I liked Western Digitala€™s My Cloud network-attached storage device when I reviewed it late last year, but relying on a single-drive NAS can be risky. WDa€™s My Cloud Mirror solves that problem by putting a second drive in the same enclosure, and configuring the drives as RAID 1.A All the same data is written to both drives, so that if one drive fails, you can recover everything from the other. The My Cloud Mirror will also let you back up its contents to another storage device via its USB 3.0 port, but an even better data security strategy would be to deploy a second My Cloud Mirror (or a My Cloud EX2 or EX4, but it must be a Western Digital device) at a remote location and back up the contents of each drive to the other (you can also do this over your local network, but thata€™s not as safe as having backups at different physical locations). If you dona€™t want to go either of those routes, WDa€™s software will let you back up your My Cloud Mirror to the cloud (using either your ElephantDrive or Amazon S3 account, though youa€™ll need to pay for whichever service you choose).
Unlike a Dropbox account (or Connected Dataa€™s Transporter line), which maintain a folder on your local device that is synchronized with your cloud storage, files are stored only on the My Cloud device.
As with the original My Cloud, Western Digital is marketing the My Cloud Mirror to consumers, and this box has most of the features that audience will want.
Consumers will appreciate the My Cloud Mirrora€™s simple graphical user interface, which makes this machine very easy to set up.
WD publishes a number of Android and iOS apps that will help you derive maximum benefit from the My Cloud Mirror. As we saw with WDa€™s original My Cloud and its prosumer-oriented My Cloud EX2, the My Cloud Mirror is no barn-burner when it comes to performance. The My Cloud Mirror isn't the fastest NAS box we've testeda€”by a long shota€”but it offers plenty of features and is very easy to use.

If you think youa€™d benefit from the additional features that the prosumer-oriented My Cloud EX2 has to offer (dual Ethernet, dual power-supply inputs, and 10 licenses for WDa€™s SmartWare Pro), that box is street-priced just $18 higher than the My Cloud Mirror. The original My Cloud is a very gooda€”if a bit slowa€”consumer-oriented NAS box, and the My Cloud Mirror adds a valuable feature in RAID 1.
If that drive fails, and you dona€™t have a backup, you could lose all your dataa€”forever. Therea€™s nothing to stop you from reconfiguring the drives in RAID 0 for blinding speed and 4TB of storage, but that would throw your data-redundancy strategy right out the window. What it wona€™t let you do is back up a client to the My Cloud Mirror itself over an Internet connection; the client must be attached to the same local network as the My Cloud Mirror. The benefit to this approach is that you dona€™t consume the limited storage on your device. Therea€™s an integrated FTP server, for instance, and peer-to-peer file-sharing (BitTorrent).
It comes from the factory with both iTunes and DLNA media servers for streaming media to PCs, smart TVs, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), and media-streaming boxes in your home. It wasn't terrible at dealing with very large files (we test read and write performance with a single 10GB file), but it was considerably slower reading and writing our 10GB collection of files. The SmartWare Pro licenses are probably worth it if you have enough Dropbox capacity to take advantage of that feature, but few consumers will.

I wouldna€™t recommend that unless youa€™re absolutely fastidious about backing up your NASa€”and nobody is fastidious enough to avoid Murphya€™s Law. Finally, there a number of apps you can run right on the box, including Joomla and WordPress, if you want to host your own website.
Unlike the more robust My Cloud EX series, this box has just one gigabit Ethernet interface and one power connector, so therea€™s no failover protection on either count.
WD provides free basic backup software (WD SmartWare) for your client PCs, and the box supports Applea€™s Time Machine technology for backing up Macs.
You can store all your photos on the My Cloud Mirror and display them on your smartphone or tablet without needing to download the images to your device. I imagine even fewer will be able to take advantage of the EX2a€™s additional hardware features. Upgrading to SmartWare Pro ($20 per license) adds the ability to back up to non-WD drives and to Dropbox. You can do the same with your music and videos, although your media-streaming experience will vary depending on your network connection (youa€™ll have the best experience when the NAS box and your device are connected to the same network, versus streaming over the Internet).

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