TerraMaster F2-210 review: Great value hardware with a vastly improved NAS OS

TerraMaster updated its TOS software, making the F2-210 a contender for Synology's budget-friendly NAS crown.

TerraMaster F2-210
(Image: © Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

TerraMaster is likely a Network Attached Storage (NAS) brand you've considered but avoided in favor of a comparable Synology NAS. The main drawback I've found previously with TerraMaster NAS models is the OS, which was not only more clunky than Synology's DSM but also more challenging to set up. That's no longer the case, making the F2-210 a compelling network storage solution.

What you'll love about the TerraMaster F2-210

TerraMaster F2-210

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

The TerraMaster F2-210 is a good-looking piece of kit; the company has its NAS design nailed. You've got a slab of aluminum-colored metal with a plastic rear housing, which is where the single fan is located. On the front, you have two drive bays, a power button, as well as various system indicator LEDs. It's a clean setup.

TerraMaster's software has finally caught up to its excellent hardware with the F2-210.

Unboxing everything was a simple process, simply connecting a power lead to an external brick (no internal PSU here), and then the brick to the rear of the NAS. This back panel contains not only the input port for power but also a single Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports.

Firing up the browser and loading the IP address assigned to the NAS by my network, I was pleasantly surprised by a refreshed user interface — it looks great. One complaint I previously had with TerraMaster products was the software and the UI; it was lackluster compared to the competition.

Now, it's easier than ever to get started with a TerraMaster NAS. The wizard walks you through setting up an admin account, sorting out installed drives, and preparing the OS after downloading onto one of your drives. A downside to this is you'll need to have at least one drive connected to set up and use the NAS, but it's a huge leap forward.

It's not required to create an external account to use TOS, but TerraMaster does offer login recovery functionality for your main admin account, should you forget the password. This function requires an email address to where a code will be sent. Once you log into the NAS, it's a similar experience — everything looks and handles great.

If you've used a Synology or QNAP NAS before, you'll feel right at home here. You have Applications, which acts much like your package manager, installing, updating, and removing the software. After installing Plex, it was easy to configure a media server, though you won't be able to transcode much with this processor.

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CPUARM v8 quad-core 1.4GHz
Max storage32TB
Warranty2 years
Ports2x USB 3.0
1x Gigabit Ethernet

Specifications-wise, the F2-210 is rocking two drive bays (supporting both 2.5- and 3-inch sizes), a quad-core ARM processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 1GB of RAM, and support for up to 32TB of storage space. If you're seeking a box to throw two drives in and call it a day for networked storage, the F2-210 has you covered.

Should you want to do a little more on this unit, you can, with the help of third-party services and software. Much like Synology's DSM OS, TOS also lets you install and update various apps all through the user interface, making it quite easy to get set up and started. You've got Plex, among other top-leading services.

What you'll dislike about the TerraMaster F2-210

TerraMaster F2-210

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Something minor I noticed but worth considering if you plan on having this NAS installed near your desk in a quiet environment, the F2-210 infrequently produces a noise similar to coil whine. I've tried different drive configurations, drive types, and bay usage, but the noise still occurs. I'm not certain where it's originating from, but I'd hazard a guess the culprit is the PCB.

This sound could be an issue with this unit, in particular, and I've not noticed it with other TerraMaster NAS models. Still, this proved to be a minor annoyance that I solved by throwing on some music. There's also no locking mechanism for the drive bays, but that's a minor gripe, and I believe Synology's more affordable models don't either. Other than that, it's a great little NAS unit.

So should you buy the TerraMaster F2-210?

TerraMaster F2-210

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

When looking at a NAS, the user experience remains an essential factor for many, especially those who are new to the world of network storage. TerraMaster was a difficult recommendation to make because of this, despite producing some killer hardware, but now with the latest OS updates, the F2-210 is an excellent value NAS.

If you're looking to buy your first NAS or need an additional unit with just two bays and want to save money, the F2-210 is a solid solution. Just remember you'll need to purchase the two NAS drives separately, which will bump the total price to $200 and beyond, depending on capacity.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.