A first look at the ASUSTOR Lockerstor 2 Gen 2, a compact NAS with 4 NVMe disk slots

ASUSTOR launches Lockerstor 2 Gen2 and as the name suggests, it is the new generation of a product that is already known and somehow affordable for everyone, namely home users and small offices.

It is compact and looks similar to many other two-bay NAS, but this Lockerstor 2 Gen2, codenamed AS6702T, hides many innovations that will appeal to those who want something more from the NAS than the usual drive for backup and storage of the data. Documents.

Fast in everything – processor and RAM first – and very flexible, thanks two 3.5-inch mechanical disk slots and even four M.2 slots for PCIe 3.0 SSD memory, Lockerstor 2 Gen2 is one of the most efficient and flexible solutions on the market. Suitable for home use as a network hard drive, but also as a file, image and video server.

Not forgetting the ability to start virtual machines, web servers, ftp and much more. Finally, an HDMI port completes the picture of multimedia functions, turning the Lockerstor 2 into a computer or a multimedia player. Many functions in one device: all advantages and no disadvantages? Let’s find out in this first look at the features.

Installation and configuration: among the simplest ever

Setting up a NAS is one of the steps that potential buyers worry about the most. Will it be difficult to set up? Will I be able to set up remote access? Will I be able to take advantage of it? ASUSTOR has done a great job on this point, making the Lockerstor 2 Gen2 setup phase quick and within everyone’s reach.

The first step is to install an application that finds the NAS on the network so you don’t go crazy configuring your router and IP address. Connect the NAS to your network and launch the app, in a few seconds it will appear in the list and can be accessed by double-clickingwithout ever having to worry about the physical address of the NAS.

The system will guide us in configuring logical volumes and disks without ever using technical terms

The next step, the most crucial, is even simpler. So much so that ASUSTOR has called it “one-click configuration”: you select the disks (it automatically tends to select the two basic disks, i.e. the mechanical ones) and the type of use you want to make of the storage. The technical terms RAID (lineage or mirror) are not used, but two more understandable ones “balanced” and “performance”. With a single click, the NAS reboots and is ready for use.

If there are more than two disks, as in our case, it will be easy to go into Storage Management and also configure the second volume based on the two NVMe disks present in the model under test.

The control system does not disappoint. Neither does performance

Once configured, it’s time to use the ADM operating system, now in version 3.2. The appearance is always like a tidy and easy-to-use desktop, with the most important apps on the screen, almost as if it were a smartphone.

On the right, however, there is the possibility to configure a number of useful widgets in the sidebar, to always keep an eye on the CPU and memory, connected users and the most important events. In this case too, use is always simple and within everyone’s reach. The system is responsive and snappy, even if you’re only using mechanical disks, and overall it feels more like using a tablet than a PC.

The preferences panel, clear and tidy

Despite this, the hardware on board the Lockerstor 2 Gen2 allows you to do much more than a tablet. The Intel Celeron N5105 Quad-Core CPU is one of those at 10 nanometers, and according to ASUSTOR, it’s going to offer 31% more performance than previous models. The RAM, 4 GB in the trial version, is of the DDR4 So-dimm type. Features that aren’t afraid to use the NAS as a media or web server. But also the use of virtual machines, which are made possible by apps in the official “App Central” store, must absolutely not be discarded.

Simply put, by enabling remote access, it’s not as difficult to think about installing a Linux virtual machine to use when you’re away from home as if it were an instance of a virtual machine in the cloud. Your own personal cloud, in this case.

The “open heart” NAS, not the 4 M.2 slots in plain sight.

Finally, among the many technical features, the double 2.5 Gb network port cannot be missing, which together bring the reading and writing performance via local network to important levels. According to tests conducted by ASUSTOR, using both channels with the SMB protocol, a 10GB file is read at a speed of 591MB/s and written at 482MB/s.performance that allows you to use this NAS almost as an external drive while connected to the network, perhaps on the other side of the house or office.

Safety is never too much

Those who do not like NAS usually always object to one thing: they are not secure. It is not hard to blame those who say that it is not safe to reveal your data on the Internet, but it is equally true that you can be reasonably safe. ASUSTOR, from this point of view, does not save on popups and discaimers, and forces a small hand on the use of the https protocol for external access to your NAS.

On board the ADM, however, there is much more: First of all, a firewall to configure a range of IP addresses and devices that can be accessed and others that cannot. What’s more: You can also set up two-factor authentication using Google or Microsoft apps to increase the security of your NAS and not just leave it tied to a password.

Fast, versatile. Maybe a little expensive, but nothing is missing

ASUSTOR Lockerstor 2 Gen 2 looks like a truly complete NAS: the hardware is fast and powerful; there are 6 slots for hard drives, available connections cover all applications, including an HDMI to use an external monitor and two USB 3.2 Gen2; the operating system is complete, has a rich app store and in its latest version is fast and complete. How much does all this cost? Around 500 euros, of course without discs. Maybe a little above the market average, but the hardware features make the difference.

What is really appreciated about this model is really the flexibility: you can buy it with two mechanical disks to save a little and have a lot of space available, and then add NVMe disks and thus access another level of performance.

The hardware does not limit the most intensive applications. Lockerstor 2 Gen2 can truly become the entertainment and storage center for the whole family or the small office.

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