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Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – The Big One?

6 juin 2022 à 01:02

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Go Big or Go Home?

I think it would be safe to say that Synology sells quite a lot of NAS. The brand has always had a strong focus on software and providing ‘solutions’, as opposed to ‘flogging hardware’, but ultimately the outcome is that Synology continues to be the top brand in network-attached storage worldwide. One of the biggest reasons for this of course is Diskstation Manager (DSM, currently in version 7.1), the fully-featured network software that is easily comparable in design, utility and quality to many top tier operating systems. DSM 7 is included with all Synology NAS systems to largely the same degree, but when it comes to hardware, their portfolio has tended to spread itself a little more in order to cater for those looking for value, power, features or scale – giving the end-user an opportunity to spend their budget on the areas of NAS that matter most to their network environment. The 2021/2022 released Synology DS2422+ NAS in today’s review is an interesting example of these lines being blurred by the brand and in doing so, trying to provide a little bit of everything. Arriving as the follow up to the DS2419+, this new massive 12-Bay SMB (small/medium business) solution has tweaked a few things it’s architecture, as well as including some of the opinion dividing changes to DSM 7 that have been rolled out in the last 12 months. The DS2422+ arrives with the now well established Ryzen embedded processor series, the opportunity for lots of memory, huge storage scalability, network upgradability and arrives as a solution that hopes to be the center of your home/business storage for many years (evolving over time). So today I want to review the Synology DS2422+ NAS and help you decide if it deserves your data.

Review Chapters – Skip Ahead

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

When Synology launched the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ NAS at the same time, despite them both being upgradable 12-Bays, the DS2422+ was a little in the shade of the bright, shiny and powerful DS3622xs+. It is understandable, while the DS2422+ arrives with a familiar embedded Ryzen CPU and supersized version of the architecture already present in the DS1621+ and DS1821+, the DS3622xs+ was a Xeon and 10GbE monster! But people tend to forget the price difference of well over $1000 between them and for may – THAT is going to be a HUGE dealbreaker. If you are already convinced by the Synology software eco-system and are concerned with how much capacity you are going to need in future, the DS2422+ is easily the best value for money that the brand provides right now. Aside from the upgradability of the system’s network connectivity down the line, memory upgrades when the time comes and storage expansions that effectively double your storage potential waiting for you – there is the simple advantage that the DS2422+ does NOT need to be fully populated on day 1. Thanks to Synology’s continuing support of SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) on this NAS, it means that you can leverage your budget on this box to partially populate the NAS with storage media and then the rest of your budget on the rest of your network hardware or scaling the power of the device up considerable (as opposed to the ‘upfront’ nature of purchasing the DS3622xs+ hardware). Synology continued stance on 1st party HDD and SSD media is still continuing to ruffle feathers and the inclusion of this policy DS2422+ seems a pinch overkill, but now DSM 7.1 is being a touch less OTT about 3rd party media, this is less of a barrier that it once was. Once again, it comes down to how much you want to engage with the Synology ecosystem, its services, its business focus and ultimately how much the DS2422+ will be doing in your own network hardware environment. In conclusion, the DS2422+ IS a good NAS and if CAPACITY is more important to you than POWER, then the DS2422+ is by far the best Synology NAS for you in 2022.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Packaging

The retail packaging for the Synology DS2422+ is fairly standard stuff. This is hardly a solution that you are going to pick up on the shelf of your local I.T shop, so priorities in the packaging are going to be massively in favour of protection in transit more than looking nice. The NAS arrives in 2 layers of cardboard box packaging and the NAS itself is held in a hard foam framework.

Synology has never really cut corners on protecting its solutions in transit and the DS2422+ NAS is no exception. The NAS arrives unpopulated, but even if it was fully populated with HDDs, this system will be well insulated from shock/motion damage (both of which can be silent killers of this kind of tech down the line.

Laying out the contents of the DS2422+ package shows us a small batch of accessories. These include details on the first time setup, information on the included 3yr warranty (can be extended to 5yr), RJ45 LAN cables (Cat 5e), screws for 2.5/3.5″ media, keys for the bays and an external mains power cable. All fairly standard stuff and you don’t even really need the 3.5″ screws in most setups as the bays are click-n-load.

Occasionally, I might have a moan about a NAS brand including Cat 5e RJ45 cables with a solution instead of Cat 6/7, however as the DS2422+ arrives with 1GbE, this is by no means an issue. Equally, I would highlight that the setup manual/paperwork is pretty redundant and SIGNIFICANTLY better setup guides are available online, but it’s better to include this than not at all.

The retail packaging of this business-focused NAS is unsurprisingly rather plain. This is hardly a crime and the Synology DS2422+ puts more stock in its design and deployment than it does in looking good in its box! Let’s take a close look at the design of the DS2422+ NAS

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Design

The design of the DS2422+ NAS Chassis is very familiar and is one that (although tweaked in small places over time) has remained largely the same over years throughout other releases in the 12-bay Diskstation NAS series. It has always provided a good balance of storage, versus efficient airflow and heat dissipation.

The DS2422+ chassis is almost entirely metal, with the only notable exception being the front panel of the desktop casing and the trays. This larger metal chassis, in conjunction with the 12 bays of SATA storage and twin rear fans results in a NAS that is most certainly going to make some noise. Although not reaching the “aeroplane take-off’ levels of noise that a rackmount like the RS1221+ reaches, the DS2422+ is still a NAS that you do not want to be in close proximity with when in full operation. the official Synology pages highlight that the noise level is a reported 25 dB(A), however, this is based on the use of 2TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (which do not feature on the compatibility list I might add) and not the enterprise build HAT5300 Hard drives that this system is designed to be used with, which are a noticeable degree noisier due to their high performance, workload and durability design. Below is a quick vid on their noise level:

The front of the Synology DS2422+ has no LCD/Display panel, but rather it has numerous LEDs for displaying system, activity and access. These can all be adjusted in brightness and activity in the DSM 7 control panel, with eat pertaining to different areas of the system hardware – Hard drives, network status, network connectivity and system health.

The 12 bays of storage featured on the DS2422+ are all well ventilated around the front oF the chassis and between each bay to allow passive airflow to flow as heat is dissipated inside. As mentioned earlier, the DS2422+ can run fully or partially populated, as well as be run on a single SATA HDD/SSD if need be (which would be rather daft). The system utilizes traditional RAID configurations to allow the end-user(s) to create a good balance of performance and redundancy in their storage over multiple drives. Additionally, the storage can be increased by adding further drives in available bays, an expansion chassis (the DX1222) the DS2422+ or via the popular Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration. Now, this is not a new thing and the PLUS series of Synology NAS has always allowed this configuration in a way that the larger and more powerful DS3622xs+ did not (for reasons of overall performance dip compared with traditional RAID levels i.e. RAID 1,5,6,10, etc). The benefits of SHR in terms of scalability and adding larger capacity drives to your storage array years down the line (as larger capacities HDDs arrive and/or prices decrease per TB) have always been a compelling part of buyers who purchased the PLUS series and always a bit of a puzzler why it is not available here on an XS series solution. SHR on the DS3622xs+ is not impossible if you are migrating from an older NAS as shown here in this video, but it is still a shame it remains absent on the DS3622xs+ as a day 1 choice. For many, this might be a deciding factor when choosing between the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+.

Each bay utilized a spring-loaded tray design that ensures that a drive will not be installed unless in full alignment with the internal SATA port inside. Additionally, each bay of the DS2422+ features a locking mechanism (with 2 keys included with your accessories pack) that ensures that accidental removal of an HDD/SSD in your NAS is not possible – this is especially useful as the DS2422+ does not support re-silvering and accidental removal of a drive for even just a single second can lead to hours upon hours or degraded RAID rebuilding.

The trays themselves are plastic in design, but the days of this being a negative are largely gone now and although early versions of NAS servers have cheaper and less robust plastic trays, this new generation Synology NAS has exceptionally well made plastic trays that are sturdy enough for even excessing storage use. Each tray also takes advantage of a click n load design that allows 3.5″ media to be installed without screws/screwdriver. Alternatively, there are screws and screw-holes for the installation of 2.5″ SATA SSD media for faster storage pools and/or caching storage. However, on the subject of storage media on the DS2422+, we should probably address the hard drive shaped elephant in the room.

The DS2422+ NAS is another release in the Synology High-end/enterprise series that has opted for a much more streamlined compatibility list. This results in this NAS only being fully 100% supported and compatible for use with Synology hard drives and SSDs. These include the HAT5300 and SAT5200 (along with a few others with upgrade options). Although there are a few exceptions to this, the compatibility list over on Synology.com is pretty clear on this:

Synology’s decision to only fully allow the storage capabilities of their systems with their own branded storage media on enterprise-level solutions was met with a mixed reception when it was rolled out in late 2021. On the one hand, the HAT5300 series of drives ARE good drives, arriving at a price point similar to the likes of Seagate Ironwolf Pro and WD Red Pro Pro-class Drives BUT featuring the architecture, performance and durability of Enterprise-class drives (such as Seagate EXOs and WD Gold) – it is a pretty good deal. Likewise, those looking for a full ‘one party’ solution will be pleased as it allows simple installation, deployment and management (with firmware updates and drive warranties being considerably easier to manage). However, with only four capacities of HAT5300 (4TB, 8, 12 and 16TB) at the moment, as well as a relatively sudden pull on the support of other hard drive brands on this system, it has left quite a few users unhappy. It is worth highlighting that using 3rd party hard drives on the DS2422+ in the latest release of DSM 7.1 is not blocked. You can go ahead and install and use the likes of WD Red, Ultrastar and Seagate Ironwolf HDDs in the DS2422+ for Storage Pools, volumes etc, as well as using drive health management tools such as S.M.A.R.T. However their use will lead to the system displaying an amber Warning message (formally showing ‘critical’, till Synology changed their position a little upon feedback from users) and drives will be listed as not on the official compatibility list. Not the end of the world, but for users who are installing the DS2422+ NAS solution professionally for 3rd parties, this might be jarring for the intended end-users.

Nevertheless, the HAT5300 and SAT5200 series are still very good drives for this system and its AMD embedded Ryzen CPU and 4GB memory to sink its teeth into and when fully populated and equipped with 2x10GbE connections banded together (via the installation of the network expansion card 10GBASE-T on the E10G18-G2) has been reported to reach 2,202MB/s Sequential Read and over a quarter of a 128,000+ 4K random Read IOPS.

Removing all the trays shows that all 12x SATA connectors are all combined data/power as you would expect. I did wonder, given the launch of Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard drives two months or so ago, that the next generation of this enterprise 12-Bay would factor in combined SATA/SAS connectors, but I guess then it would tread on the toes of the DS3622xs+ and rackmount solutions somewhat.

The DS2422+ NAS also features the neat and well-branded Synology ventilated/mesh logos on either side. Speaking as someone who has deployed a few Synology NAS solutions personally and professionally over the years, I can say these vents capture a lot more dust than you might expect and definitely help to assist passive airflow internally and assist dissipation. it is one of those slick design points that Synology are fond of,

The physical design of the DS2422+ is largely unchanged since the DS2415+ and DS2419+ that came before it, but that is no bad thing. It manages to balance large storage potential vs compact deployment, as well as maintaining that Synology branded modern design. The lack of a front-mounted USB is a bit odd, given the numerous convenient advantage this would provide, but it’s a minor gripe and given that this NAS is designed with remote/out-of-office deployment in mind, it’s not a big loss. Let’s talk about the connectivity and accessibility of the DS2422+ NAS and how it will provide physical access to your data.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connectivity that is featured on the DS2422+ NAS has changed very little since the DS2419+ that came before it, but still arrives with plenty of network connections, storage options and the previously mentioned PCIe upgradability. When Synology first revealed the DS2422+ 12-Bay, many were quick to highlight that Synology still continues to resist the change from gigabit ethernet towards 2.5GbE on this system. This and the fact that DS3622xs+ arrives with 2x 10GbE is another example of how the DS2422+ at launch was a little in the shade comparatively in its contents. The rear of the chassis is largely dominated by the twin fans.

These two fans are 120mm in size each and are held in a large cooling module that can be removed as needed for cleaning and general maintenance. The sheer scale of the DS2422+ in storage and the amount of heat that is going to be generated by the system in operation means that active cooling and the effectiveness of these efficient components are going to be quite a high priority. By default, these fans will be set to automatic (adjusting their RPM as the system’s internal NAS temp dictates) and can be set to manual – but I definitely would not recommend it! The only real reason a user would want to manually control the operation of fans on a NAS would be for reasons of ambient noise and, to be frank, with this system fully populated with 12x HAT5300 NAS HDDs – the noise of the fans is going to be the leat of your ear troubles!

The DS2422+ features an internal 550W PSU which is surprisingly beefy for this NAS. Yes, those 12-bays of storage are going to need a decent amount of power to keep going, but aside from the PCIe slot needing power, there is no support for graphics cards or even the PSU featuring an additional power 4/6/8 connector for a grander PCIe card (there ARE ports for cable available in the PSU block, but no signs of Synology opening access to this for a PCIe upgrade). To put it into perspective, the DS1621+ and DS1821+ both arrive with a 250W PSU (so, less than half) and those two systems also features M.2 NVMe SSD slots (something not present on the DS2422+).

As mentioned, the Synology DS2422+ is another entry into the Diskstation Plus series that arrives with 4x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports and that is somewhat underwhelming in 2022 – especially when most other NAS providers have immediately skipped to 10GbE at this tier or swapped 1GbE out in favour of 2.5GbE at the same price as 1G. The system DOES have four of these ports (supporting LAG/Trunking and therefore hitting 4Gbe with a smart switch setup) which is going to be tremendously useful.

As discussed several times here at NASCompares, 2.5GbE might not be dominating the marketplace compared with existing 1GbE utilization and not have the 1,000MB/s+ bandwidth possible in 10GbE, BUT it does seem strange that Synology has still not engaged with 2.5GbE on their NAS solutions (though admittedly featuring it on their RT6600ax Router). Although the argument against its inclusion is compelling (i.e still hardly mainstream), users looking at the DS2422+ will be hoping to get at least 3-5yrs of service out of this 24×7 hardware (likely more) and who’s to say where 1G/2.5G/10G will be at in that time with client hardware in your network environment. With many brands offering 2.5G solutions at the same price as 1G – this results in Synology’s steadfast refusal to include 2.5GbE in 2022 rather stubborn.

Nevertheless, if you already have a 1GbE network, or were going to opt for a 2x Port 10GbE upgrade card for around $200-250 for this system (rather than spend $1000+ more on the DS3622xs+) then you are not going to be hugely concerned one way or the other over the appearance of 1GGbE on the DS2422+. Much like other Synology NAS systems, the DS2422+ also arrives with USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) Type-A ports that allow you to connect a small range of hardware. The hardware that is supported has been pared back somewhat in recent years (devices such as Printers, scanners, Bluetooth and WiFi dongles were removed from the compatibility/supported lists in DSM 7 – possibly down to the way DSM 7 is built. Additionally, the USB on Synology NAS drives CAN NOT be used to interface with the NAS, as the NAS is the ‘host’ in this connection, not the PC/Mac etc. The USB ports CAN be used for external storage though and there is a wide range of applications in DSM that support connectivity of storage to these ports (USB Copy, Hyper Backup, File Station, Virtual Machine Manager and more).

There is an external mini SAS shaped port on the DS2422+ NAS that allows you to connect one of the DX1222 expansion chassis’ and add an additional 12 storage media drives to your available storage. If you are running an SHR setup, it is very easy to expand your existing Storage Pool and Volumes (if provisioned correctly) to spread across both the DS2422+ and expansion – though Synology does not recommend this (risk of accidental disconnection).

The PCIe slot that the DS2422+ features is a PCIe Gen 3×8 slot that allows you to install one of several Synology branded PCIe upgrade cards. Synology does support a few 3rd party PCIe cards from Intel (among others) but I have yet to test if cards not listed on the compatibility list display a similar warning to when you install 3rd party storage media or memory upgrades. Card installation is quite straight forward and although it will require the removal of the top plate of the system’s external casing, it is a simple click and load installation – no power cables needed.

Synology’s available range of PCIe cards has grown little by little in the last couple of years and now supports 10G and 25GbE, across multiple ports and in fiber and copper forms. In most desktop NAS systems in the Diskstaiton portfolio, I would call the E25G21-F2 with its two 25G ports a little overkill – but in the case of the 12-Bay DS2422+ and potential for another 12 bays in the DX1222 – That card might be just the thing to make the most of this systems throughput potential! Additionally, despite the DS2422+ not featuring the 2x m.2 NVMe slots of the other 2/4/6/8-Bay diskstation NAS, you can add this with the E10M20T1 Cobo card of M2D20 dedicated caching card (at an additional cost – grumble, grumble).

Overall, the default network connectivity is one of the weaker areas of the Synology DS2422+ NAS and although there is clearly a few areas of upgradability available to those that want them, what you have here is not a massive leap up from the previous 2 generations of SMB 12-Bay. Let’s get the external panels removed on the DS2422+ and discuss its internal hardware.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Accessing the internal hardware of the Synology DS2422+ NAS is considerably more convenient than smaller and more compact diskstation devices, with the external chassis of the server arriving in three individual panels that are secured by 2 screws each. Two of these panels are necessary for removal to allow access to ways in which you can upgrade the NAS hardware in its lifespan. Removing the panels shows us that the compact chassis design of the DS2422+ results in 50% of that internal space being given to the main storage backplane/board. This board has 12 SATA data+power connectors and is connected to the main system board via a PCIe slot at an angle.

That main storage board is remarkably clear internally, features vent holes above each drive bay and even the power cabling being fed into the board is discreet and understated at the base. The result is a huge area of clear space for ventilation running through both the media bays AND over the large CPU heatsink. Unlike the top and left side panel of the DS2422+, this side of the chassis will not really need to be accessed for any reason other than troubleshooting, but it’s reassuring to see that the internal components are very well spaced out, despite the compact nature of this 12-bay chassis.

The right-hand panel of the DS2422+ covers the two SODIMM memory slots featured on this NAS. Now I was very pleasantly surprised to not that the memory included with the DS2422+ is rated at 3200Mhz frequency. Now, the memory featured on the SMB/Center-Business solutions from Synology in the last few years have all featured an ECC (Error Code Correction / Error Correcting Code) component, to ensure that micro errors and inconsistencies in data as they are passed through the system memory are spotted and corrected. Indeed, this has always been a big hardware factor in the buying decision of IT Admins that like to dig deep into the specs sheets. But till this 2022 series, Synology has always opted for 2400Mhz memory ECC (whilst providing fractionally faster 2666Mhz non-ECC in their Home/Prosumer devices) – so this is a nice upgrade that (correct me if I am wrong) Synology has not raised anywhere online. I respect that.

The fact this system has 4GB of memory is a little underwhelming for businesses and most businesses are going to need to upgrade that memory quite early into it’s deployment. However, it is worth remembering that much like Synology and their position on drive media or PCIe upgrades, they have a very strict officially supported compatibility list and using non-Synology branded memory. As this is largely a business targetted solution, many of those buyers will be happy to purchase first-party accessories with a solution to guarantee that they stay within the warranty, ensure the system works to the standard and heights promised by the manufacturer, etc. However, not everyone feels that way and even if you factor in that the branded memory in the DS2422+ is ECC and 3200Mhz, the cost of Synology memory modules online is noticeably higher than the likes of Kingston, Crucial or Transcend. Once again, it is only going to be a barrier if you do not want to commit to the Synology eco-system completely.

The CPU featured inside the DS2422+ NAS is the AMD embedded Ryzen V1500B and this is now the 2nd generation of devices to arrive with this efficient but very capable processor. Arriving in a 4 Core, 8 Thread architecture, it features a 2.2Ghz clock speed per core. Synology has largely ignored embedded graphics CPUs in their business/enterprise systems (the last 12-Bay example was the DS3612xs+ with an Intel Core i3 a decade ago) and the V1500B is continuing that position. As proficient as this processor is for large file transfers, running all those first-party Synology applications and dynamically shifting it’s resources to where they are needed nice and quick, this processor still lives a little in the shadow again of the CPU in the DS3622xs+ (a quad-core Xeon) and once again is a clear cut example of how the DS2422+ chooses ‘Storage Capacity’ over ‘Power in it’s design. The Processor still does a fantastic job of running the full Synology collaboration suite, Surveillance Station, Multi-client backups and Cloud synchronization tools, all at the same time though, which ultimately means that you have a solid hardware base to wrap your business data around. The Synology DS2422+ is clearly trying to be a local desktop PaaS and SaaS solution in one, with the kind of storage capacity options that most cloud providers are simply never going to be able to offer at the same price.

When it comes to running Virtual Machine environments on the DS2422+ NAS, things are a little more mixed. The NAS arrives with the Synology Virtual Machine Manager, so you can create multiple brand new virtual machines quickly, as well as insert virtual installation/boot media and run very bespoke VM setups (licence free). There are also many ways to import existing ISO VM, Virtual Hard drive or 3rd party VM images (Hyper X, VMware, etc) onto the Synology VMM tool, as well as significant cross over with other Synology applications such as Active Backup Suite to host VMs in a failover routine. All this is managed by the CPU very well, despite not having embedded graphics, and the processor’s multiple threads also mean that VM deployment is a little more flexible with the use of dynamic resource sharing and vCPUs supported. However, I would not really pursue VMs on the DS2422+ NAS without upgrading that memory on day 1.

External performance of this 12-Bay and that CPU in the default setup is immediately going to saturate those 4x 1GbEs with ease. Aside from the general starting internal architecture being more than enough anyway, we are talking about up to a 12 HDDs and/or SSDs – that can easily it the 1000’s of megabytes of throughput anyway. So, it’s only by more enterprising setups involving SSDs and 10GbE that we can get a more realistic picture of what this system can output. Below is the sequential R/W performance and 4K Ransom IOPs of the DS2422+ with SSDs in a RAID 5, 2x 10GbE (Link Aggregated) and how it compares with three other Plus series 12/16-Bay’s in Synology’s portfolio (RS2821RP+, RS2421+ and the DS2419+ Predecessor). The DS2422+ hit 2,202MB/s Seq Read and 1,457MB/s Seq Write throughput externally – a big jump on the DS2419+ predecessor, but the tiniest fraction behind the rackstation solutions (hardly noticeable in fact). However, in 4K random IOPS, it was the leader of the pack, at 128,406 Read IOPS and 65,098 Write IOPS. Again, exceedingly close to the similarly built rackmounts, but a big jump up on the older 2019 gen 12-Bay plus series model.

Overall, the hardware that the DS2422+ features internally is very competent, more than proficient but will not exactly blow your socks off. You have a great base of hardware to handle standard business data management and with several options to scale up the hardware on offer, is a decent upgrade on its predecessor and what you have by default is more than enough to handle those 12 bays of storage. The lack of onboard NVMe SSD slots is still rather surprising, given Synology’s big push on this feature in the majority of their NAS systems and the default 4GB of memory seems a little small when you factor in what this system will be purchased for, but overall I think this is still a good balance of hardware for this scale of storage and cost when put into perspective with the rest of Synologys portfolio. Let’s discuss Synology NAS software, DSM, and how it makes up the lion’s share of the DS2422+’ price tag.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS2422+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7, DSM 7.1 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, Mac and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS2422+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS2422+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS2422+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS2422+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 applications and services. If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Key business applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS2422+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

When Synology launched the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ NAS at the same time, despite them both being upgradable 12-Bays, the DS2422+ was a little in the shade of the bright, shiny and powerful DS3622xs+. It is understandable, while the DS2422+ arrives with a familiar embedded Ryzen CPU and supersized version of the architecture already present in the DS1621+ and DS1821+, the DS3622xs+ was a Xeon and 10GbE monster! But people tend to forget the price difference of well over $1000 between them and for may – THAT is going to be a HUGE dealbreaker. If you are already convinced by the Synology software eco-system and are concerned with how much capacity you are going to need in future, the DS2422+ is easily the best value for money that the brand provides right now. Aside from the upgradability of the system’s network connectivity down the line, memory upgrades when the time comes and storage expansions that effectively double your storage potential waiting for you – there is the simple advantage that the DS2422+ does NOT need to be fully populated on day 1.

Thanks to Synology’s continuing support of SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) on this NAS, it means that you can leverage your budget on this box to partially populate the NAS with storage media and then the rest of your budget on the rest of your network hardware or scaling the power of the device up considerable (as opposed to the ‘upfront’ nature of purchasing the DS3622xs+ hardware). Synology continued stance on 1st party HDD and SSD media is still continuing to ruffle feathers and the inclusion of this policy DS2422+ seems a pinch overkill, but now DSM 7.1 is being a touch less OTT about 3rd party media, this is less of a barrier that it once was. Once again, it comes down to how much you want to engage with the Synology ecosystem, its services, its business focus and ultimately how much the DS2422+ will be doing in your own network hardware environment. In conclusion, the DS2422+ IS a good NAS and if CAPACITY is more important to you than POWER, then the DS2422+ is by far the best Synology NAS for you in 2022.

Synology DS2422+ PROS Synology DS2422+ CONS
  • HUGE Storage Potential
  • Prioritizes Storage, whilst still providing a good CPU+Memory Server combo
  • Full access to the complete DSM Software Packages & Services
  • Lots of upgrade options
  • ECC Memory at this storage scale is appreciated, and 3200Mhz rated
  • Excellent ventilation throughout
  • PCIe slot is Gen 3×8, so plenty of bandwidth to play with
  • Surprisingly compact for 12 Bays of storage
  • 1GbE is feeling rather outdated in 2022 and for those futureproofing, seems shortsighted
  • Ambiguity in how the system operates and support when using 3rd party media
  • Living in the shadow a bit of the enterprise DS3622xs+ NAS
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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.

 

 

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