Everything in its Place
The first thing that any school that starts using tablets learns is that the 16-, 32- or even 64GB that they can hold is just not enough space for all the classroom files that accumulate over the school year. The answer is to keep them from filling up is to shuffle as much data as you can to a network drive, like WD’s My Cloud family of external hard drives. They can make up for the lack of local storage space on slates with models that can hold 2-, 3- or 4TB of everything from book reports and lesson plans to math homework, class pictures and field trip videos.
Unlike most networked storage systems, My Cloud is easy to set up and takes a few minutes to configure, perfect for smaller schools that lack IT staff. The key to its usefulness is that My Cloud starts by being a small and unobtrusive plug-in box for stashing all sorts of stuff. Because it is connected to the local network and onto the Internet, you can save stuff there and retrieve it in a matter of seconds whether you’re at school or not. In addition to apps for Android phones and tablets or iPhones and iPads, there’s software for PCs and Macs as well, making it a clean sweep as far as compatibility goes. You can even email a file link for someone to securely download and open.
Regardless of its capacity, each My Cloud storage system has a dual-core processor and Linux-based internal software. This allows it to work just as well with iPad files and those from a Mac or PC and have an attractive and easy to figure out dashboard from which you can check on the drive’s status and make changes. The system gets online via gigabit Ethernet and there’s also a USB 3.0 connection for adding more storage with a second drive.
A big step forward for the My Cloud is that it can also tap items saved on online storage services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. When files travel over the Internet, they’re secure, thanks to 128-bit encryption. The best part of all is that unlike others, the drive doesn’t have a noisy fan. The drives start at $149 for 2TB of capacity and include a two-year warranty.