WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra NAS Review: Easy, fast and affordable

By Steve
Mar 10, 2016
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  1. QNAP and Synology have always been on my radar when it comes to pre-built desktop NAS devices. But despite being considered industry leaders and having been in business for well over a decade now, neither Synology nor QNAP are well known brands -- they certainly aren't mainstream, even in the tech world.

    One of the problems for adoption has been retail price. A basic two-bay model with decent performance for a home user is going to cost around $300 in diskless form. Add in a couple of hard drives and the overall expense is akin to that of an entry level PC.

    A more familiar name threw its hat into the ring a few years ago when Western Digital launched the comparatively inexpensive My Cloud series. Today we'll be looking at the newly released My Cloud EX2 Ultra, which is essentially a more consumer-friendly version of the existing My Cloud EX2100. The drive can be purchased in a range of capacities as well as without drives. We have the 8TB model on hand but you can get it in 4TB and 12TB configurations as well.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,587   +278

    I'm a little wary of WD nas units. I had an early version of this style of WD unit, a "MyBook World Edition". Thought the disks it came with had died. Turned out the enclosure had died after 2 1/2 years. Disks are still fine in my desktop for extra storage but replaced it with a Synology DS212J and 2 Samsung Spinpoint disks. Never looked back, the Synology is a far better solution for a little more money.
  3. john fickling

    john fickling TS Rookie

    Well I read this and ordered one. Amazon had the best price. Put this together in my office under time pressure late Friday afternoon. Was very simple. You just pop in two hard drives and make a few decisions and attach the power cord and the Ethernet connection and then leave the office. The machine told me one hard drive was no good ( I used two laying around ) so I removed it leaving a tested by the machine 2TB hard drive in JBOD. Piece of cake! I shoved the WD into a corner out of site and left the office. I have not gone near it since. No need!
    Over the weekend from my home I added some videos from each of several videos on several different house computers. I also up loaded a few videos from a few office machines ending up with 11 videos on the WD device. I was able to download several at once from the office where the WD device was to my house computer(s). And of course I could watch the videos on the WD device without downloading by accessing another office machine using remote access and then playing a video WAREHOUSED on the WD device in real time. Incredibly there were no failures. The permission implied with the purchase to use the WD network is a valuable one.
    When I got back to the office A FEW DAYS LATER I found I could from any machine in the office access and watch without downloading the Videos on the WD device in real time which was to be expected as I could do this from their original locations before putting the videos on the WD device.
    I am playing now with WD's WDSync. It somehow puts key data files on all my office machines where I have installed it into a sort of local cloud on each machine. You can then access these files locally without going into the machine holding the data file as was the case before using WDSync. The changes you make hit all the copies of the data file in your office. However WD warns you that if you delete the key data file it gets deleted over all the machines in your office. Hence I made sure I had Win 10 or Win 7 FIVE minute continuous back ups in place on each office machine before using WDSynch. I do not fully understand it as WD does not have in my view a clear vigourous list of instructions without annoying gaps on their WDSynch. Not sure I will keep it on without more study of the pitfalls. The WDsynch does seem to work well but I do not see how to remove files from its clutches without deleting them hence the need for backups if you use this program.
    This is a great device and a great internet file transfer service by WD and I am sure my readers will appreciate we soon caught on that while we had no device at the house we could back up the house to the office. If you really thing about it you could have the device in a third location. HOW LONG BEFORE WD STARTS CHARGING ME FOR THEIR GREAT INTERNET FILE TRANSFER SERVICE?
  4. fjmv1

    fjmv1 TS Rookie

    Is this device as noisy as the reviewer says? I intend to use it as a music server in the same room where I listen to music (about 4 meters away), and I would not like to listen to its fan.
  5. john fickling

    john fickling TS Rookie

    Your comment about the possible noise contamination. I started download of a movie file from another location. That would make for heavy use of the hard drive in the WD machine. The person two meters from the machine heard nothing even after putting her ear up to the machine.
    Ordinarily you would have your WD machine far away from the intended target in a corner next to the router or better yet in another room. You would not have it physically next to one of your clients.
    CaptainWD likes this.
  6. CaptainWD

    CaptainWD TS Rookie

    Hi there :)

    The NAs comes with WD Red drives which work pretty quiet. The device is designed to handle rather heavy workloads and music streaming shouldn't put it under extreme loads that would force both the drives and the cooling fan to work at 100% capacity. The NAS shouldn't be noticeable while you stream music in the same room. :)

    Feel free to ask if there are any other questions!

  7. CaptainWD

    CaptainWD TS Rookie

    Hey :) thanks for the good and extensive comments on the device. Have you tried using WD My Cloud application for data managing and access? It's pretty useful to open files stored on the NAS on many devices, transfer files and do other useful things.

    Another thing you can do is configure accounts to the different places and allocate only specific folders to each account. You, as an administrator, can see everything, but specific accounts can only see specific folders that you have allowed. For example, you can have a HOME account that has access to the public folder and a specific HOME folder but can't see the OFFICE folder.

    Feel free to ask if there are any other specific questions or need any advice on managing the device. :)

  8. Planx

    Planx TS Rookie

    This may be a dumb question, but if this doesn't have any decent file browser, how do you find stuff that's been stored on it? My main interest is for network-accessible file storage/retrieval and backup. Can you access folders and files from a computer via Windows explorer?
  9. john fickling

    john fickling TS Rookie

    This is a good question and I would like the answer too. How do you sort on various keys?
    we use lots of sub files but this not a perfect answer.
  10. CaptainWD

    CaptainWD TS Rookie

    Hey :)

    You can easily link/map certain or all folders that are on the My Cloud to your Network drives and work like this. You have FTP and SSH access to the drive so all folders can be mapped to different browsers in your Os, including Windows Explorer.

    You also have the WD My Cloud Desktop applications which is a way to browse, transfer and work with the files on the NAS.

    You also have the online dashboard file explorer which you can use from your internet browser.

    The device is also target-able by all backup applications that can work with network drives.

  11. john fickling

    john fickling TS Rookie

    CaptainWD please show me how to do the following. It would greatly increase my use of the WD device.
    you say it is easy but it is beyond my skill level. I need your detailed instructions.
    1.) how do you link My Cloud folders to your net work drives?
    2,) how do you use each of FTP and SSH to access the drive?
    3.) how do you use the online dashboard file explorer?

    It would be wonderful to do the above things from another location say 10 miles away over the internet.


    P.S. right now I only get a list of contents but cannot even sort them in date order or size order.

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