The WD MyCloud is a pretty single-purpose device. It’s a disk with a network interface, and as with Direct Attached Storage, the MyCloud Network Attached Storage is pretty easy to connect to.
First, let’s look at connecting to the web interface via the menu item, where you can drag and drop files to the device. Once the device is configured, use the WD menu item to see your device. From there, click on the name of your device.
Alternatively, you could visit mycloud.com and sign into the web interface there.
In both cases, you’ll see a list of files and then in the sidebar, you’ll see those options to configure settings, add integrations, view active its, and view photos that are on the device.
From here, you can simply drag and drop files into the web page, just like with a box or dropbox account, but the files are stored on the device. Additionally, you can send a link to a file or folder. To do so, right-click on the object you wish to share and then click Share Link.
At the resulting screen, you’ll see a link. Click Copy to copy the link into your clipboard so you can paste it into an email.
You may also want other users to be able to log into your WD MyCloud. To allow them to do so, open Settings and click on Add User. Then provide the email address for the user and click on Send Invites.
Finally, you can also mount the drive directly to computers. To do so, click on “Connect to Server” (or Command-K) from the Finder.
At the Connect to Server screen, enter the address of the server and click Connect. If you don’t know the address and you’re on the local network of the device. Additionally, if you have the menu item installed, you’ll see the device in the sidebar of your Mac.
It’s worth noting that with the exception of the ability to share a link to a file or folder, the permissions on the device are pretty much wide open, as you can see below. Additionally, any files you bring into the device will end up with the same wide open permissions. And while you can change permissions on files, they’ll revert back. So if you will need more granular capabilities with file permissions, this might not be the device for you. This device is a very inexpensive way to do very small workgroups or home file sharing, but beyond that it could be too basic for a lot of business use cases. What I like about it though, is that it doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is. And it does that very well, in a very easy-to-use way.
Now the MyCloud NAS comes with removable drives and a more robust interface. It’s still easy to use, but you can configure RAID levels, basic iSCSI functionality, and users. I still wouldn’t put this in front of large workgroups, but to replace a macOS Server for a small business, or as a basic NAS head, it’s a solid, easy-to-manage device.
krypted March 19th, 2018
Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Network Infrastructure
Apple, configure sharing, file sharing, MAC, wd mycloud
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The past couple of years has forced me to rethink many of my recommendations for how you backup computers in small office and home environments. Previously, I would have said that you could use a disk attached to an Apple AirPort. But the AirPort Base Station is no longer being made. Previously, I would have said you could use Time Machine Server, a service built into macOS Server in 5.4 and below. But that service is no longer being made in macOS Server by Apple and is now found in the Sharing System Preference pane . Previously, I might have even said to use the home edition of CrashPlan, which could have backed up to their cloud and/or a home server. But that plan is no longer being offered by Code 42.
So what are we to do? Well, luckily now the offerings out there are just endless. One of those offerings is so easy, you can run out to Best Buy, return home with a WD (Western Digital) MyCloud.com drive, and be up and running in about 5 minutes. I’ll cover other options when I cover file services and Synology. But in the meantime, let’s look at setting up a WD MyCloud.com drive, account, and configuring both to work with Time Machine. Setup Your WD Hard Drive
First, we’ll setup the drive. This is pretty straight forward. Plug the ethernet cable into your network, wait for the drive to boot up, and then go to the MyHome setup page
Here, you’ll be prompted to setup a My Cloud Home account. Enter a name, email address, and password. Then click on Create Account.
You’ll then be prompted for the device you plugged in, which is discovered on the network. Click Connect.
Choose whether you want to share product improvement data. Ever since my team as a product manager I’m a huge fan of doing so, so I clicked Share.
Once that’s done, you’ll be prompted to get the desktop app. While not absolutely necessary, it’s not a bad idea. If you want the app, click Download.
Once the app is done downloading, open the directory and open the installer.
Click Install Now.
Once complete, you’ll see the menu bar. Click it and then add your device if you don’t see it by clicking on “I don’t see my device”
When prompted, enter your email address and password that you created earlier and then click on Sign In.
Next, in the notifications area for updating the software make sure to run that. There was a pretty bad vulnerability awhile back
and that will make sure you’re good. Then click on the name of your WD MyCloud Home.
Add IFTTT Alerts
I want to see when new updates, channels or options are added, so I’m going to enable that. To do so, click on Services in the sidebar. and then click on Enable for IFTTT.
Assuming the terms of service are acceptable, click “I Agree”
When prompted, choose to connect to IFTTT.
From the IFTTT site, click Connect.
Choose which options to give IFTTT for the MyCloud API.
Browse the channels and enable each that you’d like and then click “Turn on.” Mount the MyCloud Drive
Next, open a “Connect to Server” dialog box (Command-K from the Finder) and click on Browse.
Click on the MyCloud-XXX where XXX is the identifier for your MyCloud account.
Click on the timemachinebackup folder.
The folder should initially be empty. Now let’s open the Time Machine System Preference pane.
Click on “Select Backup Disk…”Choose Your MyDisk From Time Machine
Choose the TimeMachineBackup directory for the MyCloud Device and click on “Use Disk.”
You’ll then want to create a user for backing up. To do so, go back to the mycloud.com site and click on settings. Then click on “Add user…” and enter an email address.
The email address will get an email to setup an account. Do so and then once you’ve configured the user, enter the email address and password when prompted.
Now wait for the first backup to finish. If you ever see any errors, check them; otherwise, you should backup to the device as with a locally attached drive, but you won’t need to plug directly into the drive to run backups.Conclusion
This doesn’t solve for a lot of use cases that Time Machine Server would have been better for. But it’s a simple task that should cost you a little over a hundred bucks and get you backing up. I’m still a fan of cloud services. Backblaze, Carbonite, and others will backup your data for an annual fee of a little less than what a MyDrive costs. I’ll cover those in later articles, but for now, you’ve got a backup on your network, which even if you use one of those services is a great option in the event of hardware failure, as you can quickly get back up and running with a full system restore!
krypted March 12th, 2018
Posted In: Mac OS X, Network Infrastructure
app, Apple, backup, macos, mycloud, wd, wd mycloud