November 03, 2015

Western Digital My Cloud - Review

Whenever I review hardware, of any type I also find myself thinking of two questions, firstly does it do what it is meant to and secondly do I notice it. For things like headphones or mice the second question becomes more important, but for something like the Western Digital My Cloud it became a part of my shelf that I almost forgot it was there.

The moment I took it from the box, I really wanted to know if this little box was capable of doing what WD were advertising it to do, as it was quite small and so sleek in its design, I thought it could not possibly do all they claimed. Setting up the unit was really smooth, I plugged in the network cable to unit and my router and then power and that was it, the unit kicked into life. Along the front is one single led to let you know when it is powered up, it flashes when the drive is in use but if it is idle it remains solid, the lan connection also has the standard lights on it as well. Once it was all up and running I needed to set it up on my PC so I could use it, this is where I expected some configuration issues.

I was wrong, in fact initially I had to do nothing at all to set up the unit, I just had to turn it on, the PC saw that it was there and upon navigating to the file explorer, the default public folder was there in my network drive. From that point on it was a matter of treating it like it was like any other hard drive inside of my PC and thankfully it worked just as well. But of course being a network drive it also needed to function on my other devices, so I booted up my surface and again it just appeared.

What was cool about this unit, is that when you are not at home, you can still access your content from it, no matter where you are in the world.  In order to do this, you just need to connect to the WDMyCloud website, which connects back to your device and the files become available, but there is only super important note for this, your upload speed is going to be a blocker, if you are trying to download a large file, but you don’t have great internet speeds at home, then you will get the file, just at a very slow pace. For my tests, while I was at PAX Australia, I tried to get some images, ranging between 5 and 20mb and while the larger files took the longest, even the smallest files still took a few minutes, because my home upload speed is not the best.

The MyCloud device does come in a range of sizes, depending on what type of user you are, with a small section of the devices storage locked away from you, as it is where you can store a backup of your windows drive, should anything happen to your PC, you can restore it from the unit. There is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, but as a Windows Phone user I was not able to put that through its paces.

What the MyCloud device offers is a cheap and easy way for you to back up your files, couple that with the option to keep your files accessible no matter where are in the world, it is hard not to recommend. The only real downside is local internet speeds, but unless you are transferring movies from it, you should be ok.

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