Hands On - More
DLNA Media server - I loaded my usual USB flash drive of demo files into the public directory on the F2. There was a mixture of different music formats, video formats and image formats. The DLNA server was discovered by my WDTV Live media streamer. Music, video and images streamed as expected. Images appeared full screen, and, unlike some media servers tested, were not pixelated thumbnails.
iTunes Server - By default, the iTunes server (Firefly) also scans the public directory, though you change the default location by logging into the iTunes server console on port 3689. As with some other NASes, I observed that on occasion, the iTunes server would drop offline and you'd have to disable and re-enabled the service for it to appear in iTunes. I tested it on both a Windows 8.1 computer and on a Mac. When the server was up, both platforms played the shared library as expected. However, I noted multiple instances when the iTunes server needed to be restarted.
TimeMachine - For TimeMachine to work, you have to enable the AFP protocol. As with most other NASes I've tested, you then have to manually do an "AFP Mount" (Go, Connect to Server and use afp://NAS_IP_address). The F2-NAS 2 creates a machine named "TimeMachine" and optionally, you can protect it with a password and set a capacity limit for Time Machine.
After mounting the drive and configuring TimeMachine preferences, the Mac started the backup to the F2-NAS 2. The composite screen shot below shows both iTunes on the Mac playing from the F2, as well as a TimeMachine backup in progress.
TerraMaster F2-NAS 2 iTunes and TimeMachine working on a Mac
Remote Access - For a product that includes "Cloud" as part of its product name, I was a bit disappointed with the remote offerings. For iOS, the manual directs you to the Apple store where you can purchase a third party app (AcePlayer by Ranysoft - $2.99). Similarly, for Android, you are directed to download ES file browser from either the TerraMaster website or Google Play/other apps markets. I didn't buy the AcePlayer for the iOS platform, but I tried ES file browser and it didn't seem to work remotely. It certainly lacked the ease of use/configuration found in other NASes, which have their own dedicated mobile applications.
TerraMaster has set up a cloud-based name resolution service that is available from the System Setting -> Network -> Cloud menu shown below. I found this configuration page confusing. I had enabled UPnP on both my router as well as on the F2-NAS 2. In the lower portion of the screen, you can see that UPnP is Enabled and UPnP port mapping is Disabled. However, the warning message says that the Cloud needs UPnP port mapping. If you click on the Disabled button, UPnP status changes to disabled.
TerraMaster F2-NAS 2 cloud setup
I was also getting Cloud Status message "Cloud server connection with abnormal!". Reading through the instruction manual, I discovered that the cloud works on port 8181. So I manually forwarded port 8181 to the F2-NAS 2. After setting the port forward, the registration completed successfully.
If you go to www.terra-master.com/cloud and enter the credentials you established, you will be taken to the web file browser and have access to any of the files you would have locally with the exception of files on the external USB drive (if connected). Note: if you change the device name on this page, it also changes the device name for your local network the next time Samba is restarted. The image below shows a successful registration.
The screenshot below will give you an idea of the web browser-based file manager. You can download/upload individual files and view, copy and delete them. It's a fairly basic interface and it seemed to work both on Android and my iPad. Of course, on an iPad, the browser has no access to the file system or the camera roll, so it's of relatively little value on that platform.
TerraMaster F2-NAS 2 Web File Explorer
Ports - By default, the F2-NAS 2 starts up a lot of services. While you are presented with options to change startup services during the initial configuration, many people will accept the defaults. I was a bit concerned because Telnet, SSH and FTP as well as UPnP were all enabled by default. For testing, I enabled UPnP on my router. Fortunately, my router is one of the few that lets you see which ports have been mapped by which host.
When I checked the port map, I found that the F2-NAS 2 had opened ports 20-23, 445, 8080 and 9091. Missing was port 8181, the default port required by the cloud setup software (Page 42 in the manual). Several hours after the F2-NAS 2 had been running, I checked the connection log. I discovered multiple attempts to connect as root to the telnet port. One of the attacks came from Bogata Columbia, and the other one came from China. Fortunately, TerraMaster had set a complex root password and the connection requests failed. I immediately disabled FTP, Telnet and SSH and enabled services/protocols that would be needed during testing. (AFP, iTunes Server, DLNA server, and TimeMachine.