Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Make your own Cloud

As usual, Apple has the lion's share of coverage about cloud services, with its up-and-coming iCloud. After the pain-in-the-derriere that is OS X Lion, I wish I hadn't jumped aboard the iCloud bandwagon. Because you know what? You can make your own cloud. It's easy.

If you've got a computer and an Internet connection, you're in business. You can either setup your computer as a server, or you can buy a NAS -- Network Attached Storage. Of the two options, the NAS is the sweeter one because you don't have to leave your computer on, and setup is minimal. From there, you can then access all your files, your music, your movies, whatever, anywhere there's an Internet connection, from your phone, another computer, or your iPad. It's as simple as buying one box for your home setup, something like a Pogoplug, or the Western Digital MyBook Live.

Now I'm a big fan of Western Digital products. I think they've found a sweet spot between quality and price. Here's a pic of my desktop.

That's 4TB of storage sitting there. Yes, I'm a digital packrat. Not in picture: 2TB more from an assortment of external drives. It's not pretty.

WD's MyBook Live (not a name that rolls off your tongue, is it?) is basically a 1TB to 3TB hard drive that is attached to the cloud instead of to your laptop. It goes one step further than the usual WD hard drive. This one's got apps too (and they're free!).

You have the WD Photos app. As the name suggests, it lets you access your pics from your iOS device.

You also have the WD 2Go app, which is for everything else: files, music, etc. To use the apps, you'll need a WD MyBook Live though. Naturally.

Finally, there's also a sort of web portal where you can access your NAS/MyBook Live from any browser.

As for that sweet spot I was talking about, check out the prices: Php 6,990 for 1TB, Php 8,290 for the 2TB, and Php 10,590 for 3TB. Looks like WD did it again. NAS used to be expensive.

See? Who needs iCloud?


carlos said...

Coolness. I got myself a WD 1TB from BestBuy last year. It was on sale and I just couldn't pass it up (of course, a year later, and I could get more storage for even less -grr). I got it for the Network Storage feature. Only problem is, it's SOO SLOW! And it doesn't give you an option for a USB connection. I haven't hooked it up because I'm too lazy. Can you share a step by step? Also, will this setup work with wi-tribe and other 3G/4G connections? Does speed matter with what modem or router I use? I've been using my trusty, 7-year old router.

The Third World Nerd said...

Hi Carlos.

A Gigabit Ethernet connection is required, so if your router supports that, you're good.

As for wireless Internet, you'll need the ones with an actual modem, not the all-in-one USB dongles because you need that Ethernet connection. I guess you can connect your router to the wireless Internet, but I've never tried it personally.

As you can see from the topmost picture, Ethernet is the only plug it's got, aside from power (and a security cable). This is a very single-minded gizmo!

Speed will depend on your network connection when you're using a remote connection. While you're at your local network/local wireless network, things should be pretty zippy. Outside...it depends...