Western Digital My Book Live review

A simple network file storage and sharing device with large capacity

Western Digital My Book Live
An excellent NAS hard drive for beginners

TechRadar Verdict

Straightforward network storage and sharing with no bells or whistles


  • +

    Easy to set up

  • +

    WD Photos iPhone app included

  • +

    Good transfer speeds over gigabit Ethernet

  • +

    Stylish design

  • +

    UPnP and DNLA media streaming


  • -

    Basic features

  • -

    No RAID

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Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are excellent for backing up your important digital files and folders, as well as sharing media between all computers and other media playing devices on your home network.

Western Digital has a great reputation for creating hard drives, both internal and external. And with the My Book Live it has made attaching a hard drive to a home network of Macs, PCs, tablets, smartphones, games consoles and media players – rather than just one computer – as simple as possible.

This is an excellent NAS device for beginners. It is simple to get up and running, and with 1TB of hard drive space on the model we tested, there is plenty of room for storing files. If you want to be greedier with your memory hoarding, there are also 2TB and 3TB versions, for £169.99 and £229.99, respectively.

It comes with some well-made software that enables us to keep an eye on how well the device is performing, and set up automatic backups of our test computer. Sure, there are more in-depth and powerful back-up tools out there, but as a free bonus the software did the job, and makes backing up a simple process for those who have never done it before.

The Western Digital Photos app for the iPhone enables you to view your photos on your phone without having to turn on the PC or Mac, and it worked very well.

We found that the gigabit Ethernet connection helps keep speeds up as you move files to and from the My Book Live. The Western Digital My Book Live is simple and straightforward, but that does mean that it lacks some of the more advanced features of other NAS devices.

If you want a simple networked back-up and sharing device, however, then the My Book Live is a great choice.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.