WD MY Cloud Home Duo
- Easy to use
- Data storage
- Mirror Mode
- Content sharing
- Plex integration
- Advanced users may find it too simple
- Minor hiccup during setup
Data storage is a pretty big deal for us parents. The last thing we want to do is lose precious memories when a hard drive fails or a phone is lost. A solution? The WD My Cloud Home Duo.
Disclosure – Western Digital sent Blog of Dad the WD My Cloud Home Duo for the purpose of review. Plex gave Blog of Dad complimentary access to the Plex Pass. The thoughts expressed in this post are entirely my own, based on my experiences with the device and software. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement.
WD MY Cloud Home Duo
Western Digital (WD) are renowned for making quality storage. I have been using their hard drives in my computers for years because of their reputation for reliability. So when it came to choosing and external storage device that I could believe in, WD was the obvious choice.
The WD MY Cloud Home Duo is a little different to regular Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. That is important to understand for anyone who is in the market for a NAS, and has used products before. A lot of the negative reviews that I have seen about the WD MY Cloud Home Duo boil down to the fact that people purchase it expecting it to be like the similarly named WD My Cloud. It isn’t. The WD MY Cloud Home Duo is aimed at people who want a simple, usable network storage solution, without needing to dive deep into the intricacies of networks and operating systems.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at what the WD MY Cloud Home Duo actually is, and why I love having it as an integral part of my home network.
Storage and Sharing Made Easy
The best way to look at the WD MY Cloud Home Duo is as a simple-to-use network storage and sharing solution. You certainly don’t need an IT degree to use it, which suits me just fine. With a device like the WD MY Cloud Home Duo, I just want to be able to plug it in, set it up and then let it run in the background.
That’s exactly what the WD MY Cloud Home Duo does. The setup process is very simple (although I did have a couple of minor hiccups that I explained in my First Impressions post). Once up and running, the WD MY Cloud Home Duo just does its job in the background. If it wasn’t for the strikingly good-looking device sitting prominently next to my router in the kitchen, I would forget about it for 99% of the time.
Backups and Storage
Primarily, I wanted to use the WD MY Cloud Home Duo to automatically back up my data from my PC. I have about 2tb worth of photos and videos that I would be devastated to lose, and my previous backup solutions just weren’t cutting it.
It took a few days for the data to copy across to the WD MY Cloud Home Duo, but that wasn’t an issue at all. Basically, it just worked away in the background while I went about my business. It certainly wasn’t the speediest process in the world, but frankly, it just doesn’t need to be. What matters most is that the data is there.
It didn’t matter that I turned the computer on and off several times during that initial transfer – the WD MY Cloud Home Duo just picked right back up where it left off every time the computer turned back on.
That was one of my biggest frustrations with trying to back up my data onto an external HDD before – often the computer would go to sleep and the process would stop. I’m no technical genius – I’m sure there is some way to alter the settings on my computer to stop that happening, but the point is, I shouldn’t have to. In this day and age things should be more intuitive than that. For the everyday user, they should just work. Thankfully, WD get that. That’s exactly what happens with the WD MY Cloud Home Duo.
As well as backing up my PC, the WD MY Cloud Home Duo is also configured to automatically store photos and videos taken on my phone. Again, that’s a handy thing to have. It means that I have peace-of-mind that those precious moments that I have snapped with Hannah and Emma will not be lost. It also means that I don’t have to rely on the cloud storage servers of private companies to hold my personal data. Connecting to my phone was a breeze and it hasn’t missed a beat since the first day I set it up. Again, it all happens automatically without me needing to worry about it.
The WD MY Cloud Home comes in a single and a duo HDD setup. The advantage of the duo (other than potentially providing double the storage capacity) is that it can be set to Mirror Mode. That uses the second hard drive as an automatic backup for the first. If one HDD fails, the other contains all of your data, ensuring nothing is lost. While Western Digital HDDs are renowned for their reliability, hard drive failures are still a fact of life. I think the extra insurance of the duo setup is well worth the extra cost. I chose the 8tb setup, which effectively gives me 4tb of usable storage space.
There is no point in having 50,000 photos and videos of your kids if you have no way of sharing them. They just sit on your computer hard drive, never looked at and being slowly forgotten.
One of the brilliant aspects of the WD MY Cloud Home Duo is the ease with which it can be used to share.
Once set up correctly, the two locations that are created by the WD MY Cloud Home Duo are accessible as folders on your PC. You can browse those folders just as you would a folder located on your computer.
The WD MY Cloud Home mobile app makes finding photos, videos and movies easy. You can choose to restrict access to the WD MY Cloud Home Duo to within your home network, or enable streaming content to the app while out-and-about. Of course, that will eat into your mobile data plan.
My favourite way of sharing content from the WD MY Cloud Home Duo is via Plex. Plex provided me with a Plex Pass and it’s a brilliant way of accessing and controlling my content. The app interface on my Android phone is easy to navigate and provides my content in an organised way. Best of all, Plex capability comes built into the WD MY Cloud Home Duo. Simply use the My Cloud Home app to activate it and a Plex folder will appear. That folder comes pre-setup with the appropriate sub-folders. Then it is simply a matter of transferring the content that you want to be able to access into the appropriate folders. Plex integrates with a whole range of devices, and can be shared from a mobile via Chromecast. I find that it works very well with my JBL Link View.
Other ways to share music include Sonos integration. Again, setup is easy via the Sonos app. The WD MY Cloud Home Duo becomes a Music Service that can be accessed via the Sonos app. As a matter of fact, Plex can also be set up in this way, so there are multiple ways in which you can integrate your WD MY Cloud Home Duo storage with your Sonos speakers.
The WD MY Cloud Home Duo brings simplicity to what can seem like an overwhelming task for the non-technologically minded – setting up network attached home storage. The simple nature of the device means that users can have their WD MY Cloud Home Duo connected in no time, and important content from their mobile and home PC devices automatically backing up to the device. It also makes sharing content easy – something many parents will value. For ease of use and peace of mind, the WD MY Cloud Home Duo is hard to beat.