back to article WDC's My Cloud Home Duo is a natty piece of kit but beware iContent

After El Reg covered the My Cloud Home file server announcement in August, WDC kindly sent me a Duo unit to try out in my home office. What I received was a superbly engineered unit that was much better integrated with my Mac OS/iPhone environment than I thought it would be, but also exposed the limitations imposed by iTunes on …

  1. jdoe.700101

    Surely in a box that size they could have embedded the power supply.

    1. N13L5

      @ Chris Mellor - the layers of barbed wire around the Apple ghetto are already known - why

      waste so many words on "incompatibilities" with Apple stuff?

      Some questions to WDC about security would have been in order - instead of bantering on about the on-off switch and box design. Design is a subjective item everybody can easily decide along their own preference, making it irrelevant in a review... Personally, I'd prefer a "basic" box made from a material that improves cooling, rather than an "interesting" plastic box that hampers cooling - especially with 2 drives in it. I saw no question about thermals from you to WDC either. Or how about WiFi-free syncing of your devices over USB instead of filling your house with electro-smog?

      Its like a review for ditzy people

  2. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

    Interesting review from a strictly home consumer point of view, but this is el reg not which magazine so I bet the first burning question might go along the lines of :-

    What security testing has it undergone to make sure its not tomorrows pwn point in your local subnet?

    Did I miss this in the review somewhere?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funnily enough, I read this and thought "have I accidentally read a Which review" too.

      "Then your authorised buddies can connect to the unit over the internet and see its content remotely, even when your Mac, PC and smartphone are switched off. So it is much more than a router-connected external disk drive in this sense."

      I'm pretty sure everyone understands what a consumer-level NAS is, and that this is one of them. Even weirder that it has appeared under the "Data Centre News" heading.

    2. Bill M

      The on / off switch was reviewed quite exhaustively though.

    3. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

      It seems not , neither did everyone else.

  3. EastFinchleyite

    Not Apple

    The article concentrated on the use of the WDC kit with Apple products. Fair enough, that's the Author and El Reg's choice but could we have a similar review for the few of us that use PCs and Android mobiles (tablets and phones).

    I haven't got enough money to by Apple so I have to settle on being in the majority.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Apple

      Indeed, I don't buy apple because of their intentional anti competitive lock-in designs.

      Let's not downvote other vendors products because of how apple operate, if you are stupid enough to buy apple products, then you only have yourself to blame.

      I'm sure apps will have an overinflated similar product made out of machined unobtainium.

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    An Internet facing file server...

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An Internet facing file server...

      WD have had been putting these sort of things out there for a while.

      So I'd guess their experience means they are as on top of the situation as any manufacturer. Or they have inadvertently included all the pitfalls and holes from the previous ones.

      Hence my parents WD storage device is strictly limited to within the home network. So far as I can tell.

      1. ben kendim

        Re: An Internet facing file server...

        Obviously, the easy solution is to give it a static address that is in a segment blocked from routing to outside the LAN subnet. There is no need for most drives to face the cloud - as long as you have one machine on the network providing ntp service so that they can keep reasonable time/date synch,

        When the My Book Live's cry that they can't reach the WD mothership to get their update, it makes me so sad. :-)

  5. jtaylor

    Power control

    I've had RAID appliances and home servers for years that are 'always on'...until the electricity goes out. The UPS gives me about 20 minutes to shut things down nicely.

    Unless Western Digital have a UPS monitor for this box, or designed it to prevent data loss (internal battery for the RAM, caps or battery to gracefully shut down the drives), it needs a power switch that can be found and used by someone in underpants stumbling in dim light, and which doesn't require WiFi to operate.

    This new My Cloud looks like a step up from their previous offerings. iSyncing aside, I'm impressed.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Power control

      What's different apart from a new name and box? They've been selling this stuff for a decade and the software still isn't exactly Synology level.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...and the shiny white upper half and textured silver metallic lower half combine to make a basic box look interesting"

    It doesn't look at all interesting to me; it just looks like something I might have knocked up in the shed, when I didn't have one empty case of the right size.

    1. vir

      Re: Looks?

      It looks like a tissue dispenser. I'm all for designing away from the black box with a curve design that's take over, but silver embossed diamonds under a gloss white box is a little conspicuous for my taste.

  7. ben kendim

    But it probably came with an arbitration clause...

    The first My Cloud I bought had an arbitration clause in the terms and conditions that a customer had to accept to be able to use the drive. So I sent it back.

    I have bought about a dozen of the old My Book Live drives (seven of which are right in front of me now) Only one of the MBL's has so far failed - not the disk itself, but the partition. (MBL uses a goofy block size) so I just converted to an internal drive, reformatted and reloaded it. (Seven days of the week, seven drives, each backed up weekly = daily backup,)

    As long as that arbitration clause is there, I'm not buying any more WD stuff.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: But it probably came with an arbitration clause...

      Is the arbitration clause even legal in your area?

      A quick looksee suggests it would be certainly up for consideration as a unfair clause in EU area.

  8. Alan Bourke

    Hey iTunes can't sync iTunes a lot of the time

    so don't feel bad.

  9. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Media server

    Will it run Plex?

  10. Frenchie Lad

    Promotional Review

    Surprised El Reg succumbs to this blatant advertising; no doubt WD will forget to ask for the device's return.

    This review is clearly biased, lacks decent analysis and hardly chastises WD for the packaging overkill.

  11. handleoclast Silver badge

    You want the switch at the front?

    Turn the fucking thing around.

    It won't make it look ugly. It already looks fugly with that white box on top of that patterned box. That looks like something a kid would knock up from two tissue boxes and some holographic decorative paper. It looks like shit. So turn it around to have the switch and indicators at the front.

    Come to that, who said the switch was supposed to be at the back?

  12. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


    If that number appears on the product somewhere I don't mind that this is what the manual is called (Maybe including the fact it's a WD thingie as a suffix would satisfy both camps). The problem with calling it a "My Cloud Home Duo user manual" is that when there are 100 variations of this product out there, all called "My Cloud Home Duo" then it becomes impossible to know which SKU goes with which manual when troubleshooting.

    The LED. On many device's control panels there's a few options for the LED. Do you want it On or Off? Do you want this particular device's LED to helpfully blink while you hunt for it? It might be an idea to have an audible indicator there too so that it can be found if it's in a room full of racks.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess they are status lights but really they are just the standard leds on any run of the mill network card, surely the reason they are at the back is that its a bog standard network card.

    I bought a pair of Lima's for a similar reason and one of my biggest bug bares is that there is no status light, telling me either it is actually working or giving me some idea of what is wrong. Its all well and good having an app but if the app can't talk to the box then you have no idea what is wrong, nor will support when you contact them.

    Surely its very easy to add a status light which gives an indication of whether it is working or at what point the software or hardware has failed. A micro switch next to it (or even something like a reset switch that requires a paperclip to operate) could switch the led on and off as desired by the owner.

    It looks like some tacky purfume box you might buy down the local flea market.

    What are the options for replicating to another box?

  14. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    Wireless, wireless, wireless, direct connect.........

    Hang on, it has an Ethernet port.

    So it doesn't connect "directly" to the router but hangs off the local LAN at some point, presumably. Could be behind one or more switches, APs etc.

    The impression is that it plugs into a specific port on the router; somewhere up comment I think someone assumed it plugged into a USB port on the router.

    USB port...hmmmm...the picture shows a couple of USB ports on the back. Any clue what these are for? Or are they irrelevant if your role in life is to worship at the altar of iShiny?

    Not the best review of a NAS I have read.

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