The American company Western Digital ( WD ) is a worldwide manufacturer of hard drives that, beyond internal and external storage units, also has products related to network storage (what is known as NAS systems ). That's the case with the WD My Cloud EX4100 , an online storage platform with four bays for 3.5-inch hard drives (up to 24 TeraBytes capacity). We have had the opportunity to perform a thorough test of this platform, and in the next test of the WD My Cloud EX4100 we will learn more about each and every one of its features.
WD My Cloud EX4100 has measures established in the 232 x 170 x 192 mm ( length x width x height ) and a weight reaches 2.15 kg load and 3.61 kg in the case the maximum storage capacity take advantage of slots for hard drives. To give us a visual idea of the size of this platform, the WD My Cloud EX4100 has very similar dimensions - in terms of length and width - to those of a compact size laptop.
If we start to analyze the design of the WD My Cloud EX4100 from the front, the first thing we will find is a screen (with a blue background) in which different system data is displayed. On the right of this screen we have two buttons , while on the left (a little further down) is the on / off button accompanied in its lower part by a slot for USB 3.0 memories . The four slots for 3.5-inch hard drives are also located on the front., which allow any hard disk to be removed simply by lifting a small cover that works with a spring system that facilitates the insertion and removal of physical storage units.
Taking a closer look at the WD My Cloud EX4100 screen , it should be noted that this screen displays the following information: system status , free storage space , drive health status , fan speed , operating system version , temperature , IP address and name of the platform , as well as other information that appears depending on the process that the platform is executing.
Already on the back of the WD My Cloud EX4100 what we find are two USB 3.0 slots , two Ethernet ports and two power inputs , as well as a small slot that allows you to restart the system if necessary.
Commissioning and initial configuration
For a user who has not had contact with this type of platform, probably one of the biggest unknowns regarding the WD My Cloud EX4100 lies in its start-up and, specifically, in the level of difficulty of its initial configuration. When it comes to physical connections, the first time this platform is configured it is only necessary to connect two cables : the power cable and the Ethernet cable that goes from the router / modem to the WD My Cloud EX4100 platform .
Once the physical connections have been made, the next thing to do is proceed to turn on the platform. To do this, you have to press the power button located on the front of the WD My Cloud EX4100 , and the system will automatically go into operation. During the first seconds it can be seen that the fans work at full power, but after that time they return to a conventional speed at the same time that the platform finishes its initial startup configuration.
With the WD My Cloud EX4100 platform up and running, the next thing to do is configure the remote access you want to assign to this system. To do this, simply enter the IP address that the platform shows on the platform screen in the computer's browser (connected to the same network as the storage system) ; Afterwards, an access password must be assigned to the default user in order to configure the system from the computer on subsequent occasions. From here, every time we want to make some configuration in our WD My Cloud EX4100 unit we will simply have to access the IP addressof the platform from the browser, entering the previously configured access data.
The options included in the configuration tool of this platform are the following: Home , Users , Shared files , Cloud access (to add devices with permission to access the platform's cloud), Backups (USB, remote, cloud, internal, etc.), Storage , applications (for different install applications, and also includes settings for HTTP downloads , the Downloads FTP , the P2P downloads and viewer web files ) and Configuration(with all kinds of options, including everything from settings related to power consumption to hard drive maintenance tests). In addition to this, at the top of the page there is also a direct access to the devices connected via USB and a notification panel (it shows any information related to the platform's processes, see for example an error in one of the units).
The WD My Cloud EX4100 also allows you to configure one (or more) accounts to access files on hard drives through the cloud . To do this, you simply have to add an account through the platform's configurator, and every time you want to access the WD My Cloud EX4100 files remotely, you simply have to go to wdmycloud.com and log in.
In summary, the initial setup and startup process for the WD My Cloud EX4100 is very straightforward , and does not require any technical knowledge to get started with this platform.
Accessing the WD My Cloud EX4100
Access to files stored on the WD My Cloud EX4100 can be done in multiple ways both from fixed devices such as computers or televisions and from portable devices such as a smartphone or tablet (among other examples), including in both cases physical connections and wireless networks. In addition to this platform, Western Digital makes six programs / applications available to users: Setup software , WD SmartWare , WD Quick View , WD My Cloud for mobiles , WD Photos andWD My Cloud desktop . In the case of smartphones with Android / iOS operating system , there are two applications available: WD Photos and WD My Cloud .
In general, access to the hard drives of the WD My Cloud EX4100 from the computer is done through a program that goes by the name of WD My Cloud (in the desktop version) . The operation of this application is very intuitive, and it supports drag-and-drop actions (that is, to copy a file to the drive, simply drag it into the program). And if you want to not use the application storage cloud WD , the WD My Cloud EX4100 can also be configured by a server options FTP .
But that is not to say that the only way to access the WD My Cloud EX4100 is through a computer. Many of today's Smart TVs already incorporate wireless WiFi connectivity , meaning that they can be connected to platforms like the WD My Cloud EX4100 (via router) to play files (movies, etc. example) from the drive's hard drives. This same Western Digital platform , in addition, is also compatible with DLNA / UPnP (a technology that is used to create a multimedia server compatible with many modern televisions, players and even game consoles),Twonky and the iTunes server .
Western Digital also ensures that the WD My Cloud EX4100 can be synced with popular applications such as aMule , Icecast , phpBB , Joomla! , SqeezeCenter , phpMyAdmin , WordPress or Transmission . In all these cases, the connection is made wirelessly, and to add one of these applications to the platform, simply enter the system configuration section (using the IP of our platform from the computer's browser), click on the section of " Applications“, Click on the icon to add an application and, finally, choose the application that we want to add to the WD My Cloud EX4100 .
One method of copying files to WD My Cloud EX4100 hard drives that deserves special mention is snapshot copying from external memory. It turns out that the USB 3.0 slot that this platform has on its front is accompanied by a button. At the moment in which we insert a memory (or an external storage device pressed by USB ), when pressing this button the files of the external memory are automatically copied to the hard drives of the WD My Cloud EX4100 , without the need to perform any management from the computer.
On the other hand, the WD My Cloud EX4100 has a sleep mode that is automatically activated after a certain time without any activity on the hard drives. This sleep mode reduces power consumption and virtually eliminates fan noise; Furthermore, to restart the platform, you only need to log into one of the cloud storage tools connected to the system. This energy saving mode can be deactivated or further configured from the platform's control panel.
Getting into technical matters, it is also interesting that we take advantage of this test to take a look at the most important technical specifications of the WD My Cloud EX4100 . We begin stressing that this platform has disc replacement hot ( hot swap ), which means that the user can replace a hard disk for another without having to stop the operation of the system. In addition, the configuration platform of the WD My Cloud EX4100 precisely has an option that allows to activate the automatic reconstruction at the same moment in which hard drives are removed or added.
The physical connectivities of the WD My Cloud EX4100 include four 3.5-inch hard drive slots , two Ethernet ports , two power jacks , two USB 3.0 ports, and an additional fast copy USB 3.0 port .
The speeds that Western Digital advertises for the WD My Cloud EX4100 are 114 MB / s for upload and 108 MB / s for download. Regarding compatibility, this platform works with Windows ( Windows 8 , Windows 7 , Windows Vista or Windows XP ), Mac OS X ( Mountain Lion , Lion , Snow Leopard or Mavericks ), devices connected to the DLNA network / UPnP and terminals with Internet connectionin the case of remote access. In the case of accessing the platform settings, the supported browsers correspond to the most recent versions of Internet Explorer , Safari , Firefox or Google Chrome .
Price and availability
The WD My Cloud EX4100 platform is available in stores in the form of four versions: the diskless model is priced at 540 euros (allows you to insert the hard drives with the capacity that the user sees necessary, which saves money in the event that very wide capacities are not needed), while the 8 , 16 and 24 TeraBytes versions have starting prices of 1,070 , 1,500 and 2,180 euros , respectively. Of course, we are talking about the higher-end versions whose customer profile is professional users, since Western DigitalIt also has a range of somewhat cheaper storage platforms ( EX2100 ) that has prices of 350 euros for the version without discs and 600 , 800 and 1,070 euros for the versions of 4 , 8 and 12 TeraBytes of capacity.
Without a doubt, we are facing one of the highest-end equipment in the category of storage platforms with online access. The versions with the highest capacities are mainly oriented towards the professional sector (video editing, photography, design, architecture, etc.) while, at the same time, the versions of the WD My Cloud EX4100 with the lowest capacities (or even , without any hard disk as standard) make their access possible to users who want to create a multimedia center in their home or office (using hard drives of smaller capacity and, therefore, cheaper). In summary, we are talking about a high-performance device that is suitable for both daily use and professional use .
WD My Cloud EX4100
|Model||My Cloud EX4100|
|Resolution||2 lines with up to 16 characters|
Power and graphics
|CPU processor||Marvell ARMADA 388|
|Number of cores||Dual core|
|RAM||2 GigaBytes (DDR3)|
|Capacity||Four 3.5-inch hard drive slots|
|Dimensions||232 x 170 x 192 mm|
|Weight||2.15 - 3.61 kilograms|
|Platform||WD My Cloud|
|Programs||Setup software, WD SmartWare, WD Quick View, WD My Cloud for mobile, WD Photos, and WD My Cloud for desktop.|
|Internet protocols||IP DCH, NTP Client, Dynamic DNS (DDNS), Apple Bonjour and Windows Rally, Jumbo Frames up to 9K, VLAN (802.1Q), Link Aggregation (802.1ad) and Ethernet support (includes failover on both ports ), UPnP, IPv6, iSCI and SSH port forwarding|
|File system||EXT4 for internal hard drives|
FAT / FAT32, NTFS, HFS + J, Linux EXT2, EXT3 and EXT4 for external USB drives
|FTP Server and Download Management||Support for passive FTP port and port range configuration, Option to assign an external IP in passive mode, Language selection for the client computer, Anonymous FTP and Secure FTP, File Exchange Protocol (FXP), Restriction on bandwidth (upload / download) and IP address blocking|
HTTP downloads from a URL to a specific folder on the NAS, FTP downloads of files and folders from an FTP server to other files and folders on the NAS, and the P2P Download Server Manager
|Multimedia playback||UPnP (Twonky) Audio Video Media Server, DLNA, WD TV Live, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows 8, Connected TVs, Blu-ray Players and Digital Photo Frames and iTunes Server|
|Physical Connectivities||2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports|
2 x DC inputs for power supplies
2 x USB 3.0 expansion ports
1 x USB 3.0 Fast Copy Port
|Management of hard drives||RAID: JBOD, concatenation, 0/1/5 10/5 + spare disk|
RAID migrations: JBOD to RAID 1, JBOD to RAID 5 and RAID 1 to RAID 5
Spare disk in four-disk mode
Disk and matrix roaming
|Security||Supports Active Directory for Windows Server and Volume Encryption (256-bit AES)|
Remote backup, cloud and other files
Compatible with Apple Time Machine (10.5.8+)
|Energy saving||Includes sleep mode that turns on automatically after a certain time of inactivity; then it returns to normal mode simply by accessing the hard disk, without using the physical button|
Configurable sleep mode