Western Digital MyBook Home Edition

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Western Digital MyBook Home Edition
  • Western Digital MyBook Home Edition
  • Western Digital MyBook Home Edition
  • Western Digital MyBook Home Edition

Pros

  • e-SATA, USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 are all supported; quiet operation; simple to set up

Cons

  • Ethernet connection, no capacity gauge when using e-SATA

Bottom Line

Although there's little to this device it's quite versatile, offering three connection options, including e-SATA. It's compact, tidy looking and quiet, which are all great traits of a desktop hard drive.

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Western Digital's 500GB (7200rpm) MyBook Home Edition with USB 2.0, FireWire and e-SATA is a smart looking and compact external storage device that offers more than plain old storage, it also offers peace of mind. There's little to this drive, except its variety of connection options, but it does all that you'll need it to do and won't put a stain on the aesthetic of your workspace.

It's never fun rebuilding a PC after a hardware crash, but the most devastating part is losing important and beloved files, such as music and video, personal and financial documents, or even something as small, simple and easily forgettable as your Internet favourites. That's why external storage is essential these days.

With a formatted capacity of 465GB and a price of just $199 you're only paying around 49 cents per gigabyte, a fair price for the security of your files. The real beauty of this device is its ease of use. Simply plug it into a power source then connect one of the possible cables to your PC or notebook and you're ready to roll.

Western digital has included a couple of applications to make automated backups and data synchronisation easier; WD Anywhere Backup and Memeo Autosync. The install files are on the drive itself and the applications are quite useful when used properly.

The three connection choices, USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and e-SATA make the MyBook Home Edition quite versatile. This ensures that just about whichever PC you're trying to connect to will have at least one compatible port. The box includes a USB cable and a FireWire cable, though, oddly there is no e-SATA cable included. Generally speaking, if the option is available, it's worth using e-SATA, as it is capable of transfer speeds up to 3Gbps or around 375MBps, rather than the meagre 60MBps of USB 2.0.

However, USB is still the most commonly available port. We tested the USB connection by copying 4.12GB of data to and from the device using a notebook with a 5400rpm drive. The MyBook read speeds maxed out at 11.4MBps and the write speeds maxed out at 8MBps. Although it's not the fastest, USB, it also provides some additional benefits. For instance, the front of the MyBook includes some activity lights that double as a capacity gauge, indicating how much of the drive is used up. This feature only works with the USB or FireWire cable connected. The one connection that's missing is an Ethernet port, which would complete this device, allowing you to use it as a network attached storage (NAS) drive.

The enclosure has plenty of ventilation and there are no fans, so the MyBook Home is very quiet. The drive is designed to stay still when it's on and you'll risk damaging it, as well as losing your data, should you try to move it while the drive is powered up.

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