In the quest to find an alternative to those monthly cloud companies like Dropbox and iCloud that overcharge but give you a little? You might be in luck with Western Digital’s latest offering.
After reading up on how Apple would be charging $20 a month to store up to two terabytes of my files on iCloud, I was already in the hunt for a more secure, yet cost friendly cloud option that I could not only control what data is shared, but more importantly, I could have peace of mind knowing that my files weren’t going to be sold to the highest bidder. And then I received Western Digital’s My Cloud Mirror, an affordable two bay NAS drive that is made for the average person who wants to be able to access their files from anywhere.
I received the four terabyte version, which will set you back around $300 bucks. Obviously you can go to Amazon for a cheaper price, but I’ll leave that up to you. The second of its generation, the My Cloud Mirror is in essence what the first gen model was, but with all of the requirements folks in the community had begged for. Coupled with an updated My Cloud 3 app that works for your Windows, Mac iOS and Android devices, Western Digital wanted to be certain that you could easily take everything with you.
Here are a few specs:
Setting up the My Cloud Mirror is simple if you, of course, follow the included instructions.
Included in the My Cloud Drive are two USB 3.0 ports that allow for additional storage, ideal if you have standard portable hard drive you’d like to include into the fold. After plugging your My Cloud Mirror into an outlet, you plug in an additional Ethernet into the back of the device, then head over to My Cloud’s Setup Page. After you’ve gotten through the search process you’ll see a box which asks for your password, which you shouldn’t need fill out in order to continue.
Once you’ve gone to the next page, it will ask for your name and contact details to get you moving along, before finally greeting you with the My Cloud homepage with details about your My Cloud Mirror.
A piece of information to mention here is that although the My Cloud Mirror states that it is 4 terabytes, it’s worth noting that this is only possible once you’ve combined the two included 2 terabyte hard drives. Since each hard drive actually only gives you 1.96 terabytes after formatting and pre-installed files that make the MyCloud Mirror function, you would have to either use the RAID 0 method, or span in order to combine to get the roughly 3.92 terabytes that you would expect getting straight out of the box.
But this is not a problem at all and is a quick fix. I stuck to just leaving it as it is, because I have a habit of being a chronic hard drive killer, mainly because I run all of my movies and television shows almost exclusively through Plex, and formatting hard drives over and over again eventually damages them to the point that they are no longer useful.
So Western Digital having a default mode keeps me tame in the event it happens again, all the while giving me an additional backup of all of my data in the second hard drive in case the first goes caput. If you are looking for more standard storage, there is a 6TB and an 8TB version, which are broken down in mirrored form like the 4TB that I currently use.
If you like to keep things simple and prefer the default mode the setup is simple, and all that you have to worry about is downloading the companion apps to your smart devices. Luckily for us, Western Digital is pretty good at keeping their app updated, and as of August 2016, everything is up to date.
One of the HIGHLIGHT features that I love about the My Cloud Mirror is its ability to sync with not only your device in hand, but you can even sync with your Dropbox, OneDrive, and even Google Drive. With the MyCloud companion app, this is perfect for those of you who have doubts, or even say: “I have all of my data stored on a service, and I don’t want to migrate to a storage device”.
While personal cloud services are great, we’ve seen cases, like the leaking of data from Leslie Jones’ iCloud account, or the infamous hack a few years back with countless celebrities, that would set a red flag off for anyone who is skeptical about how secure their documents and data truly are. Why not have the best of BOTH worlds?
So say you have three laptops in your home and two smartphones. Imagine having the ability to back up every single device you have onto a hard drive that not only looks great on a bookshelf, but even better right next to your home desktop? Want a wireless option in your home that will add a significant amount of storage to just dump all of those vacation photos, that music collection that took you years to build, or even movies that you don’t want on your iPad all of the time but would love to have before that flight? Look no more!
In regards to me using this exclusively as my Plex Media Server, it also comes through in the clutch for things like this review, as bloggers can use the My Cloud Mirror to send images directly through WordPress at a coffee shop, and they will still be there on your hard drive at home ready for editing.
Note: You should always have Auto Update Firmware on to rid yourself of future headaches that can be problematic, which I’ll explain below.
Is there anything negative about the My Cloud Mirror? Some, but not completely glaring issues. I’ve had my connection go out twice while using, but this wasn’t during an upload process so I was unbothered in that regard. I would suggest rebooting once a month just to avoid any issues. I did not have the opportunity to install through a PC, but my Mac at first did not register My Cloud Mirror’s IP address, so I had to actually disconnect and reboot my computer in order for it to actually pick it up as a device, which was pretty annoying. This was actually fixed by having my device recognized for auto updates and firmware. Other than that, if you are mainly using to transfer files from one computer to the next, or over a network, this is a perfect copy and paste resolution for you, with added bonuses such as cloud features from third parties.
Overall the My Cloud Mirror by Western Digital has easily become my preferred method of cloud based services. I’m still using Dropbox as a backup, but with security alone this is hands down the way to go for me, especially at a one-time. Now if you choose you can always just use those apps with this app, which has also meant I only need one of these apps on my home screen, which is a nice bonus to have.
You can actually purchase Western Digital’s My Cloud Mirror Drive to manage your media and files directly from their site in 4tb ($299.99), 6tb ($349.99), 8tb ($399.99) , or 16tb ($699.99) with a 30 day money back guarantee here. Alternatively, you can find them on Amazon as well.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: The apps ability to sync to multiple cloud services; I feel more secure holding my data at HOME; Frequent app updates; iOS 10 friendly!
What Needs Improvement: Expensive