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Western Digital My Cloud EX4 - Personal Cloud Goes Big

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

Desktop and Mobile Software

Desktop Software:

There are several options available depending on what you'd like to accomplish. You can view the software download page directly at this link. Here's a pic for reference:

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First we'll take a look at what I consider the main app to be used with the EX4 - WD My Cloud. This is a desktop app that can be installed on your PC or laptop. The app can reach back to the EX4 on your home network even while you are away. This is accomplished by linking via your Western Digital My Cloud login.

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You're limited to the confines of this app while away from home, but you can browse the entire EX4 and drag / drop files to and from the EX4 at will. It pops up a copy status screen just as if you were doing these copies from within Windows:

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Another piece of software is WD SmartWare. This is a licensed app (10 licenses packaged with the EX4), which enables multiple PCs to backup directly to the EX4, filling the backup gap under Windows. Mac users can simply point Time Machine directly to the related share on the EX4. Here's a look at SmartWare once installed:

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As you can see, the software doesn't really discriminate on what goes to where, and is fairly flexible in that regard. Backups can go to connected USB devices, networked My Cloud devices, and even to a users DropBox account, if they so desire.

Mobile Software:

Also available is a My Cloud app for mobile devices such as Android and iOS. Here's a few shots from the iOS solution in action:

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The app is fairly comprehensive and caches up to several GB of recently accessed files. The cache enables offline viewing in cases where no cell service is available, which is handy for flights, etc.

November 12, 2013 | 05:11 PM - Posted by mAxius

MORE NAS REVIEWS MAYBE EVEN A BUILD YOUR OWN GUIDE!!!

November 12, 2013 | 05:22 PM - Posted by Sublym3 (not verified)

Yeah a build your own and a look into RAID alternatives like FlexRAID, unRAID and Greyhole based stuff.

November 12, 2013 | 06:35 PM - Posted by Robert23655124 (not verified)

I agree, I would love to see regular NAS builds (different budgets) and os's with comparisons to pre-built gear.

November 14, 2013 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

NAS build guide for home use (backup, basic network advice, where bottlenecks exist) would be super useful. Maybe a buyers guide for someone looking at building a small home NAS?

November 14, 2013 | 07:05 AM - Posted by Quix (not verified)

Good work Allyn! Nice review. .. Now slave, MORE STORAGE REVIEWS/INFO! get to work.

(thanx)

November 14, 2013 | 10:27 PM - Posted by razor512

Horrible performance for the price, compare that to building a $400 PC and then installing a bunch of hard drives and setting up RAID 5.

At that price range, it should be maxing out a gigabit connection.

November 15, 2013 | 03:25 AM - Posted by praack

impressed, have been looking for a good system for over a year- have seen some in action - seen the reviews of others- most have failed expectations others were to - well let's face it - how many of us are millionaires!

this looks nice, good combination of featurs - right price

November 15, 2013 | 07:41 AM - Posted by Robogeoff (not verified)

I see that WD states that WD Greens are compatible with this device. I have 4 x 3TB Greens at hand that I could spare for this. How good an idea is it to used Greens on a NAS? I used to hear bad things about Greens and drive failures in NAS devices.

November 16, 2013 | 09:17 AM - Posted by Scimmy (not verified)

I have a home built NAS with WD greens in it. Been running 24/7 for about a year now with no issues in raid 0.

November 19, 2013 | 07:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Can you add ram to the unit? 512mb seems a bit small when moving large files? Could that improve performance?

November 21, 2013 | 02:45 PM - Posted by David (not verified)

I commend them for allowing redundant power supplies and network connections. That is something most NAS makers usually don't provide on consumer units.

The speed is horrible. Either the unit is defective or they have a big problem with that software. They need to upgrade to the i3 chip and get away from the Atom. It's too slow to do RAID and encryption.

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