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Asustor AS6302T review: A premium NAS without a premium price

Asustor AS6302T review
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
309
inc VAT

A great mid-range two-bay NAS appliance with some impressive talents

Pros 
Impressive number of ports
Robust chassis
Doesn't use much power
Cons 
Tricky to set up
Read speeds aren't great
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It’s tempting to see two-bay NAS appliances as entry-level devices, but the AS6302T proves that this doesn’t have to be the case. As well as an Apollo Lake Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM, expandable to 8GB, it packs an impressive number of inputs and outputs: one USB-C and three USB 3 Type-A ports, a 4K-capable HDMI 2 output and S/PDIF. This enables the Asustor to double as both media server and player through the Asus Portal and ever-popular Kodi app.

It’s well designed, with a robust steel chassis and slide-out caddies, although the two drives have to be screwed into these. The flashing blue and green status LED bars on the front are a little exuberant, but can be toned down. It’s also a frugal beast, using around 14W while idle and rising to just 18.2W when pushed. Plus, you can leave it hibernating at just 7.2W, and it will kick into action when woken either on the LAN or through the web.

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Setting the AS6302T up could be easier. While you’re urged to go online for setup, this only prompts you to download the Asustor Control Centre app – which does a reasonable job of taking you through configuration.

The Linux-style UI lacks the modern feel of Qnap or Synology’s, but we can’t fault the apps and services. Media apps are obviously a focus, with Asus’s own media server plus optional installs of Plex or Twonky, but you can also stream through Kodi or watch Amazon Prime Video when connected to a display through Asus Portal.

However, Asustor hasn’t neglected more serious applications: there are tools for syncing folders with Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox; support for the SugarCRM and WorldCard Team contact management systems; not to mention support for OwnCloud, the roll-your-own cloud service. The AS6302T can also do a few things you might not expect, including running virtual servers through VirtualBox or a full Debian Linux desktop through the Linux Center app. Using the latter disables Kodi, but it runs smoothly on the Celeron CPU.

Asustor AS6302T review: Verdict

There’s nothing entry-level about the Asustor’s I/O performance. Its sustained read speeds aren’t great, but the write speeds hit the limits of Gigabit Ethernet, while it coped well with the smaller files in our more demanding multitasking test. If Asustor could match its power with more polished hardware and a slicker user experience, the AS6302T would be a barnstormer of a two-bay NAS. As it is, it still feels like a premium NAS without a premium price.