|Hard Drive||10 TB External|
WD 10TB My Cloud EX2 Network Attached Storage - NAS - WDBVKW0100JCH-NESN
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- Two-bay tray less enclosure design
- Multiple drive management options, including RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD and spanning
- Multiple data protection options, including RAID 1, USB, cloud or LAN/WAN backup
- Includes WD Smart Ware Pro for PC users and is Apple Time Machine compatible for Mac users
- Twonky 7.2 DLNA 1.5 & UPnP certified media server
- iTunes support
- Anywhere access from computers, tablets and smartphones with My Cloud desktop and mobile apps
- Advanced software suite including FTP and P2P torrent servers, WordPress, Transmission and many others
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Designed from the ground up with the quality and reliability you've come to expect from WD and backed by a two-year warranty, My Cloud EX2 is a high-performance, two-bay NAS for your home or small office. Save all your content in one place and protect your data with RAID 1, cloud or LAN/WAN backup options. Stream large files to any screen and expand your NAS features with a full suite of apps.
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1. This WD My Cloud EX2 4TB
2. Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage (DS213j)
3. NETGEAR ReadyNAS 100 Series 102 4TB (2 x 2TB) 2-Bay Network Attached Storage (RN10222D-100NAS)
4. Buffalo LinkStation 420 4 TB 2-Drive 2 x 2 TB High Performance NAS Personal Cloud Storage and Media Server (LS420D0402)
The Western Digital My Cloud EX 2 I was shipped sports a pair of WD Red NAS drives. TheNetgear ReadyNAS came with a pair of Toshiba DT01ACA100 drives - 7,200 RPM drives Toshiba touts as being engineered for high performance and low power for cooler operation. I installed in my Synology Diskstation DS-213j two Seagate NAS drives (ST3000VN000). My Buffalo LinkStation also shipped with a pair of TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s Drives. As for price, the WD, Netgear and Synology are within a few bucks of each other if you buy them diskless. The Buffalo is by far the cheapest - as it should be.
As for processors and memory, they all have 1.2 GHz processors and 512 MB DDR3 RAM. They use different chip manufacturers (ARM, Marvel etc.) but for home use I did not notice any significant speed differences that would make me want to choose one over the other.
In all other hardware aspects Netgear leads the pack. The ReadyNAS sports two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 followed by WD's two USB 3.0, Synology's two USB 2.0, and Buffalo's one USB 2.0. ReadyNAS has an eSATA expansion port and the rest do not. ReadyNAS has quick tool-less disk access and a metal enclosure. All of the competition has plastic enclosures with tool-less access except Synology - to get to the Synology drives you need a screw driver to open the housing. They are all hot swappable except for Synology.
All of the units have active fan cooling. WD cools mostly by convection through numerous vents in the top and bottom and a very small (maybe 1") fan in the bottom front where there are no vents to pull in cool air. My concern here is twofold. First, and most obvious, is about overheating in a warm environment (like my home A/V closet). The second is what a great dust collector this will be. They me be non-issues but time will tell.
In the area of quiet operation, WD is the hands down winner. The only way I can tell if it is running is if I touch it for heat or to feel the drives run. All of the others put out some resonating vibration that lets them be known when operating on a nearby desktop.
WD and Synology tie the software arena for user interface and ease of management. While all use a web browser for management on the LAN, the Synology has an intuitive desktop theme while the WD web interface is very slick and responsive and easy to navigate as well. But theme aside, Synology is just plain easier to use. For instance, to access a movie/song/photo via my phone from the DiskStation I just installed the media server package on the NAS and the free apps on my phone. On WD everything is on the cloud other that pictures (which has its own app). That means a few more folders and navigation but not a huge deal. On ReadyNAS the same task requires installing Plex media server, creating a Plex account, buying the Plex app and managing more passwords.
If versatility is what you are looking for, look to Synology for the most packages (applications) and Buffalo for the least. WD and ReadyNAS fall in between. So make sure to check the add-ons (all free) before you buy if you want a web server, media server, wiki data base etc. ReadyNAS is the only one to use Plex If you are a fan of that particular media server.
For power savings, WD automatically spins down the drives after a set time but does not automatically hibernate for the best power savings. I still can't figure out how to hibernate and wake up the ReadyNAS other than pushing the buttons on the front of the unit - so I haven't been able to take advantage of any power saving mode. Synology hibernation settings are quick and effective. WD and Synology can be shut down through the web interface. I don't see those options on the ReadyNAS or Buffalo - to power down you need physical access to the device. Managing user permissions is much more straight forward on the WD and the Synology.
As for remote access, all the NAS devoces required punching some holes in my firewall for media access away from home using their respective android apps. WD My Cloud internet access, touted for access everywhere, has failed on me twice in the first week. Enough to make me not want to bother using it. Netgear's ReadyCloud Internet access was quick and painless to setup without any router changes. ReadyCloud also allows remote file access and other management of the ReadyNAS via accessing Netgear's cloud website. Synology can be accessed via the web but you're connecting directly to the Diskstation (via an IP address or DNS service and opening a port on the router).
In the Android App arena WD has apps for accessing the cloud and photos. Synology uses a different app for files, video, photos and audio. ReadyNAS uses the Plex app for videos, photos and audio - which Plex charges you for. WD and Synology's apps are all free. They are all easy to install and use.
AND THE WINNER IS:
If you are mainly interested in file sharing on a home or business network, your interactions with the interface of the NAS will likely be minimal and all of these NAS handle such a tack effortlessly. They all offer file synchronization, fast access, backups and easy accessibility through Windows Explorer or a DLNA compliant device. You can drag and drop files from both wired and wireless devices on the LAN, and watch movie files and listen to mp3 files with any nearly any device that is DLNA compliant or that you can install an app on.
Other than that, the winners by category:
Quite and unobtrusive: Western Digital My Cloud followed by Synology Diskstation
Best Hardware: Netgear ReadyNAS followed by a tie with WD and Synology
Best Interface: Tie with WD any Synology
Best Apps: Synology
Price: Buffalo Linkstation
UPDATE 07/2014: I switched my ISP from AT&T to Comcast and was able to use WD My Cloud as it was intended for remote access over the Internet- without any port forwarding on the new router. I would also note that the WD NAS is now faster and more efficient at streaming content over the Internet than the Netgear device. It is competitive with the Synology for that purpose.
This drive works great Windows 7/8.1 native operating systems, Mac OS as well as through Windows 7/8.1 running under Parallels 10 on both Macbook and Mac Mini (both 2014 versions).
I use the drive in conjunction with the Plex platform in XBox 360. I understand now that Plex is also available for PS3 and if I experiance any issue attaching the drive through Plex PS3 will post an update but do not expect any issue.
No delay in video connection through wifi (Airport Extreme) through XBox 360.
Drive also allows DLNA but does not come configured for DLNA to be turned on out of the box and needs you to access the configuration options through either the program (Mac/Windows) or directly through the webpage (drive has its own IP address). Simply turn on the DLNA and when you can access the videos directly through the native video player apps. Have tried it and works great through DLNA on my XBox 360, PS3 as well as directly from my Samsung LED TV as well as Sony LED TV's.
Why the 12TB size. Well out of the box it runs 6GB with backup mirroring so a drive ever does down - simply open the drive and replace it - reboot and it will restore the mirror.
Once option which I love is the ability to go to sleep at a predetirmined time and then turn back on. I have it going to sleep at 10pm and on at 7am. Also have it setup that it sends me SMS text messages for both notification of sleep and any issue but no issues yet!
As I mentioned above use the Plex platform which my Mac Mini being the Plex device that links to the WD My Cloud drive. No issue in the fact that both the WD My Cloud and the Mac Mini both go to sleep at 10pm and wake at 7am. Everything works great.
Have also tried the iPhone and iPad apps on both the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad 2 (both late 2014 versions) and works great. Also tried the remote access when out at our summer home and works great.
Sorry for the lengthy delay but this is a little bit of an investment but I do remember paying $600+ for a 40 megabyte drive in the early 80's compared to spending about the same for this WD My Cloud which is 12 Million megabytes!
Hope this review help out!
1. There is no way to remove the "Public" share or set it to read only, anyone with access to your network will be able to read AND WRITE to this folder.
2. If you're planning to backup your data to Amazon S3 / Glacier, there is no option to automatically enable AES-256 bit encryption on your backup (a feature which Amazon S3 has offered since 2011). After each backup is complete you have to manually open up S3 and enable encryption on the backed up folders and files.
Note: If you plan to backup your EX2 to Elephant drive, there is an option to enable AES-256 bit encryption on your backups, but the price difference is substantial:
1 TB cloud storage (prices as of June 2014):
Elephant Drive - $85.95 / month
Amazon S3 - $30 / month
Amazon Glacier - $10 / month
Aside from that, there was a lot to like about this drive: small form factor, good performance, easy setup, great price, which is why I still give it 4/5 stars. I was planning to use the EX2 on a shared wireless network in my building, and backing up my photos and important documents to Amazon S3. The inability to remove the "Public" share was a deal breaker for me. It's a shame because it seams like Western Digital could easily fix the two issues I mentioned above with a simple firmware update. Amazon was great with customer service and the return as usual.