WD My Book Live network storage device
Access your files from anywhere on the Internet when they are stored on the WD My Book Live
- Simple remote file access
- Easy to install and use
- iPhone app could be better
- No USB port
- Android app didn't work on our phone
The WD My Book Live is more than a typical network storage device; it can also be used to share your locally-stored files through the Internet. Anything stored on the drive can be accessed remotely from other computers, or even from a smartphone, and the best part is that you don't need to know anything about how it all works to make it all work.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
Western Digital's My Book Live is a network attached storage (NAS) device that's available in 1TB, 2TB or 3TB capacities and with a Gigabit Ethernet connection. It's a simple device to use and while it offers plenty of storage space for your files, it also gives you an easy way to access them remotely.
Installation, ease of use
Once the WD My Book Live is connected t your network router, it can be set up in many ways, but the most simple is with the supplied CD. However, because the drive is UPnP capable, if you use Windows 7, for example, it will simply show up as a device on the network. You can then right-click on it and select the option to launch its Web interface. Or, you could simply type http://mybooklive in the URL bar of your browser to get to it.
From the Web interface, you can add password-protected user accounts, create new folders and choose which folders users have access to. You can also manage backups and even enable data encryption. It's a clean and logical Web interface but it does have some annoying pop-up alerts that appear every time there is an 'event', such as when the network connection is lost or becomes intermittent. (Alerts are also emailed, which we prefer; the most recent one we received alerted us to a new firmware version.)
Techworld Australia secure storage reviews
- Group test: Encrypted external hard drive reviews
- Data Locker Enterprise review
- Data Locker DL3 encrypted hard drive review
- Eclypt Freedom 320GB review
- iStorage diskGenie review
- CMS ABSplus with Data Guard hard drive review
- CMS ABSplus FDE hard drive review
After installation, the drive will appear in your local network and you'll be able to drag and drop files on to it. If you want to use the drive to store your computer's backups, then you can easily do this by following the instructions in the Web interface. It has you covered with the details on how to set up the drive with Apple's Time Machine or with Windows 7's built-in back up feature.
In our tests, using a Gigabit Ethernet switch with Gigabit-capable computers attached to it, the WD was able to write data at a rate of 39.1 megabytes per second. This is better than what you would get when copying files over USB 2.0. Incidentally, the My Book Live doesn't have a USB port, so you can't easily dump files to it from a thumbdrive, nor share USB-based drives through it.
Remote access: your personal 'cloud'
The standout feature of the My Book Live is its ability to be seen on the Internet and accessed remotely -- you don't have to know anything about networking in order to set this up. All you have to do is enable the 'remote access' option in the drive's Web interface and register an account with the www.wd2go.com Web site. There is no need to forward ports in your router, and you don't have to fiddle with dynamic DNS settings. To access your shared files, you can log in to the wd2go Web site from any Internet-connected computer -- it becomes your own little personal 'cloud'.
The site makes use of Java, so you will need to make sure that this is installed on your computer before attempting to access your drive remotely. The interface for remote access is sparse; it only shows the devices that are registered to your account and you can click on them to access their folders. The folders can then be opened in Windows Explorer and files can be dragged and dropped to your desktop. How fast the files transfer will depend on the Internet connection both at your home (for uploading the data) and at your remote location (for downloading the data), and vice versa if you are uploading to the device. The opened folders automatically get mapped with drive letters on the local system you are using -- you can browse them as if they were local drives.
Additionally, you can access files remotely through mobile devices. There are mobile WD 2go apps available for the iPhone and Android (2.1 and above). Before you can access content through the iPhone, you have to get an access code for it and tell the drive that your iPhone is a trusted device. The code took close to one minute to generate during our tests, but it all worked to plan once we got it. The app isn't great though: when playing music, it doesn't allow you to skip tracks, it can't play one track after the other, nor does it allow you to exit the 'play' screen without stopping the music (if you want to browse your collection while playing a file, for example). Videos will only play if they are in MOV or MP4 formats. We weren't able to get the Android version running on our HTC Rhyme smartphone, even though it uses Android 2.3.5.
We should note that in order to get the remote functions of our drive to work, we had to upgrade the firmware to version 2.0. We had some trouble upgrading during our tests -- the drive couldn't do it using its auto-update feature so we had to download and install the firmware manually.
All up, the WD My Book Live is a neat little storage solution for the home and we like the fact that it makes remote file access so simple. The mobile app for the iPhone could use some work though and we hope that new drives come with the correct firmware installed so that manual updating doesn't need to be undertaken. The drive in our test model had a 1TB capacity (for $169). It's also available in 2TB (for $269) and 3TB (for $319) capacities.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTDemand Release ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerACT
- FTData Analyst - 12 months Fixed Term ContractVIC
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTDatacentre Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTDealing Room Support Analyst - IPC voiceNSW
- CCReporting System Specialist - Port MacquarieQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTDatabase Developer - SQLACT
- FTData Analyst / Reporting SpecialistNSW
- TPTrim Helpdesk AnalystVIC
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- FTPHP / WordPress DeveloperQLD
- FTTechnical WriterNSW
- TPBI DeveloperNSW
- TPProgram Governance Lead (PMO)VIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst l GROUP LIFE INSURANCE l SydneyVIC
- CCSolution Designer with PEGA experience- TelcoVIC
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMOACT
- FTSenior PHP Developer / Technical LeadQLD