WD MyCloud review

Is WD's new home NAS the right device to store and backup all your content?

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For

  • Decent price
  • Top feature set
  • Remote access
  • DLNA and UPnP
  • Works well for backup
  • Wonderfully quiet

Against

  • Mobile apps can only selectively stream
  • PC and Mac apps a little slow
  • Setup needs more work

The name of WD's new Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit is an attempt to tap into the new-found consumer enthusiasm about cloud computing or, in other words, storing stuff online.

But instead of storing your files on the internet, WD's MyCloud is a local networked repository for all your content so you can access it from your Mac (ideal for those of us that have a low capacity flash drive in our laptops) as well as your iPad, iPhone or Android device using free WD MyCloud apps.

So by buying a device such this, you can legitimately store all your music, photos, videos and files on the device so you can access them from any Mac or PC. The mobile landscape is a little more complex, since the MyCloud iOS, Andoid and Windows Phone apps only support native formats on the device.

So while you won't have a problem playing an .mp3 file, you will have a problem playing that video file you downloaded. MyCloud is a UPnP and DLNA compable media device, so it can also be accessed from numerous other devices such as an internet-connected TV.

The MyCloud does also have its own iTunes Server, however, so you can easily browse and play back on iTunes for Mac and PC (though, and we've never understood this, not on iOS devices without a third party app).

WD My Cloud review

Gigabit Ethernet is supported, as is USB 3.0 for backing up MyCloud

MyCloud is the next step on from WD's MyBook Live line-up and, as such, backup is also part of the deal – MyCloud is fully Time Machine compatible for Mac, while there is also a backup product called SmartWare available for Windows. Or you could use Windows Backup if you preferred, of course.

WD MyCloud review

MyCloud comes in 2, 3 and 4TB

MyCloud is available in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities, though we're looking at the entry level 2TB version here. WD is certainly offering plenty of space.

On pure price it doesn't compare favourably with a standard external hard drive because of the multitude of extra features on offer. But it's an awful lot cheaper than Apple's £249 AirPort Time Capsule, for example.

MyCloud is based on Western Digital's WD Red hard drives specifically designed for regular NAS use and features a new dual-core processor. It's NTFS formatted and is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3); Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Lion and Snow Leopard.

WD MyCloud review

You can easily access MyCloud remotely

As MyCloud is a single drive NAS solution, there are legitimate concerns over data security. If you're just using the box as a backup for your PC or Mac, then that's one thing. But if you're using it as the main repository for your content then it itself needs to be backed up. WD's answer to this is a Safepoint feature within the browser-based configuration display.

The browser based configuration interface

The browser-based configuration interface

This means you can back up the contents of the NAS to an external hard drive connected via the USB 3.0 port. You're essentially creating a restore point for your MyCloud.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Lifehacker UK. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.