WD My Cloud Home (review update)

My Cloud Home

The WD My Cloud Home review done over a week or so – sometimes the less obvious quirks don’t show up.

While the review is accurate, living with the drive over the past weeks has uncovered some compromises. These do not exist in the older My Cloud products and make it less than useful to me.

That damned WD Discovery App

You must use the WD Discovery App to access the registered owner’s folders/data.  In Windows, the app maps a drive letter, e.g. Ray’s My Cloud Home (Z:).

You can move data to or from Z drive in Windows Explorer. The app also enables remote internet access – ditto you can only see Z: – what you own.

The app cannot see the ‘Public’ folders (an area that any user on the network can access) nor the overall directory structure of the drive.

To access public folders, you need to use Windows Explorer and input the home networks private IP address, e.g. file://192.168.x.x/. You can then pin this address to Quick Access or Map a drive letter as well.

If you open Z: and the 192.168.x.x address in separate Windows Explorers you can copy from one to the other.

WD need to ensure the app allows for complete directory viewing and sharing.

DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is part of Plex and does not work as it should

The absence of a native DLNA server in My Cloud Home is a nuisance if you wish to stream music you own to a DLNA compatible app like Qualcomm’s AllPlay that uses the home network’s Ethernet or Wi-Fi to stream to Wi-Fi enabled speakers.

Why Wi-Fi enabled speakers? Well because that is the best way to set up the whole-of-home music and the Qualcomm AllPlay app is multi-user so that it can run on multiple smartphones and tablets at the same time.

How do you enable Wi-Fi streaming to a speaker? The easiest way is to add a Laser Qualcomm AllPlay Wi-Fi adaptor (on special at $29.98) to any Bluetooth speaker or buy Wi-Fi enabled speakers from Laser or other brands.

Back to the My Cloud Home

To enable DLNA, you need to install the free Plex media server first. That is an option from MyCloud.com. Then you need to get a Plex Account. Finally, you need to drag your content into the Plex folder of the original user (in my case Z:\Plex\), and it then does its stuff (presumably registering that content via Plex).

The problem is that the AllPlay app can’t see Z:\Plex\ – only the public area and the DLNA only appears to work from Z:

Speeds are very poor via WD Discovery

In my review, I focused on direct access to the Public Drive via the IP address (using a Wi-Fi connected laptop at 866Mbps) and got around 60MBps reading and writing from the drive.

But via the WD Discovery app and the mapped drive, these speeds dropped to 10-15MBps and importing from the USB Port achieved similar speeds. I cannot explain why except to assume that the app is directing traffic via the My Cloud ‘cloud’.

GadgetGuy’s take – new conclusions

The review is accurate – My Cloud Home is a good IP based network attached storage (NAS) device. But in dumbing it down for consumer use, it lacks the finesse and functionality of the original My Cloud.

If you want a NAS with DLNA capability look at the WD My Cloud (not Home) or other brands.