|Western Digital My Cloud, New entry-level NAS|
|Monday, 17 February 2014 00:25|
Western Digital's My Cloud has done more than any other device to popularise the idea of a NAS as a personal cloud, and you won't find a cheaper or smaller way of getting one up and running.
The device is no bigger than your average external HDD, and it's similarly easy to hide away, where it will work quietly and unobtrusively. Of course, you're stuck with the existing capacity, and you'll have to do without RAID1 protection. However, if you're looking for networked backup and media streaming, it will more than do the job.
My Cloud is incredibly easy to set up, either via an applet or WD's My Cloud portal. Enter a username and an email address for remote access login and you're ready to go.
The browser-based control panel is intuitive, with clearly designed, at-a-glance views of the device's status, and simple control panels for adding new users or shared folders.
You can create and restore snapshots, called Safepoints, and it's hard to imagine any technically competent user struggling to manage their data or the device itself. DLNA media streaming works like a dream, too.
Unfortunately, the features on offer are disappointing. Oddly, the My Cloud software for Windows is less feature-packed than the apps for iOS and Android: with the mobile apps, you can browse and view files, and copy them to and from public cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive; on a PC, you can only browse and view, although Office documents can be opened from within the application and saved to the NAS without fuss.
Performance is adequate: some way off the leaders, but ahead of the cheaper budget NAS drives. Given that the My Cloud is likely to be used by only one user at a time, this isn't a disaster.
If you're looking for a simple NAS that's easy to use with basic cloud features, the My Cloud is well worth considering – just don't think of it as the last word in cloud-focused network storage.