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Introduction to MyCloud

My Cloud is a new personal storage device from Western Digital. It is billed as being “your media and files on your personal cloud” and allows you to keep all your data at home, in the cloud and minus the fees that come with some of the online services (like SkyDrive or Dropbox).

The device allows you to automatically make a second copy of your data on your home network, allowing you to customise how, when and where you back up your files. If you’re a Mac user, the system ties in with Apple Time Machine in order to offer an even better backup experience. Your data is protected with a password, available for every user, meaning that it can only be accessed by those you want.

Western Digital provides apps for iOS, Android and PC that allow you to access all the content on your personal cloud from wherever you are. For mobile devices, the aim is that you save your space and access your personal cloud easily and securely. On the desktop, you can drag and drop to transfer, manage your files and share links to files and folders. A great benefit is that the app allows you to transfer files from your Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts, meaning that you can remain up-to-date even if you make use of other cloud services.

Let’s take a look at the specifications. The device comes in three different models, with the variant being the storage capacity: 2, 3 or 4TB are your options (priced at $150, $180 and $250 respectively). It has a dual-core processor, which Western Digital claim offers fast file transfers and seamless remote access. All are compatible with Windows (XP SP3, Vista, 7 and 8) and Mac (Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion). The interface on offer is a Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 support.

However, you aren’t limited to the storage space of the drive that you buy. You can connect a USB 3.0 compatible hard drive to the port on the My Cloud and your capacity will be expanded instantly. With the cost of hard drives only decreasing, that’s certainly nothing to be sniffed at. The ability to expand your storage with such ease will mean that you won’t have to worry if you’re nearly reaching the limits on the My Cloud drive.

The My Cloud received some pretty good reviews from professional tech websites when it was released. Electronista said that although the device lacks advanced features, it is simple and easy to setup and would be perfect for a typical user. TechRadar awarded it 4 out of 5 stars, citing the device’s use as a backup system, price and ability to remote access as positives. However, they noted that the mobile apps are selective in what they stream and that the desktop apps are a little slow. Finally, Wired gave the device 9 out of 10, claiming that it is “flawlessly simple” and that it “has all the functions of a home media server with the ability to go mobile”.

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