Security, Technology

A Look at Western Digital My Cloud NAS Device

After all the bad press these days about the dangers of hosting your data on someone else’s cloud where you are the product, I’ve taken the plunge and bought a cloud storage device of my own. I picked up a Western Digital My Cloud device with three terabytes of storage space from the ongoing Dell Day of Deals. I’ve added a Vine here for you to see what my storage device looks like.

First Impressions

As you can see from the video, the Western Digital My Cloud device is a small box about the size of a hardcover book, and it doesn’t weigh much either. Finding a place for it beside your router should not be a problem because of its small footprint.

I went with the official software from Western Digital for my PCs and downloaded the official mobile app from Google Play for my Android devices. Setup was very straightforward and I had cloud storage up and running on all of my PCs and Android devices within minutes.

The great part of this device that made me want to buy it is that you can log into it to store and manage your files from anywhere you are, not just on your local network. It has all the benefits of something like Google Drive, but without the disadvantage of giving your data away to some company so they can mine your information to sell to hundreds of marketing companies. The peace of mind is worth a lot.

Details of Working with the Western Digital My Cloud Device

The security on this cloud device seems reasonable. You need to give a login username and password when you add any number of accounts for people who will be using your cloud storage device.

As I already mentioned, the setup software is simple to use. The link to the Web-based Western Digital My Cloud Dashboard management console that gets added to your PC’s desktop will let you handle the various security aspects of your cloud storage device quite nicely. Each account that you add to your device has access to storage locations on the device by default, but using the management console you can restrict each user’s home folder so that only that particular user can see their own files.

From the perspective of hardware plugs, you have an ethernet port on the back of the device which you need to use to plug into your router. You also are also given a USB port into which you can plug extra storage devices if you also pick up a USB hub. I plan to plug in an external 1 terabyte hard drive that I have been using to see how easy it is to set up access to that through the Western Digital cloud.

The one port that I had been hoping for that was missing is a printer port. It would have been nice to also be able to connect my printer to the device to make it network accessible. Competitors to the Western Digital My Cloud device do offer a printer port, but their performance and price points are not as good.

Overall, the device runs silently. I do worry that the file storage is on a single three terabyte drive. If there is a drive crash, there will be no easy file recovery. However, because you can plug several external hard drives into the USB port, you can make sure to do duplicate backups of your most important files directly to your external drives. It’s a bit of a manual process, but for the price and value that you are getting this drive at, I’d say it’s completely worth it.

I was worried at first when I needed to run a firmware update to the device when I was first setting it up. I’ve had firmware updates cause a lot of trouble in the past, at one point even failing and bricking a WiFi security camera that I had just bought. In this case the firmware update went alright… for some reason the software download from the Western Digital site was slow and kept getting interrupted even though the file size is only a few megabytes. But after a few attempts the firmware finally downloaded properly and installed itself without ruining the device.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the Western Digital My Cloud NAS Device and am looking forward to using it for file storage and backup for years to come.


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