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The Good The WD My Cloud EX4 offers data redundancy, Windows Server integration, and an excellent set of personal cloud features. The Bottom Line It's not the fastest NAS, nor does it include many advanced features, but the WD My Cloud EX4 still combines great ease of use into an affordable personal cloud system that's excellent for a connected home. WD's latest four-bay NAS server, the My Cloud EX4, is a lot more than four single-volume My Cloud units put together.In addition to having all the goodies of its predecessor, the new EX4 server has many new features, such as support for a variety of RAID configurations to protect data against hard-drive failure. Design: convenient drive bays with lots of redundancy Of all multiple-bay servers I've reviewed, the My Cloud EX4 has the most convenient drive bay design with each of its four front-facing bays working like a tape deck. If this new release is applied, the suitable NASes will receive several improvements regarding translation and wording issues in multiple languages, and will also be able to mount a volume in degraded mode, even after power loss.
A professional DVD ripping and editing tool with strong ability to remove DVD protection, transcode DVD to any video and audio format, and edit DVD to create personal movie. Many people prefer to rip Blu-ray to Plex so that they can stream Blu-ray movies with Plex on ATV, Roku, PS4, etc. In early November, Western Digital launched its single-bay My Cloud ‘personal cloud storage system’. For external storage – either as expansion or to facilitate on-site backup, the EX4 has a pair of USB 3.0 ports. We haven’t seen the full app catalogue, so we can’t yet compare its size to those of competitors such as Synology, QNAP or ASUSTOR.
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The WD My Cloud EX4 is a four-bay NAS designed for power users and small offices that builds on WD's new My Cloud platform. Unlike its smaller single-bay companion, the EX4 offers users a degree of security against data loss with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, as well as spanning and JBOD modes.
The EX4 benefits from WD's My Cloud series of mobile and desktop applications, allowing the user to access, modify, and share data on-site or remotely, while also providing the administrator with tools for remote user and energy management. As a file server, the EX4 offers a cross-platformed shared space for both Windows and Mac OS users to collaborate. The EX4 provides both a stable backup platform for machines in a cross-platform environment. Our standard StorageReview Enterprise Test Lab regimen runs the device through its paces with a battery of varying performance levels and throughput activity workloads. In our standard deviation section of the 4k test, the RAID5 SMB configuration offers the narrowest read standard deviation at just 93.16ms, while the RAID10 SMB offers the best balance.
The final testing benchmark is the 128K transfer test, which aims to demonstrate the highest sequential transfer speed available.
The WD My Cloud EX4 definitely has the advantage of ease of use, simplicity, and low cost compared to other NAS solutions in its class. The EX4 does draw a degree of criticism over its performance speed, which could be a bit better compared to other similarly-designed competitor models for SOHO use.
The WD My Cloud EX4 is a solid, attractive, and easy-to-use NAS solution for homes and small offices, providing all the consumer-level bells and whistles of a larger media center unit while maintaining a modest price point. The mobile app supports a limited number of file formats, there's no search function, and it won't allow you to sort by content type. It also sports conveniently designed drive bays and is the first I've seen that can be used with two power adapters at the same time for redundancy.In my testing, the My Cloud EX4 worked well as an advanced home storage and personal cloud server. You pull the latch and the hard drive comes out, you push the drive back in and press on the latch to lock the drive in its place. Where the basic My Cloud is essentially an external hard drive that you can access via the internet, the four-bay My Cloud EX4 is a full-fledged NAS device with all the specs and features you’d expect thereof.Despite its additional feature set, the My Cloud EX4 aims to keep the same consumer-level ease of use as its smaller sibling.
With a full array of applications and easy-setup design, the My Cloud EX4 offers a feature-rich, stable, and secure network storage solution of up to 16TB.
The unit also comes in a variety of prepackaged models, utilizing WD Red HDDs: 8TB, 12, and 16TB.


The front of the unit features a central LCD status screen in cool blue, centered on a strip of glossy black finish.
The calm, dark interface speaks to next-generation design and simplicity, presenting the user with valuable information without the risk of clutter or aesthetic overload.
My Cloud also supports email and mobile alerts, keeping the user or administrator up-to-date on the system's status and performance. Integrated Microsoft Active Directory support allows the administrator to easily setup and maintain user accounts and permissions.
Windows users can take advantage of WD SmartWare Pro (with the 10 included user licenses) to schedule and manage system backups, while Apple users enjoy native Time Machine support. It should be noted that the models shipped with WD Red HDDs come already preconfigured for RAID 5. The clear performer for write activity is the RAID 10 configuration in both SMB and iSCSI, pulling 645 and 371 IOPS respectively. In the first mixed profile test, the RAID10 iSCSI configuration is the clear performer, while the SMB configurations remain largely indistinguishable from one another in terms of performance.
In general, the RAID10 drives offer the lowest deviation (with SMB consistently the lowest), while both RAID5 configurations jockey for the highest position. Here, the differences in write activity throughput between RAID 5 and RAID 10 are slim enough to be inconsequential. In all cases the SMB configurations outperformed iSCSI, with RAID 10 SMB sacrificing the lead in read speed for a clear advantage in write ability.
For home users, getting a quality storage solution set up on a network should only take a few minutes after unboxing the unit, and in minutes everyone in your household can be set up with cloud storage accessible from anywhere (though if you go for the driveless model, you will also need to set up your drives and RAID configuration yourself beforehand).
That being said, the My Cloud EX4's price point and quality of life features more than make up for any possible performance shortfalls.
Though not the fastest I've seen, the server was very fast, especially its reading speed.On the down side, compared with similarly configured servers, such as the Synology DiskStation DS412+ or the Asustor AS-604T, the EX4 was still quite inferior in both performance and features.
My Cloud EX4 is a member in MY Cloud family which can stream media stored on your My Cloud NAS to all your devices, such as your PC and Mac computers, smartphones, tablets, Smart TV and more.
Building on the design philosophy of its smaller sister, the EX4 retains the My Cloud's ease of use while offering an expansion of up to 4 total bays, a dual power supply, and additional data management features. Additionally, WD offer a drive-less package for those who wish to operate their own drives (WD or otherwise), or add them a la carte as storage needs grow. Dominating the left portion of the screen is a simple view of remaining free capacity on the NAS, while the right panel provides a quick glance at system diagnostics and firmware version. The EX4 is also a powerful iTunes server, allowing the user to easily manage and utilize a large music library.
The administrator is not only able to determine folder access, but also cap the maximum amount of storage users on the system are permitted to access.
For read performance, the difference between RAID 5 and RAID 10 in SMB is negligible, while RAID 5 iSCSI solidly outperforms RAID 10 at 321 IOPS. While the RAID5 iSCSI offers slightly better average read latency, write latency skyrockets in comparison; meanwhile, the RAID10 SMB configuration offers both the best write latency and the worst read latency of the bunch.
In general, maximum read latency across all configurations is largely equal, while the max latency for both iSCSI drives skyrockets over the SMB counterparts. The story is similar for read activity, though using SMB the RAID 5 offers slightly better IOPS than its RAID 10 counterpart at 5156 IOPS. In iSCSI configuration, both RAID 10 and RAID 5 configurations were functionally identical.
And its My Cloud mobile app still needs some major work to be a viable mobile-streaming option.To make up for that, the new server is easy to use and a lot more affordable than its competitors, with a suggested price of just $380 (no storage included).
For those wishing to use alternative drives, a drive-less, unconfigured version is also available.Down toolsUnlike the majority of four-bay NAS devices we’ve seen, the EX4 has not only toolless drive bays (you don’t need a screwdriver to swap hard drives), but caddyless bays. This guards you against power supply failure, and power adapters do fail now and again – particularly on always-on devices such as routers or – potentially – NAS devices. WD aims to make the EX4 a performer as well, with a 2.0GHz processor, 512MB onboard memory, and dual Ethernet ports (which provide link aggregation, allowing for transfer increase and redundancy). The drive bays themselves offer a sleek toolless design and allow fast hot swapping, making installation and expansion a snap. Immediately below are four blue LED status lights, each assigned to one of the four drive bays.


Simple indicators for network activity, resource monitoring, cloud devices, user accounts, and active applications line the bottom of the dashboard, while a ribbon at the top provides easy access to more advanced utilities and applications.
The EX4 can also function as a full-featured FTP server, allowing the administrator to create and monitor FTP accounts and access permissions, throttle bandwidth, manage IP blocking, and take advantage of FXP. For added security, the EX4 offers the administrator the ability to password encrypt entire volumes, allowing for controlled access.
In fact I found this a little too easy since there's no mechanism to keep the latches from being pulled out by accident.
Instead of being mounted into plastic caddies and slid into the enclosure, you just open the drive bay door and the hard-drive pops out on its own.The EX4’s design is only marginally more convenient than using toolless caddies – it’s not every day that you swap out drives – but there’s a hidden secondary advantage here.
However, we’d wager that you’re far more likely to suffer a regular power outage, or something like a surge, than a random power supply failure.Where the dual-supply does come in truly handy is if you connect each power adapter to a separate circuit in your home or office – if one has a fuse blow, or or has to be turned off for maintenance, power to the NAS remains uninterrupted.
Below the control panel are the four tool-less, hot-swappable bays themselves (which, depending on model, are empty or come with WD Red HDDs).
The unit also features a P2P BitTorrent server and HTTP download support, allowing the user to download files from the internet directly to the NAS. WD touts the minimal effort required to change drives with the EX4: it really is just a matter of pulling a latch and out pops the drive.
The My Cloud EX4 has an excellent drive bay design that allows you to replace a hard drive in just a few seconds. WD says the company will honor the two-year warranty even when you use certain hard drives from other vendors. Simplifying the drive bays while still leaving the drives hot-swappable is a great idea, and from our brief look at the EX4 during WD’s launch event, the company seems to have nailed it.Ready to goIf purchased pre-configured with WD Red hard drives, the My Cloud EX4 ships ready-to-go. The company recommends using its WD Red hard drives that are designed specially for NAS servers, however. The EX4 supports ‘disk roaming’ – all configuration data is stored on the disks themselves, so set of hard drives may be swapped from a faulty enclosure to a new one of the same model, and be booted up and used exactly as before.Volume encryption is available, which the single-bay device does not support.
These drives are made to be reliable while consuming less energy.You only need to worry about hard drives when you buy the diskless version of the server. The My Cloud products are no more ‘private cloud’ solutions than any NAS device, but we’ll forgive the vaporous branding if the functionality pans out as advertised.ConnectivityThe MyCloud EX4 sports dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, for high-speed network connectivity. Depending on the data stored, this can be critical for ensuring that data is inaccessible if the NAS and its drives are stolen. For other options, the hard drives are included and already set up in RAID 5 configuration. This is truly useful, as it’s possible to max-out a gigabit connection with file transfers fairly easily. From the list of available Apps for the unit, scroll down and select Plex by checking the check-box to the left of it, then click on Install. 4.
Basically you get the total storage space of three hard drives with the capacity of the fourth being used for redundancy in case one of the drives fails.
Hence, if you’ve got a high-capacity router, it’s a great idea to hook up both ports and take advantage of the increased throughput.That’s the theory of it, anyway – something else to verify on the testbench. Other online backup services may be added in future.Western Digital has released a software development kit (SDK) for the EX4 , that allows developers to create apps to run on the NAS. Sign in or sign up to set up your Plex Media Server. Configuring the Plex App on My Cloud EX41.
You can easily check on the RAID building process via the little screen on the front, which also shows other information about the server, such as its IP address, its name, and so on. To add media files to the account, click on the + icon towards the left (next to the name of the drive). 4.
Here is where the default (such as the Public, Smartware, and TimeMachineBackup shares) and the created shares are located. You can add another share location by clicking on Browse For Media Folder again and selecting the share.



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