If you’re like me and have witnessed dying laptops, you would know the importance of regularly backing up data. External HDDs are great but you need to routinely and constantly schedule time and effort to back up data. Apart from HDDS, there’s also the option to back everything up in the cloud. But in doing so, you’re putting all your sensitive and precious data in the hands of 3rd party companies and there’s usually an ongoing cost as well to pay for space.
Which leads to the WD My Cloud, a simplified NAS (network attached storage) solution. In a nutshell, the My Cloud is a HDD that connects to your network, it’s always on and sits in the background accessible by all machines on the network (can be password encrypted). WD also makes life simple by providing a site and mobile apps that can connect to your My Cloud (should you choose to trust them). With applications like WD SmartWare and Genie Timeline, your selected files/folders will be automatically synced to the My Cloud whenever changes are detected.
Design – 9/10
Compared to other NAS solutions, My Cloud is very sleek and good looking. It’s a very clean and minimalist looking design. In doing so however, it also foregoes some advanced capabilities you might find on other NAS(s).
Ease of Set-up – 8/10
I specifically say set-up, because I did have connectivity issues which I will talk about later that was quite hard to debug which I think was due to the fact WD focused heavily on ease of use. So having said that, it was, very easy to set up. Plug it in, put in a CD and it was all done.
Ease of Use – 8/10
Works exactly how a HDD would, you create these folders called shares in which you can store your files. These can be easily accessible by mounting them as drives in Windows Explorer. You won’t notice any difference from an externally connected HDD. There is one gripe I have with the My Cloud interface (accessible via the browser), although it’s again, very nice looking, it’s quite sluggish to load up. Hopefully with further firmwares, this will improve.
If you’re on the road, WD provides mobile apps for you to access your media/photos (plenty of improvement can be made on that front, but at the moment, it works). The wd2go site allows you to log into your device and it can also mount the drives into Windows Explorer remotely (quite handy if you’re on another computer and want to access your files).
WD SmartWare – 6/10
Backup utility software that comes with the purchase of My Cloud. I initially set this up with all the folders that I wanted to be backed up, but after leaving it for a few days, I noticed that not all my files have been copied across. I’ve read somewhere that it’s a long process before all the files are backed up (which I don’t like), I prefer software like Genie Timeline which clearly shows how many files are still remaining and you can switch on Turbo mode that focuses more CPU in syncing the files.
Connectivity – 7/10
It doesn’t happen to many people, but for some time, I kept losing connectivity to My Cloud. In the end, I worked out that it was because my router was dynamically assigning IP address by DHCP, the My Cloud would get confused and become lost. From here, coming back to my point about it being made easy to use, the only solution to recover the connectivity is to reboot the My Cloud. Assigning a static IP for the My Cloud seemed to have fixed the problem.
The other time I lost connectivity was when I rebooted the router. The My Cloud had heaps of issues regaining connectivity, with the final solution being a reboot.
Overall – 9/10
Although I’ve had some connectivity issues, I’ve still been very happy with the My Cloud (it’s not like the data was lost, everything’s still there). Couple that with Genie Timeline, now I have the peace of mind that any changes made to files that I deem important will be automatically synced. It performs well, is very easy to use and is the perfect affordable device for those who need a NAS solution but not really a hardcore NAS solution. Of course, there’s much more you can do to it (like SSH into the device to install software into the My Cloud) but I’ll leave that for another day.
If you want more info on the specs/performance, I’ve included a few links that might help.