WD My Cloud Review

Updated March 31, 2014
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WD My Cloud
Bottom Line

The WD My Cloud might fittingly be called the lighter side of network-attached storage (NAS). It doesn't have the massive capacity or advanced features of the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ (Est. $780) -- or its hefty price tag. Instead, it's a network drive for everyday users, with fast speeds, simple setup and easy remote access. Its Achilles' heel is reliability: We saw many complaints that it simply doesn't stay connected to the network.

Performance

Plug and play -- if it stays plugged. There's a vast discrepancy between the performance professional reviewers got from this drive and the experience of the average user. Professionals consistently say that the My Cloud delivers fast transfer speeds and is incredibly easy to set up and use, with intuitive software and a handy mobile app that makes it easy to access your data remotely. Some owners had the same experience, but many others say that the drive is, in the words of one Amazon.com user, "unbelievably slow and buggy." Connection problems, as discussed below, are its biggest bugbear, but some users also say that setup is not intuitive at all -- especially since the drive doesn't come with a manual.

ProsEasy setup, Fast transfer speeds, Remote access, Much less expensive than most NAS drivesConsConnection problems, Unhelpful support

Reliability

Plagued by connection problems. The My Cloud is backed by a two-year limited warranty against "defects in material and workmanship." However, flat-out drive failures aren't that common a problem. What many more users encounter are unreliable connections that make the drive's performance either balky or unstable. Several users report that they suddenly lost access to the drive after anywhere from a couple of hours to a month. Some users think that this problem is just the drive going into sleep mode, but that doesn't explain why so many users couldn't reestablish a connection without rebooting the drive by pulling its power cord. For some users, even that didn't work, and they ended up losing their data. WD's tech support, owners add, seems completely unable to deal with this problem.

Value

A good choice for home users. The WD My Cloud comes in capacities from 2 TB (Est. $145) to 4 TB (Est. $220). That's not nearly as much as a big NAS server like the DiskStation DS1513+, but most home users don't need that kind of storage. For ordinary users, the much lower price tag of the My Cloud makes it a much more reasonable choice. Its easier setup is a plus for home users as well. Its connection glitches, however, may be a reason to hold off on buying it until WD comes up with a fix for the problems.

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Synology DiskStation 5-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage (NAS) with iSCSI/DS1513+ (DS1513+)
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Our Sources

1. CNET

WD My Cloud Review: Best Budget Home NAS Server to Date, Dong Ngo, Updated March 7, 2014

CNET's Dong Ngo gives the WD My Cloud 4 stars out of 5, calling it "one of the best deals for home users" in an NAS device. He describes the My Cloud as fast, affordable and easy to use, but he says its streaming function is very limited.

2. PCMag.com

Western Digital My Cloud, Samara Lynn, Oct. 2, 2013

PCMag.com awards the WD My Cloud 4 stars out of 5. Reviewer Samara Lynn calls it "a practically foolproof NAS for the home," combining fantastic speed with stylish looks. The main downside, Lynn says, is that its remote access "cloud" interface is somewhat limited.

3. PC World

WD My Cloud Review: A Better, More Secure Alternative to Cloud Storage, Michael Brown, Oct. 3, 2013

Michael Brown of PC World gives the WD My Cloud a 4-star rating (out of a possible 5). He says it has plenty of capacity, excellent performance and good connectivity. The downsides are a lack of "data redundancy" (since there's only one drive) and limited streaming abilities.

4. Laptop Magazine

Western Digital My Cloud (2TB) Review, Joe Osborne, Oct. 4, 2013

Laptop magazine echoes other publications in rating the WD My Cloud at 4 stars out of 5. Osborne praises the drive's easy setup, sleek design and "robust mobile app," but he's less enthusiastic about its wireless transfer speeds.

5. StorageReview.com

WD My Cloud Review, Lyle Smith, Oct. 4, 2013

Lyle Smith's review of the WD My Cloud is very detailed, covering design, usability and performance. He says it's "as close to plug and play" as NAS can get, with intuitive apps and easy setup. On top of that, it offers fast speeds and an "affordable price point."

6. Amazon.com

WD My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage - NAS, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014

There are more than 650 reviews for the WD My Cloud at Amazon.com. Users here have mixed feelings about the drive, giving it only 3.3 stars overall. While they like its features and easy setup, there are many complaints about slow speeds, glitchy connections and unhelpful tech support.