WD's My Cloud EX2 external drive doubles down on 3.5'' storage


— 9:03 AM on March 4, 2014

If you've been following WD's external storage products, then you've seen the My Cloud EX2 coming from miles away. The first seed was planted in October, when the My Cloud external storage device debuted with a single 3.5" hard drive, a slick enclosure, and cloud-friendly software. Then, in November, WD followed up with the My Cloud EX4, which pairs more extensive software with a four-drive NAS box that supports multiple RAID configurations.

The gap between the single- and four-drive offerings is pretty wide, and WD has finally filled it with the dual-drive My Book EX2.

 

WD's latest external dually comes preconfigured in a mirrored RAID 1 array. This fault-tolerant setup makes perfect sense for external storage, but the default actually represents a change in policy for WD. The company's last dual-drive product shipped with a more precarious RAID 0 array set as the default config. WD says over 80% of users switched to RAID 1 mode, so that's the new default for the EX2. RAID 0 and JBOD configs remain an option, of course.

In addition to robust RAID support, the EX2 has all the features one might expect from a modern, mini NAS box. The drive bays support hot swapping, the Gigabit Ethernet connection provides speedy network access, and the dual USB 3.0 ports allow for easy backup and expansion.

A 1.2GHz ARM-based processor provides a modicum of system processing power for a suite of apps. The integrated software plugs into all the usual cloud storage services, and it has dedicated apps for Wordpress blogging, phBB forums, Joomla content management, and all kinds of downloading, among other functions. And there are accompanying backup and mobile apps, too. The software suite is the same as what's available on the EX4.

Starting today, the My Cloud EX2 should be available online as both a barebones system and with a selection of WD Red hard drives pre-installed. The barebones setup is priced at $200, and it's certified to run with not only the Reds, but also a range of 3.5" HDDs from Seagate, Hitachi, and Toshiba. The preloaded variants are available with pairs of 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB drives priced at $270, $370, and $470, respectively.

   
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