Late last year I had an interesting external storage option come in that ran on Thunderbolt3 and also provided dock like functionality with a display connection, USB,  and ethernet ports. This was the TerraMaster TD2 Thunderbolt3 Plus and it was the first time I had the chance to check out TerraMaster. They also make a few different NAS models and they recently had a new series, their 422 series which added 10Gb network support which caught my eye. They sent over the F2-422 which is a two-drive model that looks a lot like the TD2 and today I am finally going to talk a little about the overall experience. Is the F2-422 a cheaper NAS option for someone looking for a 10Gb NAS and is the extra network bandwidth worth it? Today I will check that out.

Product Name: TerraMaster F2-422 10GbE

Review Sample Provided by: TerraMaster

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Processor Model

Intel® Celeron® J3455

Processor Architecture

X.86 64-bit

Processor Frequency

Quad Core 1.5GHz (Max burst up to 2.3GHz)

Hardware Encryption Engine

Memory

System Memory

4GB 

Pre-installed Memory module

/

Total Memory Slot Number

1

Maximum Supported Memory

 8 GB (4 GB + 4 GB)

Note

TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier's product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.

Storage

Disk Slot Number

2

Compatible Drive types

3.5" SATA HDD

2.5" SATA HDD

2.5" SATA SSD

Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity

32TB (16 TB x 2) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)

Max Single Volume

108TB

Drive Hot Swap

Note

. Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.

File System

Internal Drive

EXT4,BTRFS

External Drive

EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+

External Ports

RJ-45 1GbE Network Jack

2

RJ-45 10GbE Network Jack

1

USB 3.0 Port

2

USB 2.0 Port

/

COM

/

HDMI

/

VGA

/

LSI 9207-8i HBA Card

/

PCIe Slots

/

Appearance

Size (H*W*D)

227 x 119 x 133 mm

Packaging Size (H*W*D)

258 x 220 x 170 mm

Weight

Net Weight: 1.50Kg  Gross Weight: 2.36Kg

Others

System Fan

80 mm x 80 mm x25mm  1 pcs

Fan Mode

Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed

Noise Level

18.6dB(A) 

Power Supply

40W

AC Input Voltage

100V - 240V AC

Current Frequency

50/60 Hz, single frequency

Power Consumption

25.6W 

Limited warranty

2 years

Certificate

FCC, CE, CCC, KC

Environment

RoHS, WEEE

Temperature

Working Temperature

5°C  ~ 40°C (40°F ~ 104°F)

Storage Temperature

-20°C ~ 60°C (-5°F ~ 140°F)

Relative Humidity

5% ~ 95% RH

Package Contents

Host unit (x1)

Power cord (x1)

RJ-45 network cable (x1)

Quick Installation Guide (x1)

Limited Warranty Note(x1)

Screws(a few)

Power adapter (x1)

TOS Features

Supported Client OS

Windows OS, Mac OS, Linux OS

Supported Web Browsers

Google Chrome 48, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla Firefox 30,Apple Safari 4.5 or later version; Microsoft Edge is not recommened.

Supported mobile OS

Ios 8.2, Android 6.0 or later version

Storage Management

Supported RAID Types

Single,JBOD,RAID 0,RAID 1

Maximum Internal Volume Number

256

Maximum iSCSI Target

128

Maximum iSCSI LUN

256

Volume Expansion with Larger HDDs

RAID 1

Volume Expansion by Adding a HDD

/

RAID Migration

SSD Cache

Hot Spare

SSD TRIM

/

Hard Drive S.M.A.R.T.

Seagate IHM

NVRAM write cache(BBU-protected)

/

WORM(Write Once Read Many)

/

Shared Folder Snapshot

LUN Snapshot

/

Storage QoS For Shared Folder

/

File Services

File Protocol

SAMBA/AFP/NFS/FTP/WebDAV

Maximum Concurrent SAMBA/AFP/FTP Connections

500

Windows Access Control List (ACL) Integration

NFS Kerberos Authentication

Account & Shared Folder

Maximum local user's account number

2048

Maximum local group number

512

Maximum shared folders number

512

Maximum shared folders syncing tasks

8

Backup

Rsync Server

Rsync Backup

Schedule Backup

USB Device Backup

Cloud Sync

Time Machine Server

File System Cluster

/

Networking

TCP/IP

IPv4

Protocols

CIFS/SAMBA, NFS, FTP, TFTP, HTTPS, SSH, iSCSI, SNMP, SMTP

Link Aggregation

DLNA Compliance

VPN Client

VPN Server

Proxy Client

Proxy Server

/

UPnP/Bonjour Discovery

TNAS.online Remote Access

DDNS

Access Right Management

Batch users creation

/

Import/Export users

/

User Quota Managerment

Local user access control for CIFS/SAMBA and FTP

Domain Authentication

Microsoft Active Directory

LDAP Client

LDAP Server

/

SSO

/

Security

Firewall Protection

Account Auto-block Protection

AES Shared Folder Encryption

Importable SSL certificate

Instant Alert via email, SMS, Beep

Power Managerment

Automatic Power On After Power Recovery

Scheduled Power On/Off

Wakeup On LAN

/

UPS Supported

Administration

Multi-window, Multi-task System Management

Custom Desktop

Control Panel

Resource Monitor

Syslog

OS UI Language

English,German, French, Spanish, Italian, Magyar, Chinese,Japanese,Korean

Applications

Application Center

Mail Server

Web Server

Clam Antivirus

Download

Multi Media Server

Docker

Plex Media Server

Snapshot

 


Packaging

The packaging for the F2-422 is the same setup as the TD2 that I took a look at. An all blue box with the TerraMaster logo on the front with a handle up on top. Their logo is on each side with just the one end not having it. That is where they put a white printed sticker with all of the specific information about the model. This has the bar code and a full model number along with a feature list which ironically mentioned the 1G network, not the 10G but that is in the full model name.

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Inside the box, the NAS comes wrapped up in a plastic bag with foam on both ends that hold it away from the sides of the box and keep it safe. Then next to that there is a cardboard box that comes with all of the accessories and documentation.

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Inside the accessory box, you get a book on the warranty and a startup guide for documentation. They also include a sticker sheet with hard drive tags. This is also where they pack in the power cord. I like that the AC to DC inverter here isn’t a big wall wart they have it in line and it also doesn’t even require a ground for those of you who have an older house without updated wiring. There is a short network cable also included as well. Then there are two bags of screws and a screwdriver. The bags are labeled and you get the course threads that 3.5 inch hard drives use and machine threads that SSDs and small 2.5 inch hard drives use. The screwdriver is just a cheap screwdriver but it is a nice addition.

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Photos and Features

So earlier with the packaging, I mentioned that the F2-422’s box looked the same as the TD2 that I took a look at. Well the NAS itself also shares a LOT with the TD2 as well. Both have a two-hard drive capacity so TerraMaster was able to share most of the enclosure across the otherwise different products. That means the F2-422 has the same aluminum shell and silver finish and it has the Terra Master logo on the side. It is 227mm long, 133mm tall, and 119 wide. It is around the same size as your average two-bay NAS so no big surprises there and like the Thunderbolt3 enclosure this is a diskless setup so you do need to include your own hard drives, which is also what most NAS also require with the exception of a few options from the hard drive manufactures themselves.

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So the front of the NAS has the two pull out hard drive trays on the right side and down on the bottom below them they do have small labels as well so you can keep track of them but they are easily missed. Then over on the left, the front panel has four LED status indicators, each with a label. The top two are for the hard drives and will let you know that the drive is picked up or change color if there is an error. Then below that one is a LAN status indicator which flashes with network traffic. Then last is a power indicator. I’m surprised there aren’t more network indicators given that this NAS has three different NAS, it would be nice to be able to see which is hooked up from the front here. Then down at the bottom is a power button which sticks out a little, this might be better with a touch of protection from it being bumped.

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The pull out hard drive trays have a basic latch setup where you pull up on the silver front and it unlatches from the top and lets you pull it out. This also helps when putting drives in, giving you leverage to make sure they are plugged in correctly. Both trays are completely plastic and they don’t have as much ventilation as a lot of other NAS that I’ve seen but the front edge does have small holes in it for some ventilation. Interestingly the sides don’t have any mounting holes or any toolless setup for 3.5 inch hard drives. All of the mounting holes are in the bottom to be used with the included screws.

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Both sides and the top of the F2-422 don’t have anything going on at all. The entire middle of the NAS is aluminum. Beyond that, the sides have the TerraMaster logo in the middle and that’s about it.

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At the back, just like the TD2 the F2-422 has the bump out of the back that holes the enclosure's only fan which sticks out around 15mm. Then on the right of that is the rear I/O. Down at the bottom is the 12v DC power in from the included power adapter. Then for connections, the F2-422 has two USB 3.0 ports up top. Then there are three network connections. The top two that match are both 1Gb ports then the bottom port is a 10Gb network connection. It uses the same RJ45 connection as the other two but with 10 times the connection speed, assuming you have a 10Gb network to hook it into of course.

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While the hard drive trays don’t have as much ventilation as I would like. The F2-422 makes up for that with the vents in the bottom of the enclosure. These still help pull fresh air up across the hard drives with the help of the rear fan. They also are under the motherboard as well to keep things cool. The bottom has inch wide feet on all of the corners to keep it up for airflow. This is also the only place on the enclosure that you will find the model information at all with the grey sticker having the model information as well as the normally required certification logos. With that, there is a smaller second sticker that has your serial number as well in case you have any problems.

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Digging inside of the F2-422 is extremely easy with just four screws on the back panel holding everything together. Once those are out the back panel comes off with just the cable for the fan being plugged into the motherboard keeping it attached. I was really surprised when I took this off however because I also found an HDMI port hidden behind the back panel. The rear I/O does have a knockout for it, but I didn’t expect it to be behind the knockout.

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The back of the motherboard has a thick foam pad that helps keep things supported on the bottom of the NAS. Then over on the far right, there is a single DDR4 SODIMM where you can expand the memory of the F2-422, this might be the easiest ram upgrade on any of the non-rack-mounted NAS that I have taken a look at. Most are packed on the top of the motherboards up under the hard drive cage. This being a single slot is interesting though and if you look down at the bottom of the motherboard we can see why. The four chips above the sticker are memory. The base 4GB is soldered on so you can’t remove it and replace it with something larger. This also means that the expansion slot is limited to 4GB to match the base memory.

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Up on top of the motherboard, the dual hard drive cage is attached to the top. The cage has a break-out board that plugs into a PCIe x4 slot on the board. This provides the two SATA connections as well as the power for the two drives as well.

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Poking around the rest of the board there are a few other interesting things. So the Intel Celeron J3455 CPU is in the center up under the drive cage. You can see the black heatsink that it has covering it. The J3455 obviously doesn’t need too much cooling with the basic aluminum heatsink without a fan. The J3455 is a Quad-Core that runs at 1.5GHz with a max burst of up to 2.3GHz. Its 10-watt TDP does explain the cooling. This is an older CPU, I tested the Qnap TS-453Be with the same CPU back in 2018 but it is still capable of handling things. Also around on the motherboard, I was surprised to find a normal motherboard power connection which was unused and there were also more fan hookups, four in total. Then there is also an internal USB plug with a dongle inside. Normally this is a basic way to add wireless or Bluetooth to a chipset without it but the F2-422 doesn’t have either so I’m not entirely sure what that is being used for. It may be storing the base OS for the installation, that’s my only other guess but I wasn’t able to confirm.

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Software

For a NAS, storage is important but they offer a lot more than just that so the software side of things plays an important role in your overall experience. TerraMaster uses an OS they call TOS and its main version current is TOS 4.2 and more specifically our testing has been done on 4.2.11-2103251142, that’s more than a mouth full! When you get started with the F2-422 you can find the IP that it has logged into on your router or use the TerraMaster startup that will help you get connected. Once connected you will have to run through a few setup options. They check your hard drives right at the start to make sure they are healthy then from there it will install the OS which includes downloading the latest update. You can get that manually or use the online auto-download then wait for it to get set up.

software 1
software 2
software 3

Once the OS is installed they will start you off by asking what you want to name the NAS and to set up your username and password. You also need to set up your time zone and security email. I did run into a bug where even after setting my time zone here I did have to change it once things were set up so double check that. The configuration also walks you through setting up a RAID and the NAS does give you the option to build a RAID 5,6, and 10 here but with this being a 2 drive model it isn’t an option. It also doesn’t show these options later if you reconfigure the raid in the OS so this is just a small issue in the setup wizard here but you can do a RAID 1 or 0 or single or JBOD setups. They also do a nice job of splitting things up to show you what offers at least basic data redundancy which for this NAS would just be RAID 1.

software 4
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software 7

So TOS 4.2 has a setup similar to other NAS OS which tries to look a lot like your standard desktop with a full background and on the left, your main options are listed out. Up in the top right corner, you have alerts as well as the option to restart or turn the NAS off or to just log out in general. They also pop up by default a window on the right that has the current status of your hardware including how much storage is used, memory and CPU usage, network traffic, and things like uptime. You can also get into the settings to change the background image just like your normal PC as well or even upload your picture.

software 16
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So where a NAS can set itself apart is with additional software. TerraMaster has their app store where you can one-click install a wide variety of options. A lot of the options are the same that you will find with other NAS but are all important. Especially options like different cloud sync options that you can use to backup your data to a remote location. Beyond that there are development options where you can use the NAS as a small server with various versions of PHP, use it as a web server, and they even have easy installs for content management solutions like Drupal, Joomla, and more. You can run it as a DNS server for your home network or even a VPN server. They also have Plex and other media servers where you can host your own media on your network or even remotely. With Plex for example I have used our own server to watch movies and TV Shows while traveling or even on our mobile phone. TerraMaster has a few of their own programs, but coming from Qnap which was the last NAS I took a look at they still have catching up to do, some of those more established companies have a crazy number of programs made. Docker is there which means even if the program isn’t listed, you can download a docker and run it as well. The only big thing I saw missing was software for security cameras. A lot of people love to use a NAS as an all-in-one setup for handling their cameras and that isn’t going to work here.

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Beyond the app store, the other main page is really the control panel. This is where they have all of the settings. Some of these options you may never need to get into after setting things up in the setup wizard. But for example, to use the NAS to access data you will need to turn on SMB if you have a windows PC. I was surprised that doesn’t come on by default, it normally is. Interestingly the mac specific AFP was turned on though.

software 11

The hardware information page covers your temperatures which keeps track of the CPU, the NAS itself, then one of your hard drives. They also allow you to play with the fan settings which is something that most consumer NAS don’t have the option. It comes with the smart fan setting on, but you can force the fan on at low, medium, or full speed as well.

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They even have support for a UPS if you have one.

software 15

 


Performance

For performance testing, I did need to install drives in the F2-422, and to keep spinning drives from being the big bottleneck I like to use SSDs which at least push the limits of the SATA connections. This was especially important for the F2-422 because of its 10Gbe network connection. I did want to put that to the test. So here are the Crucial SSDs that I tested with. Obviously, in most situations, a must larger capacity hard drive would be more ideal for real-world usage so keep in mind that the numbers that I am seeing are much faster than two hard drives would see.

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So with my initial setup, I set the two drives up in a RAID 0 to get the fastest possible configuration so I could take a look at the network performance of the 10GbE network connection. We have a 10GbE network in the office to hook it up to so once things were set up I could set the NAS up as a networked drive and turn CrystalDiskMark to get a look at the overall performance. CrystalDiskMark is great at getting a look at the best possible sequential transfer speeds which will show how the NIC performed and the two SSDs are three or more times faster than the latest hard drives.

Anyhow so below we have a look at the performance difference between being hooked up to one of the two 1GbE NICs on the F2-422 and the one 10GbE port. The 1GbE network capped read performance at 116.9 MB/s where the 10 GbE wasn’t capped with it reading 653 MB/s. This is still less than saturating the 10GbE connection and like I mentioned before if you are running two hard drives the performance will be even lower. Which does bring up some questions on if a 10GbE connection is needed. I think a 4 drive capacity or higher would be a better option when it comes to 10GbE but this would still be a possibility if you wanted to pack two high capacity SSDs for a fast networked storage option.

perf raid0 1g

Raid 0 – 1GbE Network

perf raid0 10g

Raid 0 – 10GbE Network

Looking beyond the network performance I did run some of my real-world tests which are transferring files through windows using a few different file types that see significant differences in transfer speeds. Movie files for example are large and are mostly just a sequential file transfer but documents which were very small in size slow things down a lot. Photos are in the middle and are also most likely the file type most households will be backing up and putting on the network so I have all three. I also tested with RAID 0 and RAID 1 to see if there would be a performance difference as well as using just a single drive and two drives in a JBOD. For the most part, there wasn’t a big performance difference which was a surprise. Having a RAID 1 was a little slower with the documents going to the NAS itself but yeah, if you are worried about the performance difference. At least with a newly built RAID, something else on the F2-422 was the bottleneck.

Documents to NAS

Documents to PC

Pictures to NAS

Pictures to PC

Movies to NAS

Movies to PC

Raid 0

1.41 MB/s

720 KB/s

251 MB/s

195 MB/s

405 MB/s

513 MB/s

Raid 1

810 KB/s

720 KB/s

240 MB/s

193 MB/s

415 MB/s

451 MB/s

Single Drive

1.41 MB/s

742 KB/s

241 MB/s

194 MB/s

410 MB/s

484 MB/s

JBOD

1.41 MB/s

738 KB/s

240 MB/s

193 MB/s

414 MB/s

483 MB/s

 

 


Overall and Final Verdict

Well the TerraMaster F2-422 was full of surprises. This was my first look at a TerraMaster NAS and going in I was concerned that being a lesser-known company the software side of things might be lacking. Their TOS is very close to most other modern NAS in feel and it does get you a lot of the standard options when it comes to apps/programs that you can run. Especially with Plex support and with Docker if you know what you are doing you can add just about anything you might want. It doesn’t have some of the personal cloud-like options that Qnap for example has but not everyone is looking for that functionality. The one big thing missing on the software side though is some sort of software for IP cameras, which is a very popular use for in home NAS. The setup was quick and easy but I did run into a few small bugs like having to set up my time zone more than once or if you wipe a RAID you need to set up and turn on SMB for windows file sharing again.

The hardware itself isn’t today's fastest, you end up with a quad-core Intel CPU that was popular in budget NAS a few years ago which may age the F2-422 faster. But I didn’t run into any performance issues with the F2-422 or with the last Intel Celeron J3455 NAS that I had (which I still use). It comes with 4GB of memory which as it turns out is soldered on to the motherboard but they do at least include a single SODIMM that you can expand the memory out to 8GB in total but having to make sure it is compatible with the soldered on ram could be a headache or expensive if you have to buy the TerraMaster specific memory. I also found it interesting that there is a hidden HDMI port on the motherboard, I didn’t see any apps that would take advantage right now but I have to wonder if someone who has the time to mess with it might be able to put it to use.

Of course, the big feature for the F2-422 is that it includes a 10GbE network connection on top of the TWO standard 1GbE NICs as well. This is the F2-422’s main feature and it performed well. But with this specific model being a 2 drive NAS it does bring up some questions on if it is needed. I was only really able to put its performance at all with two SSDs. If you are using two hard drives a cheaper option may have been to pair it up with a 2.5GbE NIC for the 2 bay NAS and then 10GbE for the 4 bay and higher models. But if someone wanted a fast network option for their small home 10GbE network, you could toss two larger SSDs in it and keep costs down. Speaking of pricing, the F2-422 pricing is interesting. Because if you are comparing it to other 2 bay options without the 10GbE NIC it is expensive. Even TerraMaster themselves sell a few options at $249 and $149. But when it comes to a NAS with 10GbE this is the cheapest option you can find. So I have the price here as a pro, but ONLY if you need/want the 10GbE. I think most people won’t be able to take advantage of it unless they go up to the 4 or higher drive capacity. But I do think TerraMaster could do well with a similar option with a 2.5GbE NIC. 

fv5

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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