Yesterday, Western Digital unveiled its first My Cloud storage solution for Australian consumers. The WD My Cloud is a personal cloud drive that allows users to remotely access and backup content across all of their devices. It’s essentially a cross between a traditional NAS and a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive with all data stored on your own private device. It offers virtually unlimited storage potential (via USB 3.0) with no monthly fees to worry about.
The WD My Cloud connects to your router via an inbuilt ethernet port — from there, it’s a simple matter of transferring and managing the media on your devices using the included mobile/desktop apps or web interface. The device is roughly similar to Seagate’s Central range, which allows users to stream content across eight devices and access files over the internet.
The WD My Cloud’s main claim to fame is remote file access for practically any Internet-enabled gadget, including Android smartphones and tablets, iOS devices, Smart TVs, PCs and Macs. In other words, it gives you Dropbox-like functionality on a much bigger scale — WD is currently offering the My Cloud in capacities of up to 4TB, but the inclusion of a USB 3.0 port means you can top up your storage needs with an additional external drive if needed. Naturally, users can also share files with others by giving them permissions to specific folders or drives.
In terms of design, the unit shares more in common with WD’s My Book HDD range than a traditional NAS — we had a play with it during yesterday’s launch event and were surprised by how light and compact it was. The device measures 70x49x139mm and weighs in at under a kilogram. The drive is powered by a Cortex A9 dual-core processor which WD claims can deliver faster file transfers than most NAS drives.
“Our customers have thousands of digital files scattered across multiple computers and mobile devices, but by using a WD personal cloud solution, they have an easy, secure and affordable way to control that chaos, with access to all of their files anywhere, anytime,” said WD’s executive vice president Jim Welsh.
We’ve yet to properly test the WD My Cloud, but first impressions are pretty promising — the ability to upload media from your smartphone is particularly alluring, as it means you can delete photos and free up space with impunity. Naturally, it can also be used as a digital entertainment hub by streaming media to any DLNA-certified multimedia device. It’s also reasonably affordable, with prices starting at $199.
The WD My Cloud comes in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB which retail for $199, $269 and $349, respectively. It’s available now and comes with a two-year warranty.