CNET First Look
The WD My Cloud EX4 is an excellent NAS for home usersCNET editor Dong Ngo refuses to be happy though WD tries really hard with the new and excellent My Cloud EX4 NAS server to make him. Or doesn't he?
-Hi, guys. Dong Ngo is here and this is the all new My Cloud EX4 NAS server from WD. Now if you remember I revealed this My Cloud just a short while ago. It was a great device but I did have one complaint and that is it comes with just a single hard drive on the inside and therefore it's acceptable to data loss if the drive on the inside fail. Well, in the extreme effort to make me happy WD introduced this guy right here, EX4. Now it comes with not 2, not 3, but 4 internet drive on the inside and that means a couple of things. Now first is that you can now set up to guard the data against the case where 1 or even 2 hard drives on the inside fail at the same time or you can have up to 16 terabytes of storage space, and of course the server comes with a lot more features. Now this new My Cloud EX4 server here of course have all the goodies that My Cloud has such as the easy, the support for Time Machine backup, media streaming, and a very good set of personal cloud features that allow you to connect with your home server, remotely view the internet using a computer or a mobile device. So to avoid sounding like a broken record I would only talk about here what the EX4 has that the My Cloud doesn't. And there's quite a few of them. Now this is a 4-bay NAS server and that means it can host 4 hard drives on the inside. As you can see the hard drive here can be very easily installed or replaced. Just pull the latch here, it comes out or push back in and press it. Now it stayed back into place, and in fact if you replace this hard drive one at a time you can actually replace them while the server is still working. Now these 4 drives here can be set up in all available RAID configuration including RAID 5 which is the most popular because it balances between storage space, performance, and data safety. In my testing the server here could build a RAID very fast. In many cases, it took just less than 10 minutes to do that and you can view the RAID building progress as well as other information of the server using this small LCD right here. It's very handy actually. On the back here this server has dual everything. Now take a look. It has 2 Ethernet ports. You need only 1 port to make it work, but 2 ports mean you can use them together to balance the load or for fail-safe purposes. There are 2 USB 3.0 ports to host more storage for backup or to expand the server's storage. And take a look at this. It's comes not 1 but 2 power port. That's right. You can actually use 2 power adaptors with this server in case one of them fail or somebody trips on it. Only 1 adaptor is included however. On the inside the server now has a few business feature including the support for active security, active directory, and virtual volume. You can have also ultra-backup with the server, back up within itself, back up between it and the actual storage, and back up between different server in a local network or over the internet. And finally the server now supports apps meaning you can download more apps to install on it to add more feature and function to it. In the future you probably can run Plex server on this one too. Now in my testing it's not the fastest server I've ever seen, but it's very fast offering sustained speed of 50 megabytes per second for writing and some 90 megabytes per second for reading. Now that is very fast for a whole network and can handle all of your storage needs. So how much you have to pay for this server? Well, that depends. The server is available in 4 options including no storage where you have to buy your old hard drive, 8 terabytes, 12 terabytes, and 16 terabytes that cost $380, $800, $950, and $1150 respectively. These are very good prices compared with seamless server on the market. Now you know this is not the best server I've ever seen, but for home user it might just be because it's easy to use and most importantly now your data is a lot safer with it compared to the previous My Cloud server. So the question is am I happy with it? Well, maybe. Maybe not. You have to read the full review at CNET.com to find out. One thing is for sure though and that's of course I'm Dong Ngo and this has been the First Look at the My Cloud EX4 NAS server from WD. Oh, you're still there? Oh, one more thing here. Nice My Cloud t-shirt. Wanna make it yours? That's a blooper. -I know it's a blooper. -Yes.