I consider myself a tech geek. And by tech geek, I mean carefully choosing the kinds of devices or gadgets that would suit my needs. Choosing a piece of technology, be it smartphones, notebooks, hard drives or even a simple computer mouse must be reasonable priced, reliable, trustworthy and that it suit my needs perfectly. I am not an early adopter, however I will choose to buy the latest gadgets, if I really need it, and I will only buy it after very careful consideration of my needs. I research extensively to see just what kinds of gadget would be suitable for me, maximizing cost to performance or utility.
So having said that, I do make blunders every now and then. Sometimes I would buy a gadget that gave me great disappointment, either by not performing to my expectations or just overestimating its added benefits that it would ultimately provide me. Take the WD MyCloud personal NAS for example. It has 4GB of hard drive space. Wow! It simply connects to your router and any devices connected to the same network would be able to access files store in the NAS. Amazing! It is hassle free, simply plug and play. I don’t think so.
The main gripe about the WD MyCloud is that it can be quite difficult to set up the NAS properly, especially when you need to ensure that all your devices in your home are seamlessly connected to it. They have smartphone apps to download so that you can access the files from WD MyCloud, and they even have softwares to make access to the network storage simple and fuss free. But that is not the case. Time and time again I have encountered difficulties in getting access to the network storage either from my computer or from my smartphone. And because you have to connect the network storage via ethernet connection, your upload and download speeds are very dependent on the wireless network afforded by the router. Sure, you can connect the network storage directly to your pc via ethernet if you need to transfer large files quickly, but this hassle of plugging in and out is just not worth the trouble.
The good thing about the network storage is that my smart tv is able to access the files from within. This means, that I can watch and stream any videos I have uploaded from the network storage and watch from my TV. It’s a great way to watch stuff. But I encounter so many intermittent interruptions while watching my videos for no apparent reason. One moment I was enjoying the video and half-way through, it just gets disconnected. I don’t know if I can blame on the corrupted file while transferring to the network storage, or the connection from my TV And network storage is just so poor that I get streaming interruptions from time to time. And for your information, the WD MyCloud is just beside my TV, connected directly via an Ethernet cable.
The back of the WD MyCloud has a USB port, that allows you to connect any portable drives so that you can transfer any files to and from the network storage quickly. This is a great feature. But again, in several instances, the network storage just refuses to recognize that there is actually a portable drive attached to it, and refuses to communicate with it. It can be very frustrating as I have to resort to transferring files via wifi, which is in orders of magnitude slower than a direct connection.
4GB is huge for a personal user like me, but its buggy software, and unreliable and unstable connection really diminishes its true potential. Even if I want to treat this drive as simply a backup drive to store my digital media, is already a hassle setting it up, much less using it as streaming storage device.
So other words, NAS is just not for me at the moment. I’d rather get either a portable drive or a 3.5 drive that would sit nicely on my desktop for all my storage needs. No need for additional networking hassle.