A couple of days ago I shared my initial impressions of the WD MyCloud storage device that I am using at the moment.

In that post I mentioned two specific areas I still needed to test the unit in and that was computer backups and DLNA aka media streaming capabilities.

Here are a few of my observations on these two areas:

  • Media streaming on the WD MyCloud is accomplished through the use of a Twonky Media Server that runs on the device. I uploaded three albums of music to my Public/Shared Music folder on the WD MyCloud and it was available around the house on DLNA compatible devices.
  • I was able to stream the music easily to my Xbox 360 using the System Music App and I was also able to find that server in Windows Media Player. For some reason though the Xbox Music App on Windows 8.1 did not recognize the server and when I went to add the directory on the MyCloud to Xbox Music I got an error indicating it could not be added since the location could not be indexed.
  • As for PC backup you use Western Digital’s SmartWare backup software. After my initial install of the basic version of the software I was prompted to enter my name and email so that I could register for the Pro version. Turns out ownership of the WD MyCloud entitles you to that advanced version of the software.
  • I set SmartWare up to start a backup and then put the PC to sleep.  About 10 minutes after the backup was supposed to begin I turned on the computer and it did not even register that it had missed a backup nor did it try to start it late.
  • I manually started the backup and it completed without any issues and it was very quick. I do like the SmartWare interface for managing backups and restorals.

Part of the reason behind testing the WD MyCloud was to possibly replace my Windows Home Server 2011 box which I use to store and access files and of course the daily backup of each Windows 8.1 machine in our house.

It seems file storage and access is very straight forward and could easily replace the WHS 2011 setup I have.

One area that failed – nearly completely – was backups.

WHS 2011 will wake up each machine when its backup window opens and then the machine will go to sleep afterwards based on its system Power Settings. This is a set and forget part of WHS 2011 which I love but if WD’s SmartWare will not wake up a PC to complete a backup then it is a step backwards from WHS 2011.

So while the WD MyCloud storage will not completely replace my WHS 2011 system it certainly will provide a solid file storage capability on its 3 TB drive and supplement the 1TB drive I use in WHS 2011.

Here are some additional screenshots of the DLNA and backup related pages on the MyCloud unit and of the SmartWare backup software.

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WD MyCloud DLNA Media Server Settings Page

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Twonky Media Server Music View

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Error in Xbox Music App on Windows 8.1 trying to add WD MyCloud Music directory.

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Streaming music from the WD MyCloud to Windows Media Player

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WD SmartWare backup software screens showing setup, backup settings and backup progress.