TerraMaster is very proud of the affordable NAS server, the F212 series that includes an ARM processor and supports the latest 5.1 TOS, which the previously used ARM processors couldn't get updated. The product is very solid, includes a new HDD cage design, good build quality, and can either support two HDDs (F2-212) or four HDDs (F4-212). Since this is a budget product, you will find limited connectivity options, (1x USB3.0, 1x USB2.0, and 1x 1Gbit LAN), and no Wifi support is present. Using an ARM processor has several advantages, like low power consumption, which helps reduce electrical bills. The used Realtek 1619B chipset is based upon ARM V8.2 Cortex-A55 64-bit technology and boosts up to 1.7GHz speeds, with 1Gigabyte of DDR-4 pre-installed memory that cannot be upgraded. This may be a limiting factor for some users, however, with most ARM-based NAS servers, memory simply cannot be extended. There isn't much information available for the Realtek 1619B chipset around the Internet, however, it should handle well 4K media files with the pre-installed Plex. Note that hardware encoding is not supported even with the paid Plex version.
The new TOS 5.1 is much upgraded over the previous 4. xx builds being used with older ARM products. TOS 5.1 optimizes the EXT4/Btrfs/NTFs file systems and the SMB3 file server and uses ext4/f2fs/ubifs file system encryption in API encryption. The overall impression is that the TOS is snappy all windows will start quickly and we didn't have crashes or problems during our evaluation. The app center is very nice to have and many popular apps have been ported from the x86 platform to the ARM platform, giving users many features/options to play with. The F2-212 comes with Plex and Qbittorent pre-installed and ready to work, even though we found a newer Qbittorent app from users who continue to port apps to the ARM platform.
The new HDD is tool-less while being plastic, feels solid, and gets the job done with 3.5" HDD drives. Users who want to use 2.5" HDD/SSD drives will have to use the included screws. The 1Gbit included LAN is sufficient for entry-level users and the max theoretical transfer speed is 125MB/sec, while real-life use should be around 70-90Mb/sec. If you want to perform RAID 0 with this NAS product, you won't get support for fast speeds and might want to upgrade with a system that has either a 2.5G or 10G LAN port. If we had to nag about something is the fact that the power button from the front panel was moved to the back, making powering up/down the device more difficult, even NAS servers are supposed to be always online so this may not annoy other users...
Overall we feel that the Terramaster F2-212 NAS server is a new proposal with good build quality, a great operating system (TOS 5.1) that is updated frequently, and most of all good retail price ($169.99).
Terramaster products can be found over Amazon online stores and Aliexpress at the links below
- US: https://amz.run/6xL5
- UK: https://amz.run/6xL9
- DE: https://amz.run/6xLk
- JP: https://amz.run/6xL4
- FR: https://amz.run/6xLB
- IT: https://amz.run/6xLl
- ES: https://amz.run/6xLA