The cloud hangs over all of us these days. From IT expert columns to billboards on Umm Suqeim Road to tech CEOs wowing audiences on stages, everyone extolls the virtues of utilising shared data and processing power remotely, on demand. With this in mind, Western Digital (WD) brought to market its My Cloud EX2 Ultra – a chunky personal cloud device available in 4GB, 6GB and 8GB storage options.
After plugging the EX2 into your router and downloading the WD My Cloud app (iOS and Android) and desktop program, you can load pictures, audio and video onto the EX2 and access the files from anywhere you have Wi-Fi or data. Default files accessible through the app include BMP, JPEG, PNG and GIF images, MP3 audio, and MP4 as well as 3GP video. The list expands to Word documents and more when you integrate third-party apps such as Dropbox and Plex. The EX2’s two drives also provide RAID 0 for improved performance and RAID 1 for mirrored data protection.
We uploaded a folder from a laptop to the EX2 drive via Wi-Fi. The folder contained HD video and high-res images shot using a Parrot Bebop 2 drone #GNTECH reviewed earlier this year. From the office, I was able to open the files on my smartphone and desktop browser (via Mycloud.com) as well share links with colleagues to download. The downside is that My Cloud is slow to load videos on smartphones, though it’s zippy on a desktop.
At Dh2,269 for the 8TB model, does the EX2 provide sufficient bang for your buck? From a hardware standpoint, the 1.3GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM provide zippy performance. It’s bulky and horrible to travel anywhere with, but the point of this network-attached storage solution is that the distance factor is eliminated.