Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 (AS6704T) Short Review

When we reviewed Asustor’s two-bay Lockerstor 2 Gen 2 AS6702T earlier this year, we gave the network-attached storage (NAS) device high marks for its fast performance, impressive hardware components, and extensive catalog of features. ‘apps. The $609 Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 (AS6704T) offers the same thing, but with four drive bays for additional storage capacity. It’s a great choice for small business users and hobbyists looking for a versatile backup solution, but it doesn’t quite trump our Editors’ Choice winner among multi-bay NAS devices, the Synology DiskStation DS1522+, which is a bit faster and has five drive bays.

Design and features

The Lockerstor 4’s black cabinet measures 7.3 x 6.6 x 9 inches (HWD) and has four hot-swappable front-loading drive bays. The drive sleds can accommodate 2.5 or 3.5 inch drives, but you will need a Philips screwdriver to secure the drives to the sleds using the included mounting screws.

(Credit: Asustor)

The front of the cabinet has a small 2.5-inch LCD screen that displays the status and IP address of the NAS. It also offers a menu system for viewing device information, including network settings, storage capacity, and CPU and system temperatures. Here you can also initiate a One-Touch backup function when an external drive is connected to Asustor’s USB port. Four buttons on the right of the screen (Up, Down, Back, Confirm) allow you to navigate through the menus. The front panel also houses a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port and LED indicators for power, USB, system, and network status.

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Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 front view

(Credit: Asustor)

On the back are two 2.5GbE LAN ports that can be bonded to create a 5GbE network connection using the Windows Server Message Block (SMB) multi-channel protocol. There’s also a second USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A port, HDMI 2.0 video output, reset button, power port, and a PCI Express expansion slot that can hold a 10GbE network card or PCIe SSD. The Lockerstor also has four M.2 slots which can be used to hold M.2 NVMe SSDs. A single 120mm fan and ventilated chassis keep internal components from overheating.

Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 rear view

(Credit: Asustor)

The AS6704T is powered by a 2GHz quad-core Intel Celeron N5105 processor, 4GB of DDR4 memory expandable to 16GB and 8GB of eMMC flash storage. Like most NAS devices, it doesn’t come with drives installed, but can accommodate drives up to 22TB each for a total capacity of 88TB. If you add two Asustor AS6004U expansion units ($329 each), you can get a total of a dozen drive bays with a total capacity of 232TB. (Each expansion unit reaches a maximum capacity of 72TB.) The NAS supports simple volume types , JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10, as well as EXT4, NTFS, HFS+, Btrfs, and exFAT file systems.

The Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 uses the same Asustor Data Master (ADM) operating system as all other Asustor NAS. It is a web-based operating system that features Windows-like desktop and program icons including Access Control, Activity Monitor, App Central, Backup and Restore, File Explorer, Settings, Dr. Asustor and Snapshot Center, among others.

In the Access Control menu, you can create users and groups, add shared folders, assign user and group privileges, and create virtual drives. Activity Monitor displays real-time CPU, memory, and network activity. You can also view colored pie charts of player usage statistics. To create and manage storage volumes, check for bad blocks, and view drive status information, tap the Storage Manager icon.

Asustor Data Master Operating System Control Panel

(Credit: Asustor)

In the File Explorer menu, you can browse, manage and share files, assign folder permissions and format external drives. Tap the Backup & Restore icon to enable remote sync and cloud backup, configure one-touch backup, create backup schedules, and save system settings. The Settings charm lets you configure fan speed and LED brightness, enable disk hibernation and sleep options, enable the ADM Defender anti-malware utility, and configure network settings.

Asustor Data Master OS File Explorer

(Credit: Asustor)

App Central is where you access Asustor’s massive catalog of 258 (and counting) branded and third-party apps with categories for home entertainment, backup and restore, database management, web hosting, blogging, home automation, etc. You can download media server apps like Plex Server, Twonky, and You Tube Music, as well as play your favorite tracks using the Spotify app.

Asustor Data Master OS Application Center

(Credit: Asustor)

To run malware detection scans, run system and connectivity diagnostics, and read tips designed to keep your NAS safe and healthy, tap the Dr. Asustor icon. Finally, the Snapshot Center is where you will manage and restore snapshot backups if you are using the Btrfs file system.

Diagnostics of the Asustor Data Master operating system

(Credit: Asustor)

Installation and performance

Setting up the AS6704T for first use was easy. I installed four Seagate IronWolf 10TB drives, connected the NAS to my router, and powered it up. I opened a web browser on a desktop PC also connected to my router, typed in the address bar, and downloaded the Windows version of the Asustor Control Center software.

Once the software was installed on my PC, I ran it and the NAS was immediately recognized. I pressed the Not Initialized button next to the device name to launch the ADM OS, updated the software, and waited a few minutes for the NAS to reboot. Next, I selected 1-Click Setup (you can manually configure the NAS if you prefer), created an account, entered my storage preferences (balanced, maximum capacity, superior data protection), and selected Btrfs as the file system.

I chose a balanced storage system which defaulted to RAID 5 and gave me 27.28TB of total storage. I pressed Initialize, and after a few more minutes the device initialized. After another 14 hours, the drives were in sync and ready for testing.

The Lockerstor 4 performs well in our file transfer tests, in which we time read and write speeds while transferring a 4.9 GB folder containing a mix of music, video, photos and office documents between the NAS and a desktop computer connected to the same network.

The device’s score of 87MB/s in the write test is faster than the ioSafe 1520+ (85MB/s) and the TerraMaster F5-422 (80MB/s), but slightly slower than the Synology DS1522+ (90MB/s). The AS6704T is 2 Mbps slower than its rivals in our playback test.

Verdict: This four-bay NAS will blow you away

With the Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 (AS6704T), you get a versatile network attached storage device that offers four hot-swappable bays with plenty of room for upgrades and expansion. The NAS posted fast scores in our file transfer tests and comes with a slew of apps as well as a pair of multi-gig LAN ports. An HDMI video output and a powerful quad-core processor make it a solid choice for transcoding and streaming 4K video as well as backing up critical data. Our multi-bay favourite, Synology’s DiskStation DS1522+, has a fifth drive bay and more connectivity options while being a bit faster, but it doesn’t offer as many apps as the Lockerstor.

Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 (AS6704T)

The essential

Asustor’s Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 is a powerful but pricey four-bay NAS with high-end features and components.

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