It doesn’t take much to set up and configure My Cloud. After downloading the desktop software (WD My Cloud Dashboard) and installing it on a PC, we plugged My Cloud into an outlet and connected it to our router using the included Ethernet cable. The software found My Cloud right away, and then it was time to set up our personal private cloud.
To do so, we entered our name and an email address; after receiving a confirmation email, we created a device password, and then we were able to access our My Cloud.
WD My Cloud Dashboard has several tabs: Home, Users, Shares, Cloud Access, Safepoints, and Settings. The Home tab gives you sort of a system overview if you will that consists of your available capacity, how many devices you have set up with My Cloud, information about your physical My Cloud device such as the most recent firmware, how many “shares” you have, and more.
Under the Users tab, you can add more user accounts and determine those users’ access levels. Adding a new user is simply matter of entering someone’s first and last names, email address, and that person’s device password. As far as your administration duties go, that's all you have to do.
There are four “shares” that our device set up by default. There’s a Public share, one for our specific PC, one for WD SmartWare backups (if you have the software), and one for Time Machine backups (for those using a Mac). From this tab you can change the name of each share, adjust the level of access, and determine whether or not a given folder can serve up media.
You can manage who can access your personal cloud and with what devices from the Cloud Access tab. Users that have access can tap into My Cloud via a web interface at WDMyCloud.com. Under the Safepoints tab, you can set My Cloud to take snapshots of your data for recovery in the event the My Cloud fails; you can select a USB drive or a compatible storage device on your network for the task.
There’s another piece of software you can use to work with files and folders called, appropriately enough, WD My Cloud. This software offers a simple drag-and-drop interface for adding files and folders to various shares, and it’s terribly simple to add or delete new folders and subfolders.
Adding devices is easy enough, although it’s a bit inconsistent depending on the type of device you want to add. To add, for example, a mobile device, you need to download an iOS or Android app from those respective app stores; launch the My Cloud Dashboard on a PC; click Cloud Devices and generate a 12-digit code; and then pull up the app on your smartphone or tablet and enter that code. It feels like that’s one too many steps, but perhaps we’re being a little nit-picky.
Saving files from a smartphone to My Cloud was smooth and simple. My Cloud pops up on the smartphone as one of the options when you want to share a photo or video. The only oddity is that in the app, those files are saved to a Download folder, which doesn’t exist on the desktop My Cloud app; thus, you have to go to that download folder in the mobile app and copy and paste items to the appropriate folder.
One nice surprise was that I noticed that My Cloud showed up on my Samsung Smart TV as an input option. The TV found the My Cloud device on the network with no action on my part (because DLNA media streaming was enabled by default in the My Cloud Dashboard), appearing as one of the input choices.
When I selected My Cloud as the TV’s input, I was able to access all the music, photos, and video stored on the drive.