World-class storage hardware manufacturer Western Digital (WD) just revealed an interesting new product line. The My Cloud personal cloud storage family offers end-users a platform from which to store and share their personal content anywhere in the world, from any home internet connection, but without the monthly cost of commercial cloud storage services.
“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. WD’s personal cloud is the easiest, most secure and most affordable way for customers to control that chaos, with access to all of their files anywhere, anytime.”
WD cites estimates projecting that the average household will produce around 3.3 TB of digital content by 2016; this fact, in conjunction with the exponential growth of internet-connected personal electronic devices capable of producing and sharing user-generated content, prompted WD to anticipate the need for a “new storage paradigm” to fulfill users’ needs for better control of their digital lives.
The US storage giant’s answer is a new personal cloud storage standard. My Cloud drives connect to the internet through any PC or Mac computer, or even through tablets and other mobile devices through specialized apps. The personal cloud drives provide file sharing, media streaming and other content access without monthly fees. This model will also appeal to users concerned with privacy and data security, as the content is physically stored within one’s own home and under their exclusive control.
WD’s My Cloud devices are set up quickly via a web-based user interface. Other computers and mobile devices can be connected to the My Cloud drive via free desktop and mobile apps from the company. The personal cloud storage device is more than a drive array, however, it has its own Gigabit Ethernet card and dual-core processor, making it essentially a high-performance portable server with quick file transfer capacity, enabling fast synchronization of data between the various devices connected to the cloud.Its mobile device integration also allows for direct uploads from these devices, freeing up valuable space. WD SmartWare software also offers users options for backing up their PC files to the cloud. For Mac users who wish to do the same, My Cloud is compatible with Apple Time Machine software. My Cloud also integrates access public cloud services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive, in order to easily transfer data to and from these accounts. . In order to act as a home media hub, the My Cloud device also streams media to DLNA™ certified multimedia devices like smart TVs and gaming consoles.
The My Cloud line of personal cloud storage devices is available in 2TB, 3TB and 4 TB models, which can be expanded with the addition of any USB 3.0 hard disk drive. My Cloud is currently available at select UK retail sources and online at www.wdstore.co.uk in its 2TB and 3TB variants, for £129 and £159 respectively. The 4TB model will be available starting November.