WD My Cloud Personal Cloud Server Review - HotHardware

WD My Cloud Personal Cloud Server Review

20 thumbs up
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.
 

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I'm not using WD for this stuff any more. I've had a WD "My World" 1TB unit on my network, but now they tell me that it isn't supported with Win 8 or Win 8.1. Kind of really sucks. So I wonder when THIS one will be out of support.

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Is anyone concerned about enabling UPnP on their router? (Because this is required to remotely access your My Cloud device, per the following WD knowledge base article: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9916)

The US Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about vulnerabilities in UPnP: http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2013/01/29/CERT-Releases-UPnP-Security-Advisory.

And network penetration specialists advise disabling UPnP on your firewall router. For example: https://www.grc.com/unpnp/unpnp.htm

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Sorry all. The MyCloud didn't work for me. Here's the review I posted on the WD website:

Great idea, but not Mac OS ready yet

Judging from many of the glowing online reviews from "respected" websites, I thought the WD MyCloud would be an excellent, easy to use solution for not only backing up my Mac but for easily accessing my files remotely. Instead, my experience with the device was very different and not good at all.

I'm running a MacBook Pro with OS X Mavericks 10.9 with a 960 GB SSD. I'm using an ASUS router with a wired gigabit Ethernet connection, so my problems can't be blamed on WiFi.

Installation and setup was super quick and easy - as easy as advertised. The MyCloud remote login and access was easy to do, easy to set up and worked well. The MyCloud looks great and is extremely quiet. Files read and write at blazing fast speeds across my network!

I'm giving this device a one-star, poor rating because it fails in a very big way for the main reason I bought it -- backing up my Mac across the network. Despite "Time Machine support," the file system of the MyCloud is not a native Mac OS format and doesn't seamlessly work with Mac OS backups.

In the two weeks I've had the MyCloud, my Time Machine archives have gotten "corrupted". When backing up to MyCloud, Time Machine has returned this error twice, causing me to lose my backups and start over:

"Time Machine completed a verification of your backups on “NAS”. To improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you." This seems to be a problem with Macs and third-party network drives like this one.

The MyCloud firmware is the latest version. I restored the drive to factory condition after the latest incident. It took less than a day to see this error again. I've never had problems like this backing up my Mac to a USB or Firewire drive.

A standard drag and drop Finder copy of large numbers of files also created weird behavior on the drive -- files showing as "in use" when they are not, other files that show up and quickly disappear repeatedly in Finder.

Sure, there are "fixes" and hacks that may let me repair and use the archive for a while, but that negates the benefits, time-savings, reliability, and ease of use of a plug-and-play system that is advertised to simply work on a Mac. The WD MyCloud doesn't yet.

The bottom line is, for this Mac user, the WD MyCloud is a high-maintenance, unreliable, frustrating device. I don't recommend this device if you use Mac OS. It's a lot of trouble and you will lose data. I really wanted to like this, but it's getting boxed back up and getting returned this week.

=M=

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This MyCloud isn't really that userfriendly. It often loses the connection with your network.

Enabling private shares is a complete disaster. So giving people permission to documents etc. on this NAS is giving them permission to everything on your NAS.

If you are the only user and just follow the standard procedure then you will like this device.

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Hello there,

Just a question. This product is NAS, that means it supports Samba and NFS(right?)

I just want to be sure it supports both of them, because DnLA doesnt support .srt files

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I’d like to place my "MyCloud" at the neighbours. Now you say: "What My Cloud does not offer … is offsite backup.", but then: "… one could use it as offsite backup by parking it at a trusted location with a reliable internet connection." How exactly do I do this please? Fritz

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