As far as network storage goes, I’ve had my fair share of devices, and I can say that amongst all of those, working with the My Cloud Mirror is an exciting, new, and refreshing experience. This new year, it can be one of those things to add to your personal workflow, read on to find out more about this amazing product that WD offers.
Let me get this out of the way first – you can’t access the Mirror thru the explorer interface. The best alternative is to use WD Sync which allows you to specify a folder that updates itself with the drive much like how cloud services like Dropbox/Drive/Box does it. Otherwise there is a need to go thru a web app to look at the contents inside.
Working on the Mirror and the data within require a ‘user’ to log into the dashboard and navigate a web-based explorer app to access the content. During initial setup you’ll be required to furnish a name and a password for accessing the Mirror.
TIP: Remembering this initial information is important as, with my experience, using the reset button at the back only clears up the password field but the Mirror remembers the username. That is why the default username “admin” no longer works after first initialization. Unless it gets re-entered into the user list post configuration.
The mirror is also called that way because it is, by default in a RAID 0 configuration giving you two times the backup for everything stored within it.
Of course you can change this to fully utilize all the drive space should you prefer to do that – the Mirror provides this flexibility as well.
Setup doesn’t really take that long, you literally just (1) plug it in (2) connect it to the router, (3) wait for the lights to turn all blue and its ready to take in the information that makes it unique in all of the web and from other NAS within the network.
I find that the Mirror works best as a media server AND as a cloud using the WD Sync app. We’ve loaded close to a terrabyte of video data onto it, thru one of the USB 3.0 ports at the back (which, btw, also allows the connected drive to become a part of the device tree online effectively expanding the space available for backing up content) and being able to access it from literally all network connected devices that support DLNA and/or has the companion app, is nothing short of unbelievable!
Of course the data travels around using the speed of the WAN, sometimes thru the web, so there is still a bit of latancy as compared to true networked drives which only travel on LAN. The freedom it affords the many users within a household does give it its own unique appeal.
Data management is best done thru the web interface with administration access. “Shares” as WD calls them, can be managed by simply clicking a switch to hide it from all users leave for the individuals that you would identify.
Playability is device dependent which, I found out, was a bit different from playback support from a connected drive/usb key… this might have something to do with the DLNA protocols… a bit of digging required (for televisions). Accessing data thru the MyCloud OS 3 app on a smartphone however almost feels as if your smartphone grew terrabytes of storage instantly!
With only the installation of the app as a reuirement, no sooner would one be looking at all the networked data as if they were inside the smartphone to begin with – a perfect solution for serialized content which not everyone can watch at the same time on an HDTV… (that might just be the route to go with… apart from a small cloud system thru WD Sync probably).
As far as maintenance goes, it’s almost like one of those car batteries which you really won’t mind while its there, but you’re certain to miss if anything ever goes wrong. Vents abound keeping airflow abundant and the drives cooled which is important because they would always be spinning whenever there is activity. It does have this standby function which allows the drives to rest and live long.
There was this one time when we had to change the router because of failure, none of our devices could access the Mirror… it took but a few seconds to remove the LAN cable and stick it on again and everything went back to normal in under a minute!
This product is close to the verge of being a necessity, and that is something I don’t readily put out there. It provides unparalleled convenience when utilied to its full potential, with the added reliability that a RAID system naturally has. It is an incredible piece of technology with which you’ll only wish for more data space… but hey, we all know WD has everyone covered on that!
The My Cloud Mirror, in its many configurations, allow households to enjoy media and serve content in the most straightforward way that there is – it could not get any easier. It is, quite literally, a favor that you give to yourself, to others within your network, and even remotely thru the web configured properly. A recommended addition to any household without hesitation.