Much as we love the Qnap TS-451+ , not everyone wants a chunky NAS with hot-swappable bays, a huge selection of features and the sort of design which makes network admins swoon. Some simply want fast networked storage, Dropbox-like sync functions and solid media-handling features, preferably in a box that’s easy on the attention and with an interface that justifies the adjective “intuitive”. In the event that’s your wishlist, the second-generation My Cloud Mirror is hard to beat.

For a start, the look owes more to Western Digital’s external devices than enterprise storage, and it comes populated with dual 2TB, 3TB or 4TB WD Red drives for a complete of 4TB, 6TB or 8TB of capacity. In the event that you do have to replace drives, they’re easy to get at through a flap near the top of the unit.

It’s quite noisy when setting up but very quiet on the whole operation, while power consumption never crept above a peak 18W inside our tests, mostly hovering at 12W to 15W. Connectivity is basic, with just two USB 3 ports on the trunk in addition to the single Gigabit Ethernet, but also for many home and small-office users, that’s enough.

It’s those users who’ll best appreciate how easy the brand new My Cloud Mirror is to create. The web-based routine discovers it on your own network, creates a merchant account and creates the drives. There’s a give attention to web access and synchronisation that leaves you feeling you’re turning all on your own personal cloud. This straightforward interface makes managing this product a cinch, whether you’re adding users, creating new shared folders or establishing backups through WD’s SmartWare Pro iphone app or Apple’s Time Machine. It is the same story with DLNA and iTunes media streaming; you do not get advanced features such as for example real-time transcoding however the basics are set up and work.

As the My Cloud Mirror isn’t the only NAS to provide cloud storage capabilities, it and the Netgear RN214 will be the only kinds that approach Dropbox or OneDrive’s features and simplicity. Download the WD Sync iphone app and any files you save or update in your My Cloud folder are synced almost quickly on the NAS, filled with a Dropbox-like status applet to keep you up-to-date on progress.

Meanwhile, the My Cloud web portal gives instant, quick access to your files and folders through a browser, regardless if it lacks the type of document preview, media streaming, slideshow and sharing features you’d get from OneDrive or Dropbox. If you want mobile access, the iOS and Android My Cloud programs enable you to access and download files, and can also automatically upload photographs – similar to the true cloud storage apps.

The downside of all consumer-level NAS units is performance, and we didn’t have high hopes for the My Cloud’s 1.2GHz Marvell Armada CPU and 512MB of RAM. Surprisingly, however, it isn’t slow at all, with read and write speeds more than 100MB/sec when copying large 4K video files. The limitations of the CPU proved more apparent when processing our 10.7GB of small files but even here the results were more mid-table than bottom of the league.

Perhaps its biggest feature, though, is value. Just both 4TB WD Red drives would cost around 260, causeing this to be NAS’s 350 price seem to be pretty reasonable. Drop right down to the 6TB version and you could find it for under 250.

If you are an ambitious user buying Swiss-Army-knife of a NAS that may work as a web server, email server, IP camera security centre and 4K video transcoding powerhouse, then pick the Qnap TS-451+ or Synology DS216+; the My Cloud Mirror isn’t the NAS you are considering. If, however, you will want simple, ready-made solution for backup, file-sharing and personal, cloud-like storage, search no further. The WD My Cloud Mirror 2 offers you all you have to with the the least hassle and expense.