Meet Western Digital's My Cloud - InformationWeek

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10/2/2013
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Meet Western Digital's My Cloud

WD's new My Cloud drive offers an alternative to traditional cloud services, letting users organize and access their content anywhere there's an Internet connection.

Western Digital Wednesday unveiled My Cloud, a new personal cloud device that lets users organize, centralize and secure digital content from their computers and mobile devices and access those files from anywhere.

An alternative to pricier cloud solutions, the My Cloud drive is available in three capacities: 2 TB for $149.99; 3 TB for $179.99 and 4 TB for $249.99. In comparison, 2 TB of storage on a personal Google Drive account will cost you $100 per month.

"We believe that there's no place like home for the cloud," said Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups. "Everyone is inundated with thousands of digital files scattered across multiple computers and mobile devices, and controlling that chaos is a challenge."

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Setting up My Cloud is simple, even for beginners, according to the company. When you first plug the device in, the software auto-detects media on all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network and begins copying them over. Once My Cloud is set up, users can connect their computers and mobile devices with WD's free desktop and mobile apps.

In addition to uploading content, My Cloud lets you share photos, videos and text files, and can be used to stream video to mobile devices, freeing up space on a device that may normally store the content. It can also stream media to smart TVs and gaming consoles.

"Families are connecting, sharing, syncing and backing up numerous mobile devices and computers in their household, with the amount of digital data being created on these devices growing dramatically," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst of storage systems at IDC.

My Cloud also lets you set up automated cloud backups that run at specific times. PC users can use WD SmartWare Pro software to set up how and when to back up files, while Mac users can utilize all the features of Apple's Time Machine software to protect their data, the company said. These backups can also be directed at third-party cloud services as well, such as Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive.

In addition, WD introduced a new free desktop app that provides a universal navigation experience across Macs and PCs. Users can drag and drop their files to transfer and add content to their My Cloud and open and edit documents, which will be synced for any other device or user accessing that particular file.

WD's My Cloud drive runs on a variety of systems, including Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP as well as Mac OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard and Leopard. It features a gigabit Ethernet connection and a dual-core processor.

The My Cloud mobile app currently is available for download from the App Store and Google Play. Two-drive and four-drive My Cloud configurations will be available in the future, the company said.

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