Some people, corporations, and governments avoid cloud storage because of the perceived lack security, or that data is entrusted to faceless corporations – some of which have closed leaving it in limbo. Some avoid it because the internet is too slow or costly to upload and download big files.
Western Digital (WD) has taken a different slant that may be a game changer. Simply MyCloud is about attaching a hard disk device – called network attached storage (NAS) to your router – at home or work – and turning it into cloud storage that you own - no rental space rental cost - and physically control - and can easily backup.
The technology is simple. Connect the ‘box’ to the router – it should work with any home or business router that has an Ethernet port, register it with WD, and store your files on it as you would on any NAS. The later point is important – in order to get your files into the cloud you do not use valuable Internet bandwidth or data allowances – it is local storage.
To access the data on your local home or office network – ditto no cost. To access data remotely you, or anyone you approve, can access it from a tablet, smartphone, PC, any internet connected device. Approval can be via passcode, for single or multiple files or folders, or open public folders and you can link it to other services like Dropbox or SkyDrive.
There is a range of apps for smart devices and a desktop-based management interface for local use on Mac or PC. The software is comprehensive and at first looks seems easy to use.
There are two versions. MyCloud for home users – and I suspect a lot of small business will want it too – and MyCloud EX4 – a four bay NAS device for business users. The principal is the same although business will find it a more secure replacement for FTP and HTTP servers.
MyCloud comes in 2/3/4TB models for AU$199/269/349.
MyCloud EX4 has four 3.5” SATA bays and can be purchased bare – fit your own drives - for AU$599 or with 8/12/16TB WD RED drives installed for $1199/1399/1599
I will be doing an in-depth review of these units shortly. I was impressed and I think WD is on a winner – every home or small business should have one.