TerraMaster F2-220 NAS review: Major-league hardware and rapidly improving software

A good-looking, affordable NAS box with top-notch components, but there are a few gaps in the rapidly expanding feature set.

Color me surprised: TerraMaster’s NAS boxes were unknown to me before a random email from the company just as I was starting in on several reviews. Color me doubly surprised, because TerraMaster not only does NAS, it does the hardware extremely well and offers an operating system with good basic features and a lot or promise.

Design and components

The F2-220 is a handsome, brushed-aluminum box with two easy-swap front-accesible drive bays that retails for $240, though we saw it online for $190. That’s without drives, of course, but it does include a 2.41GHz Intel Celeron J1800 CPU, 2GB of system memory, and 8GB of NAND to hold the basic operating system. Hardware of that caliber is generally found in boxes costing quite a bit more.

Connectivity comes courtesy of a single ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports on the back. Unlike some thoughtfully designed NAS boxes we’ve seen, however, there’s no front USB or quick-copy button for camera and video buffs looking for easy offloads.

f2 220 b TerraMaster

Head-on view of the FS-220. There’s no front USB or quick copy button but the unit is definitely nice-looking.

Interface and apps

The F2-220’s setup and HTML management interface, at least in concept, rivals that of QNAP and Synology, with windows-in-a-browser and lots of basic Linux apps. It’s still a work in progress, though. For instance, you can’t drag the icons around the desktop, and there’s no timed spin-down of external USB media, among other omissions.

But what’s there—and that includes SMB and corporate features such as iSCSI, virtual storage, Web site and email serving—is generally done well. More germane to this review, there’s DLNA and iTunes serving, as well as a Plex Media Server. Between the three, that covers streaming to any computing device. There were zero issues streaming to multiple devices, though as on other boxes, Plex’s DLNA service didn’t work across our test network. TerraMaster’s own DLNA server did, so all was well in that regard.

terra master setup18

TerraMaster’s TOS NAS interface shows great promise, but it’s still immature in many minor respects.

Another area where software immaturity popped up: The iTunes server enumerated video files to the iTunes player, rather than just music, as it should. Not a deal-breaker, but annoying.

On the other hand, the F2-220’s ability to read my exFAT thumb drive was a nice surprise, especially given that support is not listed. That feature costs you a couple of bucks on QNAP and Synology’s boxes. Why exFAT? It’s the format of choice these days with USB drive vendors because it's read and write on both PCs and Macs. It also requires that companies supporting it pay royalties, hence my surprise.

Performance

Backups to the F2-220 completed quickly, and the box supports ftp (as a destination), rsync (client and server), and Time Machine. You can also back up to an attached USB drive. The 4K UHD (2160p) streaming was like butter. Though not quite as fast as the Netgear ReadyNAS 212, or QNAP and Synology’s faster boxes, it’s not far behind and it's a heck of a lot cheaper.

The Web portal that allows easy remote access to your F2-220 is found at www.tnas.online. As with all NAS boxes, you may access it remotely by traditional port forwarding (router settings) and your public IP.

NAS box benchmark revised Jon L. Jacobi

The TerraMaster F2-220 delivered a smokin' write performance.

The F2-220 falls a tad short of the competition in its support of online storage services. There was just Dropbox, where most NAS boxes also support at least OneDrive and Google Drive. Another minor gripe is there’s no way to schedule the box to shut down or turn itself back on. After being idle for 15 minutes, the F2-220 switches into a low-power mode on its own, which somewhat compensates, but it also slows access to the box while it’s waking up. Again, not a huge deal, but occasionally annoying.

TerraMaster says it’s working on power scheduling and ftp backup, as well spinning down external drives.

Conclusion

TerraMaster’s F2-220 may not have been on your radar either, but it’s definitely worth a look. The software has a few unfinished edges, but it’s still an excellent performer for the price, and its aluminum construction makes it as rugged as they come.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags nas

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon L. Jacobi

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?