beyond four cameras).

Dual gigabit Ethernet ports are responsible for moving data to and from the system. They can be configured a number of ways, though most folks will simply hook one port up to a home or small business network. We're starting to see proper 802.11ad link aggregation exposed on small business routers and switches, which Asustor supports. The AS6204T also includes other network performance-enhancing modes, in addition to some for fail-over.

Pricing, Warranty And Accessories

The AS6204T is already available in the U.S., and we found it online for just over $575. Asustor covers the platform with a three-year warranty that activates from the date of purchase.

Bundled along with the appliance is an external power adapter and two Ethernet cables. Screws are supplied for both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives. Separately, Asustor offers a remote control (model number AS-RC10) for use with Kodi and other supported multimedia applications. The company also sells single- and four-pack camera licenses for Surveillance Center.

  • JQB45
    I wish they would just sell the case in mITX size. Then I could add more own OS and other hardware.
    Reply
  • UKVamp_1
    2 x 2gb sodimm and the max 4 tb ram ????
    Reply
  • Lutfij
    UKVamp_1
    1GB for each TB thus 4GB = 4TB max storage capacity.
    Reply
  • littleleo
    I have the ASUSTOR AS-202TE hooked to my living room TV. Some of the apps are just not functioning as promised but for what I paid it was a good deal.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    8GB max for the system memory. The limitation is from Intel on this processor / chipset.
    Reply
  • HideOut
    Again, just get a Buffalo 441e and put your own drives in it. It's not as fact, but its about $190 for the system + whatever 4 drives you use.
    Reply
  • Xajel
    I'm looking for a 4-bay NAS, it will be my first one.. but I need three more features: Link Aggregation, Upgradable RAM & Visualization.. I know there's multiple options including this I'm not in hurry for the matter.. but why do you guys make a comparison table in each review...
    Reply
  • DaDude1
    I wish they would just sell the case in mITX size. Then I could add more own OS and other hardware.

    There are cases like this available. I looked at them a few month ago (approx. $180 for 5 bays), but finally settled on a node304 (6 internal bays) for my home server. I got the case for $50 (on sale on newegg), added the ASROCK H97 ITX with WLAN ($50 on sale), Celeron G3258 ($44) and CX430 powersupply ($10 after sale and rebate). The memory I used from my desktop (had 32 GB, so removed 16GB and added into the server) and I had as well 4 x 3TB WD Green in my desktop, which I added to the server (plus an old 120GB SSD as boot drive). I added as well a 8TB Seagate external ($200 on sale) and a 5TB Seagate external (paid $120 a while back) via USB3 for backups of the system. Got Windows 2012 R2 DataCenter from Microsoft (free educational license). Running right now on the box Home NAS, MediaConverter, Linux VM (OwnCloud), MSSQL VM, Windows Access Server VM and Windows Remote App/Desktop VM. I have approx. 7 GB Memory free on the box, which leaves plenty for additional VM's. The only disappointing aspect of this HomeNas/Server build is MS Storage Spaces or more specifically it's implementation of RAID5. I get with mirrored drives plenty of throughput, but writing to a RAID5 volume is running between 25 and 30 MB/s after the cache is used up. So when I transfer large volumes of data (some Datasets I use for analysis are in excess of 1TB), take forever to transfer to the volume. Overall the box cost me approx. $250 (excluding harddrives) and I take this anytime over any of the NAS boxes. I tried some of the NAS boxes (QNAP, Synology) and was very disappointed. If you have a bit of time (took me approx. 1 hour to build and approx. 6 hours to install and configure Windows 2012 R2) this would certainly be a better choice.
    Getting back to cases look at the following:
    Silverstone DS380 (8 hot-swap plus 4 x 2.5 internal) for $160
    I believe Startech USA had a case that looked like the Asus or QNAP 4 bay units for approx. $180.

    Reply
  • JQB45
    @DaDude1 - I like the SilverStone DS380B you mentioned.

    Here is a custom build using the SilverStone DS380B that costs less then a Diskless Asustor AS6204T NAS

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    CPU: Intel Pentium G4400 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: ASRock H110M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($67.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Kingston Savage 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($149.45 @ OutletPC)
    Case: Silverstone DS380B Mini ITX Tower Case ($144.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 300W 80+ Certified SFX Power Supply ($39.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Other: Linux - CentOS ($0.00)
    Total: $512.39
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when availableGenerated by PCPartPicker 2016-04-17 05:11 EDT-0400
    All thats left to add is the hard drives.
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    Great, so who do you call for support if something doesn't work right? Also, Linux isn't exactly user friendly for people coming from Windows. You are comparing apples to oranges here.
    Reply