ASUSTOR was nice enough to send on a AS-202TE for review. In this installment, I show you how to run through the basic installation of the NAS. Read on for details!
ASUSTOR was nice enough to send on a AS-202TE for review. In this installment, I show you how to run through the basic installation of the NAS. Before we get started, let’s give you some background on this unit:
Takes care of all your multimedia entertainment needs from downloading to local playback
Takes care of all your multimedia entertainment needs from downloading to local playback
- Listen to your music with Web music player SoundsGood
- 24/7 round-the-clock download assistant
- 1080P HD multimedia playback via HDMI and XBMC
- Expand storage capacity with USB 3.0 external hard drives
- Support for a variety of mobile apps from ASUSTOR
- ASUSTOR’s exclusive FTP client: FTP Explorer
- CPU: Intel® ATOM™ 1.2GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Memory: 1GB Memory DDR3
- HDD: 2.5″ / 3.5″ SATA II/ III or SSD x 2¹ Compatibility
- Expansion: USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2
- Network: Gigabit Ethernet x 1
- Output: HDMI x 1
- System Fan: 70mm x 1
- Infrared Receiver
- 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Input Power Voltage: 100V to 240V AC*
- Certification: FCC, CE, VCCI, BSMI, C-TICK
* WD Red 3 TB HDD
- Power Consumption: 19.7W (Operation); 13W (Disk Hibernation); 0.8W (Sleep Mode)²
- Noise Level: 24dB
- Operation Temperature: 5°C~35°C (40°F~95°F)
- Humidity: 5% to 95% RH
- System Migration
- Cloud Connect
- 2-way Backup
- Task Monitor
- System Sleep Mode (S3)
- Auto-Standby for Both Internal and External Disks
- Auto Fan Control
- LED Night Mode
- Power Schedule: On, Off, Restart, and Sleep
Size and Weight
This is a 2-bay unit with one gigabit ethernet connection and an HDMI Out port, and is aimed at the home user who wants to directly connect a NAS to their TV for content playback. Check out these product pictures:
This is an attractive-looking unit that will look fine in most home entertainment racks, and is made from high-quality materials. Let’s set this unit up!
First, unlock the drive bays by pulling on the release lever and slide the drive trays out of the NAS. Second, use the mounting screws provided to install two hard drives to the trays; here, I used two Western Digital Red 3TB drives. Third, slide the drive trays back into the drive bays and lock down the release levers. Lastly, place the NAS where you want it, attach an HDMI cable (not included) to the NAS and to your TV/receiver, and plug the unit in. And of course power it on!
Next, we install the ASUSTOR Control Center app onto a compatible PC or Mac. Here, I installed it on a Windows 8.1 desktop. Insert the CD that came with your unit and you’ll see this if autorun is enabled…otherwise look for the setup application on the CD and run it. You’ll see this:
Click Start to install the ASUSTOR tool onto your PC.
The tool will search for ASUSTOR servers on the network. When it finds ours, it will recommend that we set it up. Which of course we will do!
Since you already installed hard drives earlier, this screen is not really that important…just remember that all data on the drives will be wiped and do not shut off power during the installation. Click the arrow on the right to continue.
Select automatic firmware updates and click the arrow on the right.
The download failed; I later realized that this was due to my router (Linksys EA6500) not being compatible. (More on this in the Installation Verdict section). I clicked on the left arrow and manually updated ADM. A word of warning: in IE11, clicking on the download link brings up the firmware file in the browser instead of downloading the image file. Unless you want to read the firmware file, click on Save Target As to save the image file off to somewhere that the tool can read. (I saved this to my LaCie 5big NAS Pro; stay tuned for a long-term review update on that one too!).
Select manual update.
Navigate to your image file. Click Open.
Now that you can see that the file is selected, click on the right arrow.
This is interesting…let’s click through and see if it is a problem.
Hmmm…it seems to be working…
For most users, I’d recommend 1-click-setup and it should be easier; let’s do that and see what we get. We can always tweak it later.
I like the fact that the install program makes you change your admin password. I chose Balanced here; I may go back and change that to Maximum Capacity later as I may need more space. (Of course, that may wipe out the data; we’ll look into that in a future post.) Click the right arrow to continue.
The NAS starts to initialize.
Once it’s done, they’ll want you to register. This is required in order to be able to download apps from their app store. Once you complete the registration data, click the right arrow.
Click Start to complete registration and to set up the NAS.
Success! Take the tour.
After the quick tour, you’ll see this.
Click on Settings.
Click on Regional Options to check the time zone and to set the time server polling. (I noticed that the server thinks I am in Bogata, which I am not…).
OK click on Time Zone. Choose the proper time zone and daylight savings selection, verify, and accept by clicking Apply.
OK now let’s set a static IP address. This is in my opinion a best practice if you plan on turning on remote access as it makes it easier to troubleshoot. Back on Settings and choose Network.
Click on LAN1. Remember, this unit only has one LAN port.
I selected Set up IP address manually and then completed the IPv4 address, subnet mask and gateway. Click Apply, then you’ll have to reconnect to the NAS unit on the new IP address. This is easy to do, but is not required if your router is compatible with this unit.
Now for remote access. Log into the NAS on the new IP address. Choose Settings. Now I had to look this one up, but remote access is under Ease of Access. Click there.
You will have to sign into your ASUSTOR account.
This is odd…this NAS won’t work with my router. Checking the router compatibility list shows the following for Cisco routers like my EA6500:
No EA6500. On this NAS, I’ll have to set the remote access up the hard way. Here are the ports that need to be manually forwarded on the router or set manually in ADM:
Each of these entries will need to be made on the router or set manually in ADM. I am logged into my EA6500 and will set one up to demonstrate. Go to Security and then Gaming, and choose Add a New Single Port Forwarding. Here is the ADM Web Service entry:
Repeat this for every service that you want to enable. In addition, make sure that you manually specify the DNS server on your network if the AS-2TE can’t find it. Click on Settings then Network and tell it where the DNS server is like this:
Now here is what I get when I go to enable Cloud Connect:
Check the Enable Cloud Connect box, check Apply and see what happens! (I obscured my address here…)
Click OK to continue.
Voila! I now have remote access working! Whoo-hoo! Make sure that you make the above entries (or set them up with ports of your choosing on ADM) before trying to use remote access or App Central.
To add apps, click over on the App Central icon back at the home page. Click on Categories to see what is available.
Let’s find FTP Explorer and install that. It must be ASUSTOR apps, right?
There it is…let’s click the Install button and see what happens!
I installed Plex the same way…and now I want to add some content. ADM requires you to add folders inside shares from inside ADM, so click on Access Control from the main menu. Select Shared Folders.
I want to add data under Public, so I highlighted that and clicked on Access Rights to check permissions as I was getting flaky file copy results.
I had to add RW access to admin to allow that user to copy files to the directory. Now in Windows, I mapped a drive letter to this directory and clicked on Connect Using Different Credentials, supplying the user ID admin and the ASUSTOR password for that user. I wish that this would have been done when the user name was created, but this is easy enough.
Voila! I have content coming across to feed into Plex! I also installed WordPress, myPHPadmin, XBMC (more on that in a future post) and the iTunes server on this device.
The installation process was pretty easy, but the fact that my router is not on their compatibility list caused the automatic firmware download to fail and the unit would lock up my router every time it tried to negotiate UPnP. It also precluded me from properly connecting to App Central. After I manually forwarded ports for my required service, these issues mostly went away, and the recent update to ADM 2.0.3 completely eliminated the issues, as well as made remote access to the device more reliable. If you have a router that is on their compatibility list, you should not see these issues and installation will be easier, but if your router is not listed, be prepared to manually forward ports and to manually specify your DNS server address and subnet mask on the Networking tab to ensure proper operation inside your network.
The overall process, assuming that you have a compatible router, is easy and can be completed within 30 minutes. Of course, the RAID build took a substantial amount of time. I left the unit alone until the RAID was built and then staged data to it. You can write to the RAID while it is building, but it will be a bit slow, as is always the case when writing to a new RAID unit.
Overall, ASUSTOR delivers a nice and easy installation process, making it relatively easy to install the unit, unless your router is not on their compatibility list. In that case, your installation will be a little more advanced.
In my next post, I will go into the XBMC app running on the NAS, controlled with the optional remote control, playing directly back to my TV. Stay tuned for that one soon!
UPDATE: NEW CONTENT:
ASUSTOR released an updated firmware in December that adds the EA6700 to the compatibility list. All EZ Router issues that I noted in this review were fully addressed in this firmware release, and the remote access functionality is now 100% working on that router. Many thanks to the folks at ASUSTOR for fixing that issue! Make sure to check their compatibility list to ensure that your router will work with this unit; if it is compatible, it will work just fine based on my experience.