WD debuts fast, simple home NAS

All your digital music, photos, and movies a bit too spread out? Western Digital's My Book Live could be the plug-and-play answer.

Western Digital

For years, storage manufacturers have been trying to get consumers to consolidate their digital media onto network attached storage (NAS) devices. I'm no mind scientist, but I'm guessing adoption by your average consumer is slow because "network attached storage devices" just sound complicated.

Also, collecting all your scattered content across CD, DVDs, external hard drives, and multiple computers is a total pain in the hassle, and anyone who's used a consumer NAS knows that transfer speeds can be dreadfully slow. Western Digital's solution to all this is the My Book Live (not sure how it's pronounced, so feel free to say the name twice).

Sort of a follow up to the the company's World Edition , the Live--available in 1TB ($169.99) and 2TB ($229.99) capacities--features "the most-recent advances in Ethernet chip technology" for read speeds up to 100MBps, which is admittedly very fast for a consumer NAS and much faster than a USB 2.0 connection. However, I wouldn't expect it to be that fast and those are read speeds; WD doesn't mention write speeds or the actual rotational speeds of the drives. To set it up all you need to do is connect the Ethernet cable from the drive to your network, plug in the power, and install WD's software on every computer that needs access to the drive.

The drives have a built-in media server so access to your content is painless by a Mac or Windows computer as well as any number of networked DLNA-certified devices like Blu-ray players, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3. Music and videos in your iTunes library is available to you, too, and with the WD Photos app, you can flip through your stored photos on an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. There's even free remote access via MioNet.

CNET's networking and storage editor, Dong Ngo, is currently testing and reviewing the My Book Live, so I guess we'll know soon enough if its speed claims are for real.

About the author

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.


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