WD My Cloud EX2 Ul­tra


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Net­work At­tached Stor­age (NAS) are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar nowa­days. With mul­ti­ple users at home hav­ing their own lap­tops and PCs, NAS units of­fer seam­less shar­ing and avail­abil­ity of files to mul­ti­ple peo­ple at once. WD has added a new NAS to their al­ready bustling lineup, the WD My Cloud EX2 Ul­tra.

The EX2 Ul­tra comes in four mod­els: disk­less, 4TB, 8TB, or 12TB. For this par­tic­u­lar re­view, we will be tak­ing a look at the 8TB ver­sion. All these con­fig­u­ra­tions come us­ing WD Red NAS drives.

All ver­sions of the EX2 Ul­tra come with a Marvell AR­MADA 385 dual-core pro­ces­sor clocked at 1.3GHz and 1GB of RAM to en­sure max­i­mum per­for­mance. The front of the de­vice is equipped with three LED sta­tus lights for power/con­nec­tiv­ity, and drive bays 1 and 2. In or­der to dis­si­pate heat from the drives, the top and bot­tom of the de­vice are ven­ti­lated. Mean­while, one Eth­er­net port, two USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, and the re­set but­ton are lo­cated at the back.

The NAS comes with two hot swap-ca­pa­ble, tray-less drive bays that sup­ports two 3.5-inch hard drives. Like most of WD’s My Cloud se­ries NAS units, the GUI can be ac­cessed by typ­ing the NAS’ IP ad­dress in your browser. Al­ter­na­tively, if you can see the NAS on your net­work, just click the net­work lo­ca­tion, and you will be au­to­mat­i­cally redi­rected to the browser GUI.

Our unit came with two 4TB drives run­ning in RAID 1. This means that you will only get 4TB of stor­age, since the sec­ond drive acts as a mir­ror of the other in case one of the drives fails. You can also set the EX2 Ul­tra as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) or Span­ning for max­i­mum stor­age ca­pac­ity, or run at RAID 0 for max­i­mum speed.

WD’s My Cloud browser GUI is in­cred­i­bly user-friendly. For ba­sic users, you will only need to set up its IP ad­dress to en­sure there are no IP ad­dress con­flicts in your net­work, and you’re good to go. For more ad­vanced users, you can man­age fold­ers through the GUI, plus con­fig­ure USB, Re­mote, In­ter­nal, Cloud, and Cam­era Back­ups. You can even set your NAS for HTTP, FTP, and P2P down­loads.

The speed of the NAS is only as fast as the router it’s con­nected to. In or­der to test the speed of the My Cloud EX2 Ul­tra, we con­nected it to a Gi­ga­bit-ca­pa­ble router and ran sev­eral read/write tests. Based on our tests, the read we got was 111.9MB/s, while it got a 107.2MB/s on our write tests. Aside from read/write tests, we copied a 4GB ISO file to the de­vice, wherein it got a re­sult of 62MB/s.

For power users, two bays might not be enough, but for pri­vate use within your fam­ily and per­haps a small busi­ness, the WD My Cloud EX2 Ul­tra de­liv­ers just the right ca­pac­ity and speed.

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