Can I connect a MyCloud drive directly to my computer via USB rather than via Ethernet in order to speed up file transfer? I know I will negate the Internet connectivity if I do this, but I need better file transfer speed at the moment.
No you can’t. you can connect it directly to your computer’s RJ-45 network port. Not sure if you need a cross-over cable if you’re not using a network switch. How to do all this has been discussed in detail in several placed on the WD community.
Ethernet is usually much faster than USB 2; even USB 3.
If the My Cloud is a gigabit device and your computer is, too. (but perhaps your router isn’t) you can purchase a gigabit network switch for around $20-25 if you shop right. Then, something below I wrote in another thread (copied below) can help you:
. . . . . even if you do not have a gigabit router, a gigabit switch between a gigabit computer and gigabit NAS gives gigabit speed between the two devices. Even though I have a gigabit router and get speeds of 113MB/s when the right equipment is connected to home network, it had not occurred to me that folks without a gigabit router could bypass the router and connect this way for mass transfers of data. Be sure to connect things up as before so you have the router (with Internet) back in the loop. You could even connect the router to the switch, too, but devices not connected to the switch on the network will not (as before) move at gigabit speed, but at the router’s speed (if router is not gigabit).