There’s no doubt that the My Cloud Duo is a very different kind of NAS. For a start, it’s actually good-looking, thanks to a living room-friendly, white design that hides all the drives and connectivity away. You can get in and replace the drives should you need to, sliding them in and out of a panel at the top, but you suspect that WD prepopulate the My Cloud Duo in the factory and really intended it to stay that way. It’s difficult to imagine a NAS that needs less work before it’s up and running.

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This isn’t just a question of the hardware, but also of the software. The My Cloud Duo will set itself up with RAID1 by default and then there’s really not much else to do, bar adding users. Once added, they get their own folder, which syncs with a desktop folder in the style of Dropbox – all thanks to the My Cloud desktop app. Otherwise, you can set it to back up files from Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other cloud services, along with photos from Google Photos and Facebook. Moreover, can create backups from your Mac or PC using Time Machine or Windows Backup. 

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It’s incredibly easy to set up and work with, then, but there are limitations. For example, there are no media server features unless you install Plex from the tiny app store, and while the My Cloud Duo will download files added to Dropbox folders, it won’t upload any files you add to the folder to the folder on Dropbox or to any synced machines. 

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The My Cloud Duo is also slow. Give it a task and it seems to ramp up the speed as time goes on, but the performance in our backup file transfer test was only just above that of the TerraMaster F2-210, although its performance in our sequential read/write tests wasn’t nearly as bad. We would lay the blame at the door of the quad-core, ARM-based Realtek CPU – and the fact the appliance has just 1GB of RAM. However, if all you want is an affordable and unobtrusive device to sync and back up several PCs in your home then the My Cloud Duo is both well-priced and easy to use. If you want anything more than that, though, you really need to have a look elsewhere.

Western Digital My Cloud Duo (4TB) specifications

Model number

WDBMUT0040JWT-EESN

Price (inc VAT)

£231 (£288)

Warranty

2yr RTB

Dimensions (WDH)

53 x 140 x 176mm

Noise level

Not stated

CPU

Realtek RTD1296PBCG

CPU cores

Quad core

CPU speed, cores

1.4GHz

RAM/maximum RAM

1GB/1GB

Bays (free)

2 (0)

Drive type

3.5in hard disk

Max internal capacity

20TB

RAID modes

0, 1

Bay type

Slide-in caddy

Hot swap?

No

2.5in drives supported

No

SSD support

No

Status display

LED status bar

Gigabit Ethernet ports

1

10GB Ethernet ports

No

USB ports (rear)

2 x USB 3

USB ports (front)

No

Other

No

802.3ad link aggregation

No

Load balancing

No

Network failover

No

Major network protocols

SMB, ATP

iSCSI target

No

USB expansion options

No

NAS OS/firmware

Not stated

Main desktop software

WD Discovery, MyCloud Home

Remote access

MyCloud Home

Cloud integration

No

Backup

Windows Backup, Time Machine

Media

Media Server, iTunes Server, Plex

Surveillance

No

Testing and Development

No

Other major services

No

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