How to use WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra 16TB...need some help

Hi everybody,

i just bought a WD My Cloud EX 2 Ultra 16TB and i need some advice.

I was just looking for a couple of 8TB WD RED and a NAS when i came across this EX2 Ultra supplied with 2 WD80EFAX for the same price of just the HDDs, so i pulled the trigger on it.

Now i want to understand if it can be usefull to my needs without buying another NAS.

I want mainly use it in RAID 1 configuration in order to save all the data i have on my devices (PCs, external drives, ecc…) having at the same time a safety copy.

It’s important that i can have access to this data with every device connected on my network (PCs, tablet, smartphone, ecc…) and i need the possibility to keep some folders with limited accessibility with some passwords.

For the moment it’s enough to keep all the data offline without internet access, but in future i think it would be nice to have the possibility to have a remote access to all the files (if there’s a safe way to do it, maybe trough a VPN access).

So the questions are:

1- WIll I be able, in future, to remove the HDDs and install them in another NAS without loosing my data?

2- Are the HDDs readable from an external box if i remove one of them? Or i need to buy a third external HDD to have an additional standalone copy readable from every device?!

3- I connected the EX2 Ultra to my network and i can access the control panel via web browser but…how can I see the partition on Windows File Explorer in order to manage the files on it?! Having an HDD that i canno’t access to…it’s quite useless…
Am I missing something?!

4- When I logged in to the EX2 Ultra it appeared a message asking to update from OS 3 to OS 5. Looking on internet seems that the OS 5 is removing a lot of feature but increase security. For a simple usage like I described above, can i proceed without regrets? I would do it before writing any files on the HDDs.

5- I read somewhere that after upgrading to OS 5, the nas needs to be connected to internet in order to have access to the file, is it true?! What happen if i want to keep the EX2 Ultra offline and accessibile just from my own local network?!

5.1 - Is it possibile to connect the nas directly to a PC on the lan port? (like an external drive connected to a USB port)

I hope that someone can help me to understand if i bought the right product for my needs.



P.S. : sorry for my bad english, i hope to have been at least understandable…

For a WD NAS: Give it a 50/50 shot. For another nas vendor. . . .not likely at all.

You need to buy a seperate HDD in a seperate box in general as part of an overall backup strategy. Two drives in a single box has many “single points of failure” ranging from ransomeware to lightning.

Raid 1 protects only against mechanical HDD failure. It does not protect against NAS Board failure; house fire; or user issues (like:accidental file deletion, or ransomeware)

In general, the drives will be formatted as Linux EXT4 disks. They can be read by MACS and PC’s using approrpiate software. (the O/S’s don’t natively support EXT4)

You are missing something.

You should be able to type the device name or ip address in a “file explorer” address bar. . .and read the shares directly. This is my normal way of accessing the device.

OS/5 is a general update to older OS/3. Many security holes have supposedly been patched. HOWEVER, the developer has gone “net aware” and has prepped the device for all manner of internet access and internet capability. This means that the device “phones home” often for obscure reasons. It is not clear what ports are left open on the device.

Bottom line is that security of OS/5 is better, but from a privacy point of view. . . .avoid.

Personally: I have an EX2 Ultra on OS3 and had a second device on OS5. I ultimately “rolled back” the OS/5 device to OS/3 (using unapproved means). BUT. . .I have the OS3 boxes well shielded from the internet for security reasons.

From the internet, I used to access the NAS boxes via personal VPN. Worked fine. I ultimately decided that having WD products exposed to the internet brought more risk than benefit. . . so now they are blocked from the internet. I may re-establish VPN access. . .but NOT with a WD product.

I think you may need to register online. After that, you can run an OS/5 box completely off the grid, with full visibility to the devices on your own network. The only thing you will miss are the severly limited WD phone and WD web apps. . . .

  1. No (well, maybe, but not worth the risk)
  2. No
  3. Enable SMB1 and Network Discovery, then map the drive (or click on the MyCloud EX2 Ultra icon in File Explorer>Network> Computer).
  4. Unless you’re a networking expert, I’d update the OS to OS5.
  5. Not that I am aware of.
    5.1. Yes