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Easy to Use, Fast and Affordable
The WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra is an elegant NAS that's easy to use and shows no real shortcomings performance-wise. Its upload and download performance was equally impressive, while multiple small files didn't cause any problems either.
Of course, the EX2 Ultra didn't break any speed records, but it was never meant to. Nonetheless, the EX2 Ultra is surprisingly fast because it's unbelievably affordable. The base model comes in at just $160 and although it's diskless, you can expect to pay around twice that for a similar spec model from QNAP or Synology.
The Synology DS216 for example costs $270 and has half as much RAM. The cheapest two-bay Synology NAS costs $150 for the DS216se and while it's supported by a much more impressive operating system, its lack of power probably won't make up for that fact.
Synology now has its BeyondCloud line of pre-configured devices, though a 6TB version of the BeyondCloud Mirror costs $600 and it's essentially an old Marvell Armada 370-equipped DS214se. For the same money, the 12TB version of the My Cloud EX2 Ultra can be had, so that says enough.
In terms of pure value, it seems WD's My Cloud EX2 Ultra series can't be beaten. Its only weakness is the limited operating system, which lags quite a bit behind what others such as QNAP and Synology are offering.
There are only a few areas where the EX2 Ultra could improve, better software being chief among them, though a front-mounted USB port, a quieter fan and perhaps a power button wouldn't hurt.
Still, if all you need is a storage device with an easy setup process, strong performance and basic network attached storage functionality, then we feel there is no better solution in the given price range.
Pros: Easy to install and use, surprisingly fast and affordable – almost everything you could want in a basic but complete consumer NAS.
Cons: We wish the box had a power button, front panel USB connectivity, a quieter fan and software features on par with competition.