WD ups NAS performance with new chips and plenty of space

Network attached storage is one of those “must haves” in any home and every business, but if you need more space and lots of speed, some changes to WD’s two and four-bay solutions might be worth checking out.

We all have phones, tablets, and a computer or two, and so we should all have storage to back up everything we’re writing, taking photos of, listening to, watching, any anything else that is stored on these creation and consumption gadgets.

Many of us have one already, and we might be dependent on the one-drive system, the style of network attached storage or “NAS” that is self-contained and sits in its own box.

For the beginner with less than 4TB of files and with only a few computers in the home, this might be perfectly fine, but what do you do when you have bigger storage needs, and more computers and more gadgets accessing the drive?

In those situations, it might be ideal to check out a two- or four-bay solution, with these NAS systems able to accommodate up to two or four 6TB drives respectively, with either the full amount of storage available if spread out over the amount of drives, or automatic backing up, mirroring what’s on one drive to another.

Access speeds are also a little different for these, with more than one network port often included, and faster chips.

WD My Cloud EX2100
WD My Cloud EX2100

With those two features in mind, WD has announced that a few new models of its multi-bay NAS drives will be coming to market shortly, giving people with lots of data places to store it and connections to access it.

This week, WD has launched the EX2100 and EX4100 NAS systems for customers demanding just that, with two and four bays respectively, and a dual-core processor controlling the system not just making it possible to transfer large quantities of data quickly, but also enable lots of high definition streaming,

In fact that last section is an area that makes the concept appealing at home, because as we’re all storing lots of home movies, photos, and downloaded content on our network, multi-bay high performance network drives can make this information easily streamed to smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs in the home.

WD's four-bay My Cloud EX4100
WD’s four-bay My Cloud EX4100

Beyond the dual-core chip and ability to take two or four hard drives, there’s also a built-in “My Cloud” dashboard that not only provides an integrated FTP server and system health monitor, but also makes it possible to download files on the go from a smartphone and tablet with a compatible app, while Windows and Mac computer owners can login from afar with their own software.

The “Expert series” of WD NAS drives isn’t the only one out there, denoted by the “EX” in the name, and is joined by a “Business series” which has “DL” in its model name instead.

Launched this week, the DL2100 and DL4100 are very similar and arrive with two- and four-bays respectively, but switch the dual-core processor in the Expert range for Intel chips in the Business models, with the machines bringing higher price tags but offering two Gigabit network connections, dual power supply ports (in case one power connection fails), and a one-touch USB 3.0 port to automatically copy USB drives straight to the NAS.

A two-bay business solution, the WD My Cloud DL2100 NAS with an Intel Atom processor inside.
A two-bay business solution, the WD My Cloud DL2100 NAS with an Intel Atom processor inside.

“As the market leader in the single-bay personal cloud category with our award winning My Cloud platform, as well as in the NAS hard disk drive (HDD) category with our WD Red line, WD understands that customers need more power and more choice in NAS systems,” said Jim Welsh, Executive Vice President for WD Content Solutions Business and Worldwide Sales.

WD’s range of network drives are available with and without drives, making it possible for you to plug in your own hard drives from the point of purchase, or just start fresh and buy some news ones at the same time. Case in point, the My Cloud EX2100 will start at $449.99 without any drives while 4TB will start at $799.99, with the My Cloud EX4100 grabbing a $749.99 drive-less price and 8TB fetching $1399.99.

People interested in the Business range will find the My Cloud DL2100 from $649.99 drive-less and $949.99 with 4TB of storage, while the DL4100 four-bay starts at $999.99 without any drives and $1599.99 with 8TB. More storage options are, of course, available too, with the systems reaching as high as $2489.99 if you want to fill them with 24TB. Now that’s a lot of data.

Four bays for four drives and an Intel chip. We'd say that's made for a network with quite a few users and a lot of data.
Four bays for four drives and an Intel chip. We’d say that’s made for a network with quite a few users and a lot of data.