Review: ASUSTOR’s AS3304T is a great NAS for creating home cloud storage

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ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

The affordable home NAS segment is incredibly competitive with plenty of models from Synology, ASUSTOR, TerraMaster, QNAP, and others. Most of these enclosures offer similar specifications, but differ ever so slightly when it comes to RAM, CPU, and drive bays.

The DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T) is the latest affordable four-bay NAS from ASUSTOR and it promises to punch above its weight. I’m talking 2.5Gb LAN, four drive bays, a quad-core Realtek RTD1296 ARM processor, stylish design, and a killer OS.

While it’s not quite powerful enough to be a powerhouse Plex media server, I’m expecting big things from this mighty small box.


ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Bottom line: The ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro is a cracking NAS enclosure. Inside is a very capable quad-core ARM processor, 2GB of DDR4 RAM, and four drive bays for a beastly home-based cloud storage server.

The Good

  • 4 drive bays
  • Good value
  • Expansion unit support
  • 2.5Gb LAN
  • Excellent OS

The Bad

  • Sluggish CPU performance
  • RAM not upgradeable
  • No Plex transcode support

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T): Price and availability

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

The launch price of the ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T) is $330. This is in line with enclosures that rock similar specifications from other vendors. NAS with more than two drive bays and an Intel processor will cost considerably more, in the $500 region. For affordable NAS, the AS3304T is priced aggressively.

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The global pandemic hasn’t really affected the price of NAS enclosures and you can always expect to see them on sale for promotions like Prime Day. It’s only when you factor in the best NAS hard drives does the price of your enclosure really reach the stars.

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T): Specifications

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

The best feature of the AS3304T is the four drive bays. To make it possible to have so many bays available at such a reasonable price, sacrifices had to be made elsewhere on the specification sheet. This is the norm with affordable NAS such as this for the home or small office. With four HDDs running inside this NAS, the total power draw will be up to 23W.

Category ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)
CPU Realtek RTD1296
RAM 2GB DDR4
Drive bays 4x (SSD/HDD)
Capacity 72TB
Expansion support ✓ (max 16 bays)
Cooling 1x 120mm fan
Ports 1x 2.5Gb LAN
3x USB 3.2 Gen 1
PCIe
Power draw ~23.1W
Dimensions 170mm x 174mm x 230mm
(6.69 x 6.85 x 9.05 inches)
Weight 2.2 kg
(4.85 pounds)
Price $330 at Amazon

As well as the four drive bays, we’ve got a quad-core Realtek RTD1296 processor, 2GB of DDR4 RAM, support for expansion units, 2.5Gb LAN, three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and the usual sleek piano black design we’ve come to know and love from ASUSTOR.

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T): What’s good

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

For the price, the ASUSTOR AS3304T has an impressive spec list, including 2.5Gb LAN.

Most NAS vendors we’ve received samples from use sturdy packaging with plenty of foam inside and ASUSTOR is no exception. The DRIVESTOR 4 Pro arrived in a tight cardboard box with all the necessary branding and information on the sides. Inside was the usual foam formation with the NAS wrapped up in an anti-static bag, accompanied by a small box of accessories.

If you’re familiar with ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR NAS enclosures, you’ll immediately notice how the AS3304T is almost identical to some of the other units (including the ASUSTOR AS5304T) within the range. There is a difference here with the AS3304T and that’s the rose gold ASUSTOR branding at the top-right of the front panel.

The front panel is held to the chassis by magnets and hides the four drive bays. To the left of this are the usual status indicators that show power and drive or network activity, as well as one of three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. The drive trays themselves are hard plastic but feel premium. ASUSTOR doesn’t make use of any locking mechanism to avoid accidental release during operation.

The sides are completely clear, so too is the top. The rear of the NAS has the 120mm exhaust fan, two further USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, the 2.5Gb LAN port, and DC input from the external power brick. There are no dust filters, so like other enclosures, you will need to open up the bays and remove the drives to give the inside a quick clean.

ASUSTOR’s ADM 4.0 OS with a dark mode is a breath of fresh air.

The entire chassis comes apart easily too, requiring the removal of a few screws in the rear. Not that you’d need to do this since there aren’t any M.2 slots for SSD cache, nor is the RAM upgradable. The NAS is well designed, easy to install drives in, and gives you all the necessary info with the LED lights up front.

Setting up an ASUSTOR NAS is a simple process. All you need is the IP address of the enclosure on your local network to commence the process. The ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) OS is very much like Windows or Linux (ADM is actually powered by Linux) in that it acts like an interface you’d find on a desktop or laptop PC.

There’s an app store, control panel, file manager, and everything else you’d expect to find on a computer. The 2.5Gb LAN connection lets you pack the AS3304T with TBs of files in no time at all. Configuring user accounts for the household or office is also a simple process with the means to consider restricting access and general permissions.

Top third-party services like Plex Media Server can be installed in a few clicks. The performance of the ARM processor isn’t amazing, especially when compared to Intel-based enclosures that cost considerably more, but it’s good enough for a cloud-based storage solution. The 2GB of DDR4 RAM is also a little limiting, but you likely won’t notice this during normal operation.

The NAS is more than capable of running ADM 4.0 without issue.

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T): What’s not good

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

The Realtek RTD1296 is an ARM processor that has four cores and a clock speed of 1.4GHz. This is no slouch, but it’s not supported by Plex for its media server package to transcode content. That means if you have some HD or even UHD media files for streaming and wish to store them on the NAS and use Plex, you’ll need to make sure your recipient devices support the file types.

The AS3304T is an affordable NAS. While it does cost $330, you’re getting four drive bays for a maximum capacity of 72TB. ASUSTOR also included support for an expansion bay to bring the total bay number up to 16. The flipside to all this support is a few areas where cuts had to be made, which also includes the RAM.

You will notice some sluggish performance with the processor when multiple people are accessing the enclosure simultaneously, but so long as the tasks being carried out aren’t too intensive, the experience shouldn’t be impacted. It’s when you manage to run out of RAM will problems arise as you cannot upgrade it inside this NAS.

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T): Competition

Synology DS420+

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

The one NAS you should compare the AS3304T to is the Synology DiskStation DS418. It has the same processor, four drive bays, a very good OS, and 2GB of DDR4 RAM. The major difference between the two is the networking, which ASUSTOR wins with a 2.5Gb port, as well as the price with the DS418 costing a full $40 more.

Category ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T) Synology DiskStation DS418
CPU Realtek RTD1296 Realtek RTD1296
RAM 2GB DDR4 2GB DDR4
Drive bays 4x (SSD/HDD) 4x (SSD/HDD)
Capacity 72TB 72TB
Expansion support ✓ (max 16 bays)
Cooling 1x 120mm fan 1x 92mm fan
Ports 1x 2.5Gb LAN
3x USB 3.2 Gen 1
2x 1Gb LAN
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1
PCIe
Power draw ~23.1W ~26.49W
Dimensions 170mm x 174mm x 230mm
(6.69 x 6.85 x 9.05 inches)
166mm x 199mm x 223mm
(6.53 x 7.83 x 8.77 inches)
Weight 2.2 kg
(4.85 pounds)
2.28 kg
(5.02 pounds)
Price $330 $398

It’s impressive what ASUSTOR is offering with this enclosure. Couple that with the premium design and you’ve got a NAS that looks like it costs far more. The only NAS this enclosure loses out to in pricing is the TerraMaster F4-210, which can be found as low as $220, but with only 1GB of RAM and a less user-friendly OS.

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T): Should you buy it?

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

You should buy this if …

  • You need 2.5Gb network speeds
  • You want a capable mid-tier NAS
  • You want to set up a home file server
  • You want a compact NAS for the home office

You shouldn’t buy this if …

  • You need HDMI out
  • You want to stream 4K content

The ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 (AS3304T) is an extraordinary NAS enclosure. It’s priced aggressively to fit into the budget-friendly segment, has a 2.5Gb LAN port that’s usually reserved for more premium NAS, and is perfectly equipped for a home cloud storage server. It’s also compact, looks great, runs quiet, and has a low power draw.

4.5
out of 5








It’s not all perfect with the AS3304T. One issue is the lack of any transcoding support through Plex, which means this won’t fare well as a media hub unless you have all your content already saved in a format supported by all your devices. Then there’s the non-upgradable RAM, which is excusable at this price range.

ASUSTOR did a fine job designing the AS3304T and it’s a solid choice for anyone wanting to create a home- or office-based cloud storage platform. Just don’t expect to do too much on this little enclosure.


ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

ASUSTOR DRIVESTOR 4 Pro (AS3304T)

Bottom line: This latest NAS enclosure from ASUSTOR has everything you need to build a fast, reliable, and easy-to-manage home-based cloud storage platform.

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