WD MyCloud Review – This thing sucks unless you are basically a hacker from a nineties movie.

So after swapping hard-drives between xboxes for the billionth time, remembering that season 2 of “Orange Is The New Black” is on the other hard drive then remembering that it was MKV and being forced to plug my computer in, I was like “fuck this, I’m getting some sort of home storage setup”.

I needed Media streaming, central data storage accessible by all devices via WiFi.  That was it.

Then I discovered the WD MyCloud.

wd mycloud

Killer features

– 4tb – ooh mumma
– linux based OS – sounds good
– dual core, 512 mb of ram (my phone’s more powerful but ok they must know what they’re doing).
– Remote access (think dropbox but with local storage).
– Super cheerful american youtubers saying how good it was.
– all devices can access it over wifi for storage
– DLAN and UPNP compatible so it can stream to xboxes and the like.

All this sounded rad, especially considering it was a feature set you’d normally have to get a server PC to have up and running.

So I ambled out and bought it because I’m impulsive and hadn’t been drinking for a month (dry July), so I had money to burn (I also bought a puppy, who will not be receiving a scathing review).

my new puppy, who has outperformed this NAS in nearly everyway

my new puppy, who has outperformed this NAS in nearly every way

I was soooo frickin excited to get it home.

Littany of suck

– No direct plug in from computer to modem.  Ethernet from computer to router, then to router to MyCloud. “so… ok… I can handle that”, I think to myself naively.
– You can plug USB 3.0 in (big plus as you can add up to 4tb capacity, it can even handle usb banks).
– However when you access via finder it passes the data from the hard drive attached to the MyCloud THROUGH THE COMPUTER AND OVER THE WIFI.  It literally goes through the MyCloud, through the router, through your computer, back through the router OVER WIFI into the MyCloud.
– Direct transfer was possible through their non retina optimised windows 95 piece of shit interface.

But hey, I got it working.   I painstakingly transferred all my media across, and eventually, despite only being able to do file management through their garbage bag interface, I had all my media in one place.

Ok lets get this mumma running.

…     “Fuck yeah.”

…                      “This works.”

Nekminit – Ninja turtles, every room of the house.

After two days of twiddling I say to my girlfriend “see, look how easy it is, no more swapping hard drives”.

Until it stops working.  Almost immediately.  I can’t even get in via SSH (greentext little hackery little thing for the unititated).  It’s just unresponsive.  Ok.  Reboot (IT pro).

Chunks like a bitch.  Every so often it works, but mostly it’s just unresponsive.

After spending some time on forums, what I find out was that there are two processes that run on the NAS that just destroy it.


Basically, WD, being the software geniuses they are, hand over hugeee chunks of the processing power to:

– a process that indexes and creates thumbnails of every file (so you can scroll through their “MyCloud App” (ie garbage stinkwreck) and see pretty pictures.
– and another process that basically encodes the files or some shit for remote streaming.

All well and good, except for the fact that it completely destroys the functionality of the device for people that have large amounts of data.  While these processes are running it becomes completely unresponsive, laggy, and basically useless.

This is how I picture the two garbage bag processes that crunked my past week.

This is how I picture the two garbage bag processes that crunked my past week.

I have since come up with a little walkthrough on how to make this less terrible, so that people like me who bought it can step by step desuckify it – if that’s you then check it out here.

Final thoughts

This device could have it all, the hardware is solid, Twonky is a reasonable server, and the feature set is great.  The problem is, WD, in an attempt to jump onto too many bandwagons at once, have written software that is horrendously inneficient, and left the NAS basically broken without a huge amount of warranty voiding customisation.

Sure the dickheads in their stock photos probably only have ten video files and 100 pictures so all the processes, scanning, thumb-nailing and encoding only takes ten minutes, but I’ve got Shit tonnes of pirated media that I want in one spot, that I can get to anywhere in the house.

I’ve basically had to strip it of all its shitty software and use it as a mapped drive.

Thanks WD.

You suck

no potatoes

20 thoughts on “WD MyCloud Review – This thing sucks unless you are basically a hacker from a nineties movie.

  1. I have a similair setup with an old laptop, with an external HD attached, running Plex Media Server. Smart TV’s, PS3’s, I would assume Xbox’s, and ROKU type devices are all compatible with PLEX. I can watch all of my media anywhere in the house.

  2. Light grey text on a white background. Straining to read your review was painful enough that I couldn’t finish it. What did I ever do to you to deserve this? No potatoes for you, either.

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  4. Maybe you should review the product after it as finished scanning the x amount of TB’s you just threw on it. That would be the only way to get an honest feel for how it works. Others on other boards have pointed to your rant as a little off base because of this. It is an issue but not as you have portrayed it.

    • Honestly even after scan, the software running on it is so inefficient and poorly written I have to axe it all to make it run even basically ok. It’s temperamental, poorly designed and overloaded with features it can’t handle. I did my bit and wrote a walkthrough on how to make it be less terrible but I think WD failed as a company by delivering such poorly optimised software that requires so much lateral community support to make it usable.

  5. You are spot on. I made the mistake of buying this piece of shit as well. I have so many problems with it that I don’t know where to start. I’m going to try your process turn-off’s and see what happens. I use it now as a door stop. I will dust it off and try it again. The funny thing is when you contact WD and start to ask them about issues that are all over the web. The WD support jags are like, “Geez dude nover heard of that problem before”. Are shitting me!!!!

  6. Don’t understand all you deriders of this epistle. This is exactly what the problem is with these drives, they suck. Best I’ve managed to achieve for remote access is TWO days then it locks you out and it’s not much better when you are next to it. Once it locks out that’s it NO ACCESS TO ANYTHING ANYWAY.

    So a ‘Cloud’ device it isn’t.

    There are numerous forums which state exactly the same problem that vast numbers of us are having, why don’t WD fix it?

    If you were thinking of buying one of these, DON’T.

  7. LOL, well written! :-) And your walkthrough helped me to get this thing going… After a week of indexing the data I was able to upload directly from USB to WD Mycloud (ssh – no other way to do it), it was still unaccessible on its IP address. SSH was fortunately responding, so I have stopped those two services and it immediately begun working… Thank you!

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