Tech Review: Backup Your Smartphone To Your Personal Cloud

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The concept of cloud storage is great.  Your phone or tablet essential backs itself up all the time.  Your photos and videos are sent off to another location and saved just in case you lose or break your phone.  Problem is, it costs money.  It often requires a monthly subscription fee.  A fee that you will basically pay forever.  Otherwise, you’ll lose those files!  There are other ways to back-up your important files!

Western Digital My Cloud Home
- $160+

Create your own cloud!  That's the concept behind the Western Digital My Cloud Home.  It's essentially a hard drive that plugs into your internet router.  Setup is super simple via a webpage or a mobile app on iPhone or Android.  It literally took me less than 5 minutes to get the drive up and running on my network.  Once it's setup, you use it like any other cloud storage.

The WD App can work in the background on your phone or tablet, backing up your photos and videos minutes after you take them.  There is also a PC app that you can use to keep folders on your desktop or laptop computer synchronized to your cloud drive.

The My Cloud goes one step further and has a few cool tricks up it's sleeve!  It can be used as a Plex server.  This means you can store videos on the drive and watch them on your Plex compatible set-top box.  If you know Plex then you know this is an awesome feature.  You can also connect the My Cloud to your social media networks so that it backs up any photos that you post to Facebook.  It'll also backup any files that you upload to services like DropBox or Google Drive.

My Cloud is an awesome option if you don't want to pay a monthly fee for a cloud service and want to keep your files, in your home!  It's the easiest and most robust personal cloud solution I've tested yet!

The WD My Cloud Home starts at $160 for 2TB and goes up to $700 for 16TB!  It's a perfect solution for a family that wants to share a cloud storage solution among multiple devices.


SanDisk iXpand Base - $50+

If you're looking for something a little simpler to back-up your iPhone on a daily basis, iXpand is a good option.  It's a charging base that has an SD card on the back.  When you plug your iOS device into the iXpand the app starts backing up your photos, videos and contacts from your phone or iPad to the memory card.  No internet required, just a simple straightforward automatic backup.

The best part is that the iXpand is a much more affordable solution starting at just $50 (32GB).  Problem is, the memory may not be enough if you take a lot of HD video.  The largest $200 iXpand model is 256GB.  At that point you'd probably be better off looking into something like the My Cloud Home.

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