The F2-220 is a network attached storage (NAS) system that centralizes all of its files in one place. It can then be accessed from all devices connected to the network (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.). With its aluminum housing, the TerraMaster NAS presents itself as a robust model. It has a Gigabit Ethernet port on the back and two USB connectors (one for USB 2.0 and the other for USB 3.0) to connect an external storage unit. Note that the power supply is separate, but hardly more cumbersome than that of a laptop.
At the front are the activity LEDs, the on / off button and two drawers for internal hard drives.
The F2-220 is delivered without disk, so we installed two WD Red 6 TB disks. The mounting of the disks is not a problem but we regret that the drawers are made of plastic, which is not a guarantee of resistance and durability
For the software installation, we downloaded and used the TNAS which detects the NAS on the network and allows to activate the installation wizard. The latter works in the Internet browser and is very pleasant to use.
The wizard can automatically download the TOS operating system, which is necessary for the operation of the NAS, and we were able to do this beforehand in order to perform a manual installation, much faster. The wizard also asks in what mode the two disks are used. Raid 0 mode offers the best speed while Raid 1 mode offers more security (each file is written on the first and on the second disc), but divides the total capacity by 2.
The interface is clear and efficient
Once initialization is complete, the TOS interface appears and is very reminiscent of that of other NAS manufacturers with its icons and windows. We appreciated the ease of use of the interface and especially its reactivity. The creation of other users and groups is done quickly, as well as the management of the rights of the different folders.
Connected directly to a PC, to obtain optimal performance by limiting network interference, we measured with the CrystalDiskMark review satisfactory speeds of 104.6 MB / s in read and 110.7 MB / s in write. Recall that the Gigabit Ethernet interface theoretically offers a maximum speed of 125 MB / s. However, we regret the absence of standby and the slightly high sound level of the device in operation (34.6 dB according to our measurements).
Multimedia playback functions
Besides the control panel, the interface has a file manager which allows, among other things, to display Jpeg photos, listen to MP3 audio and watch MP4 videos provided that the bit rate of the network be sufficient.
The NAS is also equipped with other programs that are easily activated in the application manager: Clam antivirus, a synchronization tool for Dropbox, an email server and an iTunes server in particular. However, there is no print server.
The F2-220 is also compatible with the DLNA standard, which allows a TV connected to the network to access its multimedia content. Note also the presence of the main current protocols (NFS, SMB, AFP, ISCSI, FTP).
Not easy to use outside the home
Terra Master has also provided two ways to access the NAS while away from home. The easiest way is to go through the TNAS.online site, but requires that the F2-220 have an independent IP address, which is unfortunately rarely the case. It is all the more regrettable that the equivalent procedure with other manufacturers (QNAP, Synology) works without this type of constraint.
The second access mode implements a DDNS server, for example NO-IP, but is complex because it requires network skills. When you manage to implement it, you just need to go through a simple browser and enter the address generated by NO-IP to find the environment of the NAS.
We also regret the absence of specific applications for smartphone tablets. However, the manufacturer is working on it and they should arrive within a month. At this time, access to NAS files from a mobile device is not possible except through a third-party application (a DNLA client).
Compatible with Apple Time Machine
Finally, the TerraMaster F2-220 has backup functions, between two NAS or between the NAS and an external hard drive. The device is also compatible with the Time Machine backup function of Mac OS, but the manufacturer does not offer a similar program for Windows.