MyCloud vs MyBook

Mods - as this isn’t specifically about the MyCloud, if there’s a better forum for this to go in please feel free to relocate it :smiley:

Hi all,

I’m looking into a NAS solution for my home network (following the premature expiry of my MyPassport portable drive a couple of days ago) and having looked at both MyCloud and MyBook products at PC World and talking to their staff, I’m now somewhat more confused about what the differences are between them. What I understand is summarised below, I’d appreciate it if someone in the know could confirm whether this is correct or not so I can make a correct purchase.


  • Local storage only (other than manual uploading via Smartware to Dropbox).
  • Single disk (MyBook) or dual disk (MyBook Duo) storage for whatever capacity is bought.
  • Existing PC World stock is Raid 0, but he said these are on clearance as a new version with Raid 1 is coming?
  • For raid 0 version of Duo, basically by splitting it across two drives you have twice the chance of disk failure, but half the impact on data if it does occur and a disk fails.
  • Remote access is possible via WD servers and apps (presumably routed to local disk via user’s own internet).
  • In case of disk failure, basically tough for data, return under warranty for hardware (like my deceased MyPassport).


  • Single disk (MyCloud) or dual disk (MyCloud Mirror) storage, under raid 0 or raid 1 (presumably user-configurable).
  • All content of the disk(s) is automatically backed up to WD server cloud, to space equal to that of the local drive, without any monthly fees or anything like that. Uploading would be via users broadband account/provider, depending on line speeds and any data usage caps etc?
  • Remote access is possible via WD servers and apps, presumably to that cloud copy of the data on the servers?
  • In case of disk failure, the copy of the data on the WD servers could be used to recover local copy once hardware is replaced under warranty?
  • If there is a problem with the WD servers (having read the reports of the recent issues) does this only impact access from outside onto the drive (or the cloud mirror of it), or is there any problem with local usage or setting up (does it need continual log-in to the server and stop working if it can’t achieve that?).

For local usage (on home network) both products would appear functionally the same, with provision of DLNA service (Twonky iirc) and automatic back-up etc via Smartware. The main difference is whether the drive content is cloud backed-up or not, hence the difference in the price between the two products.

Are both products being actively continued for sale, or is the MyBook being superceded by the MyCloud and to be discontinued or similar? Is my understanding above correct, or if not can someone let me know the real situation so I can judge properly which one may be the one to consider purchasing?

Thanks in advance

With Raid 0, you have a better performance since the data is written across 2 disks, if any of the 2 disks dies, your data is lost since a part of the data is one disk and the other on on the other disk.

With Raid 1, you have a slight performance impact because you are always mirroring data that is on one disk to the other disk. If one disk dies, however, the other disk contains all the data necessary.

With My Cloud, you have 3 models. My Cloud comes with one disk, but the possibility to mirror the content to an attached USB disk, You also have My Cloud Mirror that comes preconfigured as Raid1, but you can change to Raid0. My Cloud EX2 similarly. The difference between EX2 and My Cloud Mirror comes down to some relatively minor hardware differences. EX2 is positioned as a more advanced, faster box, with more features.

You have no content stored on WD Servers. Those are only used to track where your NAS is on the Internet, and, depending on your configuration by design, sees the content flowing there or not. You have 2 backups. One is Smarware or other backup software backing up the content of your PC to the NAS. One is Safepoint, mirroring (no file retention) the content of the NAS to an attached USB disk, and/or RAID1 mirroring with the Mirror version set up as Raid1

Remote access to the My CLoud is possible also directly, without the WD services involved in seeing your data, or seeing your NAS, but this requires some basic and networking skills to set up. So WD services make it easier for the consumer.

There is no copy on the WD servers.

Sometimes the WD servers are down yes. Probably something temporars as the services grow and bugs are squashed.

The main difference between MyCloud and MyBook is that the first one is a small networked computer with a big disk sharing its disk on your network (you cannot connect this disk to a computer using USB), while the MyBook live is a USB disk with some advanced features, including sharing content over the network through your computer. My Cloud is accessible when you computer is down. MyBook is not.

On the right network configuration, the MyCloud read/write performance is close but lower than USB3.0 (about 60MB/s)

Different products for different use cases.

MyCloud series are great products, but you need a good network setup to see high performance. If performance to the disk is paramount, go for a USB 3.0 disk. If always on access is more important, go for the MyCloud, knowing that your performance will be most likely limited but your network bandwidth. Gigabit connections and switch/router removes network bandwidth issues.


Thanks - so the guy in PC World was wrong (for a change :stuck_out_tongue:) about the cloud back-up. I must admit I did think that a bit odd (given that at some point you may end up with up to a 4TB upload if you filled a larger drive from scratch from other local sources).

I’m looking for a network connected drive (via Ethernet to my router) rather than one for connection to a PC. So from what you tell me, the MyCloud can do that but the MyBook cannot - the latter would only be accessible via being connected to a computer on the network and then shared through it? Or can either be connected to a router by ethernet and accessed that way (my router doesn’t have a USB port)?

My current thinking is to go for a MyCloud 4TB as a central media hub and back-up server, with the media files duplicated to my 2TB MyPassport (once it’s successor comes back from the RMA of the currently deceased one). That way I have all files in at least two places, which should be enough for day-to-day loss security (with “important” files being separately duplicated elsewhere perhaps). I’m not so hugely worried about high performance, it’s more to have a good large central hub (and to have somewhere to back-up the 2TB portable drive to in case the new one also dies or goes AWOL).

Your description matches my thinking and set up. I use a Wd MyCloud 4TB to store all my files (I don’t have files on any of my 4 computer any longer). I use online backup software that can backup network shares for irreplaceable content, and I use the Safepoint feature of the NAS for day to day mirroring.

Using WirelessAC, I get 30-40MB/S from my PC to the NAS.

I also store all my iTunes stuff on the NAS, not using the included iTunes server since it supports only music just like many other non-Apple iTunes serve.

I’m probably going to go with a similar solution, using a 4TB MyCloud Mirror I think. That should give enough built-in self-backup along with the original source disk for double redundancy.

A couple of final questions though:

  • Can the MyCloud support a streaming connection by SMB as well as DLNA?
  • Is it possible to control who has which access to the selected files/folders, by user account for example?

For the latter, I’m thinking of a read-only account for the kids (to only family friendly stuff), a second read-only account (general access to everything) and a third admin account with full access (for uploading etc). Just to keep things suitable and also prevent the risk of accidental deletions. Most of the kids access will be via their Android tablets, so I guess if all else fails a limit to the app may be a route if not.

The NAS hardware can easily support full HD streaming, The NAS hardware can deliver abut 80MB/s (or 640mb/s) while BD can need around 40mb/s (this is bit per second), and a high quality MKV/H.264 can be in the 5 to 10 mb/s.

Practically, within your home, your limitation could come from your network bandwidth. If you have Wireless N, and good signal you will be fine for HD video. No problem with HD video.

Outside your home, it depends on your upload bandwidth (typically much lower than your download bandwidth), and on your connection to Internet from your device/PC. You would need 4G type of speed at least for HD.

On the NAS, you can set access restrictions (read/write, read only, or no access) for shares, not for folders within the shares. You can set shares as many as you like.

Buy your NAS from a retailer that has no problem with returns.

The MyCloud NAS is an excellent product that can work troublefree for a novice and for an expert. But as soon as something is off, the ramp up can be steep to troubleshoot or workaround: a bit like a computer, after all.

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The NAS will come from PC World (I’m in the UK), as I can get vouchers for them so get it essentially for nothing (hotel loyalty point conversion into gift cards). Probably about as good as it gets for high-street retailers around here.

All the DVDs (when I do them again) are MP4, so all should be well I think. Plus I’m not planning routinely to stream over the internet anyway (hotel bandwidth won’t allow it when I’m travelling, hence why I got the MyPassport). It’s mainly as a back-up solution, with sub-usage as a stream source for the kids tablets and to our laptops and perhaps the TV (via a Wii at the moment, hence the SMB requirement as the Wii doesn’t support DLNA). Currently the kids stream content from one of the laptops and it works fine, so hopefully all should be good to go once the box gets here and I’ve redone all the disks (the biggest pain of having lost the MyPassport, as 75% of them were on there when it went AWOL).

Anyway I think we’re about done here, it’s much more clear now on the difference between the two products, and clear which of the two I want (the MyCloud). So I’d just like to thank Etupes again for all the information and discussion.


After using this device for a bit more than a month, I wouldn’t buy it again. It’s a lot of hassle most of the time, and unless you have a 100% Gbit network, it’s slow as a snail.

groaaar wrote:

and unless you have a 100% Gbit network, it’s slow as a snail.

…as will be any NAS.  It will only be as fast as the network.

Granted about the speed. But there’s a basically useless usb port (except if you want to add a device to share) at the back of the device (come on, copying in both directions/linux) and my main concern is that I have spent many hours until I finally had it more or less working. And I’ve been fiddling with computers for 25 years. Brings back old memories from the Win95 era, when only black magic could make a driver installed.

And I still get random behaviour from time to time.

Now I’ve realized that if I want it to work like it should (missing options in the UI, like REALLY disabling useless to me services), I have to spend more hours on linux OS commands. Ok, it’s interesting, but honestly, when I buy a product, it’s supposed to be easily tailorable, and I shouldn’t be the one learning (if not discovering) what it can do and how I am supposed to modify my behaviour to have the “priviledge” to use it.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the software I am supposed to use with it won’t install on any of my Win7 Ultimate computers, as it can’t even find the device on the network (except for the diagnosis tool), when Windows explorer does it ? But nevertheless, I’m supposed to create a cloud account ? So basically it’s telling me “sorry, you’re on your own, but don’t forget to give us an email address anyway”. Great, isn’t it?

So the network’s speed is the least problem in the list, in my opinion. But again, when connected directly to my 1Gb/s network card (on the laptop), transfers go up to 12MB/s instead of the mere 7MB/s on my 100mbit router. Ok, that’s progress, but let’s agree, it’s still quite limited.

Basically, if I had to do it again, I’d just get a simple 3TB hdd, would plug internally in my desktop, and would share it with my laptop.

Because let’s be frank, there’s nothing the MyCloud does that a PC can’t do 10 times faster and efficiently.

The only thing that prevents me from opening the box and formatting the hard drive is laziness, as I should copy 2 TB on it again, so that would make 12+ more hours wasted. But I guess I’ll end up doing this, as honestly, I’m not going to wait for version 91.57 of the firmware, in july 2087, for it to work properly.


Well I went with it, and got a MyCloud Mirror 4TB. Although it seems a little bit of a cheat to call it a 4TB when due to the raid 1 (as default) it only appears as 2TB, with only a little text on one of the side stickers indicating that due to the raid configuration all files take up twice as much room.

Anyway a quick reconfigure into JBOD mode sorted that out (as this will be a back-up server rather than a fileserver, raid 1 would just mean that everything was in three places rather than two, which is a little excessive. Now one of the 2TB drives is supporting Smartware backups (although it took two goes to get the software to work on one laptop, although the other plus my desktop both worked on the first go), and the other is going to be the media server (with duplication onto my MyPassport drive once it’s back from being RMA’d after its recent failure).

Have to agree about it not being exactly fast, but as noted that’s more due to my ancient 802.11b/g router than anything else - probably the next item to be upgraded. And the firware (once updated) seems to allow back-up via the USB both from NAS>USB and USB>NAS, which is the next thing to be investigated (ready for the MyPassport’s return). But so far it seems like a reasonable unit for the price.