TerraMaster is a brand best known for its affordable and aggressively priced NAS enclosures. The company regularly undercuts the competition in price but still manages to provide a good experience with plenty of features. The TerraMaster F4-210 is yet another fine example of this approach.
While this NAS won’t win any awards for best NAS performance, it’ll more than make up in other categories like value or capacity. The specification sheet does make the F4-210 a little limiting in what you can actually do with the NAS, but it’s perfectly suited for home file storage.
If all you want to do is create a home file storage server or a small Plex Media Server that can stream music and some TV shows, the TerraMaster F4-210 is a good choice.
- 64-bit ARM processor
- Amazing price tag
- Four drive bays
- Can run Plex
- Excellent for file storage
- No 2.5 or 10 Gb LAN ports
- No M.2 SSD slots for cache
- Sluggish ARM processor performance
TerraMaster F4-210: Price and availability
The TerraMaster F4-210 costs $290, which is a great price to pay for a four-bay NAS. The price of a NAS usually increases when you work in more powerful processors and additional drive bays. TerraMaster was able to keep the cost of this NAS low thanks to the ARM processor and the amount of RAM present.
TerraMaster F4-210: What you’ll love
The TerraMaster F4-210 is a striking server box with an aluminum-brushed design. It’s all-metal, unlike some more affordable enclosures that work plastic into the outer chassis. The design is clean with branding on the sides and the usual bays and status indicator LEDs upfront.
It’s only when you look at the rear of the NAS that will you be presented with two USB 3.0 ports, a 1Gb LAN connection, DC-in for the external power supply, and the two 80mm fans that help keep the internal temperatures as low as possible during operation.
The internal specifications of the TerraMaster F4-210 are great for running a file storage server for the home or small office. The Realtek RTD1296 won’t break records for performance, but it’s more than good enough to handle lighter workloads. The same goes for the 2GB of DDR4 RAM.
|Drive bays||4x (SSD/HDD)|
|Cooling||2x 80mm fan|
|Ports||1x 1Gb LAN|
2x USB-A 3.0
|Dimensions||227 x 225x 136 mm|
(8.93 x 8.85 x 5.35 inches)
Because we’re talking four drive bays, you can store up to 72TB of data on this NAS before running out of space. This is before configuring RAID, which is highly recommended to provide data protection. The single Gb LAN port isn’t brilliant, but you’ll likely not encounter bandwidth issues.
The CPU and other specifications are actually capable of running Plex Media Server. You won’t be able to transcode anything using Plex Pass as the processor doesn’t support hardware transcoding, but you can get away with lighter software transcoding for HD content. 4K is out of the question.
The TOS will allow you to install various apps from the TerraMaster app store and it’s possible to configure the server for mail, websites, FTP, MySQL databases, and more. You could also keep it simple and use this box as a backup destination for all your devices.
TerraMaster F4-210: What you’ll hate
If there’s one thing you’ll not like about the TerraMaster F4-210, it would be the operating system. The design isn’t as responsive as the competition and it’s simply an unrefined user experience. The company is working on version 5, which is set to address this issue, but for the time being it’s still a concern.
Then there’s the CPU and non-upgradeable RAM, which limits what you can do with the NAS outside of file storage and some light use through Plex and other apps. You may encounter issues trying to carry out intensive processes.
TerraMaster F4-210: Competition
There are some notable NAS models out there that compete against the F4-210 from TerraMaster. Synology’s DiskStation DS420+ may cost $500, but it comes equipped with four drive bays, a powerful Intel Celeron processor, and even M.2 slots for installing caching SSDs.
I’ve rounded up the best NAS for Plex and the TerraMaster F4-210 simply isn’t one of them. This doesn’t mean you can’t run Plex on this NAS, I’d simply recommend you don’t buy it for the sole purpose.
TerraMaster F4-210: Should you buy?
Who should buy this?
- If you want an affordable NAS.
- If you need a NAS with four drive bays.
- If you want a decent NAs experience.
- If you want to backup devices and media.
Who shouldn’t buy this?
- If you want to set up a powerful 4K media server.
- If you have more than 72TB of data to store.
- If you want SSD cache.
- If you want an Intel processor.
The TerraMaster F4-210 isn’t for everyone. It’s not impressively powerful, but the low price tag makes it ideal for those looking for a four-bay NAS at a discount. The ARM processor may let it down in more intensive tasks, but it’s perfect for file storage and other scenarios.
So long as you have your expectations in check (no hardware transcoding, limited support for virtual machines), the F4-210 will be a great purchase for the home. If you’re looking for somewhere to store some backups and files, this enclosure is a great choice.
The TerraMaster F4-210 may be considered underpowered when compared to Synology NAS, but it’s perfectly suitable for home file storage.