I liked Western Digital’s network-attached storage device when I reviewed it late last year, but relying on a single-drive NAS can be risky. If that drive fails, and you don’t have a backup, you could lose all your data—forever. Solves that problem by putting a second drive in the same enclosure, and configuring the drives as RAID 1. All the same data is written to both drives, so that if one drive fails, you can recover everything from the other. The model reviewed here came with two 2TB drives, yielding 2TB of storage (not 4TB, because the drives are in RAID 1). There’s nothing to stop you from reconfiguring the drives in RAID 0 for blinding speed and 4TB of storage, but that would throw your data-redundancy strategy right out the window. I wouldn’t recommend that unless you’re absolutely fastidious about backing up your NAS—and nobody is fastidious enough to avoid Murphy’s Law. The My Cloud Mirror's user interface is well laid out and easy to understand.
You'll need the user manual only for some of its more advanced features. The will also let you back up its contents to another storage device via its USB 3.0 port, but an even better data security strategy would be to deploy a second My Cloud Mirror (or a My Cloud EX2 or EX4, but it must be a Western Digital device) at a remote location and back up the contents of each drive to the other (you can also do this over your local network, but that’s not as safe as having backups at different physical locations). If you don’t want to go either of those routes, WD’s software will let you back up your My Cloud Mirror to the cloud (using either your ElephantDrive or Amazon S3 account, though you’ll need to pay for whichever service you choose). What it won’t let you do is back up a client to the My Cloud Mirror itself over an Internet connection; the client must be attached to the same local network as the My Cloud Mirror. You can use the USB 3.0 ports for backup (to or from the My Cloud Mirror) or for additional storage (attached drives will appear as shares on the dashboard). Unlike a Dropbox account (or Connected Data’s line), which maintain a folder on your local device that is synchronized with your cloud storage, files are stored only on the My Cloud device.
The benefit to this approach is that you don’t consume the limited storage on your device. The drawback is that you need to have Internet access to be able to retrieve your files. As with the original My Cloud, Western Digital is marketing the My Cloud Mirror to consumers, and this box has most of the features that audience will want. There’s an integrated FTP server, for instance, and peer-to-peer file-sharing (BitTorrent). Finally, there a number of apps you can run right on the box, including Joomla and WordPress, if you want to host your own website.
The drives inside the My Cloud Mirror are very easy to access without tools. Western Digital populates the My Cloud Mirror with its own WD Red drives, which are designed for 24/7 operation.
Wd My Cloud Mirror Plex
The balance of the box’s hardware features tilt toward consumer more than SMB. Unlike the more robust series, this box has just one gigabit Ethernet interface and one power connector, so there’s no failover protection on either count.
Consumers will appreciate the My Cloud Mirror’s simple graphical user interface, which makes this machine very easy to set up. It comes from the factory with both iTunes and DLNA media servers for streaming media to PCs, smart TVs, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), and media-streaming boxes in your home. WD provides free basic backup software (WD SmartWare) for your client PCs, and the box supports Apple’s Time Machine technology for backing up Macs. Upgrading to SmartWare Pro ($20 per license) adds the ability to back up to non-WD drives and to Dropbox. WD publishes a number of Android and iOS apps that will help you derive maximum benefit from the My Cloud Mirror. The WD Photos photo viewer is designed to replace your online photo service.
You can store all your photos on the My Cloud Mirror and display them on your smartphone or tablet without needing to download the images to your device. You can do the same with your music and videos, although your media-streaming experience will vary depending on your network connection (you’ll have the best experience when the NAS box and your device are connected to the same network, versus streaming over the Internet). Performance As we saw with WD’s original My Cloud and its prosumer-oriented My Cloud EX2, the My Cloud Mirror is no barn-burner when it comes to performance.
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It wasn't terrible at dealing with very large files (we test read and write performance with a single 10GB file), but it was considerably slower reading and writing our 10GB collection of files. And that will likely be the more common real-world usage scenario. The My Cloud Mirror isn't the fastest NAS box we've tested—by a long shot—but it offers plenty of features and is very easy to use. If you think you’d benefit from the additional features that the prosumer-oriented My Cloud EX2 has to offer (dual Ethernet, dual power-supply inputs, and 10 licenses for WD’s SmartWare Pro), that box is street-priced just $18 higher than the My Cloud Mirror. The SmartWare Pro licenses are probably worth it if you have enough Dropbox capacity to take advantage of that feature, but few consumers will. I imagine even fewer will be able to take advantage of the EX2’s additional hardware features. The original My Cloud is a very good—if a bit slow—consumer-oriented NAS box, and the My Cloud Mirror adds a valuable feature in RAID 1.
Wd My Cloud Mirror
If you use your NAS to store critical files, this is a solid buy.
At a glance Product Western Digital My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 (WDBWVZ0040JWT) Summary Two-bay Marvell Armada 38X powered home NAS with personal cloud & media serving Pros. Hassle-free remote access. DLNA and iTunes servers. Add-in app support. Bundled licenses for Smartware Pro backup software Cons.
Rsync backup not supported. No logging. iSCSI not supported. Can't schedule backup to external devices Typical Price: $300 Introduction Disk manufacturers who also make NASes have a price advantage over manufacturers of BYOD products.
Wd My Cloud Mirror Red Light
This is certainly the case for the recently updated My Cloud Mirror Gen 2. The My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 is very similar to the more business-oriented My Cloud EX2 we in March of 2014. The new Gen 2 has a different processor, a white case and the SOHO My Cloud feature set. Our review unit was the $310 4 TB model. However, the Gen 2 also is available in a $370 6 TB version (2 X 3 TB) and a $410 8 TB version (2 X 4 TB). Each of the models arrives preconfigured for RAID 1 (mirrored), so your actual available fault-tolerant storage will be half the stated capacity.
Priced at $310 with two 2 TB drives included, the Gen 2 is cheaper than quite a few BYOD 2 bay NASes. I'll be using the and for comparison throughout the review. The Seagate NAS Pro 2 bay, like the Gen 2, includes two 2 TB drives in its $340 price. For a BYOD NAS, I chose the NETGEAR ReadyNAS RN202 because, priced at $250, it was the cheapest BYOD NAS that also had a better Total NAS score than the Gen 2. If you add the cost of two WD RED 2 TB drives at $95 each, the total cost for the RN202 with an equivalent amount of storage rises to $440.
The callouts below were taken from the user manual. While WD has a with downloads for the Gen 2, the user manual isn't one of the available downloads.
We found a for the manual in the help section of the Gen 2's user interface. The front panel is very simple - there's just a single power/status LED and a LED for each drive. A combination of red, blue or not lit coupled with various blinking patterns tells you what you need to know. WD My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 front panel callouts and LED key The image below shows the rear panel callouts and LED indicators. The single Gigabit Ethernet port has two status LEDs - one for link speed and one for activity. There is a pin reset, a Kensington security slot and two USB 3.0 ports. There's a small, very quiet fan positioned at the front bottom of the case that moves air across the drives and board.
The Gen 2 was rated as very quiet and drew 14 W active and 6 W on standby with the two WD Red 2 TB drives spun down. WD My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 rear panel callouts and LED key Inside The image below shows the main board with the heatsink in place. WD My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 main PCB with heat sink This image below shows the board with the heatsink removed to expose the processor. WD My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 Seagate NAS Pro NETGEAR RN202 CPU Intel Atom C2338 (2C/2T Silvermont x86 Cores @ 1.74 GHz) Annapurna Labs 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex A15 Dual Core SoC (AL-A0-E-1AN-8-C) RAM 512 MB Nanya NT5CC128M16FP-DI (x2) 2 GB DDR3 SoDIMM 2 GB DDR3 on board Samsung K4B4G0846D (x4) Flash 256 MB Hynix H27U2G8F2CTR (x1) 256 MB 64 MB Macronix MX25L512EMI? Spansion MS01G200HBHI00 Ethernet Marvell 88E1512-NNP2 Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet Controller (x2) Atheros AR8035 (x2) SATA In Marvell ARMADA 38X processor In CPU (for up to 6 drives) Asmedia ASM1060 6 Gbps SATA controller USB 3.0 In Marvell ARMADA 38X processor USB 3.0: Asmedia ASM1042A PCIe dual USB 3.0 host controller Etron Tech EJ188H 2 port USB 3.0 Host Controller Table 1: Key component summary and comparison The My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 arrives preconfigured for RAID 1. There is no possibility for RAID Expansion.
Changing to RAID 0 or JBOD completely deletes all data from the drives.