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Hier — 15 août 2022Flux principal

Terramaster F4-423 Plex Media Server NAS 4K & 1080p Tests – H.264 & HEVC

15 août 2022 à 01:27

How Well Does the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Perform as a Plex Media Server?

Of all the brands that I discuss here on NASCompares, very few have evolved with the speed that Terramaster has. Although coming up on a decade in the commercial network attached storage industry, they have managed to carve an impressively sized portion of the more cost-effective NAS buyer market. These days, it is very easy to find Terramaster NAS systems that are arriving with similar hardware to their big rivals Synology and QNAP, but with a price point some 15-20% less. Now QNAP and Synology trade on both their hardware AND their hardware, the latter of which has always been Terramaster’s weakness (though they are improving things a great deal in TOS 5). However, for buyers looking at Terramaster NAS for use with 3rd party software such as Plex Media Server, this means that they have the opportunity to get quite a bargain with a NAS like the new F4-423. The appeal of accessing all the movies, boxsets, music and home movies that you physically/digitally own in the style popularized by Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video (flashy GUI, summary, all the box art, trailers, cast details, reviews and more) is undeniable. The rise in popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix has also been accompanied by rising monthly subscription costs and rising concerns about never truly owning the media that you want o watch. Even when you buy movies and TV boxsets in digital download forms from Amazon Video etc, you are still at the mercy of 1) needing somewhere to store it if you do choose to download it and 2) potentially losing access to it if the site/platform you purchased from has lost the license to host it (a common complain of the increasingly digital world of PC/Console gaming, as games are pulled from eStores). Hosting your media in a subscription-free form, whilst it still being presented in the universally accessible and premium GUI form of Plex is one of the most compelling reasons for many home/prosumer users deciding to make the jump towards buying their own plex media server. However, NAS drives have grown incredibly diverse in terms of hardware design and therefore one NAS might not play media in plex as well/efficiently as another – and the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is no exception to this. Today I want to detail my tests of the F4-423 as a Plex Media Server and I hope this will help you decide whether a Terramaster NAS deserves your Multimedia in 2022/2023.

What is the Hardware of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive?

The Terramaster F4-423 NAS drive is quite similar in architecture to most PCs or Laptops (in that it features a CPU+Memory+Storage), but differs in that it’s components are designed to be more efficient (as they will be in operation 24×7) and have a larger degree of focus on storage-related applications (whereas the hardware in a PC/Laptop is designed more for the applications you run with storage service concerns/provisions being far more rudimentary). The F4-423 is made up of a popular mid-range server CPU, DDR4 memory and supports Hard Drive and SSDs in SATA. although most of the specifications of Terramaster NAS drives are unrelated to Plex, below I have picked up the hardware specifications of the F4-423 that are relevant to Plex:

  • CPU: Intel N5105 Celeron CPU, Quad-Core, 4 Thread, 2.0-2.9Ghz Processor
  • Embedded Graphics: Yes
  • Memory (Quantity & Maximum): 4-32GB Max
  • Number of Storage Bays: 4x SATA Bays
  • M.2 NVMe Caching Bays: Yes, 2x M.2 NVMe 3×1
  • Network Connectivity: 2x 2.5GbE

Next, let’s quickly touch on how we measure how good/bad the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is for Plex Media Server.

Understanding the Plex Media Server Tests of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS

Important Terms to Understand in Plex/NAS/Multimedia that will make the F4-423 NAS Plex Tests Easier to Understand.

  • SD, 160p, 240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K : This is the resolution that the media is being displayed at. The higher the resolution, the larger number of pixels that are available and depending on the original recording quality of the media in question. High resolutions, such as 1080p and 4K require more work to be done by the NAS hardware in order to playback the file. More often than not, a NAS with weak embedded graphics or no embedded graphics at all will be unable to play 4K very well or indeed at all. It is important to remember that just because a NAS brand like Terramaster says that their latest NAS can natively play back 1080p or 4K media (natively = played using their own NAS software, software client tools and/or DLNA), that does not mean that the F4-423 will play to the same standard in Plex, as Plex is a 3rd party tool
  • Transcoding, Encoding, Decoding : These are all different techniques/names for when a file needs to be changed in order to be better suited to the connected client device connection, strength or hardware. If you are accessing all your media on the local area network (i.e only accessing your plex media at home), then transcoding will rarely be something you will use (unless your media is largely H.265/HEVC based, see earlier). However, perhaps you are accessing your plex library on the train to work or from a sun bed whilst on holiday. Perhaps you have a smaller data bandwidth/allowed MB/GB, maybe a weaker internet connection, perhaps you are using a smaller phone device and you might not need to watch your 4K 50GB Blu-ray rip of the latest Marvel Movie – in these situations, you might well want to access the media on your Terramaster F4-423 Plex NAS at a lesser quality than the original version, so transcoding/re-encoding on the fly (as in, at the same time it is being played) is what you would want to do. Remember, transcoding is by far the most heavy-weight thing you will need to do on a NAS. It is also worth remembering that in order for Plex o be able to use the FULL resources of a NAS CPU (such as embedded graphics) that you will need to enable ‘Make My CPU Hurt’ in the Encoder Menu of the Plex NAS Settings menu – this also potentially requires a Plex Pass subscription, depending on the NAS in question

  • H.264, HEVC, H.265 :  These are compression techniques that are designed to allow large-scale media presentations that were made for a cinema to be viewable from your sofa (with H.265 being the more effective/powerful compression level). H.264 can largely be played by ALL devices, but many devices do not have permission or a license to play H.265/HEVC (they are the same thing). This is because, where H.264 is an easy license and comparatively free to use, H.265/HEVC licencing and patents are spread across multiple providers and allowing a device license to use this compression technique can be complex, expensive or simply impossible. Therefore HEVC/H.265 media will sometimes AUTOMATICALLY need to be converted/transcoded into H.264 etc in order to be played – therefore eating up more system resources. The F4-423, much like the rest of thte Terramaster NAS range do not arrive with HEVC support by default
  • Bitrate : Bitrate is the amount of data encoded for a unit of time, and for streaming is usually referenced in megabits per second (Mbps) for video, and in kilobits per second (kbps) for audio. Higher quality and higher resolution media tends to be of a much higher bitrate

For more information on the most important terms to understand when discussing/researching a NAS as a Plex Media Server can be found in my video below:

Any further questions, you can use the free advice section at the bottom of the page and ask me and Eddie directly.

How was the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Tested in Plex?

The setup for testing the F4-423 NAS for Plex was as follows:

  • The Terramaster F4-423 NAS was accessed over a 1GbE network, however in order to test how the NAS would cope with transcoding/encoding, I would force the Plex Player client to transcode the file manually
  • The F4-423 NAS was used in the default CPU+Memory state that the base model arrives in (no upgraded memory or upgraded caching media)
  • Tests were performed one after the other with a short break between each test, so you might see the tail end of the previous test on a CPU graph, but I have pointed at the are of the % utilization that is important as per each test

Regarding test results, CLEAR PASS means that the file successfully played and there were sufficient resources for the NAS to continue to do other things comfortably, PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % means that the file played, but it utilized a significant amount of system resources in order to do so in a heavier use situation (i.e other NAS users connected) it might not play and FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY means that the file either did not play or the time taken to play back the files was outpaced by the natural playback of the file – i.e. the file would stop-and-start constantly in order to try and catch up. If you want to watch the FULL video recording of all the Plex tests that I performed on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS, you can watch the video below. Be warned, it is quite long! Alternatively, you can scroll past and see each of the test results, one-by-one, detailing which ones worked and which ones didn’t:

What % System Resources did the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Use in Plex when Idle?

Running the Plex Media Server application, even when no multimedia is being played on the F4-423 is still going to require a % of system resources to be occupied, in order to ensure that PLEX can play media from the Terramaster NAS as soon as it is requested remotely. Additionally, although Plex runs at its best with at least 2 Cores of CPU power and 2GB of Memory, many NAS also reserve areas of CPU/RAM for the system itself. So, therefore, knowing how much system resources are being consumed by the Terramaster F4-423  NAS when Plex is idle is going to be useful to know how much system power is available when playback actually starts. Here is a screenshot of the F4-423 when Plex is running, but no media is being played/accessed:

Plex Test 1 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original PlaybackTERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 2 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 TRANSCODE TO 240p

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 TRANSCODE TO 240p File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % 

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 3 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 4 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 720p 2Mbps

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 720p 2Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 5 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 6 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 7 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 8 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC 10BIT CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC 10BIT CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 9 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 10 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 11 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 12 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 13 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 14 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 15 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 8Mbps 1080p

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 8Mbps 1080p File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 16 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10bit – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10bit – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: Throughout the 4K Testing, the Terramaster F4-423 would regularly alert me that the CPU utilization was running unusually high. This was expected for these heavier processes, but I did want to give the Terramaster some kudos for alerting me (the administrator) taht this was occurring. Had I been running other processes at the same time as plex, this would have been detrimental to the running of the system.


 

Is the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Any Good outside of Plex and Where Can I buy It?

If you are interested in learning more about the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive, I am pleased to confirm that the review here on NASCompares is already live and you can find out more about this device below.

Quick Verdict of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS – What We Said in the F4-423 Review:

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

Read the Rest of the Review HERE. Alternatively, you can find out the Pros and Cons below, as a few retailers that sell the Terramaster F4-423 NAS. Thanks for reading and if you need any further help choosing the right NAS for your Plex Media Server, use the free advice section linked below. Have a great week.

SOFTWARE - 5/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 10/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.8
PROS
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
👍🏻Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
CONS
👎🏻Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻Until TOS5 is Fully Released, TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps (AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc)



 

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À partir d’avant-hierFlux principal

NAS Buyers Guide 2022 – A Handy Guide for NAS Beginners

8 juin 2022 à 01:33

NAS Brands in 2022 – Get it Right, FIRST TIME!

If you have been looking to purchase your first NAS drive, or are looking at upgrading the system that you have been using in your home/office for the last few years, then it is understandable that it is ALOT of get to grips with. Network Attached Storage has evolved incredibly over the last few years and has gone from a rather niche area of the I.T industry into something that pretty much all users can benefit from in their daily lives. With the monthly/annual subscription costs of cloud storage providers (such as Google Cloud, AWS, DropBox and Microsoft OneDrive) getting higher, as well as the size of our daily data skyrocketing, making the switch from rented 3rd party cloud space to your very own NAS server in-house makes ALOT of sense. It becomes even more compelling when you add in the full range of software, services and features that modern NAS includes (Plex, AI Photo Recognition, Surveillance, VMs, Hybrid backup-n-sync and more), but like any area of technology – NAS can become a complicated and confusing subject. Every year for the last 5 years I have produced a guide on modern NAS brands, the best solutions you can get right now, who the brands have improved/declined and ultimately created an idiots guide to choosing the right NAS solution for your needs right FIRST TIME. In this, the 2022/2023 edition, we have seen a huge increase in 2.5GbE network solutions, improvements in M.2 NVMe technology and all of the popular NAS brands introducing improvements in their server software. So, what are you waiting for? Here is my guide to Network Attached Storage in 2022. Use the chapters below to skip ahead and I hope this helps you choose the right solution for your needs.

Want to Skip Ahead to a Specific NAS Brand or Subject? Click Below:

Is a NAS and a Server the Same Thing?

You will often hear people use the word NAS and the word Server differently. Both are exceedingly similar and often interchanged, but there are some teeny tiny historical differences between them. The word server can sometimes bring out a cold sweat in the less technically minded or IT experienced, but in reality, it is a pretty harmless term. A server is a piece of hardware (like a computer) or software (so a program that runs on a computer) that manages, shares and controls data (pictures, videos, word documents, PDFs etc) to a number of people who wish to access them (these are called ‘clients’). That is it. Sure, there are much more complex and expensive servers that are designed to communicate with other servers or computers without human intervention – but in essence, they are all the same thing. Now where a regular server will give access to your users/clients via your internal network (router or switch) a NAS Server is the same, but it opens up a whole area of accessing it over the internet too. Different NAS servers provide different results and speeds and typically are designed with individual purposes in mind (i.e some are designed with media playing in mind, some with faster backing up and others with Surveillance recordings with CCTV IP Cameras). So first and foremost you have to make sure that the NAS you buy is designed for the tasks you have in mind. A fork and a Spoon are both cutlery, but you wouldn’t eat soup with a fork (maybe a spork). Traditional bare-metal servers have the option of remote internet access, but nowhere near as intuitively and with a focus on user-friendliness that NAS systems provide.

What is NAS Drive?

Network Attached Storage, with the exception of casual 3rd party cloud use, is currently the most popular means to store, access, share and distribute data across your home, your city and the rest of the world. It provides you with the means to:

  • Access your Multimedia on Network devices over DLNA
  • Backup all your devices easily and at a time of your choosing, wire-free
  • Stream Media over the internet, anywhere in the world
  • Share files securely and with full control of how and when they are accessible
  • Centralize the storage of your data in one location
  • Create Bespoke tiered backup solutions that fit your own needs

Choosing between Synology, QNAP, WD, Drobo, Netgear, Thecus and Asustor NAS

Let’s get our hands dirty and start working out what is the best NAS for you. All the brands have a different target audience in mind and each has its own Pros and Cons. However, all of them support a number of similar abilities, software and network basic functionality. So before we talk about what is better or worse about each NAS brand, let’s look at what they all have in common:

Applicable to all

  • All are compatible with Mac, Windows, Android and Linux
  • All arrive with a selection of included applications and services for tailored data access
  • All can be purchased Worldwide and feature regular security updates and firmware improvements regularly
  • All can be accessed via Mobile apps available via Google Play and iTunes, though there are more on some other brands than others
  • All can be accessed via your web browser – like Chrome, Opera, Safari, and…sigh… Windows Explorer
  • All use SATA HDD and SSD, with some having SAS enterprise options too
  • All work via the network and can be accessed worldwide over the internet
  • 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI and APPLE TIME MACHINE are supported
  • All arrive DLNA certified, so they will be accessed by your PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Smart TV or Sonos system to play media
  • All are either WiFi-enabled or can have a WiFi dongle attached – though your speeds will suffer
  • All when purchased NEW arrive with a warranty of at least 2 years and in many cases more

Why Not Use Cloud Services like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox instead of a NAS?

Do not think that 3rd party cloud services are bad, they really aren’t! In fact, you should always consider adding a 2nd or 3rd tier into your backup strategy at home/work, and synchronization of files/folders on your NAS with the cloud is a good means to ensure you have another backup in place. Additionally, most NAS feature a variety of 256bit encryption options, password protection, 2 step verification and more to allow secure access is ensured to the NAS and the content, even via the cloud. Additionally, bg NAS brands like Synology and QNAP have been supporting Hybrid Cloud services that not only allow cloud storage to be bolted onto your NAS storage for shared usage and access, but also both brand support backup and synchronization with cloud collaborate services, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. So there is DEFINITELY still a valid and useful place for 3rd party cloud services in 2022, however, I rarely advocate the use of these cloud services as a PRIMARY storage location. They ARE convenient and you can get a limited amount of space included for free, but I generally have three core reasons that I do not recommend cloud as a first-tier storage.

COST – The cost of most 2 year subscriptions costs about the same as if you just purchased even a small scale NAS on day 1. It might seem like just 5 or 10 bucks a month, but over 2 or 3 years, it all adds up and moreover, after that time you either need to keep on paying every month or still buy a NAS or DAS system for the data to live on. Might as well buy the NAS sooner rather than later as it will be inevitable eventually.

ACCESS – NAS provides more apps, file-level tailored use and can be better adapted into popular 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI, APPLE TIME MACHINE and DLNA supported devices. A cloud provider severely limits the kind of access you have on a regular basis.

PRIVACY – NAS provides full individual user control and access, as well as admin controls. Plus the NAS can be fully disconnected from the Internet/Network at your discretion. A cloud provider has a relative pre-set safety protocol that, when cracked on one or two occasions, opens up mass hacking

This is not to say that data on your NAS is completely inaccessible. Any NAS brand can only really stay 1 step ahead of the hackers, patching exploits as they are found (no different than any online service really), but a NAS is a means to create a secure, customizable and ultimately bespoke data storage solution.

Why Choose Synology NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

synology-all-black-logo-for-banner

Likely one of the two NAS brands you have heard of, Synology NAS is the company that invests HEAVILY in its software – and it shows. It may seem one of the most expensive, but with it, you get some genuine boundary-breaking software with your purchase.  You still get a great level of hardware in the majority of Synology NAS solutions, but the real draw of Synology is that software. Not only does it support your own hardware environment of PCs, Macs, entertainment devices and mobiles in their own respective software, but DSM also includes MANY applications designed around keeping all your data IN-HOUSE. So, replace Skype/Whatsapp with Synology Chat, Replace Google Docs and Office365 with Synology Office. Use Synology Drive to make your storage visible and accessible the way YOU want it, and export your entire cloud/data network over to a Synology NAS and remove all the external access as and when you need! They aren’t the cheapest and they want you to do it ‘there way’, but it’s a pretty decent way. Additionally, their recent DSM 7.0 software has left many users impressed, with enhanced support of those 3rd party cloud storage and business services, AI photo recognition, their surveillance platform continuing to win awards and even an in-house cloud service in Synology C2. Stylizing themselves very much as the ‘Apple’ of this industry, they really do focus on keeping things straightforward and intuitive.

PROS of Synology NAS

  • Easily the most intuitive and Usage browser-based GUI (award-winning DSM 6.2/7.0/7.1) – FULL Review HERE
  • One of the best Surveillance NAS software solutions
  • Most popular vendor for Mac users for it’s UI
  • Incredibly feature-rich NVR software included, in Surveillance Station
  • Includes Active Backup Suite – Enterprise level and fully featured Backup Co-ordination software
  • Lowest Power Consumption vs other brands
  • A large # of their systems arrive with m.2 NVMe SSD caching upgrade bays
  • Quiet chassis compared with other brands
  • Task specialised Ranges like ‘PLAY’, ‘PLUS’ and ‘J’ make buying easier
  • The best range of first-party software, with Synology Office, Chat, Mail, Drive and more
  • SHR and SHR-2 – also BTRFS available in most solutions
  • Cloud Services available in Synology C2
  • Desktop and Rack-mount options are available
  • Best software for Home and SMB

CONS of Synology NAS

  • Often the most expensive
  • Recent Enterprise NAS Hardware has changed Compatibility in favour of Synology HDDs and SSDs
  • Generally, Synology NAS has the lowest hardware power in their systems
  • NVMe SSD Bays are for caching ONLY, they cannot be used for super-fast storage pools
  • More technically minded folk will need to dig a little to get to the nitty-gritty
  • SHR is not available on Enterprise NAS Systems
  • Network ONLY – no HDMI, Audio in/out, Thunderbolt, etc

Synology DS220J NAS – $180

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 512MB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – Synology DS920+ – $535

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/8GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay –  NVMe

Synology DS1621XS+ NAS – $1899

4-Core Intel Xeon 64bit CPU – 8/16GB Memory – 10GbE – 6-Bay –  NVMe

Best Budget NAS

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Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose QNAP NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

QNAP_logo1_hnlgpk_ptkfgi

Often considered the choice for the more hardware-aware buyer, if you are looking for a much more traditionally computer associated hardware – QNAP NAS is certainly the one that springs to mind. Generally considered the ‘innovators’ of the NAS industry, they have the largest range of solutions available Notwithstanding the fact that their hardware is by FAR the most evolved platform in NAS (thunderbolt 3, multiple HDMI, 10Gbe standard solutions, Silent NAS, AI solutions and advanced SSD caching), the platform is fantastically diverse, providing great NAS options alongside network switches, network adapters and generally reshaping your hardware environment for the better. The software has also evolved dramatically into its own beast, moving away from trying to imitate and carving its own path. It is a little more technically (and I really do mean a little) but it is far more rewarding for it. They do not feature some popular items on their portfolio, such as BTRFS or a fluid RAID system like SHR/BeyondRAID, but make up for this with their own range of alternatives and in most cases succeed. Get your reading glasses on though, as their range is quite vast and might overwhelm you a tad. In recent years the brand has shifted focus a great deal more towards software in efforts to meet the gap with their rival Synology to pretty good success. This is often achieved by releasing software that does the previously impossible before anyone else, but lacking a little of the polish of their biggest rival. Recent achievements with HybridMount, vJBOD, HyperVisor Protector, QuMagie and Multimedia Console have been received remarkably well, arriving onto the scene 1-2 years before anyone else. Alongside this, QNAP still has easily the best virtual machine and backup software for home and SMB in Virtualization Station and Hybrid Backup Sync.

PROS of QNAP NAS

  • Best Solutions for Plex Media Server in NAS
  • Enterprise/Business Solutions feature ZFS
  • 2.5Gbe, 5Gbe and 10Gbe Options
  • Best Virtual Machine and Container Solutions in NAS
  • NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Caching, Storage Pools or Tiered Storage Configurations
  • Almost all range is metal in design, or a plastic but unique chassis
  • HDMI and remote control included in most Media NAS devices
  • Thunderbolt NAS options covering TB2, TB3 and even TB4 (TS-464)
  • Two Surveillance Solutions (with 4/8 Camera Licenses included)
  • The Best Backup/Synchronization solution in ‘Hybrid Backup Sync 3’
  • Technical information far more readily available
  • Lower price compared with Synology in terms of hardware
  • Regularly updated software and Detailed GUI/APPs – FULL Review HERE
  • Desktop and Rackmount options are available
  • Much better business options and definitely the best for virtual machines

CONS of QNAP NAS

  • A more android feel towards apps and stability means some users will be put off
  • Lacking the BTRFS and SHR support of Synology
  • Higher typical Power consumption
  • Often a fraction noisier due to chiefly metal chassis
  • Much larger range of devices can lead to confusion
  • Most units arrive with 2-3 Years warranty, but longer will cost you more
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

QNAP TS-233 NAS$205

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 2GB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – QNAP TS-464 – $599

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay

QNAP TVS-872XT NAS$2200

4/6-Core Intel Core 64bit CPU – 8/64GB Memory – 10GbE – 8-Bay

Best Budget NAS

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Why Choose Asustor NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

asustor logo

Another brand that was once a little on the fringe until around 2018, Asustor NAS has really upped their game in recent years, arriving with some impressively affordable 10Gbe solutions with the AS40 series, followed with the very well received Nimbustor 2 & 4 devices, and is now absolutely killing it with the Lockstor series. Certainly, a brand that wants to carve its place in the industry, the ASUS connected brand currently offers software features and functionality of Synology (BTRFS and Realtek integrated Processors) along with QNAP challenging hardware in HDMI 2.0a and 2.5Gbe default network ports (which they introduced first). This combined with a much cleaner and significantly improved software GUI in ADM, they have moved much beyond the slightly scrappy outsider vibe they had years ago. Recent additions to the range, such as the LockerStor have even included NVMe SSD bays and Xeon powered hardware, so the evolution clearly continues. The software does feel like a good middle ground between Synology and QNAP, even if missing the killer apps and hardware that gave them their market share (Thunderbolt3, SHR, Collaboration Suite, etc) and with a number of their newer releases arriving at a good chunk of $£ lower in price than comparative NAS from others (often more than 10-15% lower in fact).

PROS of Asustor NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware – Often one of the lowest Prices Hardware solutions available
  • Recent Lockerstor Gen 2 Releases are Incredible Value for the Hardware
  • BTRFS Support
  • First Brand to Adopt 2.5Gbe Commercially
  • Nice software and still supports Kodi (unofficially), something slowly being pulled from other NAS Software stores – FULL REVIEW HERE
  • Good selection of Home and Business NAS devices
  • Early Adopter of HDMI 2.0a – so 4K at 60FPS and have their own HDMI GUI in Asustor Portal
  • VM deployment and Container Support not dissimilar from QNAP, only not quite as flash
  • Noise is pretty low on most home devices like the Nimbustor 2/4
  • More Apps are available on the NAS app store, more than QNAP and Synology
  • Product Naming is easier to follow than most brands

CONS of Asustor NAS

  • Mobile Apps are very functional but appear a little sparse
  • Many HDMI apps seem to be simplified web portals, rather than standalone applications
  • Browser-based GUI does not feel quite as smooth as Synology DSM, but on par with others
  • The Surveillance Center application feels very dated and less intuitive than most
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS$165

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 1GB Memory – 2.5GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDEDAsustor LockerStor4 G.2 $550

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 2.5GbE – NVMe – 4-Bay

Asustor LockerStor 10 Pro NAS $1299

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 8/32GB Memory – 10G+2.5G – NVMe -10-Bay

Best Budget NAS

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose WD NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

wdfulllogo

Although they have been a little quiet in terms of their hardware output recently, WD NAS is a brand that has been around for years (though most know them as a hard drive brand) and Western Digital NAS drives are a firm favourite among students and low-level storage solutions. They have a number of solutions in their WD My Cloud range that supports lite home users all the way to industry-level business users who want robust storage. The software may seem a little sparse and a far cry from Synology and QNAP, but they provide straight forward and clear setup. They WILL seem limited to anyone familiar with Synology/QNAP, but they certainly have a place in the industry. With user-friendly support of Apple Time Machine, Plex and DLNA – They are a great starter NAS with pre-populated options to make them extra affordable.

PROS of WD NAS

  • Popular HDD Vendor too, with expertise on their side
  • Often pre-populated so all warranty is covering Drives+NAS
  • Pre-populated NAS options result in better price for storage overall
  • Very fast set-up and can be deployed to deploy within 30 mins
  • Small+compact – featuring some of the lowest noise and power consumption of all
  • 3-year warranty on most units
  • Some units have 2 x PSU ports for Redundancy

CONS of WD NAS

  • EXT4 only
  • Have been VERY Quiet in NAS hardware in the last 12-18 Months
  • barely any mobile apps and relies on 3rd party mobile apps to connect over IP/Network settings
  • Smaller App selection in-app store
  • Limited User Interface
  • No HDMI, 10GBe, only USB 3.0 and 1GBe RJ45
  • Often much lower specs than Synology and QNAP
  • VERY small range
  • Desktop Only – No rackmount or Larger options

WD MyCloud EX2 NAS$159

2-Core ARM 32bit CPU – 512MB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay – Inc Drives

RECOMMENDEDWD MyCloud Pro – $450

4-Core Pentium CPU – 4/8GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay – Inc Drives

WD MyCloud EX4100 NAS$349

4-Core ARM 32bit CPU – 2GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay – Inc Drives

Best Budget NAS

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose TerraMaster NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

One brand that I have always had a personal love for is TerraMaster. This is purely subjective and should be taken with a pinch of salt, but for a brand that no one really knows about, they give ALOT of the key features that other bigger brand advertise alot. BTRFS support is available on pretty much ALL the Intel-based devices, they feature one of the ONLY 4 LAN 2-Bay NAS’, along with an Intel N5105 based 10Gbe 2, 4 5 and 8-Bay solution and a particularly unique 2 HDD 10GbE system. Arriving with a thunderbolt DAS range too, Terramaster is a NAS brand that has evolved comparatively quickly and although for the most part, they are only available via Amazon, this has still allowed them to be a recognizable brand. Typically in a like for like hardware comparison with them and companies like Synology/QNAP, you will find them better value for money, and the software (though less diverse or slick than those two big brands) is still pretty smooth and intuative. The chassis design is a little underwhelming, but even that has improved in recent revisions. All in all, they are the best budget NAS solution out there in 2022 and a good entry point into NAS.

PROS of TerraMaster NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware
  • VERY Fast Brand Evolution
  • TOS 5 Software introducing Surveillance, FluidRAID, AI-Powered photo Recognition and Isolation Mode
  • Added a LARGE 2.5GbE selection of NAS in their portfolio
  • Hugely Improved GUI and Client apps
  • BTRFS available as file system choice
  • Desktop and Rackmount options
  • Similar Hardware to QNAP and Asustor, but at a Lower Price
  • Straight forward range and classification
  • Very Straight Fordwared Setup

CONS of TerraMaster NAS

  • Very Few Mobile Apps
  • Not quite as polished or fully featured as Synology/QNAP
  • Despite Business targeting, very poor support of 10GBe till recently in the F2-423
  • A little dated design
  • Arrives with Warranty, but the turnaround is slower than many
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Terramaster F2-423 NAS$289

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/32GB Memory – 2.5GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – Terramaster F5-422 – $599

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 10GbE – 5-Bay

Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS $1399

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/32GB Memory – 2.5GbE – NVMe – 12-Bay

Best Budget NAS

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose Buffalo NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

One brand that has danced with the home NAS industry, but pretty much now exclusively business in Buffalo. This brand is one that provides a number of key elements that businesses love. Robust and Rugged hardware design, Empty or Pre-Populated NAS solutions, Customizable Warranty options, Windows Server Pre-Installed Solutions, 10Gbe at an affordable Price and just generally being an enterprise/Business solution through and through. They lack the sexy/indie vibe of other brands, but that is not their target demographic – they want the user who wants storage that is simple, reliable and ‘setup and forget’. This means that on the face of it, they will seem quite pricey, but that is because you have to factor in the inclusion of hard drives, the service+support and the industrial level construction.

PROS of Buffalo NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware for Business Users
  • Fantastically Rugged Construction
  • Lowest Priced 10Gbe Solutions
  • Can be purchased pre-populated, so warranties are all covering
  • Desktop and Rackmount options
  • Similar Hardware to Netgear, but at a Lower Price
  • Straight forward range and classification
  • EXCELLENT Windows Storage Server NAS devices, with inbuilt Windows Server 2016 for FAST deployment
  • Better Standard Warranty Length and more bespoke Recovery/Destroy options available
  • Easier and more customizable Warranty Extension options

CONS of Buffalo NAS

  • Very Few Mobile Apps
  • Availability outside of U.S and Japan is low
  • More focused on Business Users
  • Poor power consumption and dated design
  • Weak CPU choices on the whole
  • Lacks some more modern NAS innovations introduced by QNAP, Synology and more

Why Choose Netgear NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

NETGEAR_Logo

One brand that has probably the longest history in network solutions is Netgear – pretty much ANYONE has heard of them, whether it was because your first switch/router came from them, or because they have such a squeaky clean reputation. The NAS solutions, much like Buffalo, are very industry-focused, but arriving with a few more features in the GUI department than them. Also arriving with pre-populated options and a diverse warranty structure, they do give alot to business users. They may seem a little ‘blah’, but what they lack in sizzle, they make up for in sausage.

PROS of Netgear NAS

  • Huge Mac and Windows Support
  • Fantastic Network configuration options
  • rugged and sturdy metal design
  • Often longer warranties than other brands like-for-like
  • Can be purchased pre-populated, so warranties are all covering
  • Supports usual RAID levels, as well as X-RAID and X-RAID 2 – Expandable RAID volumes not unlike SHR
  • Desktop and Rackmount options

CONS of Netgear NAS

  • High price Tag
  • Releases are very few and far between
  • Despite Business targeting, very poor support of 10GBe
  • Small App selection
  • Limited User Interface
  • REALLY confusing range
  • Not designed for a newbie – and larger units may need a dedicated IT guy
  • High power consumption and not the quietest

Should you buy Budget NAS brands like D-Link or Zyxel?

It should be highlighted that there are more NAS brands available than the ones discussed today. with each passing year more and more brands release their own NAS server for home and business use. However, in many cases, they are either too unreliable, too low on support and features, too technical for anyone with below-bill-gates depth of knowledge and most importantly most all, arrive from a brand without an established reputation. When it comes to buying the right network-attached storage device, you need to know what your buying works, as well as knowing that the manufacturer will be there in the event of a problem. likewise, you are trusting you’re are most likely trusting this brand with your most precious data (some photos and videos are irreplaceable) and from data loss to data theft, choosing the right NAS brand is essential.

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Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Powerful Value?

23 mai 2022 à 01:44

Review of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive

The Network Attached Storage industry (NAS) unlike many areas of the tech world is actually surprisingly small in terms of the companies that fight for market dominance. With less than 10 big players and less than 5 of those being real marketing recognized, choosing a NAS solution is actually quite restricted. In that small paddock of NAS brands, the one that is by FAR the best hardware value (as in, getting the most for your money in terms of hardware) is Terramaster. A brand that has evolved incredibly rapidly in the personal home/office server market in the last 7-8 years. Although not as well established as bigger brands with decades in the server industry (such as Synology and QNAP), in the short time they have been in the NAS market, they have produced a range of solutions that sneak up remarkably close in hardware/software to those bigger brands, whilst sometimes arriving close to half the price for the same architecture. Their latest series is the x23 series (arriving in 2, 4, 9 and 12-Bay desktop solutions so far, at the time of writing) and today I want to review their F4-423 4-Bay NAS. Going up against the likes of the Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 and QNAP TS-464 NAS (released around a month on either side of the F4-423), as well as competing with Synology’s DS920+ right now, the F4-423 has some steep competition.  Nevertheless, with its pricetag already £100-180 less (depending on where you shop) the F4-423 already seemingly has the high ground in terms of affordability, but what about software, quality and overall performance? Let’s review this new Terramaster NAS and see if it deserves your data.

Terramaster F4-423 Review Chapters

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Unboxing, Packaging & Presentation

The initial impressions of the presentation Terramaster F4-423 NAS were a little meh! As this is a more affordable solution, it is understandable that some areas of the retail package are going to be a little understated. Additionally, NAS systems like the F4-423 NAS are going to 99% of the time be purchased online (not in your local I.T shop or generally in line of sight at the point of sale), so the need for flashy packaging is less important. That said, many brands still put a little effort into this and present their solutions as a means to promote a brand, lifestyle or general vibe or excellence in their product (i.e. “the first bite is with the eye” etc). The Terramaster F4-423 arrives in a very plain brown box and just has the model ID with a sticker and the brand logos.

Remarks of presentation aside, the packaging of the Terramaster F4-423 is pretty good in terms of protection. The unit is well held in foam (a little softer in density than I would like maybe) and the accessories are neatly and securely contained. There is practically no room for the system to move in transit and ultimately, that is all that matters (silent shock/motion damage to the components).

The accessories box contains lots of accessories and although most are pretty standard (setup instructions, power supplier, warranty information, screws, etc), there are a couple of unusual additional that I have never received in other brand’s products, namely the inclusion of additional HDD tray clip/screw washers and additional rubber feet for the NAS. This isn’t really a good/bad thing and for those that need them, it’s a handy addition. Just seemed an unusual addition.

One small but positive area of note is the LAN cable included. As mentioned earlier, in more affordable NAS solutions (like more tech), the way savings can be made is by cutting corners. Therefore I was surprised that the Terramaster F4-423 arrived with a surprisingly high-quality LAN cable. Thick, Cat 6 and very high quality at the connector. Again, this si a small point, but companies such as QNAP and Terramaster HAVE provided Cat 5e cables of a shorter length, thinner material and nowhere near the quality of this one with their 1/2.5GbE solutions. It’s a VERY minor point, but this is the sort of area I would have assumed Terramster would have saved a few £/$ on and I am impressed.

The Terramaster F4-423 arrives with an external PSU (quite standard in 4-bay desktop systems) and it’s quite non-descript and not too much to write home about. It’s a 2-pin connector 90W PSU.

Overall, there is quite a good range of accessories included with the Terramaster F4-423. Nothing spectacular, but pretty much everything you are going to need (aside from storage media) to set up your NAS quickly and easily. Let’s discuss the design of the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Design

Terrasmaster NAS drives are pretty distinctive. The brand has been using largely the same chassis in its 2 and 4 Bay systems for about 5 years. There HAVE been improvements (port placement, removal of the odd handle on the top and the tray quality is massively improved) but in the desktop 2/4-Bay systems, things have changed very little. The design is looking a little dated now in 2022, but it is still very functional and whereas brand like QNAP have 8-10 different design chassis in their portfolio, it is nice that Terramster have at least kept a consistent look/shape to the solutions in their portfolio for brand recognition.

The Terramaster F4-423 NAS chassis is a combination of Metal and plastic (with the front, rear and media trays all arriving in plastic, but the 1 piece surrounding the middle area is metal). Indeed, at a glance you might assume the whole thing is metal, with the brushed silver colour scheme, but no. The system’s passive cooling (vents) are located between each of the media bays, and at the base of the machine. The system seemingly takes advantage of horizontal airflow through the chassis (with the rear fans facilitating this) and the metal middle section providing dissipation for the internal mechanisms getting warm.

The ventilation on the base of the Terramaster F4-423 is pretty much the entire system and the rubber feet of this NAS are noticeably taller than other NAS 4-Bay systems. Although these are chiefly under the drive media bays, they are pretty much over the entire controller board too, to create an angled air circulation through the bays/board and via the fans on the rear.

The Terramaster F4-423 chassis lacks any LCD panel (these days only QNAP and Asustor seemingly include these on a few of their systems) and system information is provided by multiple LEDs on the front. These cover the activity, status and health of the media bays, the network connection and the power of the system.

The main storage bays of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS are SATA connected plastic trays that support 2.5″ and 3.5″ media (i.e HDDs and SSDs). The system can operate with a single drive if you choose, allowing you to gradually add more storage over time. However, the Terramaster F4-423 (like most NAS) works at it’s best with multiple drives in a RAID configuration for the safety net of redundancy and/or a performance increase of multiple drives being read/written to at the same time.

The trays inside the Terramaster F4-423 support the toolless installation of 3.5″ HDDs (i.e no screwdriver needed and drives click in securely) and 2.5″ SSD/HDDs need the included screws. The SATA connections inside are combined data/power, so no loose cables or tricksy installation. Lastly, the Terramaster F4-423supports hot swapping, so drives can be inserted/removed without powering down the system, just BE AWARE that removing a drive that is in a RAID is not recommended (by ANY NAS brand).

And that is about it for the design of the Terramaster F4-423 chassis. They have used this same design in the bulk of the desktop 2/4 systems, so there are few surprises here. But nonetheless, it seemingly does the job and aside from the design perhaps looking a little old these days compared with Synology’s more expensive Diskstation series, it’s a solid enough build. Let’s discuss the ports and connections of the F4-423 NAS.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connections available on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS, although few in number, are all pretty good for what the devices are costing right now. Only three connections to discuss (and one of them is a bit negligible) but given the device’s price point, the available external bandwidth here is impressive. The rear chunky fan module that is located on the rear of the F4-423 (much like previous Terramaster NAS systems) is a little unsightly, but as it is on the rear of the unit, you are never going to see it much.

The twin fans are thicker than many other fans in the market and although that results in a greater draw of air into the system when it is operational, it does also mean that when in operation, the Terramaster F4-423 is a pinch louder. These fans can be adjusted in rotations per minute (RPM) in the TOS software of course, but it is not recommended and it’s best to leave the system fans on automatic so they can dynamically adjust to the internal temperature for efficiency.

Of course, the first big improvement of the Terramaster F4-423 over its predecessors (F4-422 and F4-421) is the inclusion of 2.5-gigabit ethernet (2.5GbE). The NAS arrives with two ethernet ports that can provide around 250-279MB/s throughout each, as well as allowing link aggregation (aka Port Trunking) to combine their bandwidth and provide 5GbE (around 500-550MB/s throughput) with the use of a smart switch. In the last few years, we have seen several brands provide 2.5GbE connections at the same cost as 1GbE ports and with internet service providers and affordable switch manufacturers providing 2.5GbE solutions, it was only natural that NAS brands would make the jump towards it. Hypothetically, if you had a faster than Gb internet connection (fiber etc) and a google drive account, that means that you would be able to connect with your cloud drive FASTER than a NAS system in your home if you only have 1GbE. This is why NAS systems need to arrive with 2.5/5/10GbE in 2022, for the sake of futureproofing and to keep up with the growing demands for data access. Additionally, 4 SATA storage bays (as well as the use of those internal SSD bays that I will touch on later) will easily saturate a 2.5GbE and even LAG supported 5GbE connection, so these ports allow you to maximize your storage potential and share that bandwidth with multiple connected users.

One slight letdown is that the Terramaster F4-423arrives with an HDMI port BUT they do not have any kind of HDMI/Visual GUI that can be accessed (unlike QNAP’s HD Station and Asustor’s Portal applications) The HDMI out DOES allow you to access SSH/Telnet level/stylized backend controls with a USB keyboard, but with this CPU and hardware architecture supporting embedded graphics, 4K media and multimedia services, it is a real shame that you cannot do anything more home/SMB friendly than command line. Maybe one-day Terramaster will update TOS to take advantage of this feature in a more graphical/KVM way, but it has been 2 years of these systems having HDMI and we have yet to see any change on this.

The USB ports of the Terramaster F4-423 are a subtle upgrade over previous/older NAS systems from the brand, with this NAS featuring 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. These allow connections of up to 10Gb/s (1,000MB/s – double that of the USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gb/s in older systems) and that means much, MUCH faster local backups to external storage drives, as well as the support of USB JBOD storage expansions. The real benefits of USB 3.2 Gen 2 in expansions are only really felt when using larger SSD arrays or 5-8 bay expansions. Nevertheless, these ports are a nice extra for the system. Additionally, Terramaster recently released an affordable USB-to-2.5GbE adapter for £25+ that allows you to connect ANOTHER 2.5GbE port on this system. Add a 2-4Bay storage expansion to the other USB port and you have a great deal of storage and network bandwidth for this system to graduate towards, all thanks to those newer gen USB ports.

The ports and connections of the Terramaster F4-423 are few in number but still nonetheless good upgrades over it’s predecessor. Terramaster could have EASILY cut a few corners here (i.e USB 3.2 Gen 1 or just a single 2.5GbE port) and most users would not have batted an eye (as it is noticeably lower in price than the similar USB 3.2/2.5G QNAP TS-464). Let’s get our screwdriver and take a look inside this NAS to see how Terramster have approached the internal specifications of the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is a mix of current generation hardware choices and quirky application. The internal boards comprise two PCBs (one for the SATA storage nad another for… well… everything else). In most cases, a user will almost never completely dismantle a NAS drive in its lifespan. However, in the case of the F4-423, you are going to need to take it apart quite considerably in order to access a number of the upgrade options. In order to access these, you will need to remove the six rear screws of the chassis and then remove the rear panel. This rear panel contains the active cooling fans and either awkwardly hangs from the chassis or you will need to disconnect the fan (something only fractionally less ideal). From here you will need to slide the entire internal framework out and that allows you to access/upgrade a couple of the internal hardware components as needed.

Once the full internal board is disconnected, you are able to see a wide variety of heatsinks, ports and modules. This is a slightly unconventional means of accessing these bits but something that most PC builders will be ok with. The board is double-sided with the m.2 SSD slots and a single SODIMM memory slot on one side, and the Internal CPU and another populated SODIMM slot on the other side – which is significantly harder to access and requires removal of even more of the internal framework to access.

The CPU featured in the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is a quad-core Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, a processor that has been very much the ‘CPU of choice’ among the 2022/2023 generation of NAS hardware from most of the brands (except Synology). This is a quad-core x86 64bit processor that is 2.0Ghz in clock speed, that can be burst up to 2.9Ghz when needed. It features an onboard AES-NI encryption engine, as well as Intel embedded graphics for visual data tasks such as native multimedia playback, transcoding, photo management and improved services in TOS 5 (still in beta) towards AI photo recognition and surveillance with IP Cameras. As mentioned, although this is never going to challenge the likes of an Intel Pentium or Intel Core in 2022, it is still a very good CPU and in the context of NAS and this price point, very competent indeed.

Alongside that CPU, the Terramaster F4-423 NAS also arrives with 4GB of DDR4 Memory. However, closer inspection of the F4-423 architecture does raise a couple of small questions. Firstly, the 4GB of memory the system arrives with is a single 2133Mhz SODIMM module. Most other NAS systems with this architecture arrive with 2400-2666Mhz memory. It’s a small point, but this is the first NAS I have seen with DDR4 memory at 2133Mhz. Additionally, the 4GB module is located in an incredibly difficult place under the main cage array, so installing larger/faster memory is not going to be possible without much more dismantling. Talking of ‘adding more memory’, Terramaster state that the F4-423 NAS supports up to 32GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory across its two slots. However, Intel state that this CPU only supports a maximum 16GB across two channels – so although I am sure the system would definitely see 32GB of memory if you have 2x 16GB installed, I do wonder if you will definitely be able to actually USE all 32 correctly.

The Terramaster F4-423 also features two M.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install significantly faster SSDs into the system alongside SATA HDDs, meaning that you have another option for your storage. Now, there is good and bad news here regarding these ports. On the plus side, they can be used for either caching alongside the larger HDD RAID configuration (to allow read/write caching and significantly improve their performance in key areas) or as it’s own storage pool. This is something that popular NAS competitor Synology has never implemented to their NVMe bays, despite it being a highly requested feature. On a slight downside, as the Intel N5105 CPU inside the Terramaster F4-423 is already being stretched a little thing in it’s architecture, these M.2 NVMe SSD bays are PCIe Gen 3 x1 speed. This means that NVMe SSDs such as the Seagate Ironwolf 510/525 or WD Red SN700 at PCIe Gen 3/4 x4 will be limited down to a maximum 1,000MB/s per bay. This is still something you can incorporate into a solid RAID for improved performance and its better to have them, than not at all though.

The internal hardware inside the Terramaster F4-423 is still good for the money and certainly gives you a solid base level of hardware to work with. The means to access and upgrade the system hardware is less smooth than most/all other commercial NAS brands, but once you have jumped these odd hurdles, you have some great kit here to use in conjunction with 1st and 3rd party applications. So, let’s move into the subject of software and TOS on the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Software

VERY IMPORTANT – At the time of writing this review, the Terramaster F4-423 NAS arrives with the 4th generation of their software platform TOS. Why is this important? Well, because right now there is a beta in progress for TOS 5 and it is a SIGNIFICANT step from the current generation of TOS that is included with the F4-423 at launch. So, if you are considering the F4-423 NAS later in 2022/2023, then there is every chance that TOS 5 has been released and you can download it (free etc) onto the device. We will be reviewing TOS 5 fully when the final version is released, but for now, I wanted to highlight a number of hte key features that will be added to TOS later this year, as well as the current range of services that are included in TOS 4 right now. (important, we originally previewed a VERY earlier build of Terramaster TOS 5 Alpha in the video HERE on the NASCompares YouTube channel which will give you an idea of how TOS5 looks/feels, but many new features have been added in the months since the beta was rolled out). LOADS more features have been added since this original alpha preview and we will soon be deep-diving into this newer Beta release very soon. Below is what Terramaster say is included in the new TOS ver.5 Beta.

New Features & Improvements in Existing Services

In TOS 5, not only have the storage structure and data interaction mode been reconstructed but also, compared with the previous generation, it adds more than 50 features and 600 improvements. The new features meet more business requirements, as well as significantly improve response speed, security, and ease of use.

Browser Access to TOS is Now 3x Times Faster

TOS 5 adopts progressive JavaScript language and a lightweight framework with a faster loading speed. TOS 5 features bidirectional data binding, easier data manipulation, and automatic synchronous response to data changes in the page; UI, data, and structure separation make it easier to change data without the need to modify logic codes. Using progressive JavaScript language, TOS 5 has a more lightweight framework. In addition, through two-way binding of data, the view, data and structure are separated. When the page is operated, it automatically responds to changes in data, which makes the system “lighter” and achieves a faster loading speed.

New caching technology avoids network round trips between the server and the database, bypasses the calculation that occupies resources, saves server resources, and improves response time and waiting time, so TOS 5 has the fastest response time in the current TOS family. Compared with the last generation, the TOS 5 response speed has increased by 300%! Use WASM to optimize the calculation method and execute the back-end complex calculations on the front-end, thereby reducing the calculation pressure on the server. In addition, TOS 5 uses the most popular back-end language at the moment, which can support high concurrent requests. Compared with traditional interpreted languages, the compilation speed is faster.

Improved Resource Monitor in TOS 5

The new iconic resource monitor board allows you to grasp the operating status of your TNAS comprehensively and intuitively in real-time; at-a-glance visibility of system load, CPU and memory usage, network traffic, disk I/O, device temperature, storage, processes, online users, listening ports, and system resource occupancy. Historical records of up to 30 days can be easily traced back.

Full One Button System Isolation Mode Available in TOS 5

TerraMaster’s unique security isolation mode completely isolates your TNAS device from the external network through network isolation, digital signature, and file format restriction, providing a safer operating environment and effective protection against virus and ransomware attacks.

Support of the WORM File System in TOS5

Data can be written at one time within the customized protection period and cannot be deleted or modified. This effectively protects your data from malicious damage, deletion, or tampering and provides data protection for up to 70 years; essential for the financial, judicial, medical, and scientific research sectors, as well as other business users.

Improved Storage, Backup & Sync Features in Terramaster TOS 5

TOS 5 features optimized storage architecture to reduce the system space occupation. The file deduplication system, file system compression, TRAID elastic array, and other functions also save you up to 40% of storage space

Single Portal Folder Level Backup for Home and SMB Users

Reduce complexity and embrace simplicity. All backup needs can be completed through a single portal, providing one-stop backup solutions including Central Backup, TerraSync, Duple Backup, Snapshot, USB Copy, CloudSync, and other comprehensive backup tools. This meets your clients’ disaster recovery and restoration requirements, as well as backup policies and destinations.

Business Focused ProActive Backups for Larger Business

To improve management efficiency, medium and larger-sized businesses need a centralized and active backup solution for multiple users, PCs, and servers. Centralized Backup is a business-oriented backup solution that supports backup and restoration for multiple device types. You can centrally backup data of dozens or even hundreds of PCs, servers, or virtual machines with only one TNAS.

New Flexible RAID Support in TRAID in TOS 5

By optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements. Much like Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) in that you can mix drive capacities for improved storage after the RAID redundancy calculation. I reached out to Terramaster directly on this and they confirm that this function is supported in TOS 5.

Multiple Client Sync with TerraSync in TOS 5

TerraSync, a TerraMaster self-developed synchronization tool, realizes data synchronization between multiple users and multiple devices. It efficiently implements data sharing among branch offices and data synchronization between individuals on multiple devices and platforms, which assists employees in collaborative work and improves work efficiency.

New CloudSync Application for Bare Metal-to-Cloud Live Sync in TOS 5

The new CloudSync app integrates multiple cloud drives and syncs them into one application, including Google Drive, One Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze, Box, Dropbox, Koofr, OpenDrive, pCloud, Yandex disk, and Aliyun. This allows users to centralize the management of multiple synchronization tasks and add a variety of cloud disk synchronization options including Aliyun and Rackspace. A more flexible, stable, and efficient solution for data synchronization between your TNAS and cloud drives is facilitated by your choice of customized synchronization strategies, such as traffic control, scheduled tasks, and encryption.

CCTV Surveillance in Terramaster TOS 5

TNAS is an ideal video recording storage device. The new Surveillance Manager makes full use of TNAS storage resources to realize camera management, real-time monitoring, video storage, playback, query, event and activity monitoring and recording, providing you with economic and flexible video monitoring management tools to safeguard your personal and property safety.

AI Photo Recognition Now Available in TOS 5 with Terra Photo

Terra Photos is TerraMaster’s brand-new AI photo management application that provides smart solutions for your photo management and sharing; it uses intelligent AI algorithms to identify and classify faces, pets, locations, and other objects in your photos.

Docker Added to Existing Container Tools in TOS 5

Combined with docker-compose and portainer, the new Docker Manager features an optimized operation interface, with multiple new features which provide visual management that meets all your requirements for container customization and flexible configuration.

New Update to Terramaster’s Mobile App, TNAS Mobile 5

To adapt to TOS 5, TNAS mobile has also ushered in a comprehensive update, TNAS mobile 5. Featuring an optimized user interface and interaction, it has also added mobile phone backup, photo management, personal folders, team folders, data safebox, TerraSync, remote administrator, and other functions, which provide more convenience for remote access, mobile office, and remote management of your TNAS.

TOS 4 on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS

Once again, I need to highlight that the F4-423 NAS needs to be viewed with its price tag always in mind. With software and hardware that is available on other NAS brand devices, it is easy to imagine that this device is a much, more affordable alternative to QNAP or Synology NAS. However, you should always remember that this device is still aimed at those looking for a first dip into NAS and if should be compared with WD NAS and D-Link when making your choice of NAS. it is DEFINITELY better than those and arrives at a better price, but it may still be a year or more before the Terramaster TOS Software platform can compete with DSM and QTS. That said, the Beta is really showing that TOS is going to evolve even further and for more information about the TerraMaster TOS operating System, I recommend visiting my software review here from a couple of years ago.

Key Software and NAS tasks that are supported are:

  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, JBOD
  • Apple Time Machine Backup
  • Cloud Migration and Synchronization
  • NAS to NAS Rsync Support
  • Plex Media Server
  • Docker

  • Mail Server
  • Web Server
  • DLNA Media Server
  • WordPress Server
  • Download Server
  • Snapshot Support

With a good range of applications to choose from, as well as the support of modern NAS applications in the mix, the TerraMaster F4-423 does give you a good base with which to start your NAS journey, though it may feel a little streamlined for those with greater NAS experience.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Conclusion

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

PROS of the Terramaster F4-423 CONS of the Terramaster F4-423
  • 2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
  • Good CPU for the Price Point
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
  • Great RAID Options
  • Snapshot Replication
  • BTRFS Support if preferred
  • Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
  • 4K Video transcoding natively
  • A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
  • Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
  • Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
  • HDMI Currently Unsupported
  • Until TOS5 is Fully Released, TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps (AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc)

Click the link below to take you to your local Amazon store and where to buy the terramaster F4-423 NAS.

 

 

Terramaster NAS’ New TRAID – The Mixed Drive Capacity RAID

19 juin 2022 à 01:55

Terramaster NAS Introduce a Flexible RAID System into TOS 5

With several NAS brands in the market, it can often be the small features that one brand offers over another than can be the deciding factor for many in choosing the right solution for their needs. One feature that current NAS favourite Synology have offered on their solutions in the last few years was SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) and this was a feature that many people desired enough to choose their premium platform over others. This is about to change however with the news that TOS 5 from Terramaster (the software that is included with their NAS systems) features a new fluid/flexible RAID system too, known as TRAID. This is a very appealing feature for many that are already looking at Terramaster NAS’ affordability. TOS has revealed several new features (isolation mode, Surveillance Camera software, AI Photo recognition and more) and the TRAID configuration to allow flexible and fluid RAID storage is going to be very popular indeed.

Why Are Flexible/Fluid RAID Configurations Popular?

RAID flexibility in configurations such as TRAID and SHR have always been appealing to home/SMB users, as it allows the end-user to fully or partially populate their NAS systems with mixed capacity HDD/SSDs. Few people will want to do this on day 1, but years into their NAS drive’s life, when they want to add newer, bigger hard drives (as the cost of HDDs per Terabyte drops over time) and this is where mixing drive capacities and still getting the benefits of larger available capacities becomes increasingly desirable. Traditional RAID (RAID 1, 5, 6, etc) will measure each drive in an array by the smallest available drive. Therefore, for example, if you have 7x 10TB Hard drives and 1x 10TB in a RAID 5 carry, traditional RAID systems will class all eight of those drives as 1TB each. Fluid RAID’s allow the system to only be concerned with ensuring 1 drive’s worth of redundancy (i.e 1x of the biggest drive available) and then presents the whole of the rest of the storage to the end user. In short, by optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements.

What is Terramaster TRAID?

TRAID is the abbreviation of TerraMaster RAID. TRAID is a flexible disk array management tool developed by TerraMaster. It has features such as the automatic combination of disk space, hard disk failure redundancy protection, and automatic capacity expansion. All these features do not require manual configuration by the user, and the system will automatically complete the configuration according to the properties of the hard disk. TRAID provides users with an optimized, flexible and elastic disk array management solution, especially suitable for new users who are not proficient in how to configure a disk array.


Note – Once you have selected TRAID as your array type, you cannot convert TRAID to a traditional array type unless you delete and recreate the array. If you want to manage the array type manually, it is recommended that you use the traditional type when building your array, such as Single, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10, etc.

Higher disk space utilization options for TRAID

In the digital age, the amount of our data is increasing rapidly, and the capacity of hard disks is also increasing rapidly at a rate of almost doubling every 3 years. When we purchase larger capacity hard drives, we also hope that the old hard drives can continue to play a role, but the traditional array mode cannot meet this demand. TerraMaster TRAID array solves this problem very well. With TRAID flexible management strategy, you can continuously add hard disks to your array to expand the storage capacity, even if the hard disk capacity is quite different. For examples. Let’s say, you want to combine 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB, 10TB 5 hard drives with different capacities to form a disk array with redundancy protection. In traditional RAID mode (RAID 5), you only get 5TB of usable space. To give that a little perspective, here is how the traditional RAID works

How TRAID works versus RAID 5

With TRAID’s elastic strategy, you can get 23TB of usable space. TerraMaster uses the Linux disk management tool to subtly divide the hard disk space of different capacities into smaller partitions, and then combine the redundancy strategy to recombine the partitions. Once the TRAID is formed, users can still replace larger capacity hard disks or add more hard disks to expand the storage space of the array according to their needs. Compared with traditional arrays, in addition to redundancy protection, TRAID can significantly improve the utilization efficiency of disk space. At the same time, compared with traditional arrays, TRAID arrays have higher efficiency when expanding capacity. Here is the same HDD setup you saw previously in the RAID 5 diagram and how it would result in TRAID

How to expand the storage space of TRAID?

After the TRAID is formed, you can expand the storage space through the following 2 methods.

1. Replace the hard drive with a larger capacity
Note: Replace only one hard drive at a time, and make sure that the newly added hard drive meets the requirements.
Operation method: Keep the TNAS powered on, remove one of the drives, and insert a larger capacity drive, go to Control Panel > Storage Management > Storage Pool > Edit, and select “Repair”. After the array is repaired, use the same method to replace other hard drives.

2. Increase the number of hard drives
Operation method: Keep the TNAS powered on, insert a new hard drive, go to Control Panel > Storage Management > Storage Pool > Edit, and select “Expand”. Make sure that the newly added hard drive meets the requirements and you have enough spare disks slots.

Hard disk failure redundancy protection
TRAID can provide you with redundant protection against a hard disk failure, allowing a maximum of one hard disk to fail. Ensure your data is not lost in the event of a hard drive failure in the array.
Note: You only need one hard disk to create a TRAID array, but TRAID of one hard disk cannot provide redundancy protection. If redundancy protection is required, you need at least 2 hard disks.

TRAID+ with redundant protection of 2 hard drives
If you wish to provide 2 hard disk failure redundancy for the array, a maximum of 2 hard disk failures are allowed. Please choose a higher level TRAID: TRAID+. Note: At least 4 hard disks are required to form a TRAID +.

How to migrate TRAID to TRAID+?
You can migrate TRAID to TRAID+ by adding the number of hard drives.
Note: TRAID can be migrated to TRAID+ only when there are 3 or more hard drives.
How to do it: Keep the TNAS powered on, insert a new hard drive, go to Control Panel > Storage Management > Storage Pools > Edit, and select “Migrate”. Make sure that the newly added hard drive meets the requirements.

Want to see a demonstration of how TRAID works using different Hard Drive capacities? I made a full demonstration using TRAID and 4 mixed drives, as well as the advantages/disadvantages of the configuration in the video below:

Find out more about the planned updates and improvements to TOS for Terramaster NAS in the Beta update below:

Terramaster NAS TOS 5 Beta Now Available – Learn More Below

 

 

 

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Terramaster NAS FINALLY Release TOS 5 – Everything You Should Know

17 juin 2022 à 01:56

Terramaster TOS 5 Software Update RELEASED!

According to Terramaster the new TOS 5 release has been in development for one and half years, includes more than 50 new features, 600 enhancements, comprises 300,000 lines of new code and now, the long-awaited TOS 5.0 is officially released today! Although there are a huge number of improvements under the bonnet, there is also a whole bunch of improvements on the surface too, ranging from improvements in the GUI and responsiveness to new fully featured applications. Here is what you need to know.

TOS 5 Now has a Secure HyperLock-WORM file system Option

Data is a precious asset of the vast majority of users, and data security is very important! Some data storage and custody are even regulated by law, such as court cases, medical cases, financial securities, company financial data, etc. These important data can only be read but not written within a specified time period according to the law. Therefore, such data needs to be protected against tampering. The WORM (Write Once Read Many) features provide a write-once-read-many technology, which is a commonly used method for data security access and archiving in the storage industry. The WORM feature means that after the file is written, it can enter the read-only state by removing the write permission of the file. In this state, the file can only be read and cannot be deleted, modified, or renamed. By configuring the WORM feature to protect the stored data, it can be prevented from accidental manipulation.

TerraMaster HyperLock-WORM file system is a storage system with WORM characteristics. Through the write-once-read-many technology, the integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility of the original data in the storage medium are guaranteed to satisfy the sensitive requirements of enterprises. Data security storage and legal supervision needs. The characteristic of the TerraMaster HyperLock-WORM file system is that its WORM feature is developed based on the file system and is not limited by the file service type. It is suitable for most common file services, but can only be set by the administrator. Administrators can flexibly assign read and write permissions to users and set a protection period. During the protection period, the data uploaded to the device can only be read and cannot be deleted, modified, or renamed. The protection period can be set up to 70 years! In order to improve security, once the protection period is set, it can only be extended but not shortened.

Compared with other storage solutions with WORM features, the TerraMaster HyperLock-WORM file system has higher security. Once the TerraMaster HyperLock-WORM file system is created, even the administrator cannot delete or modify the storage partition from the menu page or the system background. As long as the storage device is safely placed in an isolated environment, anyone without access to the NAS hardware devices, even employees with administrator privileges or hackers, cannot pose a threat to the data. TerraMaster HyperLock-WORM file system is an innovation in data security management, which can provide more secure protection for customers’ important digital assets, and is suitable for industries with important data such as government, public health, law, finance, and enterprises.

New Storage Utilities in TOS 5

The core function of a TNAS is data storage and backup. TOS 5 has fully optimized storage management and added more utilities to facilitate users to monitor the health status of storage space and increase storage space utilization.

  • Hard disk Benchmark
    Through the hard disk benchmark test, you can better understand your hard disk’s read/write, latency, and throughput performance. The hard disk benchmark can also reflect the health of the hard disks
  • Hard Disk Secure Erase
    Secure Erase can completely erase the data on the disk by randomly writing 0 or 1 to the disk. Securely erased hard drive data can no longer be recovered, suitable for users who store sensitive data.
  • SMART Long Test
    SMART is an important indicator of hard drive reliability. SMART Quick Test and SMART Long Test options have been added to TOS 5. You can get more accurate hard drive health indicators with the SMART long test, but the advanced long will take more time.
  • Hard Disk Bad Block Warning
    Enable monitoring of the bad blocks of the hard disk. Once the number of bad blocks increases, a notification and warning will be sent to the administrator.
  • SSD TRIM
    By periodically TRIMing the SSD, the storage sectors are pre-initialized to maintain the excellent read and write performance of the SSD.
  • Hard disk Operation Log
    Record all operations of the system or the user to the hard disk.
  • Array Synchronization Settings
    Device performance is affected during array synchronization. The new system allows users to customize the synchronization speed of the array according to their needs.
  • Data Scrubbing
    Data scrubbing is the process of modifying or removing incomplete, incorrect, inaccurately formatted, or duplicated data in a database. Data scrubbing improves data consistency, accuracy,and reliability.
  • File System Defragmentation
    File system defragmentation can reorder, optimize and organize scattered data fragments, thereby improving the efficiency of disk data reading and writing.
  • File System Compression
    Once file system compression is enabled, data stored to TNAS will be automatically compressed to save storage space. Users can customize the compression level. The higher the compression level, the higher the compression rate and the more space saved, but the slower the writing speed.
  • SSD Cache Array
    Failure of an SSD serving as a cache will risk data loss. Users of TOS 5 can set up an array for multiple SSD caches, such as RAID 1 for 2 SSDs, even if one SSD fails, it will not affect the normal operation of the cache, thereby reducing the risk of data loss.

New Photo Management Tool with AI-Powered Cataloging and Identification – (Still in Beta at time of writing)

Terra Photos is a smart photo management application. Through the AI ​​algorithm, Terra Photos can recognize and classify the faces, pets, things, and scenes of the photos in the specified directory, which is convenient for you to sort, classify and share the photos through the graphical interface. Terra Photos is the ideal photo management tool for home users, photographers, and creative agencies.

  • AI face recognition
    Terra Photos has a built-in AI algorithm that can automatically recognize and classify faces with an accuracy rate of up to 80%. For wrongly recognized faces, Terra Photos also provides manual correction methods to provide greater convenience for photo management.
  • Broader AI applications
    Not only face recognition, Terra Photos can also automatically identify dozens of categories such as pets, objects, landscapes, sports, vehicles, and flowers by enhancing AI operations. Terra Photos provides users with smarter management tools, greatly increasing the usefulness of photo management.
  • Geographical Classification
    By integrating the GPS location information of photos through map resources, Terra Photos can also automatically categorize your photos by geographic location, making it easier for you to quickly query your photos.
  • Take into account personal privacy and sharing
    Terra Photos adopts a separate storage strategy for personal photos and shared photos of family members. The two kinds of photos are stored in directories with different access rights, which helps to protect personal privacy and facilitates the sharing of photos between family members or business customers. share with each other.
  • Flat UI
    Terra Photos uses a flat user interface to flatly display the user’s commonly used categories in the first-level directory, such as photos, albums, videos, people, pets, objects, locations, recently added, and favorites, which is more conducive to users to quickly browse and find target photo.
  • More flexible management strategies
    Terra Photos’ flexible query filtering strategy can begin to help you filter out the photos you want by combining the name and time of the photo, with the combination of the year, month, day, and ascending and descending order.
  • Share happiness and creativity
    Terra Photos provides users with sharing tools, you can choose to create photos or share albums and flexibly formulate sharing strategies, sub-defining sharing titles, sharing links, effective time, access passwords, download permissions, etc. Terra Photos provides an easier way for home-sharing or business client sharing.

Surveillance Manager for Adding and Monitoring Multiple IP Cameras on a Live feed on Your  Terramaster NAS

Security Camera Icon Png #129985 - Free Icons Library

Surveillance Manager is a video surveillance management tool. Through Surveillance Manager, you can build a video surveillance system with multiple IP cameras and TNAS, connect your cameras through ONVIF protocol, manage cameras, view real-time recordings, view historical recordings, and store the recordings of network cameras directly in TNAS to specify storage location.

  • Simple to Use
    Surveillance Manager uses web browsers for configuration and management. The recording device does not need to be connected to a monitor, and any computer in the network can log in to the system to view the recording.
  • Good Compatibility
    The surveillance Manager adopts the general ONVIF protocol and can adapt to most general-purpose cameras. It supports the automatic camera search, which simplifies the connection configuration of the cameras
  • Suitable for Medium-sized Users
    The surveillance Manager can connect dozens of cameras at the same time and support multi-channel recording. Suitable for families and small and medium-sized business users.
  • Multi-channel Real-time Monitoring
    The surveillance Manager supports multi-channel real-time monitoring. The screen display layout of monitoring can be customized, and the screens can be switched with one click.
  • Timeline Rollback
    Roll back the recorded video by dragging the timeline or customizing the time period, making it easier to view historical events.
  • Recording Schedule
    The surveillance Manager supports custom recording schedules and activity-triggered recordings to increase storage space utilization.
  • Form Recording Storage
    The recorded video is classified and stored according to the camera and time, which is convenient for quick query and download

New iSCSI Manager Application to Manager Larger Storage on your Terramaster NAS

Terramaser NAS is widely used as a storage device for virtualized computing. With TerraMaster iSCSI Manager, you can create multiple iSCSI targets and LUNs on your TNAS, and customize the capacity, permissions, and connections through a graphical interface to meet your storage space requirements in different virtualization environments.

  • Custom ISCSI Target IQN
    Using iSCSI Manager, create multiple iSCSI targets on your TNAS and customize IQNs to help you easily identify. You can also choose to enable authentication or mutual authentication for the iSCSI Target to increase access security.
  • Customize network management policies
    To improve network utilization efficiency, you can designate a dedicated network interface and channel for the iSCSI Target to separate the iSCSI Target’s network from the networks of other services. To optimize the transfer efficiency of the iSCSI Target, you can also limit the maximum fragment size in bytes transmitted and received.
  • Multiple session connections
    In order to adapt to complex virtualization application scenarios, iSCSI Manager allows users to enable multiple session connections from one or more initiators for iSCSI Target. Note: Multiple session connections provide flexible connection methods for initiators, but improper settings may put your data at risk! Make sure you use multiple session connections in a cluster-aware file system.
  • Balance performance and flexibility
    You can create multiple LUNs and mount them to the iSCSI Target you specify. iSCSI Manager provides Thick provisioning and Thin provisioning configuration strategies for LUN storage space. Thick provisioning can provide better storage performance, in contrast, thin provisioning can provide more flexible storage space utilization.
  • Safer protection
    Combined with the Snapshot technology, you can take snapshots of LUNs to prevent data loss caused by misoperations or accidents. Note: Snapshots are not supported for LUNs under the Thick provisioning configuration.
  • Initiator access control
    By default, all connected initiators in iSCSI Manager have read and write permissions to LUNs. You can also customize access permissions for each initiator to meet the needs of various occasions.
  • Low-capacity write protection
    When the storage space of the LUN is about to be exhausted, if the initiator continues to write data to the LUN, the LUN may be destroyed. For this reason, iSCSI Manager has specially designed the low-capacity write protection function. When the LUN is in low capacity, it will prevent the initiator from continuing to write data for protection.

New CloudSync Tool for connecting your 3rd Party Cloud Services and Remote Servers in TOS 5

CloudSync is a cloud drive synchronization application for fast and secure data synchronization between your TNAS and cloud drives. It is a very practical and efficient one-stop cloud drive disaster recovery solution. Different from previous versions, in TOS 5, we have integrated the synchronization of various cloud drives into one application, which is more convenient for users to use. At the same time, we have also redesigned the application layout, added some features, and optimized the user experience.

  • Support multiple cloud drives
    CloudSync integrates a variety of mainstream cloud drive synchronization functions in one application, including Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Baidu, Alibaba Cloud, etc. It only needs to manage one application to meet different cloud drive synchronization management.
  • Multiple synchronization strategies
    CloudSync provides users with two-way and one-way synchronization strategies. Two-way synchronization can meet the flexible needs of data utilization, and one-way synchronization can meet the focus of data protection and increase data security.
  • Data leakage prevention strategy
    In order to improve the protection of sensitive data, CloudSync supports data encryption. You can encrypt the data before synchronizing it to the cloud drive, and then decrypt the data after synchronizing it back to TNAS to prevent data leakage on the cloud drive.
  • Scheduled Tasks
    According to usage scenarios and business requirements, users can set the execution time of synchronization tasks by themselves to avoid the busy time of business operation.
  • more flexible configuration
    In order to meet more customer needs, CloudSync also supports various flexible configurations such as synchronization bandwidth limit, file size limit, synchronization file type limit, synchronization frequency, etc.
  • In full control
    CloudSync not only provides users with a detailed synchronization task configuration history, but also provides a list of millions of file backups and transfers, allowing you to monitor the backup progress and various exceptions throughout the process.

Terramaster Duple Backup Deduplication Management Tool in TOS 5

Duple Backup has not been released an official version before TOS 5 and has been developing and testing it. In TOS 5, we have redesigned Duple Backup. The new Duple Backup has optimized the user interface, added some features, and improved the user experience. Duple Backup has powerful backup and restore functions, and is a disaster recovery tool designed to strengthen the data security of TNAS devices. To prevent data loss due to TNAS device hardware failure or system failure, through Duple Backup’s intuitive user menu, you can back up important folders or iSCSI LUNs in TNAS to multiple destinations (such as remote TNAS devices, file servers, or cloud disks) ), and supports multiple backup strategies of incremental backup and multi-version backup. The backup and restore process is very simple and intuitive, and can quickly restore lost data in the event of a device failure.

  • Various backup objects
    The backup object of Duple Backup can be the shared folder in TNAS or the specified file directory. Not only that, it can also back up the iSCSI LUN and the configuration of the iSCSI LUN in the TNAS device to meet the needs of backing up the data in the TNAS.
  • Multiple destinations
    According to business needs, you can choose up to 4 different backup destinations for the data in TNAS, such as: another TNAS device, file server, WebDAV server, various mainstream cloud disks. With the Duple Backup Vault client, using two TNAS devices for mutual backup can greatly simplify the backup configuration process.
  • Multiple backup strategies
    According to business requirements and storage resource configuration, you can select incremental backup or multi-version backup strategies for backup tasks to improve storage space utilization.
  • Secure data transfer
    Taking data security into full consideration, Duple Backup uses SSL certificate encryption throughout the backup task to ensure the security of data transmission.
  • Efficient transmission
    In order to improve backup efficiency, before performing backup tasks, data is compressed and then transmitted, and the maximum compression rate can be as high as 30%, which not only reduces the user’s network bandwidth usage, but also saves storage space and reduces customers’ IT investment costs
  • Restoration is easy
    Through an intuitive graphical interface, Duple Backup provides suitable restoration methods for different destinations. When an accident occurs, users can use Duple Backup’s restoration tool to restore data in a very short period of time to reduce losses caused by disasters.
  • 3-2-1 Backup Strategy
    In order to prevent data loss in the event of an accident, the 3-2-1 backup strategy is widely adopted by many users, that is, to keep at least 3 backups of data, 2 of which are stored on different devices, and at least 1 is stored in a different place. Duple Backup, as a backup tool specially designed for TNAS, is ideal for a 3-2-1 backup strategy.
  • In full control
    Duple Backup not only provides users with a detailed backup and restore task configuration history, but also provides a list of millions of file backups and transfers, allowing you to monitor the backup progress and various exceptions throughout the process.
  • Suitable for a variety of applications
    Duple Backup is not only suitable for home users, but also for business users with multiple offices or branch offices. With local backup and off-site backup of branch offices, it can provide reliable security for data.

Improved Snapshot Management and Services Added in TOS 5

TerraMaster Snapshot is a disaster recovery tool developed based on the BTRFS file system. Take snapshots of shared folders or iSCSI LUNs and quickly restore data after a disaster by taking advantage of file system features. In TOS 5, Snapshot has been redesigned to add more features and improve the user experience.

  • Filesystem level snapshots
    TerraMaster Snapshot is a snapshot tool based on the BTRFS file system. The Btrfs file system introduces advanced storage technology and snapshot technology to provide flexible and efficient data protection and recovery tools while improving high data integrity.
  • Save your time and space
    The TerraMaster Snapshot snapshot function is based on COW (copy-on-write), so snapshots can be created almost instantaneously, and they take up almost no space when they are first created, greatly increasing the utilization of space and time. It can be said to be a perfect snapshot solution.
  • Virtualization disaster recovery
    TerraMaster Snapshot can provide a good disaster recovery solution for virtualized storage space by taking snapshots of shared folders or iSCSI LUNs, whether it is virtualized storage through NFS or iSCSI.
  • Higher snapshot performance
    TerraMaster Snapshot can create up to 1,024 snapshots for each shared folder and up to 65,536 snapshots for the entire system, providing you with adjustable, storage-saving data protection capabilities to meet stringent snapshot performance requirements.
  • Efficient snapshot rollback
    The snapshot file resides in the same storage space as the subvolume, and you can browse it like a normal directory and restore a copy of the file as it was when the snapshot was taken. TerraMaster Snapshot arranges snapshots through a timeline, combined with an intuitive graphical interface, when you need to restore a snapshot file, you only need a few mouse clicks to roll back the snapshot to the version you need.
  • Remote incremental backup
    Generating snapshots on the same storage space as the snapshot subvolume is not an ideal backup strategy, and if the hard disk fails, the snapshot will be lost. TerraMaster Snapshot can send snapshot copies as incremental backups to an external hard drive or to a remote storage system via SSH (the backup destination also needs to use the BTRFS file system) for increased data security

Complete Remote System Access Tool in TOS 5 – Security Isolation Mode

For users who pay great attention to data security but do not need to use external network resources, TerraMaster has added a new security tool in TOS 5 — Security Isolation Mode. At present, hackers and ransomware are raging around the world, and a large number of customers’ precious digital assets are under unprecedented threat. TOS 5’s unique Security Isolation Mode can provide users with a safe and reliable operating environment, isolate external risks, and protect digital assets from infringement.

  • Kernel security level
    Through the digital signature based on the kernel level, once the security isolation mode is enabled, any programs that have not been signed by the system will be blocked from running, effectively preventing viruses or malicious code from running.
  • Self-isolation
    The Security Isolation Mode can effectively prevent illegal in-stack and out-stack access to the external network through the self-established isolation barrier, only allow legal access in the local network, and protect the system from external malicious attacks.
  • Secondary advanced protection
    In order to prevent security barriers and system protection measures from being attacked and tampered with, the Security Isolation Mode adopts secondary password verification protection. Deleting or modifying all configuration information related to security protection measures requires password verification again, effectively preventing hackers from damaging the barrier.
  • Strong blocking
    Any code based on Java, php, or Python will be blocked from execution, effectively preventing the system from being injected with malicious code to threaten data security.
  • Scenes to be used
    . Enterprises or organizations that are extremely sensitive to data security;
    . External network services that need to be closed and isolated, do not need to access the external network or provide remote access;
    . Only use TNAS to provide file storage, no need to run web pages, databases, mail services, virtual machines, and other applications;
    . Applicable industries: military, judicial, electric power, scientific research, medicine, and other industries

New Terramaster Flexible RAID System – TRAID

TRAID is the abbreviation of TerraMaster RAID. TRAID is a flexible disk array management tool developed by TerraMaster. It has features such as the automatic combination of disk space, hard disk failure redundancy protection, and automatic capacity expansion. All these features do not require manual configuration by the user, and the system will automatically complete the configuration according to the properties of the hard disk. TRAID provides users with an optimized, flexible and elastic disk array management solution, especially suitable for new users who are not proficient in how to configure a disk array. Once you have selected TRAID as your array type, you cannot convert TRAID to a traditional array type unless you delete and recreate the array. If you want to manage the array type manually, it is recommended that you use the traditional type when building your array, such as Single, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10, etc. Below is our description of how TRAID works and a demonstration of me mixing a bunch of drives in a single RAID, one by one.

Improved Backup Management Tool in TOS 5 – Centralized Backup

Centralized Backup has not released an official version before TOS 5, and has been developing and testing it. In TOS 5, we have redesigned the Centralized Backup. The new Centralized Backup has re-optimized the user interface, added some functions, and improved the user experience. Centralized Backup is a professional disaster recovery tool specially developed for business users. By using Centralized Backup, company IT managers can use TNAS as the central backup server, without having to configure each host separately, and use TNAS as the initiator to centrally back up the storage space of internal employee computers, workstations, servers, virtual machines, or even is the system partition.

  • Developed for business users
    For business users, data security is extremely important, and for IT administrators, it is a huge challenge to make timely backups of various servers and be able to manage the personal computer data of multiple employees. Centralized Backup combines the needs of business users to provide a centralized active-backup solution.
  • Multi-purpose machine
    By running Centralized Backup on a TNAS device, only one TNAS device can be used to meet the backup requirements of the enterprise for employees’ computers, servers, file servers, virtual machines, and workstations, greatly reducing the enterprise’s IT investment costs.
  • Employee computer backup
    Different from general backup tools, Centralized Backup does not require employees to participate in the backup process. IT administrators can initiate backup requests from the server through Centralized Backup’s PC backup module, and can actively back up folders on hundreds of employees’ computers. , disk partition, or system partition. Centralized Backup can greatly protect digital assets scattered on employees’ computers, and can greatly reduce the workload of IT administrators.
  • Server backup
    The server is the central nervous system of an enterprise’s digital information. The server not only runs a variety of application environments such as OA, CRM, and ERP that support business operations, but also stores important business data. Through the server backup function of Centralized Backup, IT administrators can simultaneously backup systems and data of multiple servers to TNAS. When an accident occurs, the abnormal host can be quickly restored, greatly reducing the impact of equipment failure on the business.
  • File server backup
    The file server is the storage center of enterprise digital assets. Disasters such as unexpected power outages, equipment failures, and system failures may lead to the loss of precious digital assets. Through the file server backup function of Centralized Backup, IT administrators can back up the file directories of multiple file servers to TNAS, reducing the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster.
  • Virtual machine storage backup
    Centralized Backup supports storage backup of VMware Vshpere and Windows Hyper-V virtual machines. Through the virtual machine backup function of Centralized Backup, the backup of multiple virtual machine clients can be initiated from TNAS.
  • Multi-version restore
    Centralized Backup provides the backup target multi-version management function. When a disaster occurs, IT administrators can roll back the time of the repository to find the correct backup version to restore to the specified destination host.
  • In full control
    Centralized Backup not only provides users with detailed backup and restore task configuration history, but also provides millions of logs, allowing you to monitor the backup progress and various exceptions throughout the process. By enabling the notification function, administrators can keep track of the progress status of backup and restoration in a timely manner.

TFM Backup for Internal Backup and Folder Synchronization

TFM Backup is the abbreviation of TerraMaster Folder Mirror backup. TFM Backup is a dedicated backup tool for TNAS shared folders developed by TerraMaster. Through TFM Backup, you can easily backup the shared folders in TNAS to other local folders. Storage location or a remotely mounted folder. TFM Backup has mirror backup and differential backup to choose from, and users can realize automatic scheduled backup by configuring backup schedule tasks. TFM Backup provides users with a simple and flexible backup solution for backing up data in TNAS.

  • Improve disk space utilization
    Traditional RAID 1 disk arrays use redundancy to mirror the data of one disk to another disk, which can effectively avoid the risk of data loss due to disk failure. But a RAID 1 disk array requires at least 2 disks, that is, in a RAID 1 disk array, at most 50% of the effective disk storage space is available. For some users, not all data is important data, and it may not be necessary to mirror the entire disk data. Before TerraMaster launched TFM Backup, RAID 1 array seemed to be the only choice when users made mirror backups of data on disks. Now, users can choose to use TFM Backup to selectively do mirror backup, which can increase the utilization of disk space while ensuring data security.
  • Flexible backup strategy
    TFM Backup has two backup strategies: mirror backup and differential backup. In the mirror backup mode, the backup source data is always consistent with the destination data, which can reduce the work of data management; in the differential backup mode, the newly added or modified data is backed up, even if the source data is deleted, the destination The data always retains the last backup version, which can effectively avoid the loss caused by misoperation.
  • Custom backup plan
    TFM Backup provides a customizable backup plan, and you can customize the backup time, period, and frequency. You can perform backups during less busy periods according to business needs to avoid disruption to normal business.
  • Multiple backup tasks
    TFM Backup supports multiple backup tasks. You can use TFM Backup to create multiple backup tasks for multiple folders with different backup policies and destinations, and configure different task schedules for each task to meet the backup needs of different file types in various application scenarios.
  • Flexible backup destination
    The backup destination of TFM Backup can be in a different storage pool, a different volume, or a different device (using a remotely mounted folder). To avoid data loss caused by disk hardware failure, it is recommended to set the backup destination to a volume in a different storage pool.

Improved System Storage Searches with Terra Search

For some medium or large institutions, finding the required information from the vast amount of stored literature can be a big challenge. Terra Search’s file content search capabilities can help you overcome this challenge. Terra Search can quickly find all kinds of mainstream documents containing search keywords by establishing a database and search engine, which greatly improves the work efficiency of employees.

  • Customized for industry applications
    Terra Search is specially developed and customized for business users, and has the characteristics of flexibility, speed, practicability and wide application. Terra Search is suitable for institutions and enterprises that need to manage a large number of documents, such as libraries, judiciary, hospitals, scientific research, military, government, etc.
  • Powerful search engine
    Terra Search has a built-in powerful search engine, combined with a large database, it can easily handle millions of document management and content search, and can search hundreds of target files per second (related to the hardware performance of the TNAS device).
  • Applicable to a variety of documents
    It is widely compatible with documents in various mainstream formats, such as office documents, text files, pdf, photos, music, e-books, web files, program codes, etc., to meet more than 90% of business users’ common file search needs.
  • Image text content recognition
    Terra Search has a built-in automatic recognition function of image text content, which can quickly identify text in multiple languages ​​in images. The supported image formats include jpg, gif, jpeg, png, tiff, tif, etc.
  • Custom search criteria
    In order to increase search efficiency, Terra Search also provides user-defined search conditions. Users can add search conditions such as file name, extension, title, owner, creation time, etc. according to their needs.
  • Custom search directory
    By setting specific search directories and file types, users can limit the scope of the search, and improve search flexibility and search efficiency.
  • Search result preview
    Terra Search provides a preview function of search results. Even for pictures, you can view the search results of pictures and texts through the preview window, and quickly screen accurate search results.
  • Category display
    Through the flattened category display of the search page, users can screen documents, pictures, applications, and videos from the search results, making the search results clear at a glance.

Improved VPN Service Support with VPN Server in TOS 5

VPN Server provides you with an easy-to-use VPN solution, which can set up a TNAS device as a VPN server to allow other devices to remotely connect to TNAS through a private channel to ensure data communication security. Multiple devices connected to the VPN Server can form an interconnected network through private channels.

  • Supports multiple VPN protocols – TerraMaster VPN Server supports PPTP, OpneVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols, which can adapt to different network environments and meet your different business needs.
  • Multiple authentication methods – VPN Server supports PAM and LDAP authentication, can connect with local users and domain users, and supports PAP, MS-CHAP, MD5, SHA, RSA and other authentication methods to ensure the privacy of private channel connections.
  • Real-time network I/O monitoring – VPN Server uses graphs to monitor the network I/O of each VPN connection in real-time, allowing you to know the status of online devices and the I/O load of the network in time.
  • Simple operation interface – VPN Server uses a flat menu, each VPN connection is managed separately, and the advanced setting items use the default options to avoid troubles for users due to complicated configuration options. It is simple, intuitive, and very suitable for home users and small and medium-sized buisness users.
  • Log tracking – VPN Server provides a complete operation log and execution log, which is convenient for you to understand the operation history and the connection status of the VPN service, which can help you to quickly troubleshoot the fault.

How to Upgrade to Terramaster TOS 5 from TOS 4 – What You Need To Know?

Upgrading to TOS 5 is not as straightforward as other firmware updates and there is an element of complexity that, if done wrong, might result in re-initialising your system and formatting your storage/data, so follow the steps below VERY carefully! Please follow the guide below to install the new TOS 5.0 system

Must read before installation!

1.Since the root file system, storage path, application installation location, and startup method of TOS 5.0 are different from those of the previous version, you cannot directly update to TOS 5.0 from the current version, but need to reinstall the system.

Reinstalling the system will theoretically not delete the data on your hard drive, but for safety consideration, please back up your data in advance.

  1. The new TOS 5.0 system is only applicable to the x.86 series of TNAS models (220 series, 221 series, 420 series, 421 series, 422 series, 423 series);
  2. Your current TOS version need to be 4.2.32 or above;

  3. TNAS PC needs to be 5.0.19 or above, otherwise, it may not work properly;

  4. TNAS Mobile needs to be 5.0.1 or above, otherwise, it may not work properly. Note: Currently, TNAS Mobile is only available for iOS, and the Android version will be released soon, please pay attention to our update news.

How to install TOS 5.0?  

  1. Download the TOS 5.0 installation package;
  2. Log in to your TOS, go to Control Panel > General Settings > Factory Default, tick “Reset to Factory default” and click “Apply” to clear your system;

  3. Your TNAS will automatically restart and enter the initialization guide page; if you cannot enter the initialization page, please use the TNAS PC to search for your TNAS again, and enter the IP address of your TNAS in the browser address bar;

  4. Select the “Custom” mode during the initialization process, upload the TOS 5.0 installation package, and wait for the installation to complete;

  5. After the system installation is completed, the system will automatically restart; Then, follow the instructions on the page to complete the administrator settings;

  6. After the system is installed, you need to clear the browser cache, otherwise some system pages may not be displayed correctly.

Installation packages download link:

  1. TOS 5.0:https://download2.terra-master.com/TOS_X642.0_5.0.120_00154_2206121730.ins
  2. TNAS PC for Windows OS:https://download2.terra-master.com/TerraMaster_TNASPC_for_win_V5.0.22.zip

  3. TNAS PC for macOS:https://download2.terra-master.com/TerraMaster_TNASPC_for_mac_V5.0.22.dmg

  4. TNAS Mobile for iOS:It will be published later.

 

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Terramaster T12-423 Celeron based 12-bay NAS

18 mars 2022 à 01:06

TerraMaster Introduces 12-Bay T12-423 High-Performance NAS

Terramaster continues to roll out their new ‘423’ series of devices and for those that thought the recent 9-Bay solution that was revealed was intriguing will be pleased to hear that Terramaster have doubled down o this and crafted a new 12-Bay NAS solution in the T12-423. The Terramaster T12-423 NAS is their first 12-Bay NAS drive (indeed, I can only think of around 3-4 other12-Bay NAS systems ever released and they were HDD/SSD combos, such as the QNAP TVS-1288X or TVS-1282) and building on the architecture of what we have seen from the brand until now, this new system arrives with a current-gen server-grade Intel CPU, improved network connections and a tower-style of desktop chassis. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the T12-423 NAS Drive coming soon.

T12-423 FRONT T12-423 BACK/PORTS

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Performance & Connectivity


The Terramaster T12-423 arrives with similar connectivity to a number of their older Fx-422 and Fx-421 NAS systems, however, there have been improvements in a number of key areas and if this is an idea of what the rest of the Tx-423 NAS range will be featuring in 2022, it is a solid start. The external network connectivity of the T12-423 features two 2.5GbE network ports, that allow upto 5GbE via link-aggregation/port-trunking with a supported network switch (as well as being backwards compatible with 1GbE networks of course). Until now Terramaster has only supplied Desktop 1GbE solutions (along with a couple of 10GbE servers too), so it is nice to see the brand embracing the emerging deployment and utility amount network client hardware to include 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE. Alongside this, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports that support external storage, but also Terramaster is one of the last brands in the market with comparatively large USB accessories support vs the likes of Synology and QNAP. These being 5Gb ports and not 10Gb USB ports is a bit of a shame (especially for those who are considering USB local backups to this TWELVE bay system) but the wider USB support is still very welcome. Finally, there is the HDMI output on the rear. Sadly, Terramaster have still to develop any visual/GUI putout for this port and it is reserved for direct, command-level access with security credentials -in other words, maintenance at best. The 2.5GbE ports are the show stealer here though and I hope this is a trend we are going to see from the brand in their 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 5-Bay systems in 2022/2023.

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the T12-423 NAS is an interesting mix and alongside the use of the current SMB/Prosumer grade favourite CPU (the Intel Celeron N5105 or N5095 – an Intel CPU Refresh amidst the pandemic means that there are several runs on similar CPUs right now that would have been scheduled in other circumstances), the system arrives with an impressive 8GB of memory by default. I am particularly impressed by the 1x 8GB DDR4 Memory module as standard in the T12-423, as most systems that have arrived in the last 3 months with this CPU (about 3 NAS’) have all featured 2GB or 4GB, so this is a welcome increase for day 1 users. The CPU itself is certainly worthy of note and serves as a notable upgrade over the J4355 in the 2020/2021 generation Terramster systems:

Another couple of areas of note are to do with how Terramaster have stretched the chipset and CPU lanes available in the T12-423. Firstly, the memory maximum of the T12-423 is 32GB. Most systems with this architecture arrive with a 16GB maximum, largely because Intel rate this CPU with that maximum. Therefore it is unusual that Terramaster rate this at 32GB maximum (2 slots, 16GB per slot). Additionally, the system features an additional M.2 NVMe SSD slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 = 2,000MB/s throughput) but I am still seeking clarification if this can be used for BOTH caching and general storage, or just caching. Most systems would arrive with two M.2 slots (to allow the possibility of Read/Write caching), but I imagine the 12 bays of storage ticked over into the chipset/PCI lanes are enough to prevent this. Still, having the option of installing even a single m.2 SSD is better than ot having it at all, Below is a breakdown of the rest of the hardware specifications:

Processor
Processor Model Intel® Celeron® N5105
Processor Architecture X.86 64-bit
Processor Frequency Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Max burst up to 2.9 GHz)
Hardware Encryption Engine
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
Memory
System Memory 8GB
Pre-installed Memory module 1
Total Memory Slot Number 2 (SO-DIMM)
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB (16 GB + 16 GB)
Note TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier’s product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
Storage
Disk Slot Number 12
Compatible Drive types 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity 240TB (20TB x 12) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Single Volume 108TB
Drive Hot Swap
Note . Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.
File System
Internal Drive EXT4,BTRFS
External Drive EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
External Ports
RJ-45 2.5GbE Network Jack 2
USB 3.1 Port 2 (Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2)
HDMI 1
M.2 2280 NVMe Slot 1 (PCIe3.0 x2)
Appearance
Size  mm
Packaging Size  mm
Weight Net Weight:  Kg   Gross Weight:  Kg
Others
System Fan 80 mm x 80 mm x25mm 3 pcs
Fan Mode Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed
Noise Level dB(A) (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in idle state)
Power Supply 500W
AC Input Voltage 100V – 240V AC
Current Frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
Power Consumption W (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in read/write state)
W (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in hibernation)
Limited warranty 2 years
Certificate FCC, CE, CCC, KC
Environment RoHS, WEEE
Temperature
Working Temperature 0°C  ~ 40°C (32°F ~ 104°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C ~ 60°C (-5°F ~ 140°F)
Relative Humidity 5% ~ 95% RH
Package Contents
Host unit (x1)
Power cord (x1)
RJ-45 network cable (x1)
Quick Installation Guide (x1)
Limited Warranty Note(x1)
Screws(a few)

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Size, Noise & Impact

Now, let’s discuss the remarkably tall elephant in the room! The T12-423 12-Bay NAS is desktop chassis that is vertically stacked. Much closer in appearance to a desktop PC that you might find under your desk, the SATA HDD bays are a 4×3 configuration, Looking much more in initial appearance to a compact rackmount NAS chassis, this is quite a unique choice of design. The size of the chassis in its narrow form is much taller deployment might out some users off, in more compact server rooms this would be quite appealing. As this is a 12-Bay chassis, with an internal 500W PSU and 3 rear active fans, the ambient noise level (even with modest Hard Drives) will be quite noticeable. However, this is to be expected once you hit this kind of storage capacity. Overall, although the initial design of the Terramaster T12-423 is unusual, I think there IS a method to the madness and I quite like it!

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Applications

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS (much like the rest of the Pro/SMB servers in their portfolio) arrives with the TOS software and services. We have reviewed this NAS GUI and platform back in 2019 in Version TOS 4 HERE, but the brand is currently working on TOS version 5.0, with promised improvements in the user interface, security, applications and responsiveness. We were lucky enough to get access to an early build of Terramaster TOS 5.0 and you can find out more in the video below.

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Price & Release Date

The release of the Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS looks like it will be relatively soon, as the official product page for this NAS has been made public on the official brand pages. Terramaster says that the T12-423 will be available at approx $1399 and further pricing worldwide will be available soon.

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Dirty Pipe Linux Vulnerability – What Do Synology, QNAP, Asustor & Terramaster NAS Owners Need to Know?

16 mars 2022 à 01:10

Dirty Pipe Linux Weakness and Why You and your Linux Based NAS Should Care?


For those that might not be aware, a vulnerability in Linux kernel 5.8 and above was disclosed by Max Kellerman last week and publically disclosed (with a proof of concept demonstrating the weakness) and this vulnerability was reported (tracked under CVE-2022-0847) and effectively allows a non-privileged user to inject and overwrite data in read-only files, including SUID processes that run as root. This Linux vulnerability is reported to be comparable to the Dirty CoW vulnerability found in Linux from 7 years ago (CVE-2016-5195) where an exploit was used for pushing malware onto software services. Full details on the public disclosure and demonstration of the vulnerability by Kellerman can be found here, but the larger impact of this is that there are many, MANY different software platforms around the world that utilize Linux as the base of their systems and alongside Android and smart home appliances, one big advocate of Linux kernel-based development is NAS storage providers in their systems and services. Now, on the plus side, Linux was incredibly quick to implement a patch on this and the vulnerability has been closed on Linux kernels 5.16.11, 5.15.25, and 5.10.102, however, most NAS servers use different versions of the Linux kernel, as well as roll out updates to their varied hardware systems in a most bespoke fashion. This leads to them potentially running outdated kernels and leaving a door open to this exploit, posing a significant issue to server administrators. We fully expect NAS brands to roll out updates where appropriate/applicable shortly to close this vulnerability, however, one consistent thread in the past when some NAS brands have been hit by ransomware/malware exploits is when vulnerabilities that are found in older software revisions are left unchecked by the end-user (ignoring brand updates or practising unsafe network security). So today, let’s discuss the dirty pipe vulnerability, how/if it affects Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster NAS platforms right now and what you should do right now to avoid any exploits being used on your system.


What is Dirty Pipe?


In brief, Dirty Pipe is a vulnerability in Linux Kernel 5.8 onwards that allows local users to inject their own data into sensitive read-only files, removing restrictions or modifying configurations to provide greater access than they usually would have. This was first registered and made publically known by Mark Kellerman and he gives an incredibly concise and detailed breakdown on the vulnerability, how he found it and it’s implications in this article by him.


“It all started a year ago with a support ticket about corrupt files. A customer complained that the access logs they downloaded could not be decompressed. And indeed, there was a corrupt log file on one of the log servers; it could be decompressed, but gzip reported a CRC error. I could not explain why it was corrupt, but I assumed the nightly split process had crashed and left a corrupt file behind. I fixed the file’s CRC manually, closed the ticket, and soon forgot about the problem. “Months later, this happened again and yet again. Every time, the file’s contents looked correct, only the CRC at the end of the file was wrong. Now, with several corrupt files, I was able to dig deeper and found a surprising kind of corruption. A pattern emerged.”” Kellermann said. 


A short while afterwards, a security advisor by the name of BLASTY updated this with an increasingly easier method of its execution and also publically disclosed it, highlighting just how much easier it made it to gain root privileges by patching the /usr/bin/su command to drop a root shell at /tmp/sh and then executing the script. This all means that it makes it possible for a user to gain admin authentication and system powers and can then execute malicious commands to the system.

Dirty Pipe PoC (https://t.co/ql5Y8pWDBj) works beautifully. 🤑pic.twitter.com/OrRYJE5skC


— blasty (@bl4sty) March 7, 2022



These can range from malware to (the increasingly more likely) a ransomware action that would encrypt the contents of the system and demand a fee for it’s decryption. Now, the nature of this exploit at this time (for systems that have not or cannot update to the latest patch Linux kernel 5.16.11, 5.15.25, and 5.10.102 right now) is still limited as it would only be usable in the event of a targetted attack and/or the need for a further utility or application in the system to execute the follow-up command. Now the extent to which this affected NAS Drives from the popular off the shelf private server providers is actually surprisingly diverse and a big part of that comes down to how each NAS brand is utilizing Linux. More precisely, different NAS brands are running their NAS system software on differing kernels of linux that they update over time, as well as individual systems in their respective portfolio (for reasons of hardware and utility) also run slightly different revisions of Linux for their software, eg Synology and DSM, QNAP and QTS, Asustor and ADM, etc. So, how does this affect each NAS brand, if at all?

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Synology NAS?



By the looks of things, Synology NAS and DSM 7/7.1 are not susceptible to the Dirty Pipe vulnerability. This is largely down to the Diskstation Manager software and services running on Linux kernel 4.4 (this will vary in subversion depending on the Synology NAS solution). The vulnerability that is executed is found in version 5.8 onwards and even if Synology update their platform to this linux revision in the near future, they would also use the patched revisions and therefore avoid the weakness. Indeed, a bold move by the brand themselves on Reddit when an official Synology rep on the /synology sub reddit made it abundantly clear (zero ambiguity) that the Synology NAS platform and DSM7 was not going to be touched by this:



This i further highlighted by the brand’s security advisory not even acknowledging this in any way HERE. Generally, Synology are s#!t hot on updating their advisories, so this is a very good sign and I would believe them on this (as well as the kernel versions backing this up).

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on QNAP NAS?



QNAP NAS, QTS and QuTS run a higher revision of the Linux kernel than Synology, which unfortunately means that this vulnerability (although targetted in design and closed in it’s scope). QNAP runs kernal 5.10.60 on it’s Prosumer, business and enterprise systems and kernal 4.2.8 on it’s more affordable/ARM systems. Once again, it is worth remembering that this si a vulnerability that was found in Linux, not QTS/QuTS, so not only is this something that is not QNAP’s fault but also that issuing a patch/firmware update for their software and services will not be immediate (as they run a modified linux platform and any update needs internal implementation and testing before rolling out). QNAP issued details on this remarkably quickly via their Security Advisory pages with an updated line on this and highlighted which systems in their portfolio were unaffected (running Linux Kernel 4.X onward) as well as ones that feature the affected linux revision that an update will be available for shortly. Here is a breakdown of what they said:


  • Release date: March 14, 2022


  • Security ID: QSA-22-05


  • Severity: High


  • CVE identifier: CVE-2022-0847


  • Affected products: All QNAP x86-based NAS and some QNAP ARM-based NAS running QTS 5.0.x and QuTS hero h5.0.x


  • Not affected products: QNAP NAS running QTS 4.x


  • Status: Investigating


A local privilege escalation vulnerability, also known as “dirty pipe”, has been reported to affect the Linux kernel on QNAP NAS running QTS 5.0.x and QuTS hero h5.0.x. If exploited, this vulnerability allows an unprivileged user to gain administrator privileges and inject malicious code. The following versions of QTS and QuTS hero are affected:

  • QTS 5.0.x on all QNAP x86-based NAS and certain QNAP ARM-based NAS
  • QuTS hero h5.0.x on all QNAP x86-based NAS and certain QNAP ARM-based NAS

For a full list of the affected models, please check “Kernel Version 5.10.60” in the following link: https://www.qnap.com/go/release-notes/kernel. QNAP is thoroughly investigating the vulnerability. We will release security updates and provide further information as soon as possible. Recommendation – Currently there is no mitigation available for this vulnerability. We recommend users to check back and install security updates as soon as they become available.


So, if you are curious if your system is running the affected linux kernel, you can find a list of QNAP NAS systems that feature 5.10.60 below:



QNAP are working on this right now and although an firmware update should be available quickly, I would recommend heading to the bottom of this article for recommendations on securing your storage and network setup either in the long term OR till an official patch is issued.

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Asustor NAS?



In more positive news, not only is Asustor and ADM 4 not affected by the dirty pipe vulnerability but also the brand has been fantastically loud about this in their security advisory pages. This is one of those rare occasions where a brand has added an entry to their advisory pages for a vulnerability that is NOT impacting their systems. I kind of wish we saw more of this, as even if a brand is NOT affected by a weakness that is being reported on servers, users would rather be abundantly clear. You can find out more from Asustor’s security advisory pages HERE, but the details are available below:

Severity Status
Not affected Resolved

Details – A flaw was found in the way the “flags” member of the new pipe buffer structure was lacking proper initialization in copy_page_to_iter_pipe and push_pipe functions in the Linux kernel and could thus contain stale values. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to write to pages in the page cache backed by read-only files and as such escalate their privileges on the system.


Statement – None of ASUSTOR’s products are affected by CVE-2022-0847, this vulnerability issue only affects with Linux Kernel 5.8 and above. The Linux Kernel version built in ADM 4.0 is 5.4, and 4.14 in ADM 3.5.


So, they are making things remarkably clear that regardless of the current update/firmware status of your system, you are unaffected.

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Terramaster NAS?



Details on the linux kernel that is utilized by Terramaster in their NAS systems in the current TOS 4 software that is available (As well as the TOS 5 beta) are still being investigated and I will update the article shortly with my findings. Early checks seem to indicate that TOS 4 is running on an earlier version of linux and therefore unaffected. However, I will confirm this and the TOS 5 beta status as soon as possible here in the article.

What Security Measures Should NAS Owners Take to Avoid Dirty Pipe?


Although the circumstances that need to execute this Linux dirty pipe vulnerability towards your NAS are quite restricted (classing this largely as a targetted attack, as a little bit more prior knowledge is needed about the targeted system in order to exploit it and execute code), this should still not leave users to remain complacent. Regardless of whether you are a QNAP, Synology, Asustor or Terramaster user, you should be actioning safe and secure working practices with your data – as well as ensuring that you have sufficient backups in place of your mission-critical and/or irreplaceable data! Here are some recommendations for your NAS setup to reduce the potential for you to be affected by any exploited vulnerability that could well be currently unidentified in your setup:


If you are concerned about being vulnerable to Dirty Pipe and want to ‘shut the doors’ a bit till a firmware update:

  • Disable Port Forwarding
  • Disable uPnP Auto Configuration Tools
  • Disable SSH & Telnet Services
  • Change Your Port Numbers

If you want to take a moment to do some security and access house-keeping:

  • Disable Admin Accounts
  • Enable Auto Updates
  • Add 2-Step Verification
  • Use Strong Passwords
  • Limit App File/Folder Access to applications they do not need them

And finally, most important of all – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!


I will repeat this as many times as it takes, but you should NOT be measuring the cost of your backups by the cost of the hardware. You should measure them by the COST to YOU if that data is permanently LOST! Additionally, if all your mission-critical/irreplaceable data is in ONE location (eg on the NAS, sent from your phones and PCs, then deleted from those to make space), then THAT IS NOT A BACKUP! That is the single repository of that data! Get a USB Backup in place, get a Backblaze Subscription HERE affordably or some cloud space in general, get another NAS – whatever it takes! If you need help arranging your NAS backups on your QNAP or Synology NAS, use the video guides below:


Finally, if you want to stay on top of the vulnerabilities that are publically disclosed on Synology, QNAP, Asustor or Terramaster, I STRONGLY recommend following and/or adding your email to the article below. We automatically crawl the security advisory pages from the top NAS brands and have created a single page that automatically lists and updates the status of known NAS vulnerabilities as soon as they are revealed.



Thanks for reading and let’s keep your data safe together!


 



 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Terramaster NAS TOS 5 Beta Now Publicly Available

14 mars 2022 à 01:11

Latest Terramaster NAS TOS 5 Software Now Available to Test in Beta


If you are a terramaster user and have been wondering what the brand has had in store for it’s software in 2022, it would appear that they have been working busily on a host of improvements, upgrades and new features for the latest version of their NAS System, TOS 5. Now terramaster users are able to try out some of the new features and services that are included that range from a new self-isolation mode, to flexible RAID configurations, AI Photo recognition, Docker, Surveillance support and improved client sync applications. Remember, this is still a Beta and therefore you should not upgrade the firmware on your mission-critical system with this less stable beta! The TOS 5 beta is intended as a means of getting feedback from users on what works, what doesn’t;t and ultimately to help ensure the full release of TOS 5 is the best it can possibly be. So if you do want to test out TOS 5, get your backups in order first! Let’s discuss what is new and improved in TOS 5!


Note – We originally previewed an earlier build of Terramaster TOS 5 Alpha in the video HERE on the NASCompares YouTube channel. LOADS more features have been added since this original alpha preview and we will soon be deep-diving into this newer Beta release very soon. Below is what Terramaster say is included in the new TOS ver.5 Beta. The original press release can be found here with further details, alongside existing features of TOS that will also remain and/or be improved upon in TOS 5 – HERE.


(from the official Terramaster new pages below)

New Features & Improvements in Existing Services


In TOS 5, not only have the storage structure and data interaction mode been reconstructed but also, compared with the previous generation, it adds more than 50 features and 600 improvements. The new features meet more business requirements, as well as significantly improve response speed, security, and ease of use.

Browser Access to TOS is Now 3x Times Faster


TOS 5 adopts progressive JavaScript language and a lightweight framework with faster loading speed. TOS 5 features bidirectional data binding, easier data manipulation, and automatic synchronous response to data changes in the page; UI, data, and structure separation makes it easier to change data without the need to modify logic codes. Using progressive JavaScript language, TOS 5 has a more lightweight framework. In addition, through two-way binding of data, the view, data and structure are separated. When the page is operated, it automatically responds to changes in data, which makes the system “lighter” and achieve faster loading speed.



New caching technology avoids network round trips between the server and the database, bypasses the calculation that occupies resources, saves server resources, and improves response time and waiting time, so TOS 5 has the fastest response time in the current TOS family. Compared with the last generation, the TOS 5 response speed has increased by 300%! Use WASM to optimize the calculation method and execute the back-end complex calculations on the front-end, thereby reducing the calculation pressure on the server. In addition, TOS 5 uses the most popular back-end language at the moment, which can support high concurrent requests. Compared with traditional interpreted languages, the compilation speed is faster. Further information on the newest version of TOS and how the GUI has been redesigned can be found HERE.

Improved Resource Monitor in TOS 5


The new iconic resource monitor board allows you to grasp the operating status of your TNAS comprehensively and intuitively in real-time; at-a-glance visibility of system load, CPU and memory usage, network traffic, disk I/O, device temperature, storage, processes, online users, listening ports, and system resource occupancy. Historical records of up to 30 days can be easily traced back.


Full One Button System Isolation Mode Available in TOS 5


TerraMaster’s unique security isolation mode completely isolates your TNAS device from the external network through network isolation, digital signature, and file format restriction, providing a safer operating environment and effective protection against virus and ransomware attacks.

Support of the WORM File System in TOS5


Data can be written at one time within the customized protection period and cannot be deleted or modified. This effectively protects your data from malicious damage, deletion, or tampering and provides data protection for up to 70 years; essential for the financial, judicial, medical, and scientific research sectors, as well as other business users.

Improved Storage, Backup & Sync Features in Terramaster TOS 5


TOS 5 features optimized storage architecture to reduce the system space occupation. The file deduplication system, file system compression, TRAID elastic array, and other functions also save you up to 40% of storage space

Single Portal Folder Level Backup for Home and SMB Users


Reduce complexity and embrace simplicity. All backup needs can be completed through a single portal, providing one-stop backup solutions including Central Backup, TerraSync, Duple Backup, Snapshot, USB Copy, CloudSync, and other comprehensive backup tools. This meets your clients’ disaster recovery and restoration requirements, as well as backup policies and destinations.

Business Focused ProActive Backups for Larger Business


To improve management efficiency, medium and larger-sized businesses need a centralized and active backup solution for multiple users, PCs, and servers. Centralized Backup is a business-oriented backup solution that supports backup and restoration for multiple device types. You can centrally backup data of dozens or even hundreds of PCs, servers, or virtual machines with only one TNAS.


New Flexible RAID Support in TRAID in TOS 5


By optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements. Much like Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) in that you can mix drive capacities for improved storage after the RAID redundancy calculation. I reached out to Terramaster directly on this and they confirm that this function is supported in TOS 5.

Multiple Client Sync with TerraSync in TOS 5


TerraSync, a TerraMaster self-developed synchronization tool, realizes data synchronization between multiple users and multiple devices. It efficiently implements data sharing among branch offices and data synchronization between individuals on multiple devices and platforms, which assists employees in collaborative work and improves work efficiency.


New CloudSync Application for Bare Metal-to-Cloud Live Sync in TOS 5


The new CloudSync app integrates multiple cloud drives and syncs them into one application, including Google Drive, One Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze, Box, Dropbox, Koofr, OpenDrive, pCloud, Yandex disk, and Aliyun. This allows users to centralize the management of multiple synchronization tasks and add a variety of cloud disk synchronization options including Aliyun and Rackspace. A more flexible, stable, and efficient solution for data synchronization between your TNAS and cloud drives is facilitated by your choice of customized synchronization strategies, such as traffic control, scheduled tasks, and encryption.

CCTV Surveillance in Terramaster TOS 5


TNAS is an ideal video recording storage device. The new Surveillance Manager makes full use of TNAS storage resources to realize camera management, real-time monitoring, video storage, playback, query, event and activity monitoring and recording, providing you with economic and flexible video monitoring management tools to safeguard your personal and property safety.


AI Photo Recognition Now Available in TOS 5 with Terra Photo


Terra Photos is TerraMaster’s brand-new AI photo management application that provides smart solutions for your photo management and sharing; it uses intelligent AI algorithms to identify and classify faces, pets, locations, and other objects in your photos.


Docker Added to Existing Container Tools in TOS 5


Combined with docker-compose and portainer, the new Docker Manager features an optimized operation interface, with multiple new features which provide visual management that meets all your requirements for container customization and flexible configuration.


New Update to Terramaster’s Mobile App, TNAS Mobile 5


To adapt to TOS 5, TNAS mobile has also ushered in a comprehensive update, TNAS mobile 5. Featuring an optimized user interface and interaction, it has also added mobile phone backup, photo management, personal folders, team folders, data safebox, TerraSync, remote administrator, and other functions, which provide more convenience for remote access, mobile office, and remote management of your TNAS.


 

How to Access the Terramaster TOS 5 Beta?


Before starting the test, please be sure to read the following precautions carefully.


Precautions:

  1. A beta version is an early version of a program that contains most of the main features, but is not yet complete and may have some defects. This version is only released to a select group of people, or to the general public, for testing and feedback;
  2. The Beta version is not suitable for use in work or production environments. If your TNAS device is running business or storing important data, please do not participate in this test;
  3. The root file system, storage mount path, application storage location, and startup mode of TOS 5 are different from those of other versions. You will not be able to install TOS 5 through an update, but will need to reinstall the system. Reinstalling the system normally will not delete the data on your hard disk, but for safety, please be sure to back up your data in advance;
  4. The Beta version released this time is only applicable to TNAS models in X.86 series (220 series, 221 series, 420 series, 421 series, 422 series);
  5. Your current TOS version must be 4.2.09 or higher;
  6. TOS 5 Beta requires a new version of TNAS PC (Windows OS: V5.0.4 / macOS: V5.0.4) and TNAS Mobile (Android: V5.0.1 / iOS:V5.0.1).

Download link:


TNAS PC for Windows OS:    https://download2.terra-master.com/TerraMaster_TNAS PC_for_win_V5.0.4.zip
TNAS PC for macOS:    https://download2.terra-master.com/TerraMaster_TNAS PC_for_Mac_5.0.4.dmg
TNAS Mobile for Android: It will be published later.
TNAS Mobile for iOS: It will be published later.


How to install TOS 5 Beta?

  1. Download the TOS 5 Beta installation package:  https://download2.terra-master.com/TOS_X642.0_5.0.50_Beta_00063_2203071918.ins
  2. Log in to your TOS, go to control Panel > General Settings > Update & Recovery > Restore to Factory Defaults, select “Restore to Factory Defaults” and click “Apply” to clear your original settings;
  3. Your TNAS will automatically restart and enter the initialization guide page; If the initialization page is not displayed, please search the NAS IP address by TNAS PC, and enter the IP address in the browser’s address bar to access;
  4. Please select “Manual Installation”, upload the downloaded TOS 5 Beta installation package, and wait until the installation is complete;
  5. The system will automatically restart when TOS 5 Beta is successfully installed. After the system restarts, set the administrator settings as instructed to complete the system installation;
  6. After the system is installed, clear the browser cache. Otherwise, some system pages may not be displayed correctly.

Bug reports


As the Beta version is an early version of the program, there may be some defects, please do not pass the bugs of the Beta version to the public to avoid causing unnecessary trouble to others.
If you’d like report a bug, please send the description, reproduction method and screenshot of the bug to the email address: [email protected]


 

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Terramaster NAS Devices Being Attacked By Deadbolt Ransomware

1 mars 2022 à 11:49

Deadbolt Ransomware Attacking NAS Drives Again – This time it is Terramaster


It pains me to make this post, but yes, Deadbolt ransomware has once again attacked NAS drives and this time the target is Terramaster devices. Although exact details on the attack vector of this ransomware are yet to be confirmed (though I will be updating this article as more information arrives), it looks like a very similar attack to those that affected Asustor last week, using very similar display methods of highlighting the means of paying the ransom, as well as similar ways that people have been alerted to it on their individual systems. Likely candidates at the time of writing point to this either being based around a UPnP weakness (similar to a previous ransomware exploit that was used) or weak network management (either in the ports used or in 3rd party applications poking holes in your firewall etc in order to facilitate remote access). As mentioned, the details are still rather murky and the first reported hit by users online was around 10 hours ago, so similarities in how people have arranged their network/system services are slowly getting pieced together. If you DO own a Terramaster NAS drive right now, I would make the following recommendations:

  • Run a Backup! But check you have not been already hit by the deadbolt ransomware and inadvertently overwrite your ‘god’ backups. I would STRONGLY recommend where possible (space/budget) running a completely new and independent backup of the whole system or at the very least your irreplaceable/mission-critical data
  • Disconnect your system from ANY internet connection unless you are 100% confident that your network security is secure (even a VPN doesn’t avoid the fact some apps and services open router ports as a necessity)
  • Check your system logs for any large number of IP login attempts. Not strictly necessary in this case as the attack vector is still unconfirmed at the time of writing, but check nonetheless
  • Power Down your device unless you are 100% confident that you are untouchable. Although deadbolt is actioned INITIALLY over the internet to push command to the system to conduct a large scale encryption command, delete the encryption key and amend the login screen to their own payment window and key entry. So, if you are BEING attacked by deadbolt ransomware, disconnecting the system from the network internet is not enough (as from THAT point, all operations are being conducted locally (ie inside the system). So power down your device until Terramaster issue a patch to close whatever this exploit is that deadbolt is utilizing
  • At the time of writing, we are still awaiting further information on the deadbolt Active Process (i.e in the task/resource monitor). When that is established, you can use SSH and a suitable command client to patch in and kill the process, HOWEVER, you should disable SSH for now if you HAVE NOT been hit, as this manner of control is how the bulk of ransomware attacks are conducted automatically
  • Change credentials for the admin account. Although TOS 5 (previewed last month here on YouTube) has the option to disable the admin account (as well as a kill switch for all remote access), the current version of TOS 4 does not have this functionality
  • Change your local network and remote access ports from the default 8000, 8080, 8001 etc to something randomized

IF your Terramaster NAS is COMPLETELY isolated from the internet (and you are 100% certain of this, eg you directly PC-to-NAS interface your system OR you run the NAS on an isolated vLAN in your network behind a bunch of layers), then you can largely ignore the above.



 


UPDATED 02/03 08:00 GMT


Since the deadbolt ransomware’s first targetted attacks yesterday, Terramaster has rolled out a new firmware update (TOS version 4.2.30) and they strongly recommend users who have not yet been affected to upgrade now. The update will be available from the usual system settings, software update menu from within the TOS web browser GUI in the window below:



Also, you can choose to manually download the TOS 4.2.30 update directly on TerraMaster official website->SUPPORT->DOWNLOAD page (see image below) here – https://support.terra-master.com/download/



It is VERY IMPORTANT that users understand the following details before they update their Terramaster NAS to this latest firmware updated version:

  • If you install this update, it WILL NOT recover/unencrypt files that have been hit by deadbolt (i.e. files that now carry the ‘.deadbolt’ encryption in their name/format. This update closes the vulnerability that allowed the deadbolt group to inject a command towards your terramaster NAS and carry out the attack.
  • If you install this update, it will remove the black deadbolt entry screen to your Terramaster NAS when accessing it via the web browser. However, in doing this, you will also lose the (arguably crap) option to recover your files by paying the ransom group, getting an encryption key and decrypting your data. Although unaffected users and those who have zero intention of engaging with the deadbolt group will be happy with this, some users who have lost mission-critical /irreplaceable data that might consider this option might want to think about this update a little further. When Deadbolt hit Asustor NAS devices last week, when Asustor issued a firmware update, they also added a small add on in the app center that allowed the end-user to still access this screen in an isolated fashion to still keep the option of getting an (arguably illegally) paid for solution to recovery.
  • Right now, users are attempting to perform recovery with deadbolt files via linux mounted drive setups. It is a painfully slow and low success % operation (as in user base) but if your data is important to you and/or/if you want to resume access to your NAS whilst keeping the encrypted data to one side, I recommend removing the HDD/SSD media (keep track of which drive in which bay) and replace the drives in the Terramaster NAS and re-initialize. Then you can reintroduce those drives to the NAS or to a linux machine in the event of a recovery method becoming possible.

Back to the Original Article.

What Do We Know About the Terramaster NAS Deadbolt Ransomware Attack?


The bulk of the details even at this early stage of the terramaster NAS deadbolt ransomware attack bear alot of similarities to those of the Asustor attack last week (Read the article on that plus all the updates and MOST IMPORTANTLY the comments of that article as there is alot of information on how people have responded/adapted to when this hit them). Most users understood that their Terramaster NAS system was in the process of being hit by deadbolt Ransomware in two very clear ways, one arguably worse than the other. The first was that many of the more value series Terramster NAS systems (2/4 Bay systems at the Dual-Core level) had a sharp and very noticeable rise in system fan activity (and HDD LED lights kicking off incessantly) as the encryption command pushed the system very hard indeed. If you were fortunate enough to spot this early, then there is a reasonable chance that the % of files encrypted would be very low. However, a larger proportion of users found their NAS system was mostly/completely encrypted overnight (or whilst they were out of sight/earshot of the NAS) and their first knowledge of the attack was to be greeted by this (now depressingly familiar in 2022) deadbolt login screen:


Important Message for TERRAMASTER
All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:


1) Make a bitcoin payment of 5 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive all details about this zero-day vulnerability so it can be patched. A detailed report will be sent to [email protected].


2) Make a bitcoin payment of 15 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive a universal decryption master key (and instructions) that can be used to unlock all your clients their files. Additionally, we will also send you all details about the zero-day vulnerability to [email protected].


Upon receipt of payment for either option, all information will be sent to you in a timely fashion.


There is no way to contact us.
These are our only offers.
Thanks for your consideration.


Greetings,
DEADBOLT team.


If you are unsure if you have been hit by the deadbolt ransomware attack (i.e. you can still login fine and the login screen has not changed) but want to do a quick checklist on things to monitor. Here is a brief to-do list:

  • Your Remote mounted storage is suffering delayed responses/file opening (eg mapped drives, SMB mounts, etc) as this could mean that these are in use by the system and being encrypted. The same goes if you have a recently accessible remote mount that is now inaccessible
  • Search for .deadbolt in the file manager search bar. It is not the quickest, but any file hit by this will have the .deadbolt file extension
  • Your regular overnight backup(s) failed or took way, WAY too long, as this indicates a large amount of HDD activity taking place at the same time as your regular backups and even 3-4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will struggle to maintain even marginally good input/output actions when these larger volume activities are run simultaneously
  • Your system fans are increasing as drive activity has increased notably (encryption is a hefty task for any system to conduct, especially on the entire storage pool/volumes/etc
  • Your HDD/SSD LEDs are going NUTS! This also applies if you are using larger than 8TB drives or larger Seagate Ironwolfs NAS drives, Ultrastar, Red Pros, EXOs, etc as these Pro/Ent class drives make some real noise in heavy crunch activity such as large scale encryption

Currently (01/03/22 930AM GMT) Terramaster has yet to issue a formal statement on this or a firmware update, but the attack is around 12 hours old at most. Still, this is now the 3rd Deadbolt attack to hit NAS brands in the last 6 months (Asustor and QNAP previously) and alongside the earlier attack of a vulnerability in TOS at the start of the year. There are hopes that the current TOS 5.0 update (still in Beta) will feature improvements in it’s network security and how much access installed apps have to the core system administration.

What Does Terramaster Advise to Prevent the Deadbolt Ransomware?


Terramaster has responded to this recent Deadbolt ransomware attack of their NAS systems with the following statement:


Recently, we have received reports of some TNAS devices being attacked by Deadbolt Ransomware. Based on the case analysis, we initially concluded that this was an external attack against TNAS devices. To protect your data from Deadbolt, please take action now!


If your NAS works normally, we suggest you take the following countermeasures:


1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;


2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;


3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.


4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.


For more detailed measures, please refer to the following link:


https://www.terra-master.com/global/press/index/view/id/1143/


 


If you find that your NAS has unfortunately been affected by Deadbolt Ransomware, please follow the steps as below:


  1. Remove the LAN network cable from your TNAS device immediately.


  2. Power off your TNAS; x.86 models: short press the power button; ARM models: long-press the power button 3 seconds.


  3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data. 


  4. Please contact the online support on our official website or email to [email protected] directly.


Additionally, there is a great deal of activity in the last 12 hours on the official support forums on this, with a Terramaster Customer Representative issuing the following response to an initial enquiry on deadbolt ransomware attacks:



Right now, Asustor has yet to issue further information on recovery on this (unless I have updated this article above with further information), but I would recommend following the steps provided by other NAS brands in the wake of a ransomware attack such as this:

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

Until the attack vector is established, I would recommend going ‘all in’ on updating your security settings. Although a lot of the changes relating to password changes seem unrelated to this, without having a complete throughline on similarities between users, it is best to dot every i and cross every t!

Is There A Solution, Restoration or Recovery Method Currently Available to Deadbolt Affected Terramaster NAS?


As it stands, there is no resolution available from Terramaster NAS if your files have been encrypted by Deadbolt ransomware. other than paying the ransom (which would suck!) many are looking at methods of recovery using linux based mounting of the drives and accessing any snapshots in a BTRFS volume (or using PhotoRec/TeskDisk in the hope of reverting the files), but even then, there is little currently possible to recover affected files. That may not always be the case and I would still recommend keeping the encrypted files (in a 2nd location if you need to format your terramaster for continued use) as recovery methods might become available in weeks/months from now. Terramaster issued an updated press release on this with further instructions on disabling specific services, We suggest you take the following countermeasures:

  1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;
  2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;
  3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.
  4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.

  1. Disable RDP, SSH and Telnet when not in use;


Additional Changes Here:


  1. Change the default port of FTP. When you use the FTP protocol to access, please pay attention to bringing the port, such as ftp://192.168.0.1:1990.

  1. Set a high security level password for all users;

  2. Disable the system default admin account, re-create a new admin account, and set an advanced password;
    Note: For versions after TOS 4.2.09, you can set the administrator account without using the default admin username when installing the system. If it was upgraded from a version before TOS 4.2.09, you need to reset the system configuration, then you can customize the user name.

  3. Enable firewall and only allow trusted IP addresses and ports to access your device;
    a. Go to Control Panel > General Settings > Security > Firewall.
    b. Create a firewall rule and choose the operation of allow or deny.
    c. Fill in the IP range you allow or deny access to. If you fill in the network you want to deny access to, please fill in the subnet address correctly, otherwise it may cause your existing devices to be unable to access TNAS.

  1. Avoid using default port numbers 5443 for https and 8181 for http. After changing, please enter IP:Port in the browser address bar, such as 192.168.0.1:8186.
  2. Enable automatic IP block in TOS Control Panel to block IP addresses with too many failed login attempts;

  1. Backing up data is the best way to deal with malicious attacks; always back up data, at least one backup to another device. It is strongly recommended to adopt a 3-2-1 backup strategy.

 


If your Terramaster NAS was NOT affected, I would still recommend disabling remote/internet access., as the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit. Therefore right now there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Terramaster NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order. I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 

New Terramaster T9-423 9-Bay For 2022 – Something VERY Different!

21 février 2022 à 01:22

TerraMaster Introduces 9-Bay T9-423 High-Performance NAS

In the last few years, it would be fair to say that I have seen ALOT of NAS drives. However, the latest release from Terramaster is quite a unique piece of kit and although it brings a bunch of ‘brand firsts’ to the desktop buyer’s market, it does so in that particularly ‘Terramaster’ way and ends up standing out in a few notable ways. The Terramaster T9-423 NAS is their first 9-Bay NAS drive (indeed, I can only think of around 3-4 other 9-Bay NAS systems ever released and they were HDD/SSD combos) and building on the architecture of what we have seen from the brand until now, this new system arrives with a current-gen server-grade Intel CPU, improved network connections and a tower-style of desktop chassis. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the T9-423 NAS Drive coming soon.

T9-423 FRONT T9-423 BACK/PORTS

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Performance & Connectivity


The Terramaster T9-423 arrives with similar connectivity to a number of their older Fx-422 and Fx-421 NAS systems, however, there have been improvements in a number of key areas and if this is an idea of what the rest of the Tx-423 NAS range will be featuring in 2022, it is a solid start. The external network connectivity of the T9-423 features two 2.5GbE network ports, that allow upto 5GbE via link-aggregation/port-trunking with a supported network switch (as well as being backwards compatible with 1GbE networks of course). Until now Terramaster have only supplied Desktop 1GbE solutions (along with a couple of 10GbE servers too), so it is nice to see the brand embracing the emerging deployment and utility amount network client hardware to include 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE. Alongside this, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports that support external storage, but also Terramaster is one of the last brands in the market with comparatively large USB accessories support vs the likes of Synology and QNAP. These being 5Gb ports and not 10Gb USB ports is a bit of a shame (especially for those who are considering USB local backups to this NINE bay system) but the wider USB support is still very welcome. Finally there is the HDMI output on the rear. Sadly, Terramaster have still to develop any visual/GUI putout for this port and it is reserved for direct, command-level access with security credentials -in other words, maintenance at best. The 2.5GbE ports are the show stealer here though and I hope this is a trend we are going to see from the brand in their 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 5-Bay systems in 2022/2023.

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the T9-423 NAS is an interesting mix and alongside the use of the current SMB/Prosumer grade favourite CPU (the Intel Celeron N5105 or N5095 – an Intel CPU Refresh amidst the pandemic means that there are several runs on similar CPUs right now that would have been scheduled in other circumstances), the system arrives with an impressive 8GB of memory by default. I am particularly impressed by the 1x 8GB DDR4 Memory module as standard in the T9-423, as most systems that have arrived in the last 3 months with this CPU (about 3 NAS’) have all featured 2GB or 4GB, so this is a welcome increase for day 1 users. The CPU itself is certainly worthy of note and serves as a notable upgrade over the J4355 in the 2020/2021 generation Terramster systems:

Another couple of areas of note are to do with how Terramaster have stretched the chipset and CPU lanes available in the T9-423. Firstly, the memory maximum of the T9-423 is 32GB. Most systems with this architecture arrive with a 16GB maximum, largely because Intel rate this CPU with that maximum. Therefore it is unusual that Terramaster rate this at 32GB maximum (2 slots, 16GB per slot). Additionally, the system features an additional M.2 NVMe SSD slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 = 2,000MB/s throughput) but I am still seeking clarification if this can be used for BOTH caching and general storage, or just caching. Most systems would arrive with two M.2 slots (to allow the possibility of Read/Write caching), but I imagine the 9 bays of storage ticked over into the chipset/PCI lanes are enough to prevent this. Still, having the option of installing even a single m.2 SSD is better than ot having it at all, Below is a breakdown of the rest of the hardware specifications:

Processor
Processor Model Intel® Celeron® N5105/N5095
Processor Architecture X.86 64-bit
Processor Frequency Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Max burst up to 2.9 GHz)
Hardware Encryption Engine
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
Memory
System Memory 8GB
Pre-installed Memory module 1
Total Memory Slot Number 2
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB (16 GB + 16 GB)
Note TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier’s product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
Storage
Disk Slot Number 9
Compatible Drive types 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity 180TB (20TB x 9) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Single Volume 108TB
Drive Hot Swap
Note . Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.
File System
Internal Drive EXT4,BTRFS
External Drive EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
External Ports
RJ-45 2.5GbE Network Jack 2
USB 3.1 Port 2 (Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2)
HDMI 1
M.2 2280 NVMe Slot 1 (PCIe3.0 x2)
Appearance
Size 334 x 135 x 295 mm
Packaging Size 467 x 225 x 390 mm
Weight Net Weight: 6.9 Kg  Gross Weight:  Kg
Others
System Fan 80 mm x 80 mm x25mm 3 pcs
Fan Mode Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed
Noise Level dB(A)
Power Supply 250W
AC Input Voltage 100V – 240V AC
Current Frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
Power Consumption 115W (read & write)
W  (hard drive dormancy)
Limited warranty 2 years

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Size, Noise & Impact

Now, let’s discuss the remarkably tall elephant in the room! The T9-423 9-Bay NAS is desktop chassis that is vertically stacked. Much closer in appearance to a desktop PC that you might find under your desk, the SATA HDD bays are a 3×3 configuration, Looking much more in initial appearance to a compact rackmount NAS chassis, this is quite a unique choice of design. The size of the chassis at 33.4cm x 13.5cm x 29.5cm, a narrow form and although this much taller deployment might out some users off, in more compact server rooms this would be quite appealing. As this is an 8-Bay chassis, with an internal 250W PSU and 3 rear active fans, the ambient noise level (even with modest Hard Drives) will be quite noticeable. However, this is to be expected once you hit this kind of storage capacity. Overall, although the initial design of the Terramaster T9-423 is unusual, I think there IS a method to the madness and I quite like it!

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Applications

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS (much like the rest of the Pro/SMB servers in their portfolio) arrives with the TOS software and services. We have reviewed this NAS GUI and platform back in 2019 in Version TOS 4 HERE, but the brand is currently working on TOS version 5.0, with promised improvements in the user interface, security, applications and responsiveness. We were lucky enough to get access to an early build of Terramaster TOS 5.0 and you can find out more in the video below.

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Price & Release Date

The release of the Terramaster T9-423 9-Bay NAS looks like it will be relatively soon, as the official product page for this NAS has been made public on the official brand pages. Terramaster says that the T9-423 will be available at $999 and further pricing worldwide will be available soon.

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SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  
❌