WD’s Personal Cloud Storage devices aimed at home network-attached storage (NAS) users has been steadily growing since the My Cloud was first announced in October 2013. WD followed that up with a 4-Bay model called the My Cloud EX4 in November 2013 for those that were looking for data redundancy and more storage capacity. The one obvious product that was missing was a 2-bay product, but that all changed with the announcement of the My Cloud EX2 today. The My Cloud EX2 is WD’s answer to those looking for a fully featured 2-bay NAS device. The My Cloud EX2 uses the same firmware and user interface as the other My Cloud products, but utilizes a different hardware platform and obviously is a different form factor.
The WD My Cloud EX2 is available in four different storage capacities to help fit the storage criteria of various business and home user capacity needs. You start out with a drive-less 0TB model for $199.99 and then jump up to an 4TB version for $369.99, 6TB for $469.99 and a 8TB model for $569.99. All of the My Cloud EX 2 Personal Cloud Storage servers that come with pre-installed drives feature WD Red hard drives that are optimized for high-performance NAS devices. The diskless solution is aimed at the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) crowd and supports a wide variety of drive brands and models. We’ll be taking a look at the WD My Cloud EX2 4TB version that is sold under part number WDBVKW0040JCH and has an MSRP of $369.99.
WD My Cloud EX2 General Specifications:
Inside the WD My Cloud EX2 retail box you’ll find that the NAS comes securely packaged in thick foam and there is also a card letting you know there is toll-free phone setup help if you need any assistance.
Inside the retail box you’ll find the two-bay My Cloud EX2, Ethernet cable, the power supply brick (AC Adapter) and the quick install guide. All of the cables that are included are color matched, which is nice for those that don’t like to have a million different colors. The My Cloud EX2 AC adapter is rated at 36 Watts (12V @ 3.6A) and that is a sign that this should be a pretty energy efficient NAS.
The WD My Cloud EX2 has a two tone color combination (black and gun metal) that are are a perfect match for one another and will keep the NAS from looking ‘old’ in the years to come. The body of the enclosure is made from plastic and while it has some give, it doesn’t feel too cheap or like it will fall apart on you.
Since we are looking at the 4TB model it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that it is populated with two WD Red 2TB hard drives. WD ships all the models with a standard RAID 1 array (an exact copy of a set of data on two disks.) This means that it has 2TB of usable storage space as one drive is just a mirror of the other.
One of the really nice features of the WD My Cloud EX2 is that all of the hot swappable hard drive bays are trayless! This means that when a drive fails that you just unscrew the top drive plate with your fingers and slide the drive out. To replace the drive you do need a screwdriver though as there are a couple stand-offs and a pull tab that need to be swapped over to the new drive. If you are concerned with drive failures you might want to purchase a spare drive to quickly rebuild the RAID 1 array should a drive failure occur in the years to come.
On the back of the WD My Cloud EX2 you have a recessed reset button, dual USB 3.0 expansion ports (the EX2 is not bootable off USB 3.0), Gigabit Ethernet port and the DC power port. There are four rubber feet on the bottom of the WD My Cloud EX2, so it shouldn’t slide around or scratch the surface you place it on.
The front of the WD My Cloud EX2 has three blue LED lights on it that show power and the status for each drive. Note that neither side has any ventilation holes located along the top edge and the bottom of the enclosure has thick rubber feet to keep from scratching whatever it will be placed on. Overall the WD My Cloud EX2 looks good and has some cool features, so let’s take a peek inside and see what it looks like.