TypeNAS Storage Solution
I had the opportunity to test the TerraMaster F2-210, a double bay NAS that is perfect for consumers with its small form factor and cost-friendly solution. It offers homes and small businesses the ability to use cloud-based software and storage and security for anyone to be able to access in the home or office wirelessly.
Setup was extremely easy. After downloading the TerraMaster TNAS PC application, I was ready to go. The time it took to place my NAS storage into the two bays, download the software, and run through the steps to set it up, I was up and running in under ten minutes. The process was extremely user-friendly, which is great for those using a wireless NAS storage solution for the first time.
TerraMaster F2-210 NAS Specifications
Under the hood, the TerraMaster F2-210 utilizes an ARM V8 64-bit quad-core processor. The F2-210 runs at frequencies of up to 1.4 GHz, with reading/write speeds as high as 124 MB/s, depending on the configuration. It offers cloud data storage and backup solutions, management of multimedia files, the ability to access anything on the NAS remotely, as well as other features, such as downloading torrent files and much more. On the product website, TerraMaster states that the cost of the F2-210 is equal to "half the price of a NAS with an Intel x86 quad-core processor." With a price tag of $159.99, I would have to agree that you are getting quite a bit for such a low cost.
With an aluminum casing with plastic latches and ends, the TerraMaster is easy to load with a corresponding 2.5" to 3.5" NAS compatible drive. Installing the 2.5" Seagate IronWolf 125 SSD 500GB NAS Internal Solid State Drive that I had for this review was simple with the included screws from TerraMaster. With the choice of plastic latches to secure both bays, I found that you have to be very gentle with each bay when you remove and insert each. In fact, upon inspection of product reviews from customers, as well as information I had available, it is stressed that you gently push the buy-in from the end on not the latch itself. Once inserted, you are then able to gently push the latch down.
For cost-effectiveness, I can see why TerraMaster chose this particular style of build. The biggest concern I had about it was if I, or anyone else using it in my home, was to rush to take out the drive and switch to another, pushing it in or handling it incorrectly, and possibly break the bay's latching system in the process. Again, I understand the constraints to keep down costs, but I also think about businesses having an employee working with the NAS setup and breaking it for the business. If it was a little more stable latching system, I would probably worry less and allow for other members of the family to work with the NAS enclosure. I did appreciate that they included a Philips screwdriver for the drives to be attached to the bays, but it was not necessary and could probably be removed from the product, cutting down a little of the cost and not leaving the consumer with additional tools that everyone should have in their home or office.
The F2-210 can be turned on and off via the TNAS PC software with an in-house OS from TerraMaster, called TOS, which is Linux-based. There are indicators on the front for Power, LAN, and both HDD bays. It is exceptionally quiet, and the only thing I noticed was the beep notifying me that it was on and running. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the back of the F2-210, a Gigabit LAN port and the power supply port. I have yet to find a use for the USB 3.0 ports, but I assume that small businesses could find a use for it.
The compatibility of HDDs is located on their site, and the total capacity if you were to utilize two of the largest compatible NAS HDDs listed, is 36TB, which is staggering for the model. Most, if not all, of TerraMaster's NAS solutions, have recently upgraded to be PLEX multimedia software compatible. Watching a movie was extremely easy, and I'm sure if I had digital backups of all of my DVDs, VHS tapes (some of us still have those), and Blu-rays, I would have no problem filling up the F2-210's compatible HDDs. Again, 36TBs is more than I would think most homes would need, and with the use of up to ten users, that storage size would be more suited for organizations and small businesses. Data transfer speeds were extremely fast, with a 10GB file taking less than twenty seconds to go onto the drive. Download speeds were equal as well.
When talking about software options for users, they offer several free applications via the TOS Application Center, which includes everything from backup, security, utilities for home and business, multimedia options, and several development tools. For home use, PLEX was the primary use, and Dropbox was my secondary use for the F2-210. However, small businesses could essentially build small servers for storage, utilize mail and web servers, and use utilities like FTP, MySQL, CRM, Java virtual systems, and other applications suited for a small business setting. Any apps that I worked with were extremely user-friendly, cutting out a ton of headaches in the process.
Lastly, they also offer the ability to control the F2-210 via smartphones with their Smart Mobile App. I did not experience any problems accessing the hardware and a few of the software that I was using, where I found on the App Store page that a lot of other users were experiencing. It is possible that TerraMaster fixed any issues that were being experienced with their most recent updates.
Budget friendly NAS solution for both small businesses and tech-experienced families.
- Easy to setup, fast, user-friendly
- Somewhat fragile, not for everyone, best suited for small offices or small businesses
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