ASUSTOR AS4002T Review (Page 6 of 8)

Page 6 - Configuration and User Interface, Part III

Another useful application found on the ASUSTOR AS4002T is the Activity Monitor application, which is used to keep track of the load on the NAS device. There are four tabs on the left, including Performance, Process, Disk Usage, and Settings. Under Performance, live graphs corresponding to Overview, CPU, Memory, Network, Disk, and iSCSI can be generated to give insight to their respective usage. All of these combined give a good look at the performance of the device at any given time from utilization in Overview. The CPU tab keeps track of CPU usage listed on a dynamically updating line graph. In Memory, the usage of memory in percentage is kept track of with a line graph as well. The bottom features a bar graph with the total amount of physical memory, amount of memory used, amount of memory cached, amount of memory used in the buffer, and the amount of memory free. Network usage keeps track of the network usage in sent and received from the LAN ports. Disk and iSCSI is also a dynamically updated line graph that shows data throughput.

Below Performance, Process lists all the processes running on the NAS as well as the memory usage and the CPU usage of each process. Disk Usage has a pie graph that shows the amount of space being used, amount free, and other applications that may be using the disk. Lastly, you can configure the real time duration, usage history, and notification service based on CPU and memory utilization.

When it comes to useful applications, this one is a big one for the ADM operating system: App Central. This is a program download area where one can install new applications quickly. As far as ease of use is concerned, it really does not get much easier than this. At the click of a button, you can install a completely new application that ranges from day to day NAS functions to security center systems for centralized security cameras. There are over 143 applications up on the App Central at press time for this particular model. Some of these applications are quite useful, and can be used for any web server such as phpMyAdmin or full website CMS software such as Drupal or Joomla. A possible way to stream files is through the iTunes server application, which can send your media to any paired device. Other interesting applications include LooksGood and SoundsGood; both browser-based applications that allow you to play and process multimedia files. As its names suggest, LooksGood is for videos, while SoundsGood is for audio. You can even transcode files on your NAS using LooksGood. All in all, these features are incredibly useful, and also very easy to use, making it simple for even novice users to install new applications on the fly with little setup time.

If you wish to browse through files stored on your NAS or any other connected device directly from the web interface, you can do using File Explorer. It is true that it is much more likely you will do so using your computer directly, but there are times where exploring what is stored on your system using the web interface can become handy. For example, do you have a file you cannot delete in Windows? Well, this may be your solution. On top of that, ASUSTOR aims to give it a little more functionality. As you can see in our screenshot above, music files can be played using a built-in media player and streamed directly to the client computer through your browser.

All in all, the GUI for the ASUSTOR AS4002T, or more specifically, ADM 3.2.1.RKU4, looks great. The NAS boots pretty quickly, unlike some products from other brands I have used in the past. ADM is functional while looking modern at the same time; the minimalist approach in terms of design was fundamental to the outcome of the software, and it turned out as well as we had hoped. The inclusion of separate applications is a good idea and allows for more customization. It also makes it future-proof. The use of the App Central makes adding additional features painless. The idea that one can install applications by pressing one button similar to how most download stores work such as the Apple App Store or Google Play allows for easy update of applications. ASUSTOR has undoubtedly gone seriously above and beyond what an average user expects from a network attached storage device. The amount of network features, multimedia functions, and application options available on the AS4002T, thanks to the latest hardware and ADM 3.2.1, is absolutely crazy when it comes to both home and business needs.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware (External)
3. A Closer Look - Hardware (Internal)
4. Configuration and User Interface, Part I
5. Configuration and User Interface, Part II
6. Configuration and User Interface, Part III
7. Performance and Power Consumption
8. Conclusion