09 Dec 2013
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Keep your personal data safe with ‘My Cloud’ from Western Digital

By David Williams

The necessity to keep personal information and documentation safe has become a priority over recent times and cloud based storage has become a simple and clutter free option for most.

But with storing your documents with the likes of ‘DropBox’ et al and the apparent freedom some governments have at snooping in on your cloud data – just how secure is your account?

Luckily Western Digital have introduced ‘My Cloud’ which is essentially an external hard drive, but it puts the benefits of services such as Dropbox into your home and also manages to combine media server functions whilst keeping everything simple.

The My Cloud we tested had a 3TB capacity and retails for $329.99 but is also available in 2TB and 4TB if you need slightly less or more storage.

As I said before it looks like any other WD external drive but it sits flawlessly next to any router – the device does have to be connected to the router via an Ethernet cable. The device is also whisper quiet, even under load and you would have to be in a church-like environment to notice any noise.

So, for the average home based user what can you expect from the My Cloud device?

You can use the device as a back-up hard-drive or access the Cloud tool to make your files and folders available via private links instead of sending the whole document or media file to the recipient. Files such as audio and video can be accessed and streamed by computers and mobile devices via apps available on Google Play and the App Store. The files will then play via other wi-fi networks 3G or 4G (if you’re lucky enough to have access).

If you upload your media library onto your ‘My Cloud’ you may find yourself the envy of your friends as you can access your music and movies as if they are stored on any other external hard drive.

The My Cloud app makes life a lot simpler and basically enables you to have your own QuickFlix service in your own home. Using iOS 7 you are able to browse through your folders and hit play. As files are streamed progressively there is no need to wait for loading.

Another great option is to cache your files to view offline later – such as when you’re commuting and wi-fi is limited.

The share button was particularly useful as you can email a family member, friend or colleague a link to the item you wish to share and they can securely download it straight from your ‘My Cloud’. This system can obviously be reversed and you can save items to your device whilst you’re on the move.

The only drawback to the My Cloud (and we are being picky here) is the transfer rate whilst uploading folders onto it. For example a large folder of up to 3.5GB takes roughly around 100 seconds to transfer onto the My Cloud whilst the same folder takes just under 40 seconds when transferring to an external hard drive (using USB 3.0), but as mentioned this is being picky and 100 seconds for backing up large chunks of data is not exactly an inconvenience.

Overall Western Digital has made a consumer focused, simple to setup and use Cloud device. The apps make using the device fun and simple from literally anywhere that has wi-fi or a data signal. The only thing that may limit you is your internet/data connection speeds. If you value your personal data for your family or your business then the My Cloud should be top of your list for your personal storage solution.

Sign up for your free Quickflix trial here and you will receive a free new release movie!

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