Review: Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro (AS3304T) NAS - 4 Bays - Quad Cores and 2.5GigE for 329 USD

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. ruthan

    ruthan Master Guru

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    Well you can try it.. but always found out that is better to build full blown PC as Nas with Full Blown desktop OS of your choice, that this 1 sided devices.. dedicated to data backup, but not much else.. Its also great to have backup pc, when main is out of order.. Or NAS / HTPC in one.
    Even spec wise.. full blow PC is cheaper and for 329$ you can get better HW.. These boxes make sense, for people without big PC knowledge.. im even hesite to say that they are saving time to setup.. because its not so simple, you have to learn Nas specific system, same as with some PC Backup / Recovery tool.
     
  3. AlmondMan

    AlmondMan Master Guru

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    You get SO MUCH from like a Synology box - stuff that would otherwise either require some sort of license or purchase, or excessive hours of setup. Just works out of the box. It might look like it's not powerful hardware, with a 4000 series Intel Celeron or whatnot, but it's fine. It's the software solutions that you are really paying for.
     
  4. ruthan

    ruthan Master Guru

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    You wrote so much.. but without any example, so it has some backup software and media server included and what next?
    Some Intel Celeron, is always < worse than some low power Core iX or Ryzen APU and you cant upgrade it as with open standard pc..
     

  5. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    A full PC would be better, but building one with parts would cost you more in total. it also uses more power then a NAS. I don't know why you say it is hard to setup a NAS either, because it is really simple.
     
  6. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    @ruthan
    Let's clear this out.
    As many of us guru here, I like to tweak, modify and build my own computer to accomplish various tasks.
    I went the route you suggested, and boy at first I thought that I reinvented the wheel.
    But realistically, power consumption and hours spent to maintain everything and install, update, try different solutions turn out to be a chore.
    I just want to get home and everything just works and I have to do minimal maintenance. And power consumption has to be frugal.
    And yes, as an enthusiast I bought a Synology box.
    Never, ever I thought I would buy this or even praise it. But reality is reality, like or not.
    More so, the SHR and BTRfs snapshot replication is just awesome. And all services you can have in the same box, paying the same bill.

    Examples:
    Synology Active for Business has my work laptop backed up and periodically snapshot. Even IF I get a ransomware , I can boot up from the Synology recovery boot disc, wipe the laptop and restore the last clean snapshot.
    For this alone, it's worth mentioning that Synology has so many fans.

    More:
    Docker with Portainer
    Where I have the following:
    Productivity :
    Bookstack
    Only Office
    Duplicati
    Calibre
    Joplin
    Heimdall
    DokuWiki

    Tools
    Guacamole
    Ubiquity Controller
    Nginx Proxy manager
    Remmina

    Security
    PiHole
    BitWarden

    Multimedia
    Jellyfin
    YouTube downloader
    And so many more.

    As @AlmondMan said, you pay for the software and it's well worth it. And it's less than spending hours maintaining all of it.

    But different opinions, different points of view.
     
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  7. AlmondMan

    AlmondMan Master Guru

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    Yes - but it's clear that you don't actually know what you get with it.
    You don't just get "a media server" - with the Synology device I bought, you get your own personal cloud solution for smartphone photo backup, with AI face and stuff recognition, you get a hardware accellerated video streaming service and an audio streaming service. You get a "onedrive" client, that lets you do data synchronisation or backup. All of which have apps on smartphone that can connect to chromecast devices or stream directly to your phone or other device. You might get this stuff for free in some sketchily maintained opensource solution. Or you can pay for Plex and also get all the crap they're shoving in there with the rest of it.
    There's a easy to use, very powerful user management system, so you can give everyone in your family accounts and granular access to everything.
    There's powerful backup software for running on clients - I figure there's probably some free linux stuff you can setup, I don't know. It's probably way more complicated than the slick and easy to use interface for setting up backup routines on your device, which includes easily setting up an offsite location for backup. With fully customisable retention points, schedules and so on.
    You get Synology's dyndns service included for easy setup and maintenance of all of this stuff.
    Then there's all the other things you can just plug in and it'll run without having to do complicated setups. Like the surveillance station if you have security cameras. Or various enterprise level features that most people will probably never use for managing multiple devices and so on and so forth. You can use it as a DNS server, a firewall, all kinds of things. And if it's not enough to have those things, you can install docker - or if you want to push it a bunch of VMs - and just plug in other things.

    And that's only the start... you can quickly setup and run a website, you can completely replace every service app like contacts and chat on your phone with services that are just one-click installs away and hook in to the user management system. And so much more - easily, without having to worry about when someone will fork this app in to something else because they became unhappy with the direction it was going, leaving one good app to flounder in multiple directions.

    A modern NAS is a full ecosystem, and that's what you should look at the most when looking to buy them. They look expensive, and they probably are if you don't want to use any of the features they provide - which you can just not do. But they're easier, very secure and powerful in their own right, because they're optimized. You don't need a 8 core ryzen cpu and 64gb RAM to host your media and do AI routines on your smartphone backup while streaming to the TV in your summer house in 4k via chromecast.

    To be clear, I was totally skeptical, I had no real idea how this all worked before getting one. I was just becoming concerned with how Google and other cloud providers were becoming more and more restrictive and annoying. Like having multiple countries have different access to media on Netflix or whatever. Having to have 10 streaming services to be able to see some of the interesting things that are coming out. I just wanted somewhere to backup my family's photos and media, and have easy access to said media. And I was worried about the 10+ year old NAS that my dad was running was going to stay alive still - with the same disks in use still.
    So we got a DS920+ for me and a DS220+ for him, and we were both up and running with offsite backup at eachother's house, with personal cloud features like photo backup from phones, and streaming media of all the various media that we have collected throughout the years in an afternoon. And it only continued to surprise me how much was easily possible with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
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  8. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Synology Active for Business has a .deb package. Even in the Linux community, Synology is praised.
    Not to mention you can "trick it" to accept a memory module and upgrade it.
    Not everything is pink and sweet in their garden, but each one can weight the pros and cons.
    And in this review, @Hilbert Hagedoorn pointed clearly at Asus to go in the right direction, a full blown ecosystem that goes in the same small unassuming box.
    @ruthan try to get one, use if for 14 days, return it, THEN give us your opinion. Not before.
     
  9. ruthan

    ruthan Master Guru

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    Thanks for more info, i already had one in the past.. but its 4,5 years.

    Well i dont too much care about opinion of Linux community, band of old terminals lovers, but i would expect that hey would recommend something like FreeNas, or Unraid+something..
     
  10. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Quite a colourful opinions about us, old terminal lovers.
    Quite the opposite of what you stated, but I respect every opinion.
    Maybe I am the GUI young user that you never knew that exists, but whatever.
    Learned a long time ago not to pass judgement or to put people in some type.

    Vast majority of Linux users want more freedom and flexibility. And privacy.
    And after a while, every computer enthusiast using whatever OS realise that time and getting things done quickly are needed.So Asustor, Synology or FreeNAS makes sense.
    Cheers!
     

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