With today's unveiling of My Cloud, hard drive storage specialist Western Digital has introduced a new system of cloud storage that could see it challenging the major players.
Billed as a 'personal cloud solution', My Cloud is a physical cloud-enabled drive that the user keeps at home, which once connected can be accessed from anywhere and from any device.
The big difference is that users only pay up front for the cloud drive, rather than a yearly annual subscription that other services will charge for a decent amount of storage. Once you've paid the cost of the cloud drive itself, remote access to your data from anywhere is free indefinitely.
Western Digital stressed that this approach will keep data 'personal' - your data is yours, rather than being entrusted to the hands of companies like Google. Many users may welcome this after recent revelations concerning data protection.
The My Cloud app allows for easy and remote organisation of stored data, and the USB 3.0 connection lets you expand its capacity by adding supplementary hard drives.
Of course, the physical nature of the My Cloud does take away one of the chief advantages of cloud storage. It needs the actual drive in order to work, so if you suffer a catastrophe at home and the drive is damaged or destroyed, your 'cloud' data is lost.
Western Digital's suggested solution is for the user to have two drives, in different locations, and mirror the data between them.
The price of the My Cloud is a real plus point however. The one-off fee for the cheapest model is just £129, giving you indefinite cloud storage for 2TB of data. The equivalent on Google Drive will currently cost you $99 (£61.10) per month - £733 per year.
Cloud storage for photographers is becoming an ever more competitive field as more and more of us start keeping our data online. Google, for instance, very recently improved its online raw-to-jpeg conversion.
The Western Digital My Cloud is now available in 2TB and 3TB capacities, priced £129 and £159 respectively. The 4TB capacity version is expected in November, at a price yet to be announced.
Full specs below:
10/100/1000 MB/s compatible
Personal cloud storage
Quick Install Guide
Height: 6.7 in (170.6 mm)
Depth: 5.5 in (139.9 mm)
Width: 1.9 in (49 mm)
Weight: 2.12 lb (0.96 kg) 2 TB, 2.12 lb (0.96 kg) 3 TB, 2.19 lb (1.00 kg) 4 TB
Operating temperature: 5°C to 35°C
Non-op. temperature: -20°C to 65°C
Windows® 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista® or Windows XP (SP 3) operating systems; Mac OS® X Mountain LionTM, LionTM or Snow Leopard® operating systems
DLNA/UPnP® devices for streaming Internet connection for remote access
Internet Explorer® 8.0 or higher, Safari® 4.0 or higher, Firefox® 12 or higher, Google ChromeTM 14.0 and later on supported Windows and Mac OS platforms
Compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration and operating systems.
CAPACITIES AND MODELS
4 TB WDBCTL0040HWT
3 TB WDBCTL0030HWT
2 TB WDBCTL0020HWT