Even as cloud storage has exploded, however, there are many skeptics who believe that entrusting your data to a cloud service is foolish. For one thing, you’re giving your precious data (be it family photos or company trade secrets) to a third party, and beyond that security is a concern, vendor lock-in is a possibility, and more recently, many are growing concerned that the government has too much access to data stored on others’ servers. Cloud storage also tends to be rather expensive, should you need to store large amounts of data.
Thus, the diehard proponents of local storage have legitimate concerns when they say they’re distrustful of the cloud. But on the other hand, there are problems with relying solely on local storage, too. You have to diligently manage your own backups, and unless you have an offsite backup, all of your copies are in one geographical location. If your house burns down, or floods, or is burgled, you could easily lose everything.
The middle ground is setting up your own NAS file server with redundancy, but that too can be problematic. Although there are some consumer-friendly options out there, file servers can be tricky to effectively set up and tiresome to manage. Western Digital has developed a solution called WD My Cloud that seeks to nullify part of this problem while also providing a smattering of additional features.
|2TB (as configured)
USB 3.0 x1
Power supply port
Mac OS X Mountain Lion/Snow Leopard
WD My Cloud
WD My Cloud Dashboard
WD SmartWare Pro
6.7 x 5.5 x 1.9 inches (HxDxW)
2 years limited
~$140 At Amazon.Com
WD My Cloud is a personal private cloud. At its core it’s essentially a NAS, but it’s designed to be incredibly simple to set up, and managing it requires almost no expertise. Even better, adding devices is designed to be super simple.
Another nifty feature is that instead of sending files via email, My Cloud lets you send links to files, which the recipient can then open at their convenience. You can stream the audio and video stored on My Cloud, and you can open and edit files just as you would if they were stored locally.
You manage the My Cloud and other connected devices via the My Cloud Dashboard and use the WD My Cloud desktop app to manage your stored files and folders. Both pieces of software offer intuitive interfaces that have essentially zero learning curve, as we'll show you next...