Western Digital MyBook World Edition (1TB)

The MyBook World Edition is a simple NAS device from Western Digital that is great for streaming high-definition media.

Western Digital MyBook World Edition (1TB)
  • Western Digital MyBook World Edition (1TB)
  • Western Digital MyBook World Edition (1TB)
  • Western Digital MyBook World Edition (1TB)
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great HD playback capability, passively cooled, good media and server functionality, MioNet remote access

Cons

  • Small files have slower transfer speeds, no integrated print server, can't easily replace or upgrade hard drive

Bottom Line

The Western Digital MyBook World Edition is an easy to use, media-centric NAS device with the ability to play high-definition content without fault. Its server capabilities aren't comprehensive, however.

Would you buy this?

Western Digital's MyBook World Edition network-attached storage (NAS) device is a great option for storing and streaming high-definition media around your home. However its performance takes a hit when transferring a lot of small files and a premium remote access account costs extra.

Though it looks similar, there are quite a few differences with the earlier Western Digital MyBook World Edition II.

The Western Digital MyBook World Edition has a glossy white case and shares the same rounded book-like shape of other MyBook external hard drives. A front-mounted white light doubles as an operation indicator and capacity gauge.

It is quite thick for a single-bay external hard drive, but the extra room allows it to be passively cooled through perforated holes on the top and back, eliminating the need for a noisy fan. This worked well, as it hardly heated up during operation.

The MyBook World Edition has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB port; the latter can be used to plug in an external hard drive. We weren't surprised by the sole USB port or the absence of an eSATA port, but we would have liked print server capabilities at least.

Upon connection, the MyBook World Edition automatically configures a public share, a Twonky media server and a direct link to the Web interface, all available by browsing the network. Western Digital provides discovery software like the QNAP Finder found on the TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS, but this is unnecessary for most situations.

Along with basic backup software, Western Digital also provides access to its proprietary remote access service, MioNet. Available through software or a Java-based Web interface, MioNet allows you to transfer files remotely from various computers and devices, as well as publicly share folders with other MioNet account users. The software has removed file type restrictions since we last had a look at it, but there are still some limitations. You can't share a public URL with non-MioNet users and there is no local software package for Macs or 64-bit Windows machines. Premium accounts, which offer screen sharing and remote access to PCs, attract a subscription fee.

Along with Web and FTP servers, the MyBook World Edition supports NFS, SMB and AFP network protocols, and offers e-mail warning notifications. It runs a Twonky-powered DLNA server and an iTunes music server. Unfortunately, there is no option to change the iTunes server's source folder.

Like the Iomega StorCenter Pro NAS ix4-100 Server, Western Digital's MyBook World Edition has an icon-based Web interface. Basic and Advanced user modes are available, offering access to settings including quota configuration and user permissions. The ability to automatically update the NAS device's firmware directly from the Web — rather than manually download ISO disk images as is often the case — is a big boost to simplicity. We praised Iomega's attempt to make NAS devices easy to use, but Western Digital surpasses it with flying colours.

At the heart of the MyBook World Edition NAS device is the 1TB counterpart of the Western Digital Caviar Green 3.5in hard drive, which has in-built power-saving features. Most of these, like variable spin speed, aren't user configurable, but the Web interface allows you to enable or disable the hard drive's standby mode (shutting down the hard drive when idle).

We tested the MyBook World Edition using Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit, which simulates a number of tasks that can be expected from a NAS device in a home environment. The strongest results for the MyBook World Edition were seen in the high-definition playback tests, where it achieved 41.2 megabytes per second, and during a restore settings task, where it hit 47.5MBps. Write-focused operations weren't as speedy The Content Creation test averaged 7.9MBps and the Directory copy test showed the worst speed of 3.2MBps.

Our real-world transfer testing reflected the drive's strengths. We transferred 18GB worth of data between our testbed running a Western Digital Velociraptor (WD3000GLFS) hard drive and the MyBook World Edition over a Gigabit network. The NAS device achieved a write speed of 15.9MBps, while read speeds were much faster at 36MBps.

When we tested it a second time using 18GB worth of 1MB files it was noticeably slower, writing data at 8.98MBps and reading at 9.5MBps. This is not unexpected, due to the higher latency and increased read/write operations, and it indicates that the MyBook World Edition is suitable for streaming large files but incremental backups may see poorer performance.

As a way of storing and playing back high-definition media, the Western Digital MyBook World Edition is a decent NAS device. However, its simplicity and lack of expandability may deter some people.

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