Review: Effortless Cloud Storage – Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra

wdfMyCloud_EX2Ultra

The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra is a high performance two-bay NAS with a few added features in comparison to its predecessor, the My Cloud EX2. The My Cloud EX2 Ultra provides you with remote access to your files securely and has an easy to use platform for syncing and sharing content across computers. Ideal for the home office or small businesses, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra also has multiple backup options.

Size Range

The EX2 Ultra comes in four sizes: diskless, 4TB, 8TB and 12TB. The hard drives provided are Western Digital Red NAS hard drives that have a three-year limited warranty. It interfaces through a Gigabit Ethernet port and has two USB 3.0 expansion ports in the rear, so there’s potentia for your NAS to grow in the future.

The new EX2 Ultra features a newer Marvell ARMADA 385 1.3 GHz Dual-Core SoC along with 1GB of DD3 RAM. By doubling the number of available CPU cores and the amount of memory from its predecessor, the EX2 Ultra is ready to handle the content you need to store an allow you to connect it to your PCs, smartphones and TVs with ease.

Painless Setup

Looks wise, the EX2 Ultra still retains the WD My Cloud design style with access to the hard drive bays on the top, three LED status lights in front for power/connectivity and interface ports at the back of the drive.

Setup for the EX2 Ultra is easy. The My Cloud OS web interface is simple and easy to navigate around. Following the easy setup manual provided, I managed to get the EX2 Ultra up and running in under 15 minutes.

The next 15 minutes were spent typing out the My Cloud mobile app (iOS and Android), which lets you access all of your files while on the move.

There’s also a WD Photo app which is optimised for showing photos. This allows you to browse through the NAS and display slideshows of you images on your phone or tablet, with a clean, attractive interface and black background. Great for when you want to show off your growing photo collection to friends, family or colleagues without having to upload your photos to a photo-ssharing site or cloud storage service.

Giving Choices

The EX2 Ultra allows custom backups with its WD SmartWare Pro backup software, PC users can customise when and where their content is saved, while Mac users have full access to Apple Time Machine for personalized backup.

In fact, you could even set up an automatic backup of your date to a separate NAS device or supported cloud service (such as ElephantDrive or Amazon S3). As for hard drive management, you have RAID 0 for enhanced performance, RAID 1 for mirrored data protection and a JBOD spanning structure for non-RAID configurations.

It also allows hot-swapping drives but in all honesty, that’s a feature that won’t be used if  you were to run in a RAID configuration. The NAS also has the ability to run the Plex Media Server, which organises your media for streaming across multiple devices within your network.

Take a Bow

The EX2 Ultra performed really well for a two-bay prosumer NAS with read speeds topping out at 115 MB/s and write speeds at 117 MB/s. At those speeds, I was able to do some video and photo editing over the network with very minimal performance issues.

Media streaming was also painless with HD content being streamed across three device over my network. Remote access was pretty good but is limited with the upload speed of the network it’s connected to, which shouldn’t be an issue for most Malaysian users.

It’s easy to configure and set-up, My Cloud OS is easy to navigate and has a good amount of features for most consumers and impressive transfer speeds rounds it up. It brings affordable data redundancy to your home or small office and serves media ccontent to your network and effortlessly too. I’d recommend this for budding photographers and videographers as they can easily showcase their work anywhere with a mobile device.

Price: RM1599

Dimensions (HxWxD): 154.94 x 171.45 x 99.06mm

Weight: 1.6kg

Processor: Marvell ARMADA 385 1.3 GHz dual-core

Memory: 1 GB DDR3

Internal Hard Drives:  WD Red NAS hard drives

Expansion Ports: 2x USB 3.0 ports

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Value: 9/10
Features: 9/10
Performance: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Usability: 9/10

Verdict: As a prosumer two-bay NAS, the EX2 Ultra ticks all the right boxes

Total Score: 9/10

 

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