My Cloud is basically a hybrid device which is here to compete with traditional devices like NAS and cloud storage services like Google Drive. They have the DLNA support and browser based dashboard. This supports the traditional NAS features. Just like cloud services it is possible to access the drive remotely through apps. With this device you get more storage as compared to the other cloud based services. There are no monthly subscriptions. You have the liberty to upload what you need to. You can also be sure that the data is not shared with any other company.
Features at a glance:
- This device has 2 TB, 3TB and 4 TB capacities.
- It has USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
- It has remote file access
- DLNA itunes server support available
The design of My Cloud:
Here are the key aspects of the design:
- The basics of My Cloud come from WD’s My Book range of back up hard drives
- My Cloud comes in white colour and it has rounded corners
- This device is compact in size and the dimensions are 170.6 x 49 x 139.3mm and the weight of the device is 960g. So you can easily say that it is much smaller and lighter in weight as compared to the other NAS devices
- This is not a device which you will be carrying from one place to another, so the chassis is not that important. However, it must be pointed out that the chassis is not rigid, but as mentioned this is not a major concern in the design. On the whole design wise this is a good product
The features of the product:
- This is one device in the single device back category which has very good capacity. It is already available in 2 TB and 3 TB capacities. Soon they will introduce the 4 TB capacity devices as well.
- It has smartware software which takes an automatic backup for windows. It has Time Machine software which takes automatic back up for MAC.
- My Cloud comes with USB 3.0 port. With the help of this you can connect additional storage and also start direct downloads from cameras. However, it must be noted that it does not support printers and network connectivity.
- When you compare this device with the NAS features you will realise that it focuses only on the important features like DLNA and iTunes servers, UPnP, and FTP and multi-user support for folder access and authorization
- The cloud storage features are possible due to remote file access via Android, iOS, PC and Mac apps
- The device does not have an integrated media player . So playback is possible only for the format that your device supports. This can be a problem for the iOS operating system
- WD claims that it has a dual core processor, which can give tough competition to NAS devices
- One important thing to be noted about the hardware is that since My Cloud is a single drive device due to this My Cloud can take the back up of your data but it cannot take back up of itself. But it does have the safepoints system which will let you take backup on USB or network storage
Details about the set up of My Cloud:
The steps involved in the set up are as follows:
- The user will first have to connect the device to the router
- Then you need to switch on the device
- Next you need to visit wdmycloud.com or wdmycloud.local for Macs or you will have to download the My Cloud software from the WD website
- Next you will be taken to a set up wizard. You will have to follow this wizard
- Here you will asked to opt for a username and password
- You will also be prompted to add users for remote access
As you can see that the set up is really very easy and there is nothing complicated in this. The quality of the browser UI is also very good. On the dashboard one can easily get all the information about capacity, drive health, firmware, Cloud devices, users, shared folders and media content. There are segments for segments for users, shares, Cloud access, Safepoints and settings. The browser UI is definitely user friendly.
However, when it comes to remote access via the PC app then there are some issues. You can easily map the drive, but it must be noted that this is only read only. It depends on the router’s IP. This means that if you happen to change the network, then you need to remap. One does have the option of using the My Cloud PC software. But here again, you will find that you cannot make use of right clicks and you need make use of not so user friendly menu icons. One more thing that must be noted is that the media does not stream when it is opened. It gets downloaded and this can be problematic if the file is very big.
Analysing the performance:
As far as performance is concerned, this is an amazing product. It must be noted that the Gigabit Ethernet read speeds is 92.4MBps (739.2Mbps). The writes are 71.9MBps (575.2Mbps). So performance wise it is as good as the NAS products and due to its portable size it can be easily accommodated in your home.
Let us check out the pros and cons of this product:
- The product has superb performance and it is really very fast
- The set up is really very easy and it can be managed by anyone
- The user interface is very user friendly
- The product provides value for the money that you spend
- There is no redundancy of the data
- The PC app is not very impressive
The cost factor:
One might wonder if he should buy this product? But what about the cost? Well the price is very much competitive. The 2 TB and the 3 TB devices are just slightly more expensive than the My Book product. Also as compared to the NAS products of similar capacity, it has been found that the My cloud product has much better and competitive rates.
Do the NAS products score over the My Cloud:
In some aspects NAS products do have some added advantage over the My Cloud. In case of NAS products you have a large number of options. You also have the advantage of redundancy of data which My Cloud does not offer. There is also scope for expansion of the NAS products.
Backing up the data on My Cloud will require other storage options. Also the data is more secure on actual cloud storage as compared to the personal cloud storage. But then you cannot ignore the fact the My Cloud gives you the benefit of not having to subscribe for Dropbox, Drive or SkyDrive every month. It has amazing speed and you have your own personal cloud. Also there are high hopes that the 4 TB product will definitely try to get rid of the some of the drawbacks like problem of data redundancy . If this happens then this can become a truly astonishing product.
So then what is the conclusion about My Cloud:
This is an amazing device which gives a tough fight to backup storage, NAS drives and Cloud storage. The device looks cool and it is small in size and light in weight. So, you can easily keep it anywhere in your home. On the performance front of the product also you just cannot complain as the product has a really good performance. The product is user friendly. So the user will have no problems using it.
However, improvement is needed on the media streaming front and they also need to improve on the PC app. The lack of data redundancy and the lack of multi drive options also needs to be addressed.
Overall, we can say that on the performance and value for money aspect it is just amazing. It also gets a very good rating on the usability and design front. The features are also amazing but there is scope for improvement. The overall quality of the product is also great.
One thing is for sure that this is a great product which has some of the best features. One must give a serious thought to buy this product. One may complain about the few drawbacks that it has. But that does not mean that the product is not good. What one needs to understand here that the company will soon come up with better models with better features and one can hope that they will work on the drawbacks and find solutions for the same in the next generation of My Cloud.
Those who want a portable, user friendly , easy to set product which has features comparable to NAS products and which has amazing speed must opt for the My Cloud.