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Owning a NAS has become significantly more common over the last few years, largely due to a rise in remote work and the popularity of maintaining a local digital content library. TerraMaster has made a name for itself in this market with a lineup of NAS boxes with specs that match or exceed many of the best Synology NAS solutions while keeping prices lower. The F4-423 4-bay NAS fits this theme well with a pair of 2.5GbE ports and a GPU for transcoding. The software is simpler and doesn’t have as many features compared to products from the likes of Synology, but that makes it more approachable as a network file server.

Source: TerraMaster
TerraMaster F4-423
8 / 10

TerraMaster's F4-423 might not offer the same depth and breadth of features as options from more established competitors, but it's a capable and reasonably priced option that'll do everything most users need it to.

Intel Celeron N5095, Quad-Core 2.0 GHz
4GB, upgradeable to 32GB
Drive Bays
2x M.2 2280 NVMe Slot
Terramaster TOS 5.1
227 x 225 x 136 mm
3.6 kg
  • Simple setup and management
  • Good specs for apps and transcoding
  • Very competitive price
  • Lacks some advanced features
  • Inconvenient hardware upgrades

Price and availability

The F4-423 retails for $500, and you can either order it directly from TerraMaster, or get it from retailers like Amazon or Best Buy. While sales are uncommon on TerraMaster products, discounts of $50 or so do come up occasionally.

Design and hardware


TerraMaster’s design language is fairly uncommon in the NAS market. The chassis is made of aluminum and has plastic front and rear faceplates. The drive caddies are sporting silver accents, and a small matching panel floats on the left side with the power button and LED status lights.

The overall vibe looks oddly similar to a stereo from the 1970s. Honestly, I kinda like it, but that may be simply for looking different in a market filled with nearly identical black boxes. But I’m not sure how much this matters since most people hide their NAS behind a monitor or in a corner where it won’t be seen. However, if you’re going to have it out in the open, just know that it blends better with light colors.

Like basically all modern NAS products, the four drive caddies support tool-less installation of 3.5-inch drives, and there are screws for mounting 2.5-inch drives and SSDs. There are also two slots for M.2 NVMe drives, which can be used for either caching or storage.

However, installing the NVMe drives does require more work than it probably should, and the same goes for RAM. Accessing the mainboard requires first unscrewing and removing the rear cover, then unscrewing and sliding off the aluminum chassis. This exposes the two NVMe slots, and one of the two memory slots. Fortunately, that first memory slot is open, so a second module can be installed easily enough.

The other slot is hidden on the flipside of the mainboard, so it has to be completely unmounted if you want to replace the pre-installed 4GB SODIMM stick. Nothing about this process is particularly challenging, but it’s inexplicably fiddly and may be a bit much for anybody unfamiliar with PC maintenance.

All of the ports are located at the top-left corner of the rear cover, including two 2.5GbE ethernet jacks, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and an HDMI out port. I’m disappointed the HDMI port is only useful for connecting a monitor to run commands on a Linux terminal. I’m sure there are some good reasons to offer that capability, but it really feels like a missed opportunity that it can’t show either a mirror of the web GUI or play media directly to a TV.

Two large fans provide cooling. There aren’t any side vents, but there are holes in the bottom and plenty of space between drives, so airflow shouldn’t be a problem. The fans aren’t very loud on their own, but sometimes vibrate into an annoying resonant hum — but this is solved easily by placing something heavy on top of the NAS.

App and features


TerraMaster’s operating system (TOS) is used for setup and management of the NAS. It looks and feels very similar to Synology DiskStation Manager, including the whole desktop-in-a-browser experience, but it’s a bit less feature-loaded. That may sound like a drawback, but the interface is less crowded by settings and services that many people don’t use.

The setup experience is fairly typical, stepping through some basic configuration questions, creating an administrator account, and formatting drives. While it’s a mostly smooth process, there’s room for improvement.

For example, the setup wizard creates a superuser account and advises you to create separate accounts with reduced permissions for day-to-day use. This is fantastic advice and a great security practice. But there’s no opportunity to do it right away, and you’ll probably forget after spending another 15-20 minutes in the setup process.

The initial drive setup could also be improved. Without being prompted, my two drives were automatically formatted to BTRFS and configured in a mirrored storage pool. I wanted this configuration anyway, but I feel this should be explained during setup, even if it can’t be changed. After setup is done and it reboots, TOS also performs a multi-hour process to “Synchronize” the drives, which seems unnecessary when they were wiped clean minutes earlier.

There is a decent selection of apps and services available to install on TOS, but if you’re comparing by the numbers, Synology has more native options. However, the most important things are available, like Plex, Docker, Nextcloud, a web server and various runtimes (e.g. PHP and Ruby), backup solutions, and more. And if you still need more, there’s a community directory with a huge selection of additional apps.

Unlike Synology’s extensive library of apps, TerraMaster offers just one (and a version for older models). The TNAS mobile 3 app exists almost entirely to transfer and manage files. My lone complaint is that the Android app doesn’t register as a share target, so files have to be saved to phone storage before manually uploading through the TNAS mobile app. It’s less convenient than simply hitting a share button.

For accounts with administrator access, there are also a couple more screens to manage a few system settings and check usage stats.



There are several companies building NAS solutions, including the likes of Synology and QNAP, or lesser-known brands like Asustor.

The QNAP TS-462 and Asustor AS5304T are both very closely matched in specs and capacity. Each offers four drive bays, 2.5GbE, and a GPU capable of 4K transcoding for Plex servers. They are also positioned at fairly similar price points of $490 and $460, respectively. TerraMaster is slightly more expensive at $500, but offers a bit more performance and upgradability.

Synology’s lineup is a little tricker to compare these days, given that the company is opting to ship units with 1GbE ports (and optional 10GbE upgrades) rather than multiple 2.5GbE ports, and choosing processors without a built-in GPU. However, the most similar model is the DS-423+ with a price tag of $480. Much like the DS-923+, which held up well in our review, these models have a great ecosystem of software, but they’re more oriented toward small business and work-from-home professional purposes.

Should you buy it?


TerraMaster is a younger company, and its product line isn’t quite as established as Synology or QNAP, but that doesn’t make the F4-423 any less capable for a wide range of users. It compares well on specs while being very competitively priced, and outside some niche aspects that may limit its use for some small businesses, it should have everything regular home users and independent professionals may want.Overall, it's a great TerraMaster NAS to consider.

In the home, it makes a great central storage appliance and Plex server, and it can be elevated to a private cloud solution with services like Nextcloud. But if you need more services or security, more complicated backup strategies, or more powerful management features, some other NAS providers may be worth the extra money.

Source: TerraMaster
TerraMaster F4-423

TerraMaster's F4-423 might not offer the same depth and breadth of features as options from more established competitors, but it's a capable and reasonably priced option that'll do everything most users need it to.