Pros Lots of storage, discoverable by other computers and devices, smartphone app lets you view photos from anywhere, 3 year warranty
Cons Buggy out-of-the-box software, Mionet software takes patience to set up
Summary I was searching for a network hard drive to replace my Windows Home Server. It just wasn't doing the job anymore. I chose this Western Digital based upon comments I had seen on other websites stating that the performance and speed of this model was better than most others. On my 100mbps network, I see about 8 mb/s of transfer speed. It took about 6 hours to transfer 140GB worth of video. If I ever upgrade to 1gigabit ethernet, I'll be anxious to see the results. The included software has some functionality, but is buggy. If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have wasted my time with the contents of the included disc. When I tried to access the user interface to change settings, it kept locking up on me. I tried it on IE and Google Chrome. Instead of taking a chance of it locking up again, I searched the web for the upgraded software, and downloaded it that way. That solved the problem, for the most part. Mionet is a different story. Mionet is the software WD uses to share your hard drive contents across the internet. I had to do a lot of research to figure out why it wouldn't work. It turned out that you have to register the hard drive in order to see the Mionet software link. Even after registering, it took quite a while for the link to appear. Then, when setting up Mionet, it wouldn't see the directories I had set for remote sharing in the WD software. I had to deselect the shares, then select them again. Mionet has a file sharing feature, but the person I shared with couldn't get it to work. They're not very tech savvy though. I do know that you have to use Java though. What's nice is that I can see all the pictures I have shared on my Android phone through WD's app. You get a free trial to additional features of the Mionet software, but if I understand, your access to your shares remains free. I'm not clear about how long the trial lasts. The other computers on the network, along with our XBOX 360 are able to see the drive. I haven't tried the Twonky add-in yet.After owning this drive for about 3 months, I'm impressed with WD's constant attention to product development. They have released upgraded firmware at least twice in three months. The latest is a major update which eliminates the clunky Mionet remote interface. It is replaced by something called WD2GO, which is infinitely better. They have developed mobile apps (Android, iOS) which allow you to access your files from your mobile device. It's like having a cloud drive that you can easily add files to without having to pay a subscription fee for. Plus, they have refreshed the web interface to access them, as well. The newest update also allows you to backup your drive to prepare for the unlikely event of a failure.
I've had a bad experience with WD external drives, but I decided to give them another chance. After only a few days, I'm rather impressed with this drive after working out some bugs. I'm hoping for the day when I can shut off my power hog of a file server for good, and simply use my Western Digital network hard drive.
Updated on Aug 1, 2011
Updated on Feb 18, 2012Fast forward about 8 months, and I have had to replace this drive under warranty already. Now I have to replace it again, due to the fact that I cannot access the web interface for the drive. Both problems have been caused by firmware update issues. I am not happy that I have had to do this TWICE, but at least I haven't lost any files as a result.
Pros Good storage space, easy network integration
Cons Firmware upgrade (October 2011) obliterated the UI, affecting many users. The followup release to fix it (not until March 2012) requires you to log into the UI. See a problem here?
Summary Don't take my word for it. Go to their forum at http://community.wdc.com and search on "firmware". You'll see all the customer service horror stories and more. Western Digital - the last name in Customer Service.
"so far i love it"on by eneego
Pros 2.0 firmware update, improved user interface, array of offerings, your own personal cloud
Cons none so far
Summary thus far the WD My Book Live seems to work as advertised. it was immediately discovered by all the devices in my network - including both a mac and a pc.i wanted to report that after i got the my book live all setup and configured, we setup mobile access on our iphones and ipad. it was all a snap. the my book live web interface --> remote access/mobile access area provided a code, we searched the app store for the wd 2go and wd photos apps and within minutes all 3 devices were set up.
i have been able to successfully set up 2 accounts/shares - other than the public share - that are password protected. i have configured the device and set the device password. setting up the WD2GO account (way better than the lame mionet) was a snap, although to access it via safari on the mac, i needed to add a special java applet for it to work. and i cannot seem to do the WD2GO access via IE8 on the pc.
in theory i should be able to access the music added to the my book live; it appears as an itunes share but does *not* allow me to access it (will update this article soon).
Updated on Oct 9, 2011
the ease of remote access to our docs is simple and relatively fast. and the interface on the wd photos app is clean, crisp and intuitive.
my one knock is still the peculiarities of accessing our items via web browsers. it worked ok, with some extra work, on the mac, but i still cannot get access on the pc.
another challege has been the enormous amount time to transfer years of files to the my book live, but i guess that's a limitation of the wireless transfer rate (there is no usb to attach it directly to my mac).
overall, my wife is quite happy with having such easy access to all our photos (does anything else matter)!
Updated on Oct 9, 2011forgot to mention that the itunes access also worked as advertised. although accessing my book live items on appletv has not yet been solved by me; it appears you can only connect to one device on the appletv and i have not solved it yet, but since i can get to my computer, not sure if i'll need to access my music/vids thru appletv.
Pros The iPad app is quite handy
Cons Terrible speeds - box claims 100MBps, actual speed is more like 5MBps.
Took me 6 force resets and 3 reboots to get it working the first time
Web GUI is horrible and slow
Summary Either buy a bigger hard drive for your computer, or spend proper money on a proper NAS computer, not just a drive.
"Cheap and cheerful"on by Tayjen
Pros The cheapest 2TB available. Wasn't too difficult to set up.
Cons Very slow data transfer, speeds typically at 1-6MB/s over a wireless home network. Its actually quicker to stream films from the internet than from this drive.
Summary As a NAS drive its okay for music but not for films. The speed is just too slow.