More and more people are relying on computers to store their data and there arises the need for connected storage. Something like a Windows Home Server is too expensive and complex for majority of the users, in this case a relatively less costly and more centralized storage option would be perfect. A Network Attached Storage device is the perfect solution for such people. It allows you to share data with several computers at once as well as backup systems. What makes NAS devices special is the fact that they can be connected to devices such as the Xbox something that USB hard drives cannot do. But the most important aspect when it comes to buying a NAS server is its ease of use. The newest addition to the ‘My Book’ external hard drives from WD is unique for two reasons. Firstly, it gives you an NAS solution with a Gigabit Ethernet connection. Secondly, you can access the device from any part of the world. Is this precisely what you are looking for? Read on to find out.
Western Digital’s My Book range are so called because the basic design for devices under the brand resembles a book. Different models of My Books are identifiable by the colour scheme used. The Book Pro Edition II was silver coloured and the My Book Premium was a glossy black. The WD World Edition External Hard Drives, on which our focus is a glossy white coloured device that looks extremely slick and amazingly does not show fingerprints that make devices ugly. There is a rubber strip included as well, something that is common to all the other devices under My Book brand. The rubber strip runs along the top, base and back of the device enabling it to be laid down without exposing it to the risk of getting scratched.
The top, side and bottom sides of the device are perforated in order to help the air flow inside and keep the device cool. The grilled look makes it look a class apart and we could easily say that this is by far the most attractive NAS box we have ever seen. Aesthetic functionality at its best. In the middle of the spine is present a strip of white lights. The light is capable of acting as a memory gauge meter. The bottom one lights up when the device is on and the others light up according to the activity of the drive. A very interesting aesthetic add to the device that goes great with it. If however you find it distracting, there is even an option to turn it off in the menu.
On the back of the device is present a power button and a gigabit Ethernet, USB and power connection option.
Hidden Security Slot:
A small issue we have with the design of the My Book World Edition Hard Drive is its location of the security slot. The slot is hidden amongst the back along with the other vent holes. It gets frustrating if you want to protect your data but do not know where the slot is.
One Hard Drive only:
The Western Digital My Book World Edition External Hard Drive (1TB & 2TB) uses one hard drive unlike other expensive NAS appliances that use at least two hard drives lest one fails the other would still have the data. It is extremely important to have high data redundancy as more and more information around us is on computers. Another interesting feature of the device is the inclusion of an USB port, something that is not too common amongst NAS devices. While the USB port cannot be used to connect to a computer, you can connect it to another hard drive to back up data on this one thereby adding more storage to the network. Thankfully!
The Western Digital My Book World Edition requires you to have an Ethernet connection either a network adapter, router, hub or switch; A web browser, Adobe Flash Active X 9 and a Broadband Internet connection.
The My Book World Edition device is compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms. The device is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well as Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard.
The My Book World Edition is available in two capacities: 1TB and 2TB. The 1TB drive is capable of storing up to 200000 photos or about 80 hours of video or 250000 songs. Such a large memory ensures all your data is safely stored at one place. The 2 B memory drive is of the similar specifications as the 1TB only slightly thicker.
Easy Set up and Easier to Use:
All you need to use the device is to plug it into a power socket and a router and voila, the device will appear on the network browser if you are on Windows and on Finder, if you are on Mac. You can then unload the media on to the device and be relieved for your data is totally secure. For users who are still on Windows XP, there is no reason to worry as Western Digital provides software to make things easy for you guys as well. Just pop in the CD and click on Map Network Drive option for backup. There are other features such as scheduling backups etc. which will be discussed in detail later on in the review. But honestly, this is by far the easiest setup we encountered for network attached storage.
Setting the NAS up:
Once you have set up the device, the drive’s shared folders would be available on the network where they can be assigned to network drives. To set the NAS up, log on to it on a web browser assuming you know what the IP address the router has given it. Or you could run the Discovery Utility that Western Digital has provided on the included CD and lets you configure it. It is pretty easy to map a network drive, browse though the shared files of a network and create shortcuts. The initial configuration page asks you to set up the time zone, passwords and a select network options. Beyond this, the program allows you to select Basic or Advanced mode. The Basic Mode is for the users who are new to NAS and want to just get a job done whereas the advanced mode lets you do a lot more such as specifying user access control and individual permissions for accessing USB devices. But the device lacks self downloading features where you could set the device to download on its own without involving a computer.
iTunes Server Capability:
One of the highlight features of the device is its iTunes server capability. It allows you to store all music and other multimedia files on the drive and allows other computers that run iTunes to access it without any issues. You heard that right. You can access all the music and multimedia files on any computer without any violation issues. The device is DLNA certified therefore can act as a server for gaming devices such as Microsoft Xbox 360, Televisions, And Mobile phones etc.
No BitTorrent client built in:
The drive does not have in built BitTorrent client, but that is still far from being a popular feature and so no points cut for the drive.
MioNet is the software that the My Book World Edition uses for remote access. The server is registered with an account at MioNet and then you can log on to the NAS server from any part of the world to get data off it. The setting up of the server is easy. Connect the NAS server to a computer, and launch the MioNet registration page from the CD. The installation of the MioNet software is not necessary as the My Book World Edition does not require any software to remain powered in order to work properly. The software allows you to access your computer from the Internet. However, due to piracy concerns, sharing of a few formats are not allowed.
No Switch On feature:
The device does not feature a wake up LAN feature so you cannot turn it off nor start it up. But since the device uses a meagre 6W at idle state and 9W during a file transfer, we do not have to worry about power wastage running it all day long.
Time Machine compatible:
When the device was launched, it was not compatible with Time Machine. However, at the time of writing this review, all models shipped were made Time Machine ready.
A problem with a few NAS devices lies in them not being able to be recognized by the computer. The Western Digital My Book World Edition does not have that issue. When we connected to a switch and to a router, it was recognised instantly and was accessible using Internet Explorer. The OS we were running on, Windows 7 also recognised and enabled us to access it using Network Discovery.
Issues with Access:
While we were able to browse files and folders properly using the NAS server, we were unable to copy any folders from the NAS to the computer. The webpage seemed to hang every time we did that rendering remote access solution useless.
While the device does not have too many features to boast of, it proves to be a solid performer. My Book World Edition was able to transfer files at a whopping 120 Mbps for writing and 206Mbps on the reading parameter thereby beating every router in the market except Synology DS 209+. A point to be noted is that, the speeds are comparable to a USB 2.0 part hard drive but since the latter are physically connected they have an advantage over speed.
No Fan Inside:
The device is pretty silent and the only noise that emanates from it is from the hard drive which is of the low power and of the Green range. There are absolutely NO cooling fans used and thanks to the very efficient grilling design, the device keeps cool. But remember not to position it in dusty or confined places in order for it to run optimally.
Another aspect of the device is its eco-friendliness. It is not something that people would actually care for while buying a device, but the company maintains that the device consumes much lesser power when running all day than a PC to share the same data. As we mentioned earlier, this Green power drive consumes energy up to one third lesser power than your usual 3.5 inch disks.
What is in the box?
The Drive comes along with an Ethernet cable, an AC adapter for power, a software CD containing MioNet and a Quick Install guide book.
The Drive comes with a decent warranty of three years. There is toll free support available on the phone throughout the week except on Sundays. There is also email and tech support provided in the form of FAQs and downloads on their website. However to access these downloads; you must register the product on the Website.
Western Digital has managed to create a simple no frills NAS device with the My Book World Edition. It is the best looking NAS device in the market and is also extremely easy to use. For laymen and other users, it offers a way to backup their files without giving a second thought, thus making it practically the best choice for many a user. The iTunes capability also will make it popular amongst music enthusiasts. While an eSATA drive would have been obviously faster, the wireless storage is a perfect idea if you have multiple computers. There is no RAID support nor is the hard drive user serviceable but to most of the users the absence of these would not make much of a difference. In conclusion, it is a fantastic device all in all that is capable of great speeds, consumes much lesser power than other drives. Therefore a must buy! In case you are looking for a more powerful, feature rich and better performing device, you could go for the Synology DS 209+.
WD My Book World Edition External Hard Drive – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||WD Digital My Book World Edition External Hard Drive|
|Model Numbers||2TB – WDH1NC20000
1TB – WDH1NC10000
|Drive type||Portable External|
|Capacities Available||1TB and 2TB|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||2.2″ x 5.7″ x 6.8″|
|Spindle speed||7200 RPM|
|OS Compatibility||Windows XP, Windows Vista,
Windows 7, Mac OS 10.4, 10.5 or 10.6
|Package||External hard drive
Quick Install Guide