An awesome NAS, with a mountain of options. It is quiet and highly effective, however costly in comparison with equally specced opponents.
TerraMaster’s F2-221 2-bay NAS is able to transcoding 4K Extremely HD video and serving it over your private home community. With help for Plex, together with a large number of different server purposes, be a part of us as we take a more in-depth have a look at this funds NAS.
Because of TerraMaster, we’ve an F2-221 to giveaway to at least one fortunate reader. Enter the giveaway on the finish of this assessment to be in with an opportunity to win!
The F2-221 is a modern little unit. Priced at $250, and measuring 9 x four.5 x 5 inches, it’s sufficiently small to suit nearly anyplace. Inside, you’ll discover two detachable drive bays (extra on these later), and the next specs:
- 1 x Intel Apollo J3355 dual-core 2.zero GHz CPU
- 2GB DDR4 RAM
- 200MB/s learn velocity
- 190MB/s write velocity
- Help for AES encryption
- Help for 4K video transcoding
This may occasionally not sound like an ideal deal, however that’s an honest function set for such a little bit NAS. The processor is a fairly fashionable unit, and the DDR4 RAM will assist to maintain issues ticking alongside properly. That is consumer upgradeable to a most of 4GB.
On the again, you’ll discover two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a full-size HDMI output, DC energy in, and two USB Kind-A number ports. You’ll additionally discover the enormous fan positioned right here. This helps to maintain the drives cool, and it’s exceptionally quiet. Even on full energy, you’ll wrestle to listen to it in any respect, and from any distance, the standing lights are the one indicator that it’s even working.
Contained in the field, you’ll discover the NAS alongside an influence provide, Ethernet cable, fast begin information, and drive labeling stickers. You’ll want to supply your individual drives, however if you happen to’ve used a TerraMaster storage system previously, you’ll acknowledge these bays. Capable of mount a three.5 HDD or 2.5 SSD with out adapters, these plastic bays set up with a easy locking mechanism. They solely match a technique up and are robust sufficient to resist any shake, jolt, or affect you’re more likely to encounter with a NAS.
The construct high quality is superb, with a contrasting silver plastic and metallic mixture. The entrance of the unit homes the principle energy swap and standing LEDs. We’ve reviewed a number of TerraMaster storage programs previously, and the F2-221 continues the excessive normal of high quality we’ve come to count on.
Utilizing the TerraMaster Working System
Whereas this NAS is a superb piece of , it’s no use with out the TerraMaster Working System or TOS for brief. TOS runs on the NAS itself and turns it right into a mini laptop. You’ll be able to even change the background and empty the recycling bin. Even so, the F2-221 just isn’t a substitute on your desktop laptop.
You get began by putting in the TNAS desktop app, which helps you to handle a small military of NAS items. This lets you initialize TOS on the field. You’ll must obtain, set up, after which configure TOS, by way of this. Fairly why it’s not put in out the field is baffling, however the course of is pretty painless.
As soon as configured, you enter TOS itself. That is model four.zero and is much extra polished than earlier variations, even when it’s principally the identical product. It’s safe, straightforward to make use of, and nestles itself into your private home community with nearly no configuration—though you’ll be able to dive deep into the settings if you happen to’d wish to.
Surprisingly, our unit linked to the community simply high-quality however had an issue accessing the web. The TOS suggested us to configure the community adapter settings—one thing which labored, however is a little bit concerned, and contrasts with the benefit of use in almost each different space.
TOS/F2-221 runs its filesystem on BTRFS by default. It is a steady Linux distribution designed for glorious knowledge resilience. Whereas it could use extra storage than various file programs, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. All information are repeatedly cloned, or “snapshotted”, that means you’ll be able to return and retrieve an older model in case of emergency. Nevertheless, that is no substitute for good backups.
TOS supplies a staggering variety of options, settings, and configurations. Whereas there are far too many to record, listed below are among the greatest:
- Computerized scheduled backups
- Cloud backups
- Encryption in relaxation and in transit
- Permission administration
- Help for a number of raid varieties
- Useful resource monitoring
- System logs
In each side, the F2-221 has grown up from the earlier era F2-220. It might backup to a different NAS, cloud storage, USB storage machine, or RSYNC server. It might additionally act as an RSYNC server, and Apple Time Machine server. In the event you’re into your media, you’ll be able to run an iTunes server, Plex, or numerous different multimedia apps.
The TOS interface permits you to shortly and simply configure settings. You’ll be able to create new customers and outline folder-based permissions, change community settings, and set up apps. You’ll be able to monitor RAID well being, configure sleep schedules, configure SSH, configure Telnet, configure FTP, or run an internet server. The F2-221 can do excess of these few duties listed, and it truly is that good.
Along with all that, the F2-221 works with the TerraMaster app retailer. By way of this, you’ll be able to set up all kinds of various apps to reinforce your expertise. In the event you’re a tech individual, you’ll be able to set up Java, PHP, Apache, WordPress, Docker, or a complete host of database engines or different improvement instruments.
Multimedia apps corresponding to Plex (or the rest) are the most well-liked makes use of for this NAS, and that is the place the Intel Apollo J3355 actually shines. It is a dual-core CPU working at 2GHz and is a step up from the processors often present in a NAS. With HEVC/H.265 decoding on board, this CPU is ready to decode 4K UHD video quick sufficient to stream over a house community. The Gigabit Ethernet port simply handles this and extra, so that you received’t want to fret about slowing down different customers when streaming video—offered your private home community can deal with it.
NAS Pace Check
We used the Blackmagic Design Disk Pace Check to evaluate the learn and write speeds of the F2-221. For our testing, we put in two Kingston 480Gb UV500 SSDs. We used these SSDs in our TerraMaster Thunderbolt D5 assessment, they usually strike a wonderful stability between velocity, reliability, and worth.
Whereas an uncommon alternative for a NAS, SSDs assist check the utmost velocity a tool can deal with. We configured these two in a RAID zero stripe. We’re aiming for max theoretical speeds right here, however your use could require the redundancy offered by different RAID ranges.
Surprisingly, even with SSDs and a Gigabit community connection, we solely achieved a mean of 100 MB/s learn and write speeds. We’d count on this to be far increased underneath these check situations, and it’s nowhere close to the marketed 200 MB/s learn, and 190 MB/s write speeds. Regardless of this, it’s nonetheless an affordable velocity, and greater than quick sufficient to stream 4K video. Whereas conventional spinning exhausting drives are slower, in idea, a conventional workload is unlikely to note any slowdowns. Connecting USB drives on to the USB host port does present a noticeable velocity improve, however this can be a very slim use case.
Decode All of the Movies
The F2-221 is one thing of a combined bag. It’s properly constructed, quiet, and has an enormous variety of options. The TerraMaster Working System may be very highly effective and lets you configure an enormous variety of settings. Sadly, this NAS did not stay as much as its legacy. It’s slower than we’d count on, and whereas it nonetheless gives cheap efficiency, it’s costly at $250 with out drives. It’s in no way a nasty system, however you’re basically paying a premium for the working system.
Win a TerraMaster F2-221!
Because of TerraMaster, we’ve an F2-221 NAS to giveaway to at least one fortunate reader! Arrange your individual house server by coming into the competitors beneath.
Enter the Competitors!TerraMaster F2-221 NAS Giveaway
Learn the total article: TerraMaster F2-221 Funds NAS: It Even Runs Plex