Categories: FeaturedStorage

TerraMaster F4-421 4-Bay SMB NAS Review

TerraMaster F4-421 2-Bay NAS Review

Today we are going a little bigger than we did last time I had a TerraMaster NAS in the office. The F4-421 which I’m looking at today takes everything we saw and loved in the F2-221 and improves upon it. More drive bays, a better CPU, more RAM, and double the LAN ports.

TerraMaster F4-421

TerraMaster packed the F4-421 with a lot of great stuff. It is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 processor running at 1.5GHz and with a 2.3GHz turbo. It is equipped with 4GB DDR3 memory which is soldered. While that’s true, it also features a SO-DIMM slot in which you can install up to an 8GB module for a total of 12GB RAM.

Thanks to the choice of CPU, you also get a very efficient AES NI hardware encryption. Overall, the F4-421 is capable of over 400MB/s throughput when all network ports are set up and used.

The physical design continues to be the same as we’ve seen on previous devices. An aluminium shell and a finish that makes it look a little better than it needs to. For example, I love the pinhole LEDs up against the polished metal. It just looks great. Granted, that’s probably not one of the selling points when it comes to SMBs, but it doesn’t hurt either.

Connection Options

This 4-bay NAS comes with some great connection options. There are four RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a couple USB 3.0 ports. There’s even a HDMI port.

Together with the available processor power, the F4-421 can serve up to 500 concurrent users with ease. After all, you wouldn’t want to run into throttling which hinders your work efforts. However, whether you link or trunk the LAN ports or not will depend on your usage scenario. Everything is possible with this TerraMaster NAS.

In numbers, the F4-421 delivers up to 410MB/s read performance and 405MB/s write performance. That’s not too shabby, not at all.

A NAS Filled With Everything a Company Wants

TerraMaster markets the F4-421 as an SMB NAS and to be frank right from the start, it’s a great one for such a setup. It has all the features you want when your data truly matters. Btrfs file system with snapshots and RAID 5/6 offer great data protection. Whether you accidentally changed a file or a physical drive fails – you can continue to work with minimal efforts.

We already touched the large amount of concurrent users who can be connected, so we won’t got further into that. Still, it’s an important aspect. Instead, we’ll talk a bit about encryption. In this day an age, and especially with current laws regarding customer data, security is as vital as it ever was.

The F4-421 supports AES-NI encryption which is another great layer of protection. It is folder based and thanks to the hardware acceleration, you’ll barely notice whether it’s turned on or not.

Btrfs File System

While I mentioned Btrfs above, it’s worth mentioning again. It’s one of my favourite features in modern NAS devices. Btrfs file system brings so many great advantages over EXT4

Superior storage technology and optimised snapshot technology are the cornerstones of the Btrfs file system. It offers you advanced data protection, prevention of data corruption, and minimal maintenance expenses. What’s not to love about that?

The use of this file system promotes high data integrity, all the while staying flexible and efficient. Optimised snapshot technology generates 512 snapshots for every shared folder, and up to 8,192 overall system snapshots. If something goes wrong, you simply revert to a previous snapshot. Since data recovery takes place at the file or folder level, businesses can also benefit from enhanced flexibility and efficient data recovery.

Multimedia Capable NAS!

One of the easiest ways to stream media files is via DLNA. TerraMaster’s multimedia servers enable users to stream 4K media content from their TerraMaster NAS to multimedia playback devices. The device offers 4K H.264 live transcoding, along with the opportunity to convert and playback 4K video on computers, smartphones, and media players that lack native support for HD formats.

More Great Features

Naturally, you get a lot more from a TerraMaster NAS than just the above-mentioned features. Such things as an automatic scheduled backup, cloud drive backup, and simple remote connections are all part of the package.

The personal cloud offering can save costs and it also keeps your data in your own hands. Rights of access can be tailored for your colleagues, relatives, or friends, and with support for two-way sync cloud drive. With the built-in DDNS service called, remote connection becomes easy and free. There’s no need to spring for a static IP with this.

Small businesses, and power users alike, can benefit from the opportunity to conveniently build file storage servers, mail servers, web servers, FTP servers, MySQL databases, CRM systems, Node.js, and Java virtual machines, as well as a host of other commercial applications.

TerraMaster also offers the TNAS mobile app which allows for quick access to your NAS. That includes all the multimedia files you have stored on it. There are apps for both iOS or Android systems.

TOS 4.0 Operating System

With the most recent version of the TOS operating system, TOS 4.0.X, you can back up your data, manage your file server, and optimise your sharing services in an intuitive, simple, and user-friendly way. The operating system is the latest development and it has come a long way already.

Feature Highlights

  • Quad-core Intel CPU
  • 4GB RAM (Upgradable to 12GB)
  • Aluminium shell enclosure
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Two USB 3.0 host ports
  • Btrfs File System
  • Hardware Encryption and Transcoding Engines

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Bohs Hansen

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