WD My Cloud EX2 Personal Cloud Server Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: All things considered, the WD My Cloud EX2 performed as expected. It’s not as fast as directly-attached external storage, but over a local network, it’s not too shabby. And of course, you have to keep in mind that you’ll spend a lot of time accessing files remotely, with another desktop or with a mobile device, and thus the performance bottleneck will often lie with the Internet connection you have available as opposed to the device itself.


WD My Cloud EX2

Like the original My Cloud, the EX2 is indeed (as WD claims) quite simple to set up and manage. Yes, it’s more complex than a typical external USB storage solution, but this device is more than just hard drive space. It offers RAID capabilities and functions as multiple types of file server, and there are numerous applications that you can employ with the EX2 to give it more features and add value.

What the My Cloud platform in general and the EX2 specifically offers is exactly as advertised: It’s a (relatively) headache-free way to create a personal private cloud that serves virtually all of you, your family’s, or your small business’ devices and users. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and it works right out of the box.

In a small way, the EX2 also solves one of the only issues we found with the original My Cloud, which is that you still need to back up your EX2’s contents elsewhere--most preferably in the cloud. WD’s deal with Elephant Drive is small potatoes compared to the actual storage capacity you’ll likely be employing, and although the built-in access to Amazon’s S3 cloud storage is convenient, you still have to pay for it separately.

However, you can always remotely connect multiple My Cloud EX2 or EX4 devices and create your own geographically separated disaster recovery backup. All you need is a second My Cloud unit and a trusted friend or family member in a different location with whom you can park the device.

The EX2 might be a bit overkill for individuals or families, but it’s perfect for many small businesses. For that matter, even individual users who have a lot of data--which could be music or video libraries, family videos, and so on--and want to both maintain access to all of those files while keeping a centralized backup (and obviating the need for much local storage on many of their devices), the My Cloud EX2 may be a better solution than the original single-bay My Cloud.

Remember, the My Cloud had a single 2TB WD Red NAS HDD, but the EX2 has twice the storage as well as the ability to better protect data with a RAID1 configuration. The My Cloud costs quite a bit less, but some of the EX2’s extra features will be enough to sway plenty of customers.

For comparison’s sake, the original 2TB WD My Cloud cost $149.99, whereas this 4TB WD My Cloud EX2 we’ve reviewed lands at $369.99. The 4TB version of the original My Cloud is only $219.99, so if you just want the extra capacity it makes a lot more sense to go that route, but for those who want those more powerful prosumer features and plenty of capacity--without splurging on the EX4 and all it offers--the 4TB WD My Cloud EX2 hits the sweet spot.



   

  • Simple, intuitive setup and management
  • Powerful prosumer features
  • RAID1 capabilities for better reliability


  • Slower performance on long sequential file transfers
  • Pricey compared to original My Cloud
  • Somewhat clunky mobile app performance


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