Disable Internet Access? - WD My Cloud EX2

Hi there Community,

I have a few questions regarding the WD My Cloud EX2, and I’m hoping anyone with better insight in these devices could help me understand them better.

The situation is like this: I work on an offshore vessel, and as a initiative for the crew, we’ve decided to set up a NAS onboard so that it’s easier for us to share images, videos and work documents between our computers.

The network setup is quite “simple”, we have one modem, that’s connected to a switch and from there, an individual cable connection to each cabin. The switch is also connected to a Sonicwall wifi extender further down the ship.

Question 1: Will it be enough to connect the NAS to the mode, or do I have to connect it to the switch?

Question 2: Will the NAS be accessible if you’re connected to the wifi extender, or do you have to use the cable in your cabin. This is a bit important, as many use tablets and phones without cable connections.

Question 3: This is the most important thing. As we have a VERY ( http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/5014402367 ) limited internet connection, it is crucial that the NAS will stay only on the local network and never connect to the internet. Is this possible to do, and how?

If there’s a better choice of NAS for our need, please come with suggestions, I just looked for “top 10” on the internet and found this article, http://www.cnet.com/products/wd-my-cloud-ex2/.

Thanks in advance for any answers, they’re greatly appreciated!

Hi,

Question 1+2: The most sensible place to put the NAS is with the switch and plug it directly into a free port on the switch. It should then be visible to anyone connected to the switch using either a cable or over the WiFi range extender. However it depends on your modem/router. Most have a 4-port switch built into them. If yours is the same then you could also connect it into one of those (they are usually marked LAN and typically, but not always, coloured yellow). It depends which is physically easier/most convenient. There are some advantages in connecting it directly to the switch rather than the modem, in that access speeds will be slightly better if several people use it at once.

Question 2: You don’t say how the WiFi is provided. Is it provided by your modem/router or some other means? Usually however if someone connected via WiFi (either directly to your main WiFi access point - usually your modem/router - or via a range extender) can see the other PCs on the network, including those connected by cable to the switch, then where ever you connect the NAS into the network it will be visible to everyone.

Question 3: The NAS primarily acts as a local network device. Yes it does offer access across the internet but you don’t have to use it and YES you can turn it all off. The main place to do this on the EX2 is via the dashboard. Go to the Settings page, under the General settings. About half way down you will have this:

Just turn them all off. It will still try and get the time from the internet, but that can also be turned off so you can set the time/date manually:

Still on the Settings page I would also go onto the Firmware settings and turn off automatic updates:

Those are the main things that will cause the EX2 to try and access the internet.

One additional thing to consider is an external USB hard drive (the 2.5" portable types are great) to backup the EX2 itself. You basically plug this directly into the back of the EX2 and use the built in backup utility to do a manual backup every so often. There are some issues with this at the moment, but if you use it and set the “Backup Mode/Type” to “Synchronize” instead of “Copy” it can be made to work ok.

Before making a final choice, have a read through some of the posts. Every device has issues or one sort of another, you just need to get a feeling if any of them are going to have a major affect on how the crew are going to use it. If they don’t then the EX2 could be a reasonable choice.

George

Hi! And thanks for a fantastic answer! From what you said, we decided to try with the EX2, and have it onboard as i’m typing this :slightly_smiling:

But, as i expected, we’re having some “setup” issues. I’ve tried connecting the device at many different “locations” in our network, and the 3 LED lights turn blue almost immediately, this however doesn’t help, because the device doesn’t show up in our network.

HOWEVER, i decided to unplug a cable in our switch, and connect the NAS there. It immediately showed up on the “network” in My Computer, but the power light on the nas turned orange and started flashing. I didn’t get to access it either, it just shows up and gives me: “Windows cannot access WDmycloudEX2 please check that the spelling is correct and yattayattayatta,- Diagnose”.

I’ll throw in some pictures with “explanation” of our network, not that i understand that much myself though.

From the center of the picture, you can see the Idirect X7, that’s our main modem. The modem is connected to a cisco catlyst 2960, as marked with the blue circle. from there, a cable goes from the 2960, to another cisco device, this is marked with a red line. From there, you an see red cables that run down to the next switch, this one is named Alcatel-Lucent I believe. If you can see the black cable plugged in to the right of the red cables, that’s the EX2.

After plugging it into this switch it immediately showed up on our network but we can’t access it there or in the browser. The cables to the left marked by green circle go down to each cabin and to the wifi extender (the modem doesn’t provide wifi itself, so we have a sonicwall wifi router.)

For your information, we ordered the 4tb edition with pre installed drives, I saw some issues on the forum with yellow light and the need to format the drives, but I don’t know how I can do that if I Can’t access the drive :slightly_smiling:

Hi,

A bit of digging has shown a slight “gotcha” that virtually all NAS drives have, though most people never realise it, in that they require an internet connection during initial setup. I must admit I slipped past me as that initial setup is something you do once then forget about it. So let’s see how we can get past that.

First of all the fact it shows up in My Computer on your PC is a good sign in that it is at least “on” the network and visible. This confirms it is almost certainly getting an IP address.

I’m not quite sure of the purpose of the Cisco 2960 switch at the top unless there is another device which needs to connect directly to the Idirect X7, but not via the firewall. At least that is all I can think of. The other thing I notice are all of the red cables which seem to come down from the Cisco firewall (I can’t make out the model of that in the pic) to the lower switch. What I’m wondering is if there is a more complex set up such as VLANing between the ports on the lower switch with the red cables plugged in, and the ports to the left with the cables for the cabins plugged in to seperate the traffic between them in some way. Usually (if done sensibly) the red cables will be red to differentiate them for a reason - but I could be wrong. One possibility would be, if other ship-board systems also require internet connectivity, would be to provide a degree of isolation between normal crew “browsing” activities and critical ship-board system traffic to protect the critical stuff.Again this is just a guess but would make sense if such systems are connected.

Many companies, where I work included, for instance provide internal WiFi which connects company devices to the internet and company data/servers, and a “guest WiFI” to provide isolated internet for employee devices (phones) and visitors (clients etc) while protecting the internal network.

Just in case that may be the situation, is there a free port on the section where the cabin cables are plugged into where the EX2 could be connected instead of beside the red cables?

A clearer picture of the bottom switch could help.

Anyway give that a try to see if you can get into the browser interface that way. If that works we can then take it from there.

George

You do not need to access the drive in order to format it. You need to be able to access the dashboard (EX2’s web interface), wherein you will go into the storage tab and then select the option to format the drives. Please consult the EX2 manual available in PDF from the download section of WD site.