I have a confession. Even as a tech blogger and consultant who very often gives others advice and tips on how to handle their digital lives, I don't always follow my own advice. I don't always keep all of my own digital files organized like I should. I mean I do *most* of the right things, but it's messy. LOL. As a tech blogger, photographer, and a mom I create a lot of digital files most of them being photos. I'm working towards improving this using my new Western Digital My Cloud drive.
I currently have files spread across 3 Cloud services, and a couple of external hard drives. There are thousands of photos from my photography business, thousands of personal files, dozens of movies, and thousands of music files. And I have a bad habit of saving files direct to my desktop when I am working on something quickly. This means that if I later use another computer the file is not there. And this happens all the time since I regularly work from 2-3 computers. It has gotten ridiculous!
It's been on my list for a long time to get a handle on this situation. I decided about a month ago that now is the time. Thanks to WD this is easy. They offer several solutions for home storage. My favorite is the My Cloud line of devices. I'm blessed to currently have 3 of these awesome devices. Now, the average user may not need 3, but trust me… I put them all to great use! Here is a photo of my WD Cloud Farm. Isn't it pretty? LOL!
In this post we are going to talk about using the WD My Cloud device.
What is the WD My Cloud?
The WD My Cloud is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device that allows you to access all of your data from one safe place. Unlike external Cloud services, your data is stored safely in your home. However, since it's a cloud device you can save everything in one place and access it from anywhere by connecting to your My Cloud account. All this without paying monthly fees. You can also enable direct file uploads from your mobile devices, so all of your important data is safely stored at home on your personal cloud.
Setting up your My Cloud device should be pretty simple. You navigate to the Setup URL stated in the included directions and it walks you through the rest. Below I walk you through a few setup tips from me based on the different screens you will see in your My Cloud dashboard. However, the first thing to keep in mind is that the My Cloud drive needs to be plugged directly into your router via an Ethernet cable. It does not have WiFi. However, once connected you can access it from WiFi devices.
Change the Default Name of Your My Cloud to Something Unique
This is especially useful in my house since I have more than one My Cloud drive. I have a naming scheme that I use on all of my devices and computers. That way when I look at my Network from any computer I can quickly locate a device without hassle. So, I changed the name of my My Cloud drive to XXX-MyCloud1 where XXX equals my unique naming prefix.
Setup a User Account Other Than Admin
Your My Cloud Drive will come with a default Admin account setup and ready to go. However, you may want to add an account for yourself and others in your family that will be accessing the drive. And be sure to create strong passwords.
Turn on Cloud Access
Unless you plan to use your My Cloud drive at home for data storage and backups only you want to make sure to set up the Cloud Access. Setting up Could access can be a bit of a tricky process. It requires you to configure access for each user, setup a MyCloud.com account, and configure access for each mobile device by setting up a special code. However, once you follow these steps you are good to go.
Setup a Share for Each User
If your drive is going to be shared by family then each user should not only have their own username, but also their own share. In this share they can create folders for music, documents, photos, or anything else that they like. This will allow access across all computers in the home, and even devices that allow streaming media. And since your new My Cloud is a cloud device they will be able to access their shares remotely via the My Cloud mobile app for Android and iOS. Which brings us to…
The WD My Cloud app is what allows you to access your data while on the go. Once installed you can access your data and photos right from your smartphone or tablet anywhere that you have an internet connection.
Sync Your Mobile Photos
I take a lot of photos from my phone, and I bet that you do too. Instead of emailing photos to yourself, or remembering to come home and copy your photos from your phone to your computer, you can turn on Auto Backup in your WD My Cloud app. And if you are like me and blessed to have unlimited data on your mobile plan, allow it to sync over your data plan. This way as soon as you take a photo, it is uploaded to your My Cloud drive. This ensures that even if you lose your phone, you will not lose your photos.
How Do I access My Drive?
Some people don't understand that a My Cloud is a networked based device. This means that you access it a bit differently than some may be used to.
If you are using a Windows machine open up Windows Explorer–>Network. You should see your My Cloud listed under Computer. You may also see it listed under Storage in the same window. If you want to browse your drive or copy data you will want to access the one under Computer. From here you can even map a share as a drive on your computer by right clicking on it and choosing Map Network Drive. This will make the drive show up as a drive letter under Explorer–>This PC. You can then save files directly to your drive from applications, or drag and drop to move existing data. If you wish to access the dashboard, open up the one listed under Storage.
On Mac OS X
On your Mac computer you should click on Go–>Connect to Server–>Browse. You will then see a screen of your networked computers and drives. You may need to click on Connect As and log in with the username and password that you created during installation. Once you open a drive it will show up under Shared in the left sidebar of your Finder window.
Of course the My Cloud drive can also be used to backup your Windows or Mac machines, so that even data kept locally is safe. No matter how you choose to use it, all this extra space will help you #KeepItComing with more photos, more videos, and more data. Available in the below sizes, you can get just what you need.
• $149.99 USD for 2 TB
• $179.99 USD for 3 TB
• $219.99 USD for 4 TB
• $319.99 USD for 6 TB
The WD My Cloud is compatible with Windows® 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or Windows Vista®, Mac OS® X Yosemite, Mavericks™, Mountain Lion™, Lion™, as well as DLNA®/UPnP® enabled devices.