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The F2-220 2-bay NAS enclosure by TerraMaster is a sub-$200 personal backup and storage solution. It has a dual core Intel CPU, and can handle up to 16TB of storage. As it comes without any drives, the big question is: is it any good?
If you’re not sure if you need a NAS or a cloud backup, read our comparison (my preference is both — you can never have enough backups).
The F2-220 is a two bay Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution. Each bay supports up to 8TB of storage, therefore supporting a maximum of 16TB of storage, depending on how you configure the redundant array of independent drives (RAID). If you require more than two drives, the F4-220 and F5-420 models support four and five drives. In the case of the F5-420, the processor gets a nice bump to a quad core as well.
It supports 3.5″ or 2.5″ HDD or SSD SATA drives, making it compatible with nearly every consumer drive readily available right now. Using SSDs would get very expensive, and ultra fast M.2 SSDs will not fit. The best choice is 2 x mechanical HDDs.
Inside is an Intel Celeron 2.41GHz dual core CPU, along with 2GB of RAM and a 1Gbps network interface.
Due to these specifications, the FS-220 is less NAS and more server. It can handle a vast number of general purpose server duties, including:
There are two USB ports on the back; one is USB 2, the other is USB 3. These are used to backup the NAS to an external drive – something that is certainly a good idea. However, if you have a 16TB NAS, it’s not possible to purchase a standalone 16TB USB drive! This backup feature may be better suited to backing up smaller folders, or copying certain data for travel.
It would be very nice to be able to backup USB drives directly to the NAS, but you cannot.
The NAS itself is a solid piece of kit, and the brushed aluminium feels nice to the touch. It does come with warning sticker attached, which annoyingly does not peel off neatly, instead leaving a sticky mess. This is meant to be removed, as it has a “quick release” tab. It’s not the end of the world, but it is a pain.
In The Box
Inside the box you get (nearly) everything you need to get started. Alongside the NAS you get:
- 1 x power adaptor
- 1 x network cable
- 1 x screwdriver
- Various drive screws
You get a warranty booklet and one page leaflet with a getting started website address. It would be nice to have a manual or getting started guide, however the website does a good job of guiding you through the process.
The only thing you need to add is the drives. It’s recommended to purchase two identical drives for NAS devices — not only will you optimize your RAID setup, but you will maximize your storage space.
Setup is simple enough. The TerraMaster “TNAS” desktop app needs to be installed, and once it is, it guides you through the setup. It finds the F2-220 on your network, and formats it.
It provides you with an accurate status of every step.
Once setup, it allows you to create master passwords, and perform basic tasks. It is now installed with the TerraMaster Operating System (TOS).
Performance was very good. You can expect to achieve about 500Mbps read, and 250Mbps write. This will of course depend on the speed of your drives.
One issue I ran into was with Wi-Fi devices. Using a Macbook pro connected over WIFI to the F2-220 connected to ethernet, copying took a very long time. Write speeds dropped to about 50 megabits per second. Even with a fast Wi-Fi network, upload speeds were painfully slow. Some of this is also down to computers themselves. Computers can often struggle to copy many thousands of files from one device to another.
If I were using the F2-220 as a backup device, I could live with the slow speed. For much of the work I do, I need to copy several hundred GB files to the NAS and back — something that is not practical over W-Fi. I would buy the D5-300 for my needs – a five bay USB-C version. That’s not to say the F2-220 is bad – it’s great if you use it correctly (over a wired network).
TerraMaster claim the aluminium shell and quiet fan reduce noise and heat. While the fan is very quiet, the noise of the hard drives can be a problem. They are not excessively loud, and it is possible to buy reduced noise drives.
If you will use this NAS tucked away in a corner – perhaps under the stairs or behind the TV, then it’s no problem.
I ran it on my desk and it was noticeable. The main problem was vibrations from the drives could be felt along the length of the desk.
This is only a minor inconvenience, and it’s not the fault of TerraMaster — that’s just how mechanical drives work.
After a period of inactivity, the F2-220 will enter standby mode. This stops spinning the drives, significantly reducing the noise and extending the life of the drives.
The F2-220 only draws 17W when in use, and 2W in standby. For comparison, the Google Pixel uses 17W to charge, and a raspberry Pi uses between 1 and 2W (turn your Pi into a NAS).
This equates to running costs of approximately $20 per year — that’s a very respectable figure, and something that is likely to much lower if the NAS enters standby regularly. When you consider what the F2-220 can do, it’s remarkable how little energy it uses.
Where the F2-220 really shines is acting as a media server for your household. Running the TerraMaster Operating System, It supports a staggering number of protocols and services. You can run it as a database or web server – although only PHP is supported right now. It can run as a plex or iTunes server, and can synchronize with Dropbox.
The TerraMaster operating system provides remote access from any devices across the network. You can enable and disable services, manage files, delete users, and much more. While I did experience some slow downs, mainly when attempting to view media though the web interface, I’m pleased to say there were no noticeable slow downs or issues when accessing media through any other methods.
You can configure Telnet/SSH:
See drive and raid status:
See software and system status:
And see access logs:
Should You Buy the TerraMaster F2-220
If you are looking for a stable, reliable, and capable NAS device, you should consider the F2-220. While the network only interface may not work for every setup, there is a variety of different models to suit different requirements.
The TerraMaster Operating System rounds off the package by offering a multitude of communications protocols and technologies, in a simple to use interface.
Our competition for a TerraMast F2-220 and 2 drives to put in it is now over – the winner is displayed below. Thanks for entering!
With rock solid performance and a simple setup, there’s no reason not to purchase the F2-220. The excellent energy usage figures are the icing on the cake.