TerraMaster F4-421 Encrypted Benchmarks
We also ran through our encrypted benchmarks with the TerraMaster F4-421 for each RAID type with encrypted shares. We are simply going to show this set of charts, then discuss after.
The TerraMaster F4-421 handles encryption rather well and manages to come close to higher end units. From a relatively unassuming package, we got better performance than we expected here. While this may not be the fastest NAS, it performs well for its price bracket.
Street price of the TerraMaster F4-421 4-bay NAS is around $459.99. That is about what we would expect given this NAS unit’s capabilities and performance. If you just want to put four drives on 1GbE, encrypt your shares, and not think about your NAS, this is fine. Going beyond that use case runs into some of the design trade-offs of the unit.
Although the TerraMaster F4-421 can utilize SSD caching, one must sacrifice NAS capacity in doing so. This is because a SSD will use a drive bay. Many 4-Bay NAS units include two M.2 slots for cache drives, usually, at the bottom of the NAS. The F4-421 does not include caching drive slots. As expected, NAS units with M.2 slots for caching does add to the final price of the unit. One can also point to the 1GbE interface and say that a M.2 cache drive would add considerable cost without impacting performance in many scenarios. That is fair.
Two other points we would like to see are tool-less drive trays and faster than 1GbE networking. Tool-less is simply easier to install and service. 1GbE is becoming the lower-end of modern networking. It is still widely used, but the unit could utilize a 2.5GbE or 10GbE connection to clients. The CPU is fast enough to surpass 1GbE speeds already, it is just the network interfaces that are not present.
At the end of the day, the TerraMaster F4-421 price point is $100 less than the next available NAS in our test sample set. Some NAS units like the QNAP TVS-473 top our performance charts but cost almost double the F4-421. In this price range, that is a huge difference. TerraMaster also offers an F4-210 4-Bay NAS at $259.99 using an Arm CPU. Like we have seen in our TerraMaster 2-Bay NAS reviews, TerraMaster is hitting the cost of entry into the 4-bay area at excellent price points and offers performance to meet many needs for simple network storage.