Out of the box, we see that the WD My Cloud is only slightly larger than a standard internal hard drive.  A blue LED for power is the only light in the front that stays solid when it’s powered up and flashing when there is data activity.
Connection was as simple as can be: Connect the WD My Cloud to our Netgear R6300 router and plug it into the wall. After making sure the network was online and able to reach the internet, the WD setup software detected and displayed the drive’s serial number and assigned IP address. The My Cloud software gave us the option of adding more users as well.  This is perfect for those of us with families or just want to have others with the rights to secured access to the NAS.
And with those few keystrokes, we are finished and ready to start loading up the drive with our content.  Before we do that though, let’s take a look at some of the user interface that is at the heart of the My Cloud personal NAS. The WD’s My Cloud desktop interface will have six tabs on top for Home, Users, Shares, Cloud Access, Safepoints, and Settings that will take the user to more customizations. The update process took about 5 minutes for us to complete (download, install, and reboot of the MY Cloud device). So I installed it using the quick guide and that was easy enough; however it installed a bunch of unneeded software including Apple Bonjour used by a useless utility showing the shares exposed by the drive and I came to realize that the remote access apparently goes through a Western Digital web server. Ok, so I read many horror stories about earlier versions of the Firmware of this device related to the IP address changing through HDCP and the first thing I did was go into my router and assign the WDMyCloud device a permanent IP address through my router’s HDCP reservation feature so the IP address won’t change. I copied a large library of files to it and got between 10 Mbs to 60 Mbs depending on whether I was copying many small files or fewer large ones, large files appear to copy faster. The Firmware in the drive is quite “brittle” meaning that it has a number of anomalies and bugs that may need you to reset or reboot the drive at times or to work around at times the Setup Web Pages may stop responding properly. On my local LAN, I don’t care much about security so I have made everything public without any passwords. Next I tried to set-up the SafePoint feature on the Settings Dashboard to make a backup of the settings and data on the device.
Now I do not intend to use it for streaming data to mobile devices so I have not tried any of that.
Yes, all computing devices can connect to the My Cloud, including Mac and PC systems (browser and My Cloud desktop app). Hey friends,TARDIS Box is provides cloud storage services for documents, images, files and videos upto 150GB with nothing of cost. If you had a look in the support forum of WD MyCloud you would have found out that there are a lot of user complaints proving that the firmware of that device is unstable since the first shipments in Oct.
With My Cloud (single bay) each folder has a user control on it that only a particular user has access to it at a time. For My Cloud Mirror, My Cloud EX2 and My Cloud EX4 there is a document flow management feature – a check-in, check-out feature. The WD My Cloud comes equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 for easy storage extension, and has an intuitive interface that is incredibly easy to set up. The units are passively cooled, which makes the venting around the top, back and bottom a required feature so the drive inside can easily shed its heat. Overall the WD My Cloud is a very sleek, shiny, quiet and sturdy device, which is somewhat ironic since it will most likely live in the basement or wherever the Internet comes into a house.
If a user wants to give someone access to their My Cloud all the user has to do is create a user account for that person on the NAS, generate an access code, and give that code to the person.
WD includes a feature called Safepoint in the My Cloud admin, which can create snapshots of the My Cloud to protect against drive failure, something that always worries us with single-drive configurations. The iPad app is essentially the same as the iPhone, the only difference being the far right pane for viewing a photo. Performance on a device like this is somewhat difficult to measure in terms of practical performance in the real world because there are so many network factors at play, like Internet speeds for mobile devices that may be accessing the NAS. The WD My Cloud is a slick looking powerful personal cloud device (NAS) that anyone can use. 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.
Miller, who was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine from 1991 to 2005, authors this blog for PC Magazine to share his thoughts on PC-related products. My Cloud is aimed at consumers, and as such does not call itself a NAS device, though it fits that description. From another PC, you can access the My Cloud from a browser, with the option of opening the files in Windows Explorer.
At under $150 for a 2TB model, such products are much less expensive than storing the equivalent amount of storage in a public cloud service. The personal network storage market has been around for years, and there are lots of other products in the category. Review WD is on a mission to make using NAS as easy as possible for consumers to use, from setting a unit up to accessing it remotely via a personal cloud. It goes without saying that the business segment has been using multi-bay devices for backing up, maintaining and securing data for more years than I care to remember. If WD’s marketing research is to believed, this is a market segment with a huge potential for growth and the My Cloud EX4 is going to test that theory. Sure, that’s a lot of data but it’s still quite some outlay for a home user, so it’s no great surprise this is also being touted as a small office storage system too. Anybody expecting the same white and curved design styling of the original My Cloud is in for a disappointment.

To access the drives you simple pull the door latch and the drive slides out with the door - very quick and tidy which is great for quickly hot swapping disks out should the need arise. The voice experience suggests that the addition of a little more security in the way of some form of locking device in the bays themselves would make all the difference here. The back of the unit houses two Gigabit Ethernet ports (supporting link bonding and auto failover) and two USB 3.0 ports, so you can back up to an external hard drive should the need arise.
If you trying to convince home users that NAS is the future you’d better make sure that the number one priority is that the device is easy to set up. At the top of the screen are tabs to access setting for users, shares, Cloud access, organising back-ups, storage set up and the apps page.
Compared to the EX4’s UI, the interface for WD’s My Cloud software itself looks very basic and sparse. I used CrystalDiskMark to give a quick snapshot of the overall performance of each of the RAID arrays I tested and then used some real life data transfers to get a better idea of how well the EX4 performs. On the plus side, although the disk activity could be heard when it’s being pushed during benchmarking, it's not overly loud. Easy to set up and use thanks to the well-thought-out interface, WD’s EX4 is multi-bay NAS provides support for apps such as IceCast (Internet music streaming), Wordpress and Joomla which will appeal to the home user while the more business orientated will be drawn to the security offered by the dual Ethernet and power options. WD's My Cloud consumer orientated NAS range comes of age with this four-bay model kitted out with some pro-centric functionality.
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The rear panel has a gigabit Ethernet port, power connection port, and a USB 3.0 port which only supports connecting USB drives, not printers. The My Cloud goes through a self-test that is indicated by the flashing LED light on the front and is ready for use in under 30 seconds.
As experienced users, we normally just manually configure our network devices, but in this case we were not really sure what kind of configuration needed to be done so we just went followed what any typical user would do when installing the device. WD suggests 10 people at most, but mentioned to us that some users have told them that they have gone beyond that. However, if an Admin does enable multiple users to access the same file, and the users are both editing a file, there is a potential case that they could overwrite one another. WD does support applications on those devices such as Joomla for content (CMS) and Git for version control. If it’s going to be an online device that’s holding your files I need to know how secure is it?
It also features free and easy-to-use applications so users can upload, access and share from anywhere using a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. The enclosure has a shiny white plastic shell, with a matte branding inlay that wraps around from the front to right side. The drive is meant to be used vertically, with four rubber feet on the bottom to prevent slipping on a flat surface.
Simply connect its power source and network port to a router and you’ve completed the physical setup.
It took us 3 minutes from plugging in to the My Cloud being running and accessible on the network. They then download and run the My Cloud mobile app (available for Android and iOS) and enter the code.
Via the USB port or other networked drive, users can very simply set up a Safepoint job that runs on a schedule. It automatically establishes its network and relay settings to make outside access simple and turns on popular features like iTunes and DLNA servers for streaming music and video content and Time Machine for Mac backups. This extra feature is very handy when you need to go through images quickly and clearly takes advantage of the additional viewing space on the tablet. Each platform has a WD My Cloud application that provides easy access to the files on the NAS.
To measure top end performance to and from the WD My Cloud, we transferred large movie files to and from the unit to gauge read and write speeds from our 1GbE office network.
We found the My Cloud slowed under the heaviest loads but remained available, which is good.
Its answer: WD My Cloud, a NAS-like device that enables you to create a personal cloud in your home, quickly and easily. 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.
Miller is chief information officer at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. The basic device is a white box with only a single LED on the front, a Gigabit Ethernet port on the back to connect it to your router, and a USB port for attaching other drives.
From an iOS or Android device, WD offers a My Cloud app to view, upload, or download files.
For instance, Dropbox charges about $200 a year for 200GB of storage and about $500 for 500GB. It’s not exactly a new mission, yet it has gained momentum since the company introduced its popular single bay My Cloud range. In recent years, the benefits of using multi-disk RAID arrays for keeping data safe and as secure as possible has begun to filter down to the home user. WD doesn’t force-feed you its drives either, as the enclosure is also available unpopulated for ?319, but be warned if you go down this route, the list of compatible drives not made by WD is a little on the short side. When it comes to looks, the My Cloud Ex4 leans towards the company’s Sentinel range of business NAS boxes.

To the left sits the power button which glows blue under normal conditions but glows red should any problems arise. That said, you need to ensure that the door is re-latched properly or you could be in for a very, very long wait while the array re-builds. As the ARMADA 300 only provides two SATA-II ports there is also a Marvell 88SX7042 4-port PCI-e SATA II controller on the motherboard. As standard, there are three public share folders already provided to use; Public – for storing public data, SmartWare for Windows based backups and Time Machine Backup for Mac users.
It needs some work on it to make it more user-friendly but it’s still quite early in its development and is something that WD can improve upon. In the case of the reviewed 8TB model, that meant 6TB of usable space was available, as the parity stripes run across all the disks in the group. RAID O took 10mins, RAID 1 a tadge under 15mins and both RAID 5 and RAID 10 arrays took just under 14mins to create and format.
Can all of these devices be connected to one My Cloud drive, or do the Mac and PC devices need separate My Cloud drives?
Even the inlay has a slick look on the side, along with the drive access indicator light on the front. The back of the unit has the USB port, power port, Ethernet port, and Kensington lock slot. All of the same features are here including the ability to email links to any of the files to friends and family.
In practical terms, the My Cloud could support 2-3 highly active users who are reading and writing to the device, which is likely more than what is required. Its performance is in line with expectations meaning the My Cloud will easily support the needs of today's modern family. 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.
If you are on your local network, My Cloud appears as a network drive, so you can easily copy data to it.
It's not quite as simple or smooth as the major public cloud services, but it does offer useful features such as an easy way to back up photos. Of course, the cloud services have advantages in reliability and redundancy, as well as often more polished mobile apps. Now to get over the limitations of using just a single bay, WD has pimped up the range by introducing a four-bay unit, the My Cloud EX4. In short, it’s a big, black square lump and certainly no lightweight either, weighing in at a hefty 5.8kg when stuffed full of hard disks.
You’ll need to buy a second power supply to take advantage of the EX4’s ability to switch automatically from one supply to another should one unit fail. When it comes to backing-up data up the EX4 offers plenty of options with accessibility using a USB device, remotely, internally or via the Cloud. WD provides iOS and Android support to access content on the move with both My Cloud and its image gallery app, My Photo. Data and parity are arranged on different volumes for resilience should there be a single drive failure. Overall, the tests suggest that the EX4 isn’t going to set the world alight and, in particular, its Write performance is pretty weak.
When it gets to the end of this process, a blood-chilling grinding noise emanates from the EX4, well it did from the review sample anyway.
Perhaps this explains why, despite some useful hardware features, WD considers the EX4 should be considered for home or small office use. User rights are also established in the admin, by default it creates a public folder, or share, for each user. We connected a My Passport 1TB drive via the USB port and the My Cloud found it and started backing up with no issues. On the Mac the My Cloud shows up in Finder as a drive, just like the internal drive in a Mac, which makes interacting with the My Cloud in that way very simple.
Of course we don't love that its single-bay, but at least they offer a Safepoint backup solution and larger units are en route. 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).
Miller works separately for a private investment firm which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. You can set the data up so that it is accessible to anyone, or as specific shares with permissions, so that only individual users with passwords have access. Indeed, it can be used as a backup device for Windows and Mac PCs (on the Mac, it works with Time Machine); it can also stream content to DLNA devices.
This means you can drag and drop files between the computer and the server as though the two were on the same local network. WD hits a lot of key points with the My Cloud with usability and tie ins to today's popular cloud service amongst the highlights. Personally, I like the cloud services for relatively small amounts of storage I want access to frequently, but find devices like My Cloud best for bigger collections, such as my pictures. Alas, I was only able to test the EX4 using RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays due to time constraints, but didn’t notice any major differences in configuration performance in the various modes. The My Cloud line is certainly primed to grab substantial market share in what is currently a growing yet fragmented slice of the NAS market.

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