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Pros: FAST : LAN file transfers at home ran 30-40MB sec. (Higher than USB 2.0) Responsiveness is indistinguishable from a USB drive. I have had over a dozen USB external drives over the years and I have noticed once they have spun down, it's 10-15 seconds to 'wake up' so you can navigate your files.
The WD MyBook Live really had no delay at all and it kept up with everything. While there are always faster and much MUCH more expensive NAS options, this is a very nice price/performance point that meets and exceeds virtually any home or SOHO users needs. Candidly, it exceeds the upload capability of most of the broadband networks of our age.
VALUE: It's easy to justify the very reasonable cost when the difference between the 16GB & 64GB tablet is up to $200 and cloud backup services can cost up to $100 a year and still don't give anything near 2TB. Upgrades your storage from 16 GB to um, EVERYTHING.
EASY. How easy? You don't even need a computer to set it up. Really. Just plug it into your router, download the app and follow the instructions to connect. You don't need a geek.
SUPPORT is excellent. I had Grandma who needs me to program her clock call tech support just for giggles. They had her off the phone in 5 minutes. Look, you plug the thing into your router, drop the install CD into the tray and the setup walks you through a few screens and you're done.
SECURITY: Very well sorted. Even the apps on the handheld units have (optional) password locks which I suggest you turn on if you tend to leave your phone just laying around unlocked.
DRAG & DROP: Once the Western Digital MyBook Live is set up, it shows up in your network neighborhood just like any drive. You can create folders and then just drag and drop stuff to fill them. By the way, this is much faster than using windows backup which will compress your files and create .zip archives 'on the fly' to preserve space ON the drive but it does take more time to complete. Many people complaining about speed in other reviews should take heed. Windows backup is great and you can schedule it for when you are asleep to back up your entire system but if you are in a hurry, I suggest you just 'drag and drop' and things will move right along.
FAMILIAR Website based Interface at https://www.wd2go.com/ allows you to login from anywhere in the world and there is your old familiar windows explorer type interface. Drag and drop just like your desktop or favorite ftp software.
COMPATIBILITY: Worlds with Windows (XP/Vista/7 & 8) & Mac. iTunes server support, Dropbox. DLNA enabled devices, iPhone + Android phones. It works with pretty much everything. I tested it with a PC, iPhone, Android phone, iPad and Toshiba DLNA TV.
And last but not least:
EASY ON THE EYES: Case is a dark gunmetal gray with a matte surface and a single tiny blue LED on the front that turns green to indicate network activity. No shiny gloss finish to attract fingerprints or PB&J. Approved!
Cons: This is not a con. More of a common sense heads up and I ran out of room elsewhere for it and it boils down to this for those that do not consider themselves 'techies'.
Your home network is the AUTOBAHN compared to the internet. Yes, even if you are rocking old school wireless a/b/g, you are STILL faster than just about anything outside your door.
But the minute go out the door, beware. Thar be dragons out there to muck up your speed.
Bottom line: You can only download files from home as fast as your ISP will allow you to and most ISP's upload is slower than their download. A lot slower. Like 10x slower.
For example, I have a 16 mbps down broadband pipe, but I only get about 1.5 going UP.
And that's ok. If anything, you can look forward to the WD MyBook Live's performance IMPROVING once the internet networks start to catch up. With the a gigabit network interface, this is one product that you will probably be using long LONG after you chuck your current PC or MAC out the door.
Govern yourselves accordingly and you should be very happy. As long as you don't expect uncompressed 1080 HD video to playback on your phone though the GSM cellular network in the Bahamas while bumming around the beach and the straw market, you'll be just fine.
As in all things, your experience may vary when using 3G and even 4G networks but speaking for myself in Miami I had no problems watching any of my mp4 videos from home.
Overall Review: The WD2Go and WD Photo apps are a very handy feature for big file transfers that allows you to email LINKS to any file they want instead of trying to attach the file itself that is TOO BIG for an email attachment.
The streaming audio and video comes in handy - especially when you have a music collection that exceeds the size of your handheld device. No more rotating your collection. Every movie, every ebook, every song, all the content you have ever collected can be streamed live to your phone or tablet wherever you are. No more - 'aw, I wish I could show you that file,pic,video,song - but it's at home.' These features come in handy in surprising ways you really can't always foresee.
It came in handy the other night. A good friend of mine had booked me to take photos at his parents 75th anniversary party. There was a HUGE snafu and the DJ we booked dropped out at the very last minute and the replacement DJ showed up didn't have anything from that era.
As it turned out, I did. While, I didn't have them on my phone, I did had them on the WD MyBook Live at home. We set him up the WD2GO app on his pad and all was well .
One of my roommates has a popular tablet that incredibly comes with neither a USB port OR a micro SD slot. He doesn't have a computer and even if he did, he's not tech friendly. He has an entire box of Frank Sinatra CD's and his only CD player is in his car. He wanted to be able to listen to them in his room. He's mentioned it before and I've waved him off. Who needs the hassle.
Now it's easy. I ripped his CDs to mp3, set him up with a personal folder and login, set up the WD2GO app on his pad and now he's just happy as a clam. Took all of 10-15 minutes.
For me: 60 Gigs of E-Books and Audio Books. When I had to spend a 4 hour layover in Atlanta yesterday it was niiiiiiice to have all this stuff at my fingertips. Why spend 10 bucks on a magazine when I could brush up on my photoshop with a tutorial. Ditto with the DVD collection.
The WD2GO app does a nice job reading just about anything:
MS Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
Text: rtf, html,txt,csv and pdf
Images: jpg,png,tif and bmp,
Music: mp3, m4a,aiff .wav
Movies: Mov,mp4,m4v, 3gp
Techies and support people will love the remote apps. Anyone needs anything sent to them? a driver, an app, document? Every office should have one to backup all their files and make them available anytime, anywhere. As for me, there are very few gadgets that surprise me anymore. This was one of them. For a few bucks over the cost of a USB drive, this is a tremendous value.
If my review helped you, please click below and let me know!
Pros: Looks very nice, not a bad price for a NAS. Good capacity for price, NAS Box with its processor, power supply, and ethernet cable all seem high quality; built sturdy, good ventilation. The Debian runs well on the machine and accessing the logs are easy. Getting it to initially network is also easy.
Cons: WD software and GUI are extremely poor, I am a networking professional and I could not get this to work properly. Will an average user get it to work? I called the phone number that came on a card in the box “WD’s Concierge Service” which promised to help set it up. BUT all I got was Spanish language, all I understood was “Western Digital” and “por favor” No option to push any number for English! Not impressed with the iTunes or Twonky server idea either.
Overall Review: I wish I could have gotten a hold of an English speaking tech support; perhaps I am overlooking something simple. I can get about half of the system to function, and I was able to even do 2 Firmware updates to get it current. I can see it on my network map and ping it and also set up the shares etc. but the Software crashes when I try to open any folders. I updated to the newest Java, backed up the configs, poured over all the logs the machine generated etc. and can still not get it to work. I used the dot net included also, and tried many various other things, but all I managed to get was a nice 3TB networked Linux box I can talk to, but not put any files on. So it is basically an expensive paperweight. Including an all Spanish phone line as tech support was likely some kind of mistake perhaps based on Region. This also runs more processes and services on my machine than I would like. I was unable to get Win 7 ultimate 64 bit to Map it as a network drive. The WD software claimed it had succeeded at mapping it. The software also claimed it placed a shortcut on the desktop but never did either of these things, manually trying to use the name or IP also failed to map it as a network drive. After I uninstalled the software, some of the Services and Processes remained! I was extremely excited about using this product; unfortunately I was disappointed by poor implementation. I did get everything to work on an Emachine running win 7 x64 BUT then the Remote WD 2 Go Failed, So the Software and GUI have many Bugs still. It seems as if the remote access through the WD server and its VPN are too slow, timing out, and making too many errors. WD dropped the ball, I read all the reviews on New Egg and it looks like 50% of Users are having very similar issues even though WD comes back with a manufacturer response saying this is not a typical experience, which 50% should I count as typical? I have always been a great WD Fan and they have some good products and some of the best customer service I have seen when it comes to warranty issues and RMA’s but it looks like they need to restructure the whole software, GUI, and Remote Access part of this MYBOOK system to get it to where it is on par with what WD normally puts out; this seems like it would just be a source of embarrassment to WD at this point soiling their good name. Based on years of experience Western Digital usually does not fail like this. Perhaps they put the wrong team in charge of this project!
Pros: -The aesthetic of the drive is very nice – sleek looks, cool and quiet operation
-The bundled software is very easy to set up and use. Once I had the drive plugged into my router, it was easy as pie to install the software, detect the drive, and use it.
-Price is good for a 2TB NAS drive
-3 year warranty is decent enough
-NAS enables you to easily centralize/backup/share documents and pictures (however, see below for more thoughts)
Cons: -No way to hook the drive up to your computer via USB or directly via ethernet. You are limited to accessing it through your router. I am docking an egg for this, and I was tempted to dock two... it can't possibly be that difficult/expensive to add a USB port to the drive so that you could use it if your router goes down or if you need to extract data quickly. It would at least have been nice to be able to hook the drive up to a gigabit ethernet port and have it talk to your computer, but that doesn't really work.
-Very, very slow. This is sort of inherent to NAS, so I'm not docking any eggs, but if you're expecting this thing to function at normal HDD speeds, you're going to cry when you actually get this hooked up. Expect 1-4 MB/s transfer speeds depending on your network speed.
Overall Review: This was my first NAS drive, and my original impressions were hugely, hugely negative for home use. I'm not sure why they carried over the “My Book” branding to this drive, because that set my expectations the wrong way. I expected a drive that was everything my other “My Book” drives are, with the addition of NAS support. Instead, it's NOTHING like my standard external My Book drives are.
I waited to use the drive for a couple months to give it a fair chance, which is why it's getting more than 2 eggs. IF (and only if) you have a specific need for NAS is this drive a 4/5. If you can live without the USB functionality, it's a 5/5. I have enjoyed using it as a centralized network storage location for family pictures, so that everyone in my family can easily access them.
This is an inferior solution overall, from my perspective (home user), to just setting up one or more hard drives as shared drives on your network. I have a pair of 3TB external My Book drives attached to my desktop which are shared on my network, and while it is *slightly* slower and more complicated to access them, they perform the exact same function as this NAS drive while ALSO being accessible at high speed from my desktop via USB 3.0.
As such, I'd say that this drive is only recommendable to you if you know for certain that you need a NAS device and that sharing drives on your network will not accomplish what you desire.
Pros: no need to to transfer files via flash drive anymore
Cons: only 10mbps
Overall Review: sooo easy to set up put disk in run setup, detects drive, done works all the time everyday only paid $105 at that big blue store were the people dont know anything about nothing
Pros: 3 Terabytes of space
Media Server for various formats
Tech Support Forum with answers to a lot of questions
Impressive Gig-Ethernet speeds for a network connected device
Email notifications of various system events
Config utility really allows a considerable amount of flexibility in use of the device.
Its from WD, so service will be the class of the industry as with all WD products.
Configurable as a backup device. Multiple devices can back up each other.
Works with Mac or Windows PCs
Assign many shares to many different folders. Allow user access to each or any.
Cons: So many features and capabilities the device can be intimidating.
Ethernet speeds via Windows networking is considerably slower than via FTP.
Software/firmware complexity is almost overwhelming, there are so many things you can do. It makes you think you should use every feature, when in fact, I think simple is better. Using the device as a NAS and doing all other functions the old fashioned way is a better alternative for many functions (imo).
Several features require authentication through the WD Website. This is a major no-no to someone like me. I don't want any website handling my authentication and access to my home located device.
Email notifications do not identify the device (more on this later)
Overall Review: Most of the default settings for this device are exactly what the typical user will want. This makes setup a breeze. Plug it in and it does most anything you want. Customizing that config is then up to you and it's impressive how much you can do with this device.
I was really disappointed when I saw that you required a login to the WD site for most remote functions, and that all remote access to the device via mobile devices was authenticated through them. In other words, big brother is watching. That I did not like. Configuring manually and setting up your own authentication is a better alternative if you ask me. Yes, they make it simple, no they do not make it secure. Not that many people care about the data on a cell phone, but those who do should be forewarned. No loss of egg cause you have a choice. Using this as an FTP server does not require an outside authentication, but as a media server for a mobile device, this is the case.
Using Windows networking with Win7, this device had a maximum transfer rate of about 45MB/sec. Not very impressive for Gig-Ethernet. However, when I used FileZilla FTP Client, transfer speeds for read and write were roughly 75-80MB/Sec. I did not know what was causing such a difference in speeds. If anything I'd have expected the opposite performance. Usually even systems with slow hard drives can sustain 55-60mb/sec transfer over gig ethernet. Anyway, something is going on to slow this when using the drive as an NAS. It's still not bad, its just not as fast as I was expecting, and I think it shows that the 800Mhz processor is the weak link when handling the overhead of windows networking.
Takes about 10 seconds to recover from sleep.
The HTTP administration interface is easy to use, though it can act strangely from time to time. Remote FTP is set up as easily as any other port-forward on your router. Tell it what to share and it shares it. Multiple accounts and passwords can be configured by the admin. Very nice. FTP can be restricted from WAN access if you don't want internet or mobile access to the drive. Multiple shares are also configurable, and then access to each can be allowed by user.
If you owned several of these, the email notifications will identify the unit that triggered your message by putting the device name in the subject of the email.
All in all, an awesome device for the price and well worth the money. Price per gig is actually good even without the additional capabilities of NAS/MServer/FTP etc.
Pros: Now you can access your files from anywhere and keep your files at your own home! You no longer have to pay a "cloud" storage or access fee once you get your My Book Live setup. This is a well built unit, very fast and quiet, as there is no fan required or installed making it great in your office. You can store and access your music, video, photos and store program files and data that you can access from your home network, or through the internet if your on the road. You can use your Windows or Mac desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android or Blackberry. It is wonderfully easy to use and setup. The included setup software is included, and no need to download it. Once the software is installed you have complete access to the drive and can upload files at will. You have a public folder to store your music, pictures, videos and software in their seperate directories. A smartware directory and a Mac TimeMachine backup directory are also available.
Initially when setting up your My Book Live you are presented with 4 choices; Open My Book Live, Backup files, setup My Book Live and Setup your personal cloud. Each selection will allow you to either customize, load or make changes to the default settings.
The 1TB model has 992MB of free storage space accoring to Windows.
To get complete access on the go you also need to download from your appropriate app store, the WD 2Go app. The apps are somewhat limited in their abilities, but for normal access they work well and quite responsive. Viewing 4 megabyte photos on a Samsung Android phone from the My Book Live was impressive. Just be aware your internet speed really determines how well your files download.
Cons: Although the unit has great software included, getting the unit setup to access it over the internet takes some time. If anything should have been included in the box it would be a printed quick reference guide to step the user through the appropriate steps. The way it is now you will need to open the electronic manuals included on the drive and try to decipher your way through. Some users may get flustered with process and give up. But in the end it is worth the effort.
Overall Review: The WD My Book Live is a great unit that lets you access your files from anywhere. If your at grandma's house for the holidays it's easy to share the photos of the kids with her. If you left an important file or report at home while on a business trip, no problem getting it anymore. No need to carry hundreds of megabyte of data when you travel when you have this setup in your home. This unit comes close to having your own home server, but at a fraction of the cost, size and power consumption. The price is competitive with the abilities this unit provides.
Pros: Good price, high capacity.
Cons: Horrible software!
I bought this networked drive to set up an automated backup of my main Win7 PC. The included WD SmartWare software is designed to do exactly what I want -- except that it doesn't work.
After I configured what files I wanted to back up, it would start copying them over (painfully slowly) and then give up about 30% through, declaring "partial backup accomplished" with no more explanation. I went back and forth with tech support several times, but their advice was just to disable and reenable the backup -- which landed me with the same problem every time.
After several weeks, I gave up on the WD software and am now using the open source FreeFileSync. This package does not have all of the features the WD software does, but it transfers files *much* faster (maybe 10x) and can recover from file copy errors unlike the WD software.
Overall Review: The hardware itself seems fine, but the software is unreliable.
Pros: Great Price:Performance:Capicity for the $. SSH works great if you want it to do different things.(i.e. Transmission, web server, etc.) Transfer rates are not 100MB/s in real world they are only under some very specific conditions. Real world window file copy test of 10 (1.4GB) movies to OCZ Vertex 60GB averages 60-75MB/s with a peak at 90MB/s. Writing to the Drive I got 50-55MB/s.
Cons: 1.) Only one FTP client can connect at a time. (changeable via putty).
2.) I'm sure you can change the FTP port so that you can have 2 servers at the same time but I haven't figured out how yet.
Overall Review: Paired with a WD TV Live plus, and couldn't be happier not having to move my external HD everytime I wanted to update the video list. Bought from somewhere else because Newegg didn't have it yet. Bought 2 of them transfered my collection of 3TB of videos between the two. One failed in a couple days but Western digital advance replacement works great they are fast (as long as its in stock) and send it 2 day air. Even with that These drives are amazing for the cash espically if you mob them. Word of Warning if you have 2 on the network don't update both firmware's at the same time!!!!!!