Western Digital’s My Cloud EX4 is a personal cloud storage system that connects directly to your wireless router, giving you direct access to its content using any computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access. As a high-performance Network Attached Storage device (NAS) with four drive bays, you’ll have shared storage on your home network and be able to remotely access content using the WD My Cloud EX4 app or any Web browser. My Cloud makes a “peer-to-peer” connection so communication between mobile device and drive is direct.
Enclosed in an all-metal cabinet, the EX4 I received for review has four, hot swappable drive bays each fitted with a 2TB WD Red™ hard drive setup in a RAID 5. You can buy it with just two drives and add later and you can choose RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 or select spanning and JBOD modes using the Dashboard and any Web browser. Capable of holding 16 TB of storage space, you’re not likely to run out of space, but if you do you can add more by connecting a USB 3.0 drive to one of the unit’s two rear USB ports.
I found the ability to upload and download Pro Tools files quickly as archival and/or as backup at the end of a session very useful. The WD My Cloud EX4 is as periodic studio backup and for streaming music and video files locally to my clients. Once they download the free smartphone app and I set them up, I can push .mp3 or .wav mixes to their phones or laptops almost instantly.
As tested, the My Cloud EX4 with four 2TB drives (8TB total) sells for $749 MSRP. My Cloud EX4 also comes 16TB, 12TB and 0TB (diskless) models. The 0TB diskless model allows for expansion as you need more storage starting with just one drive.
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. http://barryrudolph.com