Chinese manufacturer Terra Master have been around for a while now, providing various NAS storage solutions for business and home users. The F2-220 is the latest in their line-up and provides a good combination of features for an affordable price.
If hardwired Hard Drives sound a bit too risky or you want to access all your files without carrying extra hardware around, NAS drives are the answer. A Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive is basically a simple server with its own processor and OS that can be used to control storage over the internet.
The F2-220 uses a Celeron processor, not the latest or greatest as in their more expensive models, but certainly good enough to run their bespoke server OS well enough and it serves to keep costs lower. In line with this, the model only comes with 2GB RAM, as opposed to 4GB in other models, which is fine for home use.
Hardware-wise, the NAS drive offers everything you’d expect from its SATA based drive bays. It’s easy to slide the 2 bays in or out and simple to connect the SATA and power connectors to any drive. It will support SSD drives, too, so that files can be retrieved and written to at optimal speeds, though I’d probably suggest standard drives are better if you’re doing a lot of reading and writing on a daily basis.
The package comes with all the screws and mountings you’ll need for different size drives and it only takes about 10 minutes to have it all up and running.
On the left there are lights showing the power, ethernet and each drive’s status. That’s about it, really, and that’s all you need.
The back of the box contains all the ports you’d expect from a premium NAS drive. USB 3.0, Ethernet and power are all clearly marked and spaced well enough to avoid cluttering the back of the system.
A large fan helps to keep the system cool when running all day, though it doesn’t use a lot of power and thankfully it runs fairly quiet when idle, with only a slight rise in noise when dealing with a lot of file manipulation.
Installation and Software
Installing the hard drives in the bays is straightforward, thanks to a mix of screw hole placements in the removable bay which can take 3.5″ or 2.5″ Sata drives (both HDD and SSD are supported). Then simply slot them carefully in and they’ll connect to the Sata data and power connectors at the back. It’s easy to line it all up and you’ll know when the drives are in as the front becomes flush.
Once installed, you need to go to the online menu, download the manual and the OS and wait for it to install. This leads on to formatting drives and creating RAID partitions depending on your preference. These two tasks can take quite a while, though, and I had to leave the PC to its work and come back later in order to finish.
The TNAS OS is then installed and linked to via an app on the desktop where it opens a Linux based menu, almost a mini windows desktop of its own.
Apps come pre-installed or as part of the app installer. Choice is a little sparse at the moment but more apps are planned. You can choose from Plex, iTunes server, Transmission (a pretty good torrent manager commonly found on Mac) and a generic media server for those who don’t want to play for the complexities of Plex. You can also get Clam Antivirus, which is recommended if you’re going to the accessing the internet or torrents from this box.
The backup of Dropbox files is pretty good and means that those with a basic Dropbox space can empty it more often in the knowledge that the files are also being backed up elsewhere.
Overall, the OS and software on offer is fairly basic but certainly covers most of the needs of the new NAS owner well. Hopefully further additions will arrive to expand the device’s use further.
There are some teething issues here, like the speed of formatting and some files transfers taking a while to complete, as well as a lack of extra apps, but what’s on offer here for the price point still provides a useful and easy to understand NAS service for those who want more remote control of their files, downloads and media.