Thursday, April 18, 2024
GadgetsReviewsTravel Photography

REVIEWED: Western Digital My Cloud Pro Series PR4100

A NAS drive for saving and sharing your travel photos in full resolution

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Are you backed-up when you travel? Travel photographers who take photos on DSLR or mirrorless cameras often travel with a laptop and a portable hard drive, backing-up as they go just in case an SD card corrupts, or a camera gets stolen. What’s wrong with Google Photos? Online cloud systems like that one are great for smartphones, and even promise auto backups, but they put limits on the resolution and file sizes of your uploads. That’s no good if you have a DSLR that’s taking 24 megapixels shots in raw formats, and filming in 4K video. Besides, who really wants to put their precious photos and personal data in the hands of an internet giant? Cue the PR410, a backup solution with loads of storage, password protection, and even 256-bit AES volume encryption.

Western Digital My Cloud Pro Series PR410: design

It’s a black box. The four-bay version TravGear long-term tested had a combined 24TB for storage, which is generous indeed and ought to last for a good few photographic trips. However, the biggest capacity possible is 40TB. It’s really easy to remove and add drives, so it’s completely modular; you just slot them in. Going to Iceland on a vacation? You might want to invest in another drive …

On the back of the PR410 are three USB 3.0 ports for connecting separate portable hard drives and thumb drives, memory card readers and even a digital camera, and we love the one-touch USB import button. Great idea! There are also two Gigabit Ethernet ports back there for connecting the PR410 to your home’s WiFi router.

It’s all powered by a quad-core Intel Pentium N3710 processor and 4GB of RAM, and it works with Windows 7 through 10, Mac OS X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks or Mountain Lion, it’s compatible with DLNA and UPnP devices, and it can serve as a Plex server.

Western Digital My Cloud Pro Series PR410: performance

The PR410 is loud. Switch in on and off it goes, the fan whirring and the drives spinning. The blue-lit LCD screen also goes into hyperdrive which, along with the blue status LEDs, rarely stops; the PR410 likes you to know that it’s there, and what it’s doing. That’s not ideal while you’re watching TV in a dark room, but at least you don’t have to check up on it via the app or My Cloud dashboard/web portal.

However, in terms of set-up, you just need to plug it in, register for a My Cloud account, and download the My Cloud app to your iOS or Android smartphone. Although it can be set-up to work as a Plex server, and very closely with Dropbox and WordPress, the app also plays nicely with Google Drive, One Drive, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud, so the My Cloud acts as a really useful all-in-one. As well as being able to keep your photos, videos, and files organized in one place, it’s really easy to upload files from anywhere – and that includes all of the photos on your smartphone. As soon as you log-on to the WiFi in a hotel, for example, your phone will back-up to the PR410. You can also access, again via WiFi, any files on the PR410 – so that could be all of the travel photos you’ve ever taken.

Western Digital My Cloud Pro Series PR410: conclusion

For the average travel photographer, the PR410 is overkill, but if you’re after a NAS drive that’s as future-proof as possible, look no further. Its modular nature is impressive, as is its usability, and TravGear loved its auto-backup of a phone’s photos, importing files from a camera one-touch via USB, and having a central place to store everything.

However, a NAS drive like this will appeal mostly to travel photographers after a giant-sized backup option with built-in redundancy that goes nowhere near the likes of Google.

Price as reviewed: from £759.99 (8TB) through to £2,049.99 (40TB)

Read more here.