Home NAS setup

#1

Hi,

I have a Windows 10 PC with a WD 4TB My Book attached. It backs up all my files.

I want to be able to access my files anywhere from within my apartment (I have an iPad, iPhone and 2 FetchTV set top boxes), and possibly when I am not at home. I don’t really want to leave my PC on. It’s just something I’ve never done.

What is the best solution/setup and product?

While my Netgear D6220 Modem/Router has a USB port, I believe the My Book is not intended to be connected directly to a modem/router because the user guide only says about connecting it to a PC.

If I were to buy a NAS drive, do I still keep my ‘original files’ on my PC and use the NAS drive to backup my files or are the ‘original files’ stored on the NAS drive?

Would it be worth connecting the My Book to the NAS drive to backup the NAS drive?

Many thanks
David

#2

Hello Polygram,

You could use WD Sync which allows files to be copied from a computer onto a My Cloud device. Adding, deleting or modifying files in one location will lead to the same changes being applied to the other locations. WD Sync is not a backup.

In a backup if data is deleted from the source, it will not be removed from the backup location.

Refer the link provided below for more information.

https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12278

https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20227

#3

Thanks Neo33. I appreciate the advice and the links. Do you recommend a particular NAS product? I have been looking at the My Cloud EX2 Ultra 2-Bay NAS. It looks very good.
Many thanks

#4

You may want to review the specific subforum for the EX2 series if you are interested in that device. This subforum (My Cloud) is generally for the single bay/single drive My Cloud unit which has fewer features/options than the multi bay My Cloud units like the EX2 series.

https://community.wd.com/c/network-attached-storage/wd-my-cloud-ex2

#5

I have the EX2 - - - it’s a good device.

My primary use case is accessing files within my home network from multiple devices (PC’s and android devices). I also stream video from the unit. Works great.

In the WD world, there is the “My Cloud” devices and the “My Cloud Home” devices. Both advertise similar features. Like most NAS’s; you can use the device for either backing up a PC; hosting original files for access by all users, or both.

I cannot recommend the “My Cloud Home” devices because of the limitations in functionality. A browse of that sub-forum will make it clear why pretty quickly.

The EX2 Ultra is basically a “My Cloud” device, with a decent processor, USB ports, and Hot-Swappable disks. The processor is very important particularly if you stream media from the device. The EX2 Ultra brain can’t transcode PLEX on the fly; but works well if you can have files in a direct play format. Generally, you can set it up any mycloud device with multiple users each with access restrictions and permissions. It’s a nice feature.

I am quite happy with My EX2 unit and recommend it without hesitation for a “home use” scenario.

For access outside your home network. . . . yeah. . .that’s where things get a bit dicey. For me; my main problem is ISP upload bandwidth. . . which is not a WD EX2 issue.

BUT. . . there are some questions out there regarding “security” of MyCloud devices from a Cyber perspective. Recent firmware upgrades are meant to address this; but they have been slow in coming.

The WD.com cloud interface works well enough for file transfer . . . .sort of a home grown dropbox type interface; but this introduces a third party (WD) into the link between your files and your remote PC.

It is definitely possible to directly access the drive remotely from your PC to the NAS; I have done it. To do so requires some knowledge of port forwarding and such beyond simply buying a NAS. Also, you will want a VPN solution in place for this type of access. (This is all networking stuff outside of WD scope).

Most of my issues have been ISP related. To be honest however, in 2019, if I was starting from scratch; I would probably do a Synology or QNAP unit if I was serious about accessing the device remotely.

#6

Thanks so much NAS_user for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply. I really appreciate it.

#7

I own an EX2 Ultra as well as a Gen2 mycloud.

Architecturally, the two are VERY similar, (software wise.) The outstanding differences are as follows:

Gen2 stores the system OS on the disk drive | EX2 Ultra stores it in an MTD flash partition so you can yank the disks out.

Gen2 does not support hardaware port multiplier on the SATA port, but the EX2 Ultra does. (not advertized, but some disk drive products include a port multiplier to do their thing, such as with hardware raid-0 M.2 to sata adapters. These adapters should work inside the EX2 ultra, but wont inside the Gen2.)

Gen2 is based on a Marvell Armada 375 SoC, EX2 Ultra is based on a Marvell Armada 380 (–81, --82, -85 or -88) series SoC.

Gen2 runs at ~1.6ghz tops, EX2 ultra runs at ~2.6ghz tops (Both are dual core.)
Gen2 has 512mb of ram, EX2 has 1gb.

Some of the features that WD enabled on the EX2 series and not on the Gen2 hardware:

iSCSI target hosting
Active Directory enrollment
IPv6 configuration
Advanced network parameters (like MTU size and pals)
RAID manager that is actually useful
Installable application support

Pretty much ALL of them can be enabled on a Gen2, but it will void your warranty. (See also, the “Install apps!” thread, aka, the WDCrack thread. It turns on all the bells and whistles on a gen2 but iscsi needs additional prodding-- see my thread on the topic.)

As for your question about attaching a MyBook directly to a router with a USB port-- Yes, it will “Work”-- however, that consumer router is pretty weak kneed compared to a real NAS. Even the Gen1 mycloud outclasses it handily.

(For reference, the router you specified can be found on wikidevi, here:)

https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Netgear_R6220

CPU1: MediaTek MT7621ST ( 880 MHz )
FLA1: 128 MiB ( Macronix MX30LF1G08AA-TI)
RAM1: 128 MiB ( Nanya NT5CB64M16FP-DH)

The Gen1 mycloud has twice the ram, and a faster processor. the Gen2 mycloud has 4 times as much ram, and an EX2 ultra has 8 times as much ram.

Why is this important? Samba uses a fair chunk of memory to do its thing, and a router also needs free memory to handle incoming and outgoing packet buffering. If you tried to seriously do any kind of duty other than extreme light duty on that router using the USB port, your network performance would tank, and tank hard because the router would be bogged down hard with IO contention and memory constraints.

#8

Thanks a lot Wierd_w. That’s great information. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions