WD My Cloud EX4 8TB Personal Cloud Storage NAS Review

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WD My Cloud EX4 Admin Panel

 

EX4-Home-Screen

The My Cloud EX4 dashboard is super simple to use and has a user interface that is easy to learn and navigate. The home menu clearly shows the free capacity, drive status, firmware version, network activity, cloud devices, users and apps.  Basically, all the basics are covered here.

users

The EX4 comes with a single account for the admin, but you can easily come into the users menu and add individual users and then even cluster select users together to form groups.

shares

The WD My Cloud EX4 comes with public shared folders for pictures, videos and music. You can setup more shared folders and control access to each shared item. So, if a family wanted to share the My Cloud EX4 the parents can have a shared folder between themselves, but have it to where the other family members can access it. 

cloud-access

If you want to be able to access your data from anywhere in the world through an internet connection you can do so with WD Cloud Access, but you must have it activated first. It should be noted that neither the WD My Cloud or My Cloud EX4 have the ability to sync folders via the cloud.  This is a bit disappointing as if a group of people or a business is using the EX4 from computers, tablets and smartphones on a regular basis some updates might get missed.

backups

The Western Digital My Cloud EX4 gives you multiple backup options and includes a 10 user license for WD Smartware Pro software. From this menu you can backup USB to/from USB drives, remote Backup and Restore to another My Cloud EX4, backup internal volumes and do cloud backups with Amazon S3 and Elephant Drive. You can of course back up things manually and it of course has integrated Apple Time Machine support.

storage

If you get a WD My Cloud EX4 it comes in RAID 5 mode, but you can change that to RAID 0, 1, 5, 5+Hot-Spare or 10 by visiting the storage tab and changing the raid mode.  You can also check the disk status adjust the iSCSI settings and other drive related things in this menu. Small Office/Home Office users looking for iSCSI, volume encryption, virtual folders (DFS) and active directories will be happy to know that the My Cloud EX4 supports them all. It should be noted that the stripe size (called chunk size by WD for some odd reason) is set to 48Kbytes by default and there is no way to change that value when configuring a new RAID setup.

apps

When it comes to applications we were happy to see that WD supports a good number of them.  For starters there are built in downloader Apps for Torrent, FTP and HTTP needs as well as a web file viewer.  The WD My Cloud EX4 also supports a number of third party Apps like:

  • aMule - peer to peer download application
  • Transmission - peer to peer download application
  • IceCast - Internet music streamer
  • WordPress - blogging tool
  • Joomla - Content Management System
  • phBB - Internet Forum package
  • phpMyAdmin - MySQL admin tool
  • SqueezeCenter - Logitech media Server for Logitech hardware products
  • NZBGet - binary newsgrabber for nzb files

settings

The last tab is the settings menu, which appears to be the dump area for a number of things as there is a sub menu with general and network settings, ISO mounting details, media, utilities, notifications and firmware updates (auto and manual updates are available). You might have noticed that there is no option to turn off the My Cloud EX4 yet.  For this you either have to hold down the power button on the unit itself or go into the settings tab and then under the general menu you can scroll down to the device management settings and find the options to reboot or shutdown. WD plans on adding options to shutdown the unit on the home menu of the WD My Cloud EX4 software in the future to make this easier to find and access.

Let’s take a look at performance!

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  • basroil

    Shame that the speed are not even a quarter of what gigE should have, I was actually considering this one since I have had pretty damn good experience with WD drives in the past (of a dozen drives just one failure, and that one that failed was my first 500gb drive from them, which had been relegated to third level backup duty)