Western Digital My Book Live (2TB)

The Western Digital My Book Live is a simple, well-performing solution for those who don't want to be overwhelmed by a network-attached storage.


8.0
CNET Rating
3.0
User Rating

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Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


We could wrap this review in a sentence if need be: the My Book Live is a baby network-attached storage (NAS). But perhaps this wouldn't do it justice.

The hunk of hard plastic we received contained a 2TB desktop drive, connected to a logic board no doubt running on some form of embedded Linux, which in turn was connected to a gigabit Ethernet port. There's a single LED on the front of the box that changes colour depending on the status of the Live, although you'll find yourself digging through the manual to determine what colour means what.

Now usually when such things are connected to gigabit ports, they perform about as adequately as a mariachi band that's been set on fire. Thankfully, Western Digital has imbued the My Book Live with some sort of mojo juice, as it sustained around 96MBps read speeds. The 45MBps sustained write speeds may not sound so hot by comparison, but for something of this physical size the speeds the Live attains are rather impressive.

Western Digital has also put a lot of time into the look of the web user interface (UI), which by NAS standards is gorgeous. It's also incredibly slow at loading pages, and we can only surmise that although the Live has clearly been optimised for sequential throughput, it hasn't been for its in-built web server.

Options are limited compared to a full-blown NAS, but there are still some surprising entries, like the in-built Twonky Media Server for one. It also has iTunes and FTP servers, you can add additional share folders, manage users (but not groups), and set the time out before the hard drive goes idle.

You can also download an iPhone or Android app called WD Photos, although this requires you to sign up to MioNet. It's as simple as the name implies, allowing you to view photos on the Live, share them or order them in a slideshow. Disappointingly, there's no way to simply access the unit over the local network from the phone, unless you have an SMB browser and hit up the IP directly.

The non-user serviceable and single drive nature means it's not bullet proof, but the Western Digital My Book Live is a simple, well-performing solution for those who don't want to be overwhelmed by a NAS.



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RakhmatR Facebook
2
Rating
 

RakhmatR posted a review   

It sucks..especially read/write speed and easy to going shut down by itself...better throw it away to my trash..

ColinM3
2
Rating
 

"Can't see it on the network after disconnecting and reconnecting"

ColinM3 posted a review   

The Good:Not much

The Bad:Doesn't play all video file types

After disconnecting from network and reconnecting, it can't be seen on the network again. Had to throw it away and buy a Seagate instead. I know others who have had exactly the same problem.

qwerty007
5
Rating
 

"A great foundation but needs some adjustments to make it popular with the user base (which would make it more popular)."

qwerty007 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Can stream videos smoothly on an optimised Wi-Fi Network

The Bad:No ability to search or categorize content. Using the WD mobile app (WD 2go) not useable for family (high mobile data usage)..

The product works well, but:

Pros
1. Smooth video replay on an optimised wi-fi network.
2. Convenient for everyone in your house to store videos etc, and then play them on the TV via PS3, XBox etc.
3. Makes your home more social, as people can view other's shared videos.
4. Better than using cloud based storage solutions as they can't store as much data, and have an ongoing expense related to the storage, and related Internet data costs when readying stored video.
5. WD 2go, a mobile app for the device is great for storing video on your mobile device, allowing you to replay smoothly, when there is a poor Internet connection (but it uses mobile data, even at home, so be careful).

Cons
1. There are no instructions on how to optimize your wi-fi network included -your wi-fi router can be a bottleneck, especially if someone is downloading (or transferring) a sizable chunk of data whilst your replying a video via the same router (the result being delays in the middle of the movie you're watching). To improve this set the router QoS (Quality of Service), very high for the MyBook Live and give it a static IP address (unfortunatley, the install instructions make no reference on external factors that can affect what you get from the device, and how to optimize your overall wi-fi setup.
2. The WD apps, WD 2go and WD Photo, work well off site, but, unlike Twonky and the iPhones, they don't switch to Wi-Fi only when at home. As a result, watching or clipping (storing it on your mobile device) a movie at Home can be very expensive, as you'll be using mobile data.
3. Unlike iTunes on you iPhone, won't advise you that your about to download a large amount of data over the mobile data network.
4. The WD mobile apps only work with Remote Access enabled. So if you'd like your younger family to use these apps (WD 2go Pro is quite handy for store & replay functionality), be pre-paired for high mobile data charges.
5. There is no ability to search for files in the User Interface.
6. There is no ability to categorize your collection, aiding the search process (if there was one).

LGB000
8
Rating
 

"Would be an excellent and affordable addition to anyone’s network."

LGB000 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Easy to set up, Cheap to run

The Bad:The version of Twonky on it doesn’t support ‘.MKV’ files

These comments are largely not related to the My Book itself. They are more along the lines or user error.
I found that the product does exactly what it says it will do, easily configured and would be an excellent and affordable addition to anyone’s network.
The only Con that I came across was that the version of Twonky on it doesn’t support ‘.MKV’ files
I believe that this can be fixed by upgrading to a newer version of Twonky but the task is not for the everyday IT novice.




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User Reviews / Comments  Western Digital My Book Live (2TB)

  • RakhmatR

    RakhmatR

    Rating2

    "It sucks..especially read/write speed and easy to going shut down by itself...better throw it away to my trash.."

  • ColinM3

    ColinM3

    Rating2

    "After disconnecting from network and reconnecting, it can't be seen on the network again. Had to throw it away and buy a Seagate instead. I know others who have had exactly the same problem."

  • qwerty007

    qwerty007

    Rating5

    "The product works well, but:

    Pros
    1. Smooth video replay on an optimised wi-fi network.
    2. Convenient for everyone in your house to store videos etc, and then play them on..."

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