My podcast colleague Steve, from the MacReview Cast, sent me the MyCloud Duo from Akitio. Its a desktop storage unit supporting RAID 0.1 but has an interesting web interface that might set it apart from other boxes.
First a look at the stats. Usb and Gigabit Ethernet on the back and another USB port on the front for a quick synch backup from the memory stick.
Kudos to Akitio for making no false pretenses about the manual. It’s basic covering just enough to get you up and running but they do say on the website that paper manuals are pretty much outdated the moment they get sent out so look at the pdf’s and wiki instead. http://wiki.myakitio.com/
Great as it might sound it lead to my first issue of finding out what this particular unit is capable of.. For that it’s a trip to http://www.akitio.com/, find the product and bingo. So after a little bit of faff it’s Raid 0, 1 are supported.
It took more time to for the unit to boot up than to put the drive in. Unfasten 1 screw, slide off the front, insert drive(s), slide front back on, screw up, attach network cable, power on. That’s it up and running inside a few minutes. Handy hint. Before putting the drive somewhere away, grab the MAC address you’ll be needing this shortly
Mycloud Duo works best if the network cable used has access to the outside world. Normally, to access the NAS box you’d enter an IP Address from the unit and then start poking around with setting things up. With the Akitio unit you head over to http://myakitio.com and login there. It’s possible to reach the box directly on your network but for now let’s run with this method.
With the mac number you wrote down on the back of the manual earlier, to save you walking up and down many times to make sure you got it right you’ll end up on this screen.
I’d originally intended to review this with a hdd that was already in usage, after all the mycloud is supposed to be compatible with NTFS formstted drivers in the hope i could use a spare pc drive purely for testing. But in this case it wouldn’t mount my HTPC drive. I’m not about to format that one after finally getting a media centre right. It’s only when you get testing you find out what’s what, and so we’ve learnt you can’t whip out a pc drive and put it into the Mycloud duo but you can mount one externally by USB.
So I plugged in a spare USB drive then mounted it so that I could get on with testing. With the drive mounted you hit the mycloud icon at the bottom right and away we go. Notice the icons look a little familar? More than a touch borrowed from Apple’s dock, just a shame about the windows feel. Over the LAN the interface was fast but I’m not quite sure how this will work speed wise over the internet. More on that later.
Feature List Rundown
Fast enough to be usable unlinke the NSA210 unit that’s also on the network.
Downloader (aka Bit Torrent)
Basic. No support for RSS feeds or scheduled downloads. Presently testing to see if you can remotely add a torrent file.
Tested but also untested. I’m fairly sure that testing failed due to being setup for USB only. This thing really needs a HDD.
Overall thoughts (testing unfinished).
With only one drive populating the unit, fan noise is echoy, noticeable even with a radio station going in front of my and the NAS box being at the other side of the room.
File transfers use HTML 5 drag and drop, going as fast as your network will allow. Puts my old Zyxel NSA210 to shame.
Setup isn’t the easier. Would be more than easy to end up formatting a drive, be prepared for several trips to the wiki and the product page.