A NAS system with poor software will never make a good purchase so we are glad to see Asus opting for the Windows Home Server package.
After inserting the installation disc Asus then allow a NAS configuration package, this only needs installed on one machine within the network however, so you don’t need to run around the house installing this onto every computer that connects to the network.
The first thing the software package does after being installed is to find the NAS system on your network and then to update the software installed. This only takes a few minutes.
During the initial configuration of the software you are asked if you want to back up this machine when it is asleep or only if it is turned on. Simple enough requests and user friendly, even for novices.
The Windows Home Server Console interface is clean enough and within this you can perform a plethora of tasks. You can schedule backups, manage your shared folders and create and adjust user accounts for specific folders meaning you can password protect your own folders so other members of your family can’t get access to your personal information.
This installation has been adjusted by ASUS to offer their own features. The ASWM (ASUS System Web Based Management Software), Asus Xtor manager and ASUS Webstorage.
This ASUS Webstorage option gives the end user one year free storage (500GB) to back up and access files from anywhere. Once the year is passed then you can continue using this after paying a fee. By using the software you can select which folders and files you wish to backup to the cloud. Asus offer a system to limit upload speed so your internet connection doesn’t grind to a halt when this task is underway. This software also lets the user see how much room they have left online and gives the ability to delete files.
This software addition is extremely useful as it gives a complete breakdown of your home server status providing information about the motherboard fans and temperatures, network utilisation, drives, memory and CPU utilisation.
The remainder of the software contains all the user interface requirements we need, such as configuring updates via the internet and for setting up users and passwords. It is all very easy for anyone who has used any version of Windows before and will prove in many cases to be the biggest selling point.
Personally I still find the QNAP operating system to still be the most comprehensive, but perhaps it is because I have used it for many years now. I also found the ATOM processor to be rather sluggish at times with the Windows software, especially when files were copying to the server and you were active in the console. We could find no way to set Jumbo Frames in the software so we would assume that the software will analyse the network connection and pick the best settings automatically.