TerraMaster NAS Buyer's Guide: How to pick the best NAS for you

TerraMaster F4-220
TerraMaster F4-220 (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

So you've decided that TerraMaster is the way to go, but which model do you pick? Luckily, it's easy to choose the right network-attached storage (NAS) for you by taking into account pricing and what you plan to do with the NAS. In this guide, we'll run through some models to help provide an idea of what to expect at various price ranges.

Breaking down the numbers

TerraMaster F2-210

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

TerraMaster uses model numbers to differentiate its catalog of servers. The F range prefix is always present for NAS, unless it's for a server rack, then it has a U. For most homeowners and office applications, F models are perfectly fine. Immediately after the F (or U) prefix is the number of drive bays. Numbers after a dash are tied to the generation of the server. For instance, the F2-220 has two bays and is older than the almost identical F2-221.

Comparing models

TerraMaster F2-221

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

Here's a comparison table with a few of the latest models from TerraMaster.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryF2-221F4-221F2-420F5-422
CPUIntel Celeron J3355
Dual-core 2.0GHz
Intel Celeron J3355
Dual-core 2.0GHz
Intel Celeron J1900
Quad-core 2.0GHz
Intel Celeron J3455
Quad-core 1.5GHz
RAM2GB (6GB max)2GB (6GB max)4GB (8GB max)4GB (8GB max)
Drive bays2425
Capacity32TB
2 x 16TB
64TB
4 x 16TB
32TB
2 x 16TB
80TB
5 x 16TB
TranscodingH.264 (AVC)
H.265 (HEVC)
MPEG-2
VC-1
4K 30 FPS
-H.264 (AVC)
H.265 (HEVC)
MPEG-2
VC-1
4K 30 FPS
-
Ports2x 1Gb LAN
2x USB 3.0
2x 1Gb LAN
2x USB 3.0
1x 1Gb LAN
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
2x 1Gb LAN
1x 10Gb LAN
2x USB 3.0
WarrantyTwo yearsTwo yearsTwo yearsTwo years
Price$250 (opens in new tab)$360$500$600 (opens in new tab)

The more affordable models like the F-221, F4-221, and F2-420 will not be excellent choices for Plex 4K video transcoding. They can technically do it, but you'll encounter stuttering, especially if another person uses the NAS. More pricey options with slightly better processors are required. TerraMaster doesn't really focus on Plex support for launching models.

For TerraMaster NAS, you should take into account the number of bays and then pick the latest model. Unless stated otherwise, NAS listings usually do not come with hard drives. So you'll need to factor purchasing these into the final price. We've got a few guides available on choosing the best hard drives for a NAS.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.