In an age when photos are transferred every which way, wires can make moving images around a real pain between our PC to a Mac to an iPhone to an Android tablet to—you get the idea. As expected, these extra parts make the drive produce more heat but that’s all easily vented through the squircle holes along the top and backside of the drive.
Moving along to the back the drive has a few basic ports with a 12-volt power connector, Kensington lock, USB 3.0 port—which isn’t ever used for direct file transfers, but we’ll loop back around to this—and an Ethernet port. Instead of ever plugging directly into the My Cloud, WD directs users to a simple repository of downloads with the most important one being the setup, and a maybe the desktop client if you want a nicer looking interface than Finder or Explorer’s file system. Thankfully, getting setup is just clicking through the installer and you’re done, or at least for Macs anyway.
Actually getting to use an application with the My Cloud, it practically acts like an external drive plugged to your computer.
The review unit we received was a 2TB drive, which could be an extremely tantalizing way for image editors to offload all their big photo folders when MacBook Pros and the quickest PCs are packing fast, but tiny solid state drives. Beyond PCs and Macs, WD also has a few apps for iOS and Mobile users to also move their images easily. Unfortunately, mobile apps might look like they have an option to link up the My Cloud with other cloud services like Dropbox.
Besides connecting to devices over the web, the My Cloud features a USB 3.0 connection on the back for adding additional storage. This additional storage acts exactly like plugging in another external storage device to the computer.
The only you can’t do with the My Drive is access it directly, and this is mostly due to the fact the drive is designed as a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device rather than a true hard drive.
Now to the most important part of the review, which will answer if a networked drive can possibly keep up with Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. Of course we did these tests using the most ideal conditions of having the My Cloud and computer hooked up through Ethernet. The WD My Cloud offers a bunch of extra cloud features over other everyday external hard drives with the benefit of never having to lug it around or being tied down by wires.
In the end, though, the WD My Cloud really boils down to being as good as “my first NAS.” It could be a great solution for families or groups of friends to keep all their images in one place, but there are better, faster, and more expandable solutions out there for professional photographers who need to move around terabytes of files at a time. The News: Sunday, August 14 Edition Beth Snyder August 14, 2016 When Will the Galaxy Note7 Get Android 7.0 Nougat? Breaking The News: Sunday, August 14 Edition When Will the Galaxy Note7 Get Android 7.0 Nougat? Many of us already know Western Digital as a trusted brand for hard drives and storage solutions, but the WD My Cloud goes further by effectively letting you own and control your own personal cloud.
You might remember when the MEGATechNews team attended the New York City launch event for the WD My Cloud a couple of months ago.
We already shot and published a short unboxing video that also gives you a quick overview of some of the key features.
Along with the WD My Cloud itself, included in the box are the power adapter, network cable, and quick start guide. The initial setup can be performed vai the web browser on your computer, but you can also do it quite easily through a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. You'll need to set up an account with the My Cloud service, but once you do, you can connect as many My Cloud devices (and other cloud storage solutions) to that same account for more of a seamless experience.
This isn't quite as fast as your computer installing some generic drivers for a conventional USB storage device, but the My Cloud is designed not only for local access over your local network, but also for remote access via the web. The dual-pane layout of the tablet app is more conducive to file browsing than the single-pane smartphone app, but both are equally functional. Each time that you start up the app, it may take a few moments for the app to "find" your My Cloud, but once it does, the actual experience is quite seamless.
This is just as robust as what you'd find with a public cloud service, except you're not paying hundreds of dollars every year to get multi-terabyte storage. While the mobile app is a great way to access the files you have saved on your WD My Cloud, it cannot actually be used for any of administrative functions of the My Cloud. I would have liked to see the ability to create redundancy with a remotely-located drive, in case the physical location where the My Cloud is becomes compromised in some way. The Western Digital WD My Cloud has a lot in common with the Seagate Central that we reviewed earlier this year, but I'd argue that it is a better product overall. I found that the mobile app, both for setup and access, was generally cleaner, faster and more robust, making it really easy to move files around between the My Cloud and public cloud storage, as well as with local storage on your tablet or smartphone. The Good: Strong plastic build and the SD card slot makes it nice and easy to offload media. The Bottom Line: As a backup device or a way to watch videos, My Passport Wireless is a good device.


Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could walk around with your movies, music and photos stored on your phone & tablet? Although I wasn’t aware of it at first, you can also manage most of these things via the device’s settings in the app menu. On the left side you’ve got an SD card slot too, which you can use to transfer files onto the My Passport Wireless to free up space on your card. Despite being optimised for wireless storage, you can use the My Passport Wireless as a traditional external hard drive too. Once you’ve transferred your media onto the My Passport Wireless drive, you’ll need Western Digital’s My Cloud app to access all of it. The My Cloud app has a fairly simple layout; the left pane has all of your folders (and subfolders) which you can navigate through, while the right pane is a viewfinder that let’s you preview your files. Navigating the app’s folder structures is fairly intuitive, but it could do with some speeding up. On a more positive note, streaming videos from the My Passport Wireless worked very well in my testing. The My Cloud app (and its sharing extensions for iOS) make it super easy to save media from your other apps straight onto the My Passport Wireless. Importing your media from the inserted SD card is also easy; the app offers the ability to delete files after importing (convenient if you want to free-up space quickly) as well as automatic import once you insert the SD card too. My Passport Wireless is a great device to have if you regularly want to free up space on your smartphone or tablet, or if you want to quickly get stuff off your SD card (something more ideal for photographers.) Even viewing video is good, with minimal lag and good streaming quality.
Cloud storage has been a great solution, but for the old hard drive diehards and privacy conscious, storing one’s files on a device they have nearby can add that extra peace of mind that let’s photographers sleep easily at night.
Serving up local cloud storage drive, it blends the ability of having a drive you can access out of the office with all the safety of knowing it’s on top of your desk and not some Amazon S3 server in Dallas.
The vents add a nice touch of design to the unit’s overall “well, it’s a hard drive look” with the only other noticeable feature being the front LED display that turns blue when the drive is connected.
The interface might seem sparse, but the whole idea is the My Cloud is a drive you can connect once and never have to look at again. After paging through the installer, we saw our My Cloud Drive right there in Shared Devices and started moving files right there. While the cloud drive shows up in the network devices, it’s not immediately usable as a lettered (ie C, D, or E) drive. From several different computers we were able to easily access our images in Photoshop CC, edit and save them, and then switch to another machine to pick up on finalizing the pictures from there—a nifty feature when collaborating with multiple artists.
Additionally, wedding photographers and general snappers looking to sell their work but forget to bring their whole portfolio could use this as an easy way of giving themselves a back up.
All it really does is round them up into the app without any option to directly transfer files.
The My Drive will, for the most part, recognize anything you plug into it whether it’s a hard drive or USB stick. Alternatively, it can create scheduled safepoints that clones the original drive onto the media device as an additional backup. It’s not a major knock against it but keep in mind that the drive won’t be accessible with out a wireless network or a router to bridge a Ethernet connection between the PC and My Cloud.
Major fluctuations aside, that’s still way slower than the speeds we saw on either the My Book Thunderbolt Duo 6TB or VelociRaptor Duo.
While the extra features are nice, we can’t imagine ever using this as our main hard drive for work.
We have these huge music libraries to go with the thousands of high-resolution photos that we keep taking.
It may look like one of their other external hard drives, but the WD My Cloud is so much more than that. We were able to get a brief demo session with the product, but now we've had much more time to see how it performs on a day-to-day basis for both workflow and for leisure. The particular model that we tested is the 2TB model, but it will be fundamentally identical to the ones with higher capacities. You'll notice that there is no USB cable, because unlike conventional external hard drives, the WD My Cloud does not connect directly with your computer. You simply plug in the power, connect the My Cloud to your router using the provided network cable, and wait for it to boot up. When you also connect your existing cloud services, like Google Drive and Dropbox, you can easily move files between the My Cloud and these services from directly within the app.
You can upload multiple files into whatever folder structure you'd like to have on your My Cloud, including having separate, private folders for different users.
One feature that is missing that I would like to see, though, is the automatic upload of every photo I take from my phone to a folder on the My Cloud, just like I currently do with Dropbox and Skydrive.


To do that, you must be on a computer that is on the same network as the My Cloud, dialing into its IP address in your preferred web browser (you can create a shortcut for this).
It is here that you manage users, manage folder shares, update firmware and handle what Western Digital calls Safepoints.
For users who need a more robust, more NAS-like feature set, Western Digital has the beefier WD My Cloud EX4 instead. The product design here may be less inspired, but it may be more functional, fitting into the same space where you'd already put your modem and router. Having integrated Wi-Fi would have been a major plus for me, but I imagine the overall speeds (and experience) would suffer over a wireless connection. I look forward to further advances in this direction for the industry as a whole, particularly as our needs for remote storage continue to grow. Once you power it up you just have to download the My Cloud app from the iOS or Android App Stores, connect your device to the My Passport Wireless’ WiFi network and then launch the My Cloud app. From here, you can connect the drive to your home WiFi network (allowing your devices to stay connected to the internet), optimise My Passport Wireless for better performance or battery life, and set your admin password. At the bottom of the app, Western Digital have also grouped media by Photos, Music and Videos, giving you a quick way to access your files based on type. I frequently found that going from folder to folder needed a few moments to load, but viewing photos is particularly annoying because the app needs to reload the images every time you open them. The WD My Cloud app requires for you to import those photos first and then view them (with the aforementioned delay), making the entire process feel sluggish and annoying. Loading times were well under 5 seconds and playback was smooth on both my iPhone and iPad.
From the Photos app on my iPhone for instance I’m able to tap on a range of photos or videos and just “share” them to the WD My Cloud app. Rather than having a single menu within the app, Western Digital have created a secondary, dedicated menu for the My Passport Wireless where you can view things like how much battery it has left, what WiFi networks its connected to, and how much storage you’re using.
I'm fascinated by technology and innovation, love good design and own way too many gadgets for my own good. Luckily there’s an easy fix by kicking the drive with a Run Command and typing \\[insert drive name].
Lightroom users, however, should be aware post-processed photos do not transfer over even when opening the same file as it seems image profiles are saved locally. The same goes for PCs and Macs where we had to use our own computers as an intermediary to copy and paste files.
It also reads and writes to a variety of formats including FAT32, Apple’s HFS+J, Windows NTFS, or some more obscure Linux Ext2. Of course, data transfer millage will vary for everyone depending on the router’s signal strength and the literal mineral composition of their home walls.
As an entry level NAS it’s decent with the ability to simply add on as many devices as you’d want and easily plug in even more storage. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website. It's important to have a backup of all this treasured data, but at the same time, you don't want to feel restricted with where you can access those pictures,, movies and music. It can supplement or even replace public cloud services like Google Drive, Skydrive and Dropbox. The WD My Cloud be automatically detected on your network and then you can proceed through with the rest of the setup process. Naturally, you can also download this content from the My Cloud onto your tablet or smartphone too. This is the solution where you can backup the contents of your WD My Cloud to an external device via the USB port or to another available drive on your network. At times 4MB photos I had imported from my SD card could take up to 10 seconds to load, which is pretty damn slow. Being able to preview images on the SD card first and selecting which ones to import would make the entire experience far better. Picking it up, squeezing it, knocking about its white plastic body, there’s nothing chintzy about the My Cloud’s build quality.
After that it should show up in the network devices and from there right click the device and designate it as a letter drive. It’s also a bit larger than your typical 3.5 drive enclosure but that’s all due to the unit having its own dual-core processor and Wi-Fi card.



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Comments

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