Product WD My Cloud
Specifications Gigabyte Ethernet, USB 3.0, dual-core 1.8Ghz processor, 2TB/3TB/4TB hard disk, DLNA, UPnP, iTunes/Bonjour
Price From £129.99
STORAGE VENDOR Western Digital (WD) is no stranger to the consumer NAS market. The My Cloud range is a new product line, an offshoot of the long running My Book series built with an emphasis on remote access.
While previous WD devices have had a nod to accessing your files on the move, with the My Cloud devices functionality moves front and centre with cross platform software to make the concept of a "personal cloud" more than marketing jabber.
The single disk NAS comes in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities and is feature rich, especially given the price, which should make it suitable for small office use.
To get a full understanding of how this product works, we decided that we needed to give it an in-depth analysis, so we've been living with it for a month while at home and away. To make it even more interesting, we avoided other music, video and photo streaming devices and all cloud storage for the duration of My Cloud testing.
The first thing we noticed about the My Cloud is how unnoticeable it actually is. While predecessors have had light trails reminiscent of the front of Kit from Knight Rider, this small unassuming white box has just one tiny LED that's blue when all is working well.
The casing, which has roughly the dimensions of a modest hardback book, is a glossy white with silver trim. The build quality is surprisingly good. It's weighty enough that you would not like it to fall on you from a shelf, and sturdy enough that, despite it being plastic, you would more than likely come off worse than the device if it did.
Of course a unit like this tries to be as quiet and unassuming as possible, and the My Cloud is certainly that. It will blend in well with any system, though we would like to have had the option of a black version. Apart from the LED, all external elements are out of sight on the back of the unit.
On the rear are a power connector and Ethernet port, along with a USB 3.0 interface to add an extra external drive and a reset cavity so small that we could barely get a paper clip into it once we found it. We were a little surprised at the lack of an on/off switch, but this is not a unit that is designed to be turned on and off.
We really like the design. Its primary functions are to protect the hard drive and look out at you from a shelf as if to say "look but don't touch", and it manages to achieve the right balance between fulfilling those functions and keeping its cost modest.
Next: Setup, interface.