Store everything everywhere
This second-generation model of Western Digital’s two-bay network attached storage (NAS) box retains the distinctive wraparound design and, unlike typical rivals, is supplied with a pair of the company’s hard drives already installed. Options range up to 16TB, but the best value is 12TB.
Access from anywhere to all your files, plus nippy file-transfer speeds
Tlie minimum 4TB capacity might well be enough for your photo, video and music collections, but you should bear in mind that it’s configured by default in RAID 1 Mirror mode. That means you have access to one 2TB drive, which is automatically duplicated to the other as a backup. If space is more important to you than peace of mind, you can switch to RAID 0 and use the full 4TB capacity.
Two 3.5in SATA drive bays populated with WD Red drives • 12GHz Marvell Armada dual-core processor • 512MB memory • Gigabit Ethernet port • 2x USB 3.0 ports • 172x99x155mm (HxWxD) • 1.6kg • Two-year warranty
The ‘Cloud’ part of the deal is that you can access the box not only over your own network, via the Gigabit Ethernet port, but also from the internet, so you’ll always have access to your files (you might need to tweak some settings on your broadband router to enable this). Access is via a web browser, but you can also install a WD Sync app on your PC, and Android or iOS device to duplicate files to the NAS and from there to the matching folder elsewhere, much like Dropbox. WD’s SmartWare Pro software lets you automatically back up your PCs.
A NAS is a computer, not just a drive, so performance depends on its processing power as well as the hard drives installed. Given its very reasonable all-inclusive price, vve didn’t have high hopes for the My Cloud Mirror’s performance levels, and on paper its modest processor and half-gigabyte of memory seemed to bear that out. In our tests, however, it kept up with other high-quality NAS units and even beat many of them in the transferring of large files. It’s not for ambitious users w’ho want to use a NAS as a web server, security camera control center or set top box (there’s no monitor output), but for flexible network storage this is a very effective, simple solution.
If you want lots of features to tinker with, consider models by the likes of Synology. but for less demanding needs this is ideal
Netgear ReadyNAS RN212
This is the nearest rival for simple cloud and sync features, but at this price comes without drives