WD My Cloud Personal Cloud Server Review

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Cloud  storage has emerged as a hugely attractive option for consumers and businesses alike. Consumer cloud storage darling Dropbox has gotten big enough that it warrants its own developer conference, Box is consistently innovating in the business space, Amazon’s storage cloud is massive and popular, and we could go on and on with numerous other companies offering all types of cloud storage services.

Even as cloud storage has exploded, however, there are many skeptics who believe that entrusting your data to a cloud service is foolish. For one thing, you’re giving your precious data (be it family photos or company trade secrets) to a third party, and beyond that security is a concern, vendor lock-in is a possibility, and more recently, many are growing concerned that the government has too much access to data stored on others’ servers. Cloud storage also tends to be rather expensive, should you need to store large amounts of data.

Thus, the diehard proponents of local storage have legitimate concerns when they say they’re distrustful of the cloud. But on the other hand, there are problems with relying solely on local storage, too. You have to diligently manage your own backups, and unless you have an offsite backup, all of your copies are in one geographical location. If your house burns down, or floods, or is burgled, you could easily lose everything.

The middle ground is setting up your own NAS file server with redundancy, but that too can be problematic. Although there are some consumer-friendly options out there, file servers can be tricky to effectively set up and tiresome to manage. Western Digital has developed a solution called WD My Cloud that seeks to nullify part of this problem while also providing a smattering of additional features.


WD My Cloud
Specifications & Features
Capacity:
Interface:
Ports:


OS Support:

Processor:
Included software:


Weight:
Dimensions:
Warranty: 
Price:
2TB (as configured)
Gigabit Internet
Ethernet x1
USB 3.0 x1
Power supply port
Windows XP(SP3)/Vista/7/8
Mac OS X Mountain Lion/Snow Leopard
Dual-core
WD My Cloud
WD My Cloud Dashboard
WD SmartWare Pro
2.12 lb
6.7 x 5.5 x 1.9 inches (HxDxW)
2 years limited 
~$140 At Amazon.Com

WD My Cloud is a personal private cloud. At its core it’s essentially a NAS, but it’s designed to be incredibly simple to set up, and managing it requires almost no expertise. Even better, adding devices is designed to be super simple.

We’ll get into the nitty gritty in the subsequent pages, but the idea is that you connect the My Cloud--which just looks like any of WD’s desktop external hard drives--to your home router. My Cloud, which comes in 2TB , 3TB, and 4TB capacities, is ideal for stashing all of a family’s files, including truckloads of photos and video. You can use it as a file repository for your family’s PCs and mobile devices, thus allowing you to keep those devices less cluttered with files, while ensuring that all your data is in a single, always-available location. It’s also easy to pull the files you have stored in “public” cloud storage such as Dropbox onto My Cloud.

Another nifty feature is that instead of sending files via email, My Cloud lets you send links to files, which the recipient can then open at their convenience. You can stream the audio and video stored on My Cloud, and you can open and edit files just as you would if they were stored locally.

My Cloud is even accessible via TVs, media players, and game consoles, and if you need more storage than My Cloud offers, you can connect an external hard drive via its USB 3.0 port to expand its capacity.

You manage the My Cloud and other connected devices via the My Cloud Dashboard and use the WD My Cloud desktop app to manage your stored files and folders. Both pieces of software offer intuitive interfaces that have essentially zero learning curve, as we'll show you next...
 

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Comments

Comments
BruceAMcIntyre one year ago

I'm not using WD for this stuff any more. I've had a WD "My World" 1TB unit on my network, but now they tell me that it isn't supported with Win 8 or Win 8.1. Kind of really sucks. So I wonder when THIS one will be out of support.

twonky one year ago

Is anyone concerned about enabling UPnP on their router? (Because this is required to remotely access your My Cloud device, per the following WD knowledge base article: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9916)

The US Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about vulnerabilities in UPnP: http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2013/01/29/CERT-Releases-UPnP-Security-Advisory.

And network penetration specialists advise disabling UPnP on your firewall router. For example: https://www.grc.com/unpnp/unpnp.htm

MartyYawnick one year ago

Sorry all. The MyCloud didn't work for me. Here's the review I posted on the WD website:

Great idea, but not Mac OS ready yet

Judging from many of the glowing online reviews from "respected" websites, I thought the WD MyCloud would be an excellent, easy to use solution for not only backing up my Mac but for easily accessing my files remotely. Instead, my experience with the device was very different and not good at all.

I'm running a MacBook Pro with OS X Mavericks 10.9 with a 960 GB SSD. I'm using an ASUS router with a wired gigabit Ethernet connection, so my problems can't be blamed on WiFi.

Installation and setup was super quick and easy - as easy as advertised. The MyCloud remote login and access was easy to do, easy to set up and worked well. The MyCloud looks great and is extremely quiet. Files read and write at blazing fast speeds across my network!

I'm giving this device a one-star, poor rating because it fails in a very big way for the main reason I bought it -- backing up my Mac across the network. Despite "Time Machine support," the file system of the MyCloud is not a native Mac OS format and doesn't seamlessly work with Mac OS backups.

In the two weeks I've had the MyCloud, my Time Machine archives have gotten "corrupted". When backing up to MyCloud, Time Machine has returned this error twice, causing me to lose my backups and start over:

"Time Machine completed a verification of your backups on “NAS”. To improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you." This seems to be a problem with Macs and third-party network drives like this one.

The MyCloud firmware is the latest version. I restored the drive to factory condition after the latest incident. It took less than a day to see this error again. I've never had problems like this backing up my Mac to a USB or Firewire drive.

A standard drag and drop Finder copy of large numbers of files also created weird behavior on the drive -- files showing as "in use" when they are not, other files that show up and quickly disappear repeatedly in Finder.

Sure, there are "fixes" and hacks that may let me repair and use the archive for a while, but that negates the benefits, time-savings, reliability, and ease of use of a plug-and-play system that is advertised to simply work on a Mac. The WD MyCloud doesn't yet.

The bottom line is, for this Mac user, the WD MyCloud is a high-maintenance, unreliable, frustrating device. I don't recommend this device if you use Mac OS. It's a lot of trouble and you will lose data. I really wanted to like this, but it's getting boxed back up and getting returned this week.

=M=

Ab1951 11 months ago

This MyCloud isn't really that userfriendly. It often loses the connection with your network.

Enabling private shares is a complete disaster. So giving people permission to documents etc. on this NAS is giving them permission to everything on your NAS.

If you are the only user and just follow the standard procedure then you will like this device.

tiesj 10 months ago

Hello there,

Just a question. This product is NAS, that means it supports Samba and NFS(right?)

I just want to be sure it supports both of them, because DnLA doesnt support .srt files

FritzJoern 8 months ago

I’d like to place my "MyCloud" at the neighbours. Now you say: "What My Cloud does not offer … is offsite backup.", but then: "… one could use it as offsite backup by parking it at a trusted location with a reliable internet connection." How exactly do I do this please? Fritz

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