Performance, Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts

Performance:

With the EX2 on our local network, and while minimizing other network use, we performed some large file copies to and from the EX2.

Write:

Read:

Very impressive speeds seen here. We also tested throughput to USB connected storage. We used a Kingston HyperX flash drive to avoid the storage being the bottleneck.

Write:

Read:

Writes speeds were a bit low here. Our flash drive was NTFS formatted, and sometimes added NTFS overhead limits write speeds with lower power NAS devices, so we formatted it exFAT (the only other option presented in Windows 8.1 with a 128GB flash drive). The EX2 would not recognize the drive. After further research, we found this at WD support:

It appears the My Cloud devices can not communicate with exFAT formatted devices. We repeated the test with a smaller FAT32 formatted flash drive (Windows allows FAT32 on flash devices 32GB and below) and saw similar write speeds as those noted with NTFS, so the write speed bottleneck appears to be elsewhere in the chain.

Conclusion:

Pros:

  • Compact, efficient, silent design
  • Excellent network throughput
  • Great out of the box / setup experience

Cons:

  • Relatively low write speeds to externally connected USB devices
  • exFAT not supported on USB devices

Pricing:

Final Thoughts:

The Western Digital EX2 fills an important gap in home network storage devices. RAID adds much needed redundancy, and Western Digital's My Cloud suite lets you get to that redundantly stored data from just about anywhere – even away from home. Speeds were noted to be very good, as the EX2 turned in read speeds exceeding 100 MB/sec over the local network. There were a few quirks in write speeds to USB connected devices, but NAS devices always seem to be picky about writing to externally connected media. Overall, the Western Digital EX2 was impressive, packing a lot of functionality and storage into a neat and tidy package.

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