I take a lot of photos for SoCalHiker. I have over 80 GB of photos, and the volume is growing faster than ever. The increased resolution of my latest iPhone (the camera that’s always with me) and my mirrorless camera that I used to capture the photo of McWay Falls in Big Sur mean even bigger image files.
Like many of you, I believe we should collect memories, not things. Here’s how I keep those memories safe without breaking a sweat.
Introducing the WD My Cloud Expert Series. I’ve been using WD external drives for backup for years, but recently had a chance to upgrade to the WD My Cloud EX2100. This dual-bay external drive is different from the other backup drives I’ve used in that it connects directly to your wireless router rather than your computer. That’s important for a couple of reasons that I’ll explain in a moment.
Setup was easy. I plugged the power into an outlet and connected the network cable to one of the free ports on my router. This is one detail that’s important…the WD My Cloud has to be connected to your router. For me, that’s located in my living room. The small form factor made it easy to fit into my cabinet.
Next, I connected to the drive using my web browser on my computer. Yes, the WD My Cloud has it’s own “server” built-in, allowing me to finish configuration and setup from my MacBook. I went from unboxing to up-and-running in 10 minutes flat.
My first step was to instruct Time Machine to use the WD My Cloud as my backup device. I did this for my laptop as well as my wife’s. The beauty of Time Machine is that it automates the process so I don’t need to think about it. And because the WD My Cloud is connected to my router, my computer doesn’t need to be directly connected to it — a huge convenience for laptop users like myself.
With my backups automated, my next step was to install the two companion apps on my iPhone: My Cloud and WD Photos. These are totally optional, but also totally awesome.
The My Cloud app lets me connect to my WD My Cloud EX2100 from anywhere — even the Internet. I can browse the contents and check on download activity. The WD Photos app makes it super-easy to upload photos from my iPhone directly to the drive. It really is like your own personal cloud storage.
I love this part because while I can’t carry around 80 GB of photos on my iPhone, I can access all of those photos from anywhere where I’ve got an Internet connection. So whether I want to show someone photos of my favorite campsite in Big Sur, or that cool hidden nook the ranger told us about near Tully Hole on the John Muir Trail — it’s just a few clicks away.
And it’s fast. I know there are a lot of variables that will affect performance (like your own Internet connection speed), but it seemed to be as fast or faster than the pay-as-you-go cloud services. If you’re currently paying for a monthly or annual cloud storage, the WD My Cloud Expert Series could pay for itself pretty quickly.
If you take photos of your outdoor adventures (and I suspect you do). You need a strategy to backup and protect those memories. The WD My Cloud EX2100 made it easy for me, and it’s a welcome addition to my SoCalHiker Tech toolbox. Not only have I put my backups on auto-pilot, but I also can backup and retrieve photos right from my iPhone — even when I’m not at home.
SoCalHiker Tech is a series where I share the technology that I rely on to capture and share my adventures with you. I encourage you to learn more about the WD My Cloud Expert Series, and then enter to win a WD My Cloud EX2 valued at $349.99.
I entered, I love new backup solutions since I have so many photos and this sounds fantastic!
Chris McMillen says
Love that you can access photos and other content backed up on the device from almost anywhere on your phone!
nicole dziedzic says
My favorite is the WD Photos app which makes it super easy to upload photos from your phone directly to the drive. Very cool!
Craig Bartlett says
my favourite feature is the ability to network all the family files and media that I share with other computers in the home
Tanya M. Salcido (@tanyasalcido) says
I have so many photos that this cloud storage would come in very handy!
Maryann Peik says
Love being able to access from anywhere.
I haven’t had a desktop in 10 years and I love that this works hand-in-hand with my iPhone.
Definitely great for backing up photos! I have sooo many.
Paul (Mr. Adventure) says
Anywhere access! I’m trying to make the leap to tablet, but not having access to all my data has been the biggest obstacle!
Very interested in having remote access to my files.
Lionel Tilmont says
My precious, that would be nice to win this 😉
This would help so much when it comes to my photo-hoarding tendencies. Like old tshirts and CDs, I can’t throw away/delete most of them. So, it would be wonderful to have an accessible backup that freed up space on my phone.
Patrik Bangle says
So cool to be able to access my whole library from my phone!
Brenda Lin says
I have so many photos and to be able to access them from my phone anytime and anywhere, this sounds just about perfect!
Oshie (@purpleosh) says
whoa. File access anywhere with that size! I was just having a talk with someone about the need to centralize our photos!
Love that you can access photos from anywhere!
Want! 🙂 This seems like it would really help with my problem of having a billion photos on my iPhone because I always want to share them with people!
The ability to access your files remotely is great.
This product seems pretty darn amazing, especially since you can access your photos quick and almost anywhere with internet access! I’ve used a similar style SD card before but having this amount of storage space would be incredible!
SARAH CHANEY says
I love all the storage space, with two infants at home, I am constantly taking pictures. This is a great way to back up and store all my photos!
Chris Sheridan says
Cool. Cloud without giving up control.
Keith W says
I like the Apple Time Machine support.
Steven Epstein says
the ability for the whole family to back up all there files to your own cloud and also be able to share and stream content amazes me
Heather Dawn says
I like that you can look at your photos that are on it, even when you are not at home!
Bjørnar Berntsen says
Powered by a Marvell® ARMADA® dual-core processor, you can transfer and stream photos, videos and music in ultra-fast speeds.
Igor Strelnikov says
Access anywhere! I like this feature.
Terry Priest says
This would be an amazing tool to consolidate all my photos into one location. Set up sounds easy and quick along with access.
Jessica Walker says
This sounds like the perfect solution for my photos. I’m a pro photographer but also take a LOT of personal and fun photos during my trips and this would work well for both needs. Not to mention being able to access the photos from my little 16GB iPhone instead of having to keep certain photos on my phone at all times, so great!