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CNET First Look
The Asustor AS-604T is an interesting NAS server to say the least.Editor Dong Ngo proves that NAS servers can be interesting with the Asustor AS-604T.
-If you think NAS servers are boring, well, you are wrong. Hello, my name is Dong Ngo and this is Asustor AS-604T NAS server. And boring is no way in its [unk]. And that's not because it's I who I'm talking about. Now, first off, this is a four-bay NAS server, meaning it can host up to four hard drives to offer up to 16 terabytes of stored space. It's very easy to replace or install the hard drive through these front-facing drive bays. Up here, it has a small LCD and four buttons for you to interact with the server. And down here, there's a USB 3.0 port and a button to work as a quick backup solution. On the back of the server, it has another USB 3.0 port and four USB 2.0 ports and also two eSATA ports. That is the most amount of ports ever seen on a 4-bay NAS server and you can use those ports to add more storage to the server in case the 16 terabytes is not enough. You can also use those ports to host printer or Wi-Fi adapters. The server comes with two gigabit Ethernet network ports. You only need one port to make it work, but you can use both at the same time for-- either on load balancing, fail-safe, or performance-enhancing purpose and now comes the interesting part of the server which is its web interface and you have to use a computer to appreciate it. And by the way, if you feel robbed by the fact that I'm using Windows on a MacBook Pro, well, do. That's because I'm Dong Ngo after all and you are not. Now, the web interface is what you use to manage a NAS server. To launch a web interface, you either use Asustor Control Center Software or you can just point the browser to its IP address. Once logged in, you'll be greeted with something very familiar. You see these icons here? That's right. It looks just like those on an iPad and they work very much the same. You can run multiple apps on the same time and you can also minimize them into small buttons on the task bar up here. And on one end of the task bar, you see there's a button. Clicking on this will minimize all opening windows. If you notice, it works very similarly to the Show Desktop button on the Windows computer. Now, on the other end of the task bar is a search button. Using this button, you can quickly search for apps or a setting of the server and quickly jump to it without having to scroll around. If you notice, this works very similarly to the Spotlight feature of Mac OS. On each page, you can store up to 15 icons, but you can create more pages and move the icon between them. You can even name the pages to your liking. This is a great way to arrange apps. Overall, this is a new and very nice NAS experience and the apps actually work out very well on my testing. For example, the Download Center app is one of the best download app I've ever seen. You can actually search for what you want and start downloading right away by clicking on it. You can even save the searches too. Now, this Download Center app is probably the reason why the 16 terabytes is not enough for some of you out there. I don't blame you. Now, performance-wise, this Asustor server is excellent. It's one of the fastest 4-bay NAS server I've ever seen on the market. All things considered, I think it's totally worth its street price which is about $720. Now, for more on how good it is, make sure you check out the full review at CNET.com. And when you're there, follow me on Twitter or Facebook or Google+. So, there you go. This has been the first look at Asustor AS-604T NAS server. And by now, if you don't believe that it is interesting, well, you are wrong and that's because I'm Dong Ngo, and somehow, it feels great to tell people that they are wrong.