The Asustor LockerStor 2 & 4 NAS Drive for Summer 2020
The last month or so of NAS hardware releases have been a pretty exciting time of late. With some of the biggest names in network-attached storage releasing their the latest flagship solutions for home and SMB markets. However, it would appear that it is not over yet with Asustor throwing their own massively fully-featured 2 and 4 bay solutions into to the 2020 release window. Today we want to talk about the brand new LockerStor 2 and LockerStor 4, two brand new NAS solutions that give you a lot of the key buying features from their biggest rivals and present it in a single solution. These two new NAS drives add to the existing LockerStor 8 and 10 series, providing solutions for prosumers worldwide, as well as serving as a more advanced alternative to the popular Nimbustor series. So let’s take a look at these two new LockerStor devices and find out why we should be excited about these solutions in 2020.
Asustor LockerStor 2 & 4 Hardware Specifications
The first thing that became abundantly clear to me when I went through the hardware specifications of both the LockerStor 2 and LockerStor 42/4-Bay devices was that I was looking at pretty much everything that Synology and QNAP are offering in their own range of devices released mere weeks ago. However, this is not a bad thing and what makes it really exciting is that all of the hardware features of the Synology DS720/920+ and QNAP 53D series that are scattered on either of these, have been combined into a single solution in the new LockerStor NAS servers (with the exception of PCIe expandability). If you were interested in the Synology NAS for its CPU, memory, BTRFS support and NVMe SSD caching upgradability – the LockerStor 2 and 4 include this. Alternatively, if the 2.5Gbe and HDMI 2.0 4K of the QNAP TS-x53D series was something that might win you over, it is all present and correct on this new Asustor solutions. Below is a full breakdown of the hardware that is included in this new NAS release.
- Size: 163.5(H) x 108(W) x 230(D) mm
- CPU: Intel Celeron J4125, 2.0-2.7Ghz 4-Core
- Memory: 4-8GB
- Number of Bays: 2/4-Bay
- Drive Support: HDD and SSD 3.5/2.5″ in Main Bays
- Caching: 2280 NVMe SSD Bays x2
- LCD Panel: Yes
- HDMI: Yes, HDMI 2.0a
- USB Ports: USB 3.0 3x
- 2.5Gbe Ports: 2x
- OS/GUI – ADM 4.3.4
- PSU: 65W
- Power Use: 15.9 W (Operation), 9.2 W (Disk Hibernation), 0.66 W (Sleep Mode)
So as you can see, there is a lot of hardware are inside the LockerStor 2 and 4. However, there is more to a decent NAS solution than the hardware, as most buyers are looking for a combined hardware and software solution. So what does the lockerstor bring to the table in the software department?
Software Specifications of the Asustor LockerStor 2 & 4 NAS?
Asustor has been providing their range of solutions as a complete data hardware and software package for a number of years, and the LockerStor 2 and 4 are no exception. With regular firmware updates and a more modern design of the GUI, the constantly evolving ADM platform brings a huge amount of software options to the table. These are more than simple apps for playing with your data, and extend to a huge array of tools for tailored file access and creating a multi-tiered backup solution. Although not quite as polished as slick GUI of the Synology DSM platform, it is similar in layout and logic to Android for the most part, is incredibly easy to learn and user-friendly for most of it applications. If you want to look for an easy way to create a home for your data, personal or business, then chances are that the ADM platform may serve you very well. Here is a list of the highlights of what is available via the LockerStor NAS system:
- Lots of first-party media applications (Sounds Good,Looks Good, Streams Good)
- Selection of Photo Apps
- BTRFS Choice (and EXT4 if preferred)
- Storage Snapshots and Multiple RAID Support
- NAS-to-NAS Backups
- Surveillance Center App
- Asustor Portal (HDMI) Application
- Docker & Portainer Container Application
- Plex Media Server
- Cloud Drive Sync
- Live Gaming Streaming App
- Retro Game Emulation
- Network Targeted Drive for Gamers
Full list of applications supported by the Asustor Nimbustortor NAS can be found here – https://www.asustor.com/app_central?type=&model=65xx
It is worth highlighting that this platform is still a little bit more geared towards third party app support than other brands. As much as I don’t want to compare the LockerStor with other devices, most users are going to be making comparisons like this when buying their first NAS. There is certainly some stand out easy applications on the table for handling your day today data, as well as abundant support of things like snapshots, btrfs, transcoding 1080p/4K Natively and general DLNA playback in a number of ways. Additionally, the first-party apps and services that are present are well designed for the most part and particularly impressive applications like the live gamer streaming app and the dedicated HDMI portal GUI that runs parallel to active internet and network users is something alot of users will like. Some apps can seem a tad too dated in some places, but there are always improvements being made and you have to give them credit for that. Some applications such as there surveillance app could do with a little bit of work still (especially compared with Surveillance Station and QVR Pro) and some applications such as those for virtual machines are still handled by third-party tools like Virtualbox and portainer – not terrible, but one would hope they would be first-party apps for these as they are becoming increasingly mainstream in the world of NAS in the home AND business. That said, some third-party apps and their support are especially welcome and I’m pleased to confirm that Plex media server is available for this device, to be used via the internet, network and even over HDMI with a remote control (available via a mobile app or physical IR remote that can be purchased separately). Overall, if the software performs on the LockerStor 2/4 as well as it did on the Nimbustor 2/4 that we reviewed last year, this could be a solid contender of a NAS Drive for you.
When is the LockerStor 2 & 4 Going to Be Released and the Price?
Details are still a little thin on the ground with regards to price and availability of the LockerStor 2 and LockerStor 4. Both NAS devices are currently listed on the official product pages from Asustor’s own website, with a full breakdown on the devices hardware and software capabilities, so full worldwide release cannot be very far behind. Additionally, to see this device compete with the likes of the Synology 20+ Diskstation series and QNAP 53D range would mean that this device needs to land inside eShops within the month or so. Likewise, pricing has yet to be confirmed and one can imagine that Asustor is going to need to structure their price carefully, as there are current popular Nimbustor 2 & Nimbustor 4 NAS drive is still on sale and is not the direct predecessor to these devices. Therefore we can imagine that LockerStor series devices in 2 and 4-bay are going to arrive somewhere around £100 to £150 more than the Nimbustor once they are fully available. Of course, this is more conjecture than confirmation. They may surprise us and try to go for the jugular of their competitors and match the current £400/£550 inc.VAT price tag that the oppositions flagship solutions currently change hands for with their the 2 and 4 Bay respectively. When it is released, no doubt we will be comparing this new release with the old, as well as whether it deserves your data. Watch this space!
Alternative to the LockerStor 2 & 4 NAS Drive Right Now?
Right now if you want an Asustor NAS solution in summer 2020, but cannot wait for the LockerStor 2/4 desktop solutions to arrive, there is always the popular and incredibly good value Nimbustor series, which still manages to challenge the current 2020 releases, even a year since release:
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