Western Digital wants you to have a NAS box. Yes, you, Joe Consumer. A NAS box so easy your grandmother can set it up, but powerful enough that you can use it from anywhere. WD’s solution: a one-drive, non-user-serviceable slab of white plastic called the MyBook World Edition. Similar in form to the MyBook external hard drive, but with Gigabit Ethernet replacing the USB port, the MyBook World aims to be your family’s go-to repository for backup, sharing, and streaming.
Western Digital packages its single-drive MyBook World with either 1TB or 2TB Caviar Green low-power-consumption drives, wrapped in a sleek white “book” shape, with ventilation holes through the “pages.” The spine of the MyBook World features a white LED strip that displays status and capacity indicators; on its opposite side are a power jack, Gigabit Ethernet port, power button, reset hole, and USB host port for attaching additional storage.
The MyBook World ships with a handy WD Discovery utility that will auto-detect your MyBook on the network, let users map network drives, and configure the drive via a web interface. The included 30-day trial of the WD Anywhere backup software is not particularly noteworthy except for its ease of use—better backup options exist, especially once your trial runs out.
We dig the MyBook’s easy iTunes and TwonkyMedia streaming—the former lets you share an iTunes library across your local network, and the latter streams video to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The services run automatically, so all you have to do is drag media files to their respective public folders on the MyBook and you can access them via iTunes or your game console—and, of course, via Explorer on your PC.
WD’s MioNet lets you access your MyBook from outside the home network, but more advanced users will doubtless prefer to VPN into their home network for access, as the web console is clunky and the desktop service (which includes more features) costs $7.99/month.
Despite its use of Caviar Green drives, which aren’t noted for extreme performance, the MyBook World offers decent speeds, transferring 2.79GB to the NAS in three minutes, 10 seconds, and copying the same file from NAS to PC took just a minute and a half over Gigabit Ethernet.
The one fatal flaw in the MyBook World is that it’s easily tipped over. We actually had to request a second review unit after we knocked the first one over and couldn’t access it afterwards. We wish WD had shipped it with a stand. Our recommendation: Keep yours on its side. Aside from that (and the fact that it’s not user-serviceable), the MyBook World is an easy-to-use family NAS that’s hard to beat.
Western Digital 1TB MyBook World Edition
Easy to configure; easy media streaming; stylish.
Easy to knock over if stored vertically; not user-serviceable.
WD MyBook 1TB
Qnap TS-109 Pro
PC to NAS, small (min:sec)
PC to NAS, large (min:sec)
NAS to PC, small (min:sec)
NAS to PC, large (min:sec)
Best scores are bolded. We used the contents of Maximum PC’s November 2007 CD for the small-file testing, and a single 2.79GB file for the large-file testing. All scores are averages of three transfer trials.