|At a glance|
|Product||Western Digital WDBCTL0020HWT My Cloud [Website]|
|Summary||Single-drive home NAS with personal cloud and media serving features. Replaces My Book Live with revamped hardware & software|
|Pros||• Freshened interface|
• USB 3.0 for expanded storage
• Easy remote access without port forwarding
• 3 licenses for Smartware Pro backup software
• Apple Time Machine backup
• NAS snapshot backups
|Cons||• All-or-nothing for NAS backup|
• Java-based web browser access can be frustrating
• No support for iCloud or SugarSync
Typical Price: $120 Shop Amazon
Many of the products that we review now have the word "Cloud" as part of their product name. And we're not just talking about NASes. Routers are also heavily betting on cloud capabilities, too.
This trend isn't surprising.. According to NPD Group data cited in Western Digital's press release for the new My Cloud NAS, the current U.S. household owns an average of 5.7 connected devices. The same press release also noted that research firm Gartner "estimates that the average household will own approximately 3.3 terabytes (TB) of digital content by 2016".
The bottom line is that people have more content and they want to share it with more people. While cloud storage services such as Dropbox have been around for years, people quickly find they use up their free 2 GB or 5 GB space and are looking at having to purchase additional storage. Dropbox, for example, charges $99.00/year for 100 GB. What people really want is access to all of their "stuff", and they want it for free. That's what Western Digital promises that the new My Cloud NAS will deliver.
The new My Cloud replaces the WD My Book Live that Tim reviewed in October, 2010. More recently Tim reviewed the My Book Live Duo along with WD2go that improved on remote access capabilities. In fact, if you compare the images in the WD2go review with those in this review, you'll notice that they look strikingly similar. While there are new Android and iOS apps, the functions appear to be the same, but with a new fresher look. Likewise, the admin UI on the My Cloud NAS has been refreshed and is easier to use.
The My Cloud keeps the same vertical format found on most WD desktop and NAS products. However, the color has been changed to a stylish white with a brushed metal band that wraps around the corner on the front right side of the product. The top, rear and bottom of the device is perforated metal that serves as a heat sink and provides ventilation.
The front of the device, shown above, has just a single LED indicator. Using a multi-color LED, WD has been able to provide a lot of status by using a combination of color and blink/solid states.
The chart below summarizes the status reported by the front panel indicator.
WD My Cloud front panel status indicator chart
The callout image below shows the rear panel of My Cloud.
WD My Cloud rear panel callout
I especially like that the Gigabit Ethernet port has both an activity indicator as well as a multi-color LED to indicate link speed. The indicators are summarized in the table below:
WD My Cloud Ethernet LED indicators
Our review unit, a 2 TB My Cloud, lists for $149.99. A 3 TB My Cloud is also shipping with a list price of $179.99. In November, WD will start shipping a 4 TB model listing at $249.99.