A likeable and well-priced NAS, even if it doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd.
Competitively priced Nice and quiet Good media compatibility
Fairly bland design No BitTorrent client
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Western Digital has revamped its My Book World NAS device, aiming it at households that need to backup files on multiple machines. That'll be all of us then.
Everybody is talking the backup talk now, but nobody – aside from Microsoft with its expensive Windows Home Server – has yet come up with something that backs up everything all of the time. And even that doesn't work properly with Macs.
No such problems for WD – the company says this drive is fine with Leopard's Time Machine. It also provides its own backup software - WD Anywhere Backup. This worked without issue when we tried it on Windows and it's flexible, enabling you to backup as much or little as you need.
The software is, however, powered by Memeo who we've had mixed dealings with before when using its software with Buffalo products. Still, this version seemed fine to us and the app sits in system tray and gets on with things perfectly happily.
However, it doesn't get away from the main problem with backup - it's still being dependent on users installing the software in the first place.
Eschewing the silver and black look of the other MyBook drives, this plastic white-cased model looks exactly the same in terms of shape and chassis, with Gigabit Ethernet and USB connections on the backplate. You can connect up other external drives to the USB connection for overflow storage or network them using the port. While this is a 1TB version, a dual-drive 2TB version is also available. It's similarly specified, just thicker.
The drive is also surprisingly quiet, which is a welcome boon. This is largely due to WD's inclusion of its top-spec Green Power Drives which the company also says draw 33 per cent less power.
As with the previous version, there's the ability to use MioNet to remotely access your data. Setup of this service was relatively pain-free, though it is only a trial and there is little explanation of the service in any documentation.
Initial set up is extremely simple, with the WD Discovery tool letting you map the network drive on Windows, while the router-pluggable drive is auto-discoverable under OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The browser-based configuration wizard is available just by browsing to the device, so you don't actually need to install WD Discovery, but it will make setting up the NAS easier, especially for first-time users.
As for media streaming, this is also well covered. As with many NAS boxes, there's now an iTunes Server built-in, while there's also DLNA compatibility. Both are now a must for any NAS device. Many more devices are becoming DLNA compliant – a standard for media streaming between living room devices such as gaming consoles and media streaming boxes, and it's something we'll hear a lot more of in the coming months.
This box compares favourably with others on the market in terms of price, being slightly cheaper than the competing Buffalo LinkStation Live. This box doesn't have a built-in BitTorrent client, but that's still quite a niche and we're not going to over-penalise the WD drive for lacking it.
Overall, the My Book World is likeable and well-priced, even if it doesn't do a great deal to stand out from the crowd. But a NAS is now an essential piece of kit, and the MyBook World is a purchase you're unlikely to regret.
Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.