Western Digital MyBook World Edition II

The MyBook World is a fully-featured NAS drive with massive storage and a handy remote access feature -- pity about the noise.


7.5
CNET Rating
3.1
User Rating

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


Design
The MyBook World Edition II is a large, book-shaped NAS drive with some unique and handy features. Like seemingly all new peripherals the MyBook comes in a white casing, and features a bright blue power button. White may be the latest fashionable colour for PC peripherals, and while it's getting a little old we'll take white over beige any day of the week. The power button itself is also a storage-level indicator, and consists of four different segments which show you how space you have left.

Two 500GB drives (1TB total) live inside the MyBook, which makes it quite hefty at 174.6mm by 159.3mm by 104mm, and it weighs in at a solid 2.7 kg. You wouldn't want to cart this around too often, but thanks to its web-based interface, you don't need to.

Features
The MyBook World Edition II is one of the most fully-featured external drives we've seen. Not only do you get "always-on" capabilities that enable you to access files while the PC is off, but the drive comes with a remote access program that lets you access it from anywhere in the world.

The bundled application, MioNet, is more powerful than its competitor GoToMyPC because it not only emulates your desktop, but also allows you to access your MyBook storage drive when your PC is off. Though you can access your drive via the MioNet website, for full transparency it is best to install the application on the remote PC as well -- this way you can assign the MyBook to a drive letter and use Windows' own drag and drop to access files.

The drive comes with a 30 day trial which will also let you access networked PCs and even Webcams, but after that the program restricts you to accessing the MyBook only. Signing up is relatively cheap though, with a year's subscription only costing US$64.95 (AU$78). By comparison, a GoToMyPC subscription is very costly at US$179.40 (AU$215).

The drive also allows for RAID 1 redundancy, so you automatically generate two copies of a file copied to the device -- just in case one of the drives fails. Of course, if you choose this the capacity is reduced to 500MB.

We must also note that there is as yet no Vista support for Mio or this drive. However, Western Digital informs us that drivers will be available in May 2007. However, if you use the pre-installed "Public" folder you will be able to use it within Vista as a visible network drive -- though obviously without the advanced features.

Performance
The MyBook boasts a high-bandwidth gigabit LAN connection, which can shoot files across at a maximum of 128 MB/s. But with our testing, we found that this "theoretical maximum" was a long way from being threatened. Using SanSoftware Sandra's hard drive benchmark we found that the MyBook had a sequential read speed of 6.8 MB/s -- which is about 85 per cent slower than an internal drive. Of course, scores will vary across networks depending on their complexity. By comparison, the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus, which has a slower, 100 Mb/s network connection, actually performed better with a score of 7.53 MB/s.

Sequential writes on the MyBook were lower at 4.7 MB/s, while the Maxtor managed a much healthier 6.14 MB/s. Read scores are important considerations if you're performing tasks such as streaming video, while write scores are important for tasks such as backing up.

Using the MioNet application is quite straightforward, with a friendly interface, and plenty of advanced options such as "Sharing Webcams" and viewing remote desktops available from the main page. Logging in to the MioNet Web site is also simple, though the proprietary Web interface it uses for transferring files isn't as elegant as Windows' own. Hence, we recommend installing the app on any PC you intend to use more than once with the drive.

The MyBook is "remarkably quiet" according to Western Digital's marketing, but by its standards so are the 40 dollar fan heaters you can buy at the supermarket. The MyBook is thermally controlled, and at full pelt made more noise than our desktop gaming PC. If you buy one of these you may want to keep it in the cupboard.

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jumpymonkey
2
Rating
 

jumpymonkey posted a review   

The Good:Looks pretty, GUI user friendly

The Bad:Disks unreliable, data transfer slow, mionet

Out of the box disk A was reported as 'damaged'. This was fixed by formatting using the browser-based GUI. After a few hours of setting up on Vista an Mac OSX, and trying to have 2 logins for Mionet (which as far as I can tell isn't possible), left the system overnight to transfer files. This happened very slowly, and at some point during the night it overheated (the room was 21 deg C), and disk B failed. Tried turning off and on again but the disk couldn't be found. Tried again and the system shut down half way through booting.

All in all a bad experience - unreliable and slow. I has been returned to sender for a refund. Not recommended to anyone.

Richard
4
Rating
 

Richard posted a review   

The Good:OK Drive

The Bad:Not compatible with Windows 7 Libraries

I bought this drive under the belief that it was compatible with Windows 7, unfortunately this is not completely true. Whilst you can view files as a mapped drive, the system will not let you include the directories in Windows 7 Libraries. As this is a key feature of Windows 7 it is quite disappointing. WD Support advised that this issue was an issue with Windows 7 not the WD My Book World Edition 2.
Unfortunately the reviews on the web do not seem to have discovered this issue.

Marcus
2
Rating
 

Marcus posted a review   

The Good:Storage size

The Bad:Pretty much everything else

The biggest problem is MIONET. I have never used such an abortion of a program.

50% of the time the program won't load until I restart
If it does work, the drive is 'offline' so have to reboot drive
Sometimes have to reboot a couple of times just for Mionet to pick up the drive
Often when I reboot it then won't mount

And today, Mionet is down so I can't even save stuff onto MY OWN HARDRIVE! What a total joke.

The message says Mionet will be down for a day, so I can't save anything onto my own HDD for a day?! You have actually got to be kidding me.

Seriously, this is my first Western Digital drive, and I swear it will be my last.

It's a nonsense that I can only browse it without Mionet. I think it is a bit rich that I can't even save stuff onto my own hardware when a web service is down.

Every day it is a different problem, all with Mionet.

It's a totally woeful solution, and I'd do everything I can to discourage people from making the same mistake as me.

JimiJames
3
Rating
 

JimiJames posted a review   

The Good:None

The Bad:Very noisy, randomly requires reboot, dies when you need it

I bought my MyBook a couple of years ago. It was too loud out of the box. It often sounded like an airplane taking off. Many times the drive would just disappear from my desktop and wouldn't reappear until I rebooted it.

For a long time I had an issue with my mac shutting down. I finally figured out after searching the internet that WD installs this crappy startup item that screws your computer. After I removed that all was well. I contacted WD support about that because their knowledge base made no reference to it. They were worthless.

Tonight the drive died. Lights are on, but my machine won't mount the drive. What a piece of crap. I've always thought WD drives suck, I'm not sure why I thought this would be any better. I guess I deserve it failing.

 

Bronxville Tech posted a comment   

The Good:Simple Plug & Play

The Bad:The "Play" part doesn't work!

Case is too small and overheats. The controller went bad but the WD diagnostic software couldn't identify the problem. Has to remove the drive and mount. What a hunk of junk. Anyone needs help, get me on AOL IM at validnov2009(at)aol.

Mike
3
Rating
 

Mike posted a review   

The Good:1TB Of Storage

The Bad:Slow, Drops Connection, Died after 11 months

I bought one of these after I added a Macbook. I wanted an easy way to share files between my PC and MAC.

I had a hard time getting the MAC to see the thing.

It seemed to work ok for most of a year. About 4 weeks ago, it started having issues where I couldn't connect to the device and I'd have to reboot it.

Tonight it finally died. I plugged in my SN in the WD website, it says my warranty expired. I only bought it 11 months ago. I has a 3 year warranty, I don't know how it can be expired.

I only hope I can recover the data on the drives, if they're not fried!

Oh year and it's really noisy. I will replace it with a 500GB mini USB drive

 

Carparknz posted a comment   

The Good:A nice white book end

The Bad:Buy two while you are at it

Just like all the other reviews, a load of junk. I've taken the drives out and used elsewhere. System/firmware does not work.

Pushtupma Butt
1
Rating
 

Pushtupma Butt posted a review   

The Good:looks good

The Bad:junk

why do WD rip off good hard working people? do they not test products. Mionet are an embarasment to the IT world - this product DOES NOT WORK. Complete junk, the drive is slow, noisy, and the bloody software (Mionet) fails on a dialy basis. Guys - go back to shelf filling in supermarkets...

 

david posted a comment   

The Good:you get to stream stuff from other pc.. but then again aint it standard on all NAS?

The Bad:False sense of security on RAID

My world book crashed due to faulty hard drive. even though i'm running on raid, it doesnt allow you to copy out data when you remove the hard disk. for a normal user thats a death sentence. WD is basically putting all your eggs in one basket and smashing it.

i had to remove the HDD and use a several tools to retrieve the data. the fact that RAID should not even have crashed. but oversight on my end, it's a software raid so there you go. So Please be ABSOLUTELY careful what you put in there.

 

WDPain posted a comment   

The Good:none

The Bad:everthing

Why make something that should be simple so complicated.....
I wanted to use it to back up Files\ PC images on my network… and be able to retrieve them simply…
One day you have access to the file share …
The next day you don’t….
And what the hell is Mionet about…


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User Reviews / Comments  Western Digital MyBook World Edition II

  • jumpymonkey

    jumpymonkey

    Rating2

    "Out of the box disk A was reported as 'damaged'. This was fixed by formatting using the browser-based GUI. After a few hours of setting up on Vista an Mac OSX, and trying to have 2 logins for Mio..."

  • Richard

    Richard

    Rating4

    "I bought this drive under the belief that it was compatible with Windows 7, unfortunately this is not completely true. Whilst you can view files as a mapped drive, the system will not let you inclu..."

  • Marcus

    Marcus

    Rating2

    "The biggest problem is MIONET. I have never used such an abortion of a program.

    50% of the time the program won't load until I restart
    If it does work, the drive is 'offline' ..."

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