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Asustor Drivestor 4 (AS1104T) 4-bay NAS Review


Asustor’s ADM (Asustor Data Master) OS is a constantly evolving GUI. The latest version, version 4.0 is a major upgrade on previous generations, so much so, that you won’t be able to roll back the software after upgrading. ADM 4.0 brings with it a redesign of the UI with a login page that now supports themes and custom layouts. There are manual and automatic dark modes to help when using ADM with OLED displays.

ADM 4.0 also sees improvements to the search function enabling live results in real-time including file previews and multimedia file playbacks. A new addition to ADM is Web Center which makes setting up a web server a lot easier than before. Also updated in the new OS is OpenSSL bringing security improvements for SAMBA connections, FTP connections, Rsync server and web servers. The upgrade to Samba (4.12) improves the compatibility and performance of Time Machine, making backups from Macs easier than ever.

The main ADM page shows the major sections of the OS. At the top of the main menu window are five icons; admin, system announcements, tools, search and preferences.

 

The admin drop-down has four options; personal, restart, power off and sign out. The personal section is where you can configure the account password, E-mail address, description, ADM language. In this section, you can also set the theme the NAS uses.

The search icon links to Searchlight, Asustor’s own search tool, designed for running fast and precise searches for files on the NAS. To the left of the search icon is the tools icon. This drops down a window that can display various NAS functions for easy monitoring. These include Storage Manager, Activity Monitor, Users and important log events.

The Preference button gives you easy access to most aspects of the NAS functions. It's divided into three sections; Settings, Access Control and Services.

As with any NAS, disk management, RAID and volume creation are at the heart of things. Storage Manager looks after all things disk related.

ADM provides the Drivestor 4 with a pretty comprehensive set of backup options, to say the least. Data can be backed up remotely (either as a backup source or destination), via FTP, internally, externally and to the cloud. ADM 4.0 brings even more options.

DataSync Center simplifies backing up to multiple cloud services (including Onedrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Baidu Netdisk) by combining them into a single app. It supports multitasking and multiple accounts and allows the creation of a hybrid cloud to keep data safe offline as well as on.

Asustor Backup Plan for Windows provides a backup service that works in the background making sure your PC is constantly backup. It supports real-time file synchronization and should your data be lost, Backup Plan can restore the data to its previous position. It can support up to 16 different plans making it a very flexible backup solution.

Cloud Backup Center supports instant and/or scheduled backups to business cloud services including Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, Alibaba Cloud, Rackspace Cloud Files and Backblaze B2. Cloud Backup Center can also be used to create hybrid clouds.

Asustor EZ Connect (AEC) and Asustor EZ Sync (AES) make it easier to connect to the NAS on a home or local network from anywhere at any time.

A new feature that comes with ADM 4.0 is Web Center.  Web Center makes the setting up of a web server easier, it loads Apache HTTP server and PHP 7 packages by default but more options and packages will be added as future developments.

Both Photo Gallery 3 and AiFoto 3 have recently been revamped bringing new features including new photo modes, custom folder selection, timelines and smart albums.

Media mode helps improve multimedia streaming and transcoding performance by reserving 512MB of the 1GB of system memory for multimedia tasks requiring large amounts of RAM.

Asustor's Surveillance Center enables the management of a group of IP cameras with features such as Live View and Playback. You can view live feeds from up to 4 cameras (4 camera licences come for free, and up 12 channels are supported via additionally purchased licences). It supports a huge range of IP cameras, a list of which ones can be found on the Asustor website.

Download Center makes downloading easier and faster. It supports HTTP, FTP, and BitTorrent downloads which can be scheduled. A neat feature is that Download Center allows selective downloading when using BitTorrent downloads – you have the ability to select only the files you need from the torrent.

Asustor's App Central has over 200 apps so you can personalise your system to get the most out of it.

The ADM Help page has five links to various parts of the Asustor website where you can find help and advice if you have problems with the NAS. The Forum button takes you to the Asustor online forum and Downloads is a direct link to the download pages. Compatibility is a useful addition as it takes you to the Asustor Compatibility page, a very handy selection of hardware compatibility tables. Another useful link is to the Asustor College. Here you will find a collection of online easy-to-follow courses to learn all aspects of the NAS and its functions. The final link takes you directly to the Asustor online Support Center.

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