Basically, once you register the NAS server with an account at MioNet via its Web interface, you can log in to the NAS server from anywhere over the Internet to get data off of it, using a Web browser. However, this doesn't allow for downloading or uploading files; all you can do is open files directly from the remote location. This obviously only works when you want to open small files, such as Word documents or photos. With large files, you will be dealing with a frozen Web page most of the time.
You can improve this by downloading and installing MioNet software on the remote computer. However, this is a rather involved and potentially frustrating process. First of all, the software, called MioNet Now, has some system-setting conflicts with popular antivirus software, especially if you run 64-bit Windows. To install it successfully and avoid blue-screen crashes you might need to change your antivirus/firewall settings software, which is not an easy task for most users. Secondly, MioNet Now installs a lot of services on your computer that start by themselves each time the computer boots, potentially slowing it down. Nonetheless, when successfully installed, MioNet Now indeed enables you to access the shared folders of the NAS server just like the way you do it from within a local network.
In all, the remote solution seems to be better suited for business users. For home users, it's arguably one of the worst solutions we've seen and should be skipped entirely if you want to access the NAS from a remote computer. If you are an iPhone user, however, it's a different story.
The MioNet service also works with a free iPhone app, called WD Photos, that you can download from the App Store. The app is simple and once you're signed in it allows you to access the photos stored on the My Book Live NAS server, much like the way you access photos stored on the iPhone itself. We tried this out and found it a fun feature to have for those who want to quickly show photos to friends, without having to use up the storage space of their iPhone (or iPod Touch).
If the remote-access feature let us down, the My Book Life's performance more than made up for it. The NAS server was very fast in our tests, consistently being the third and second fastest in our write and read test.
In the read test, the My Book Live did slightly better, with 529.9Mbps, taking second place to the Asus TS Mini, which scored 690.3Mbps.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
During our testing, the My Book Live performed without any hiccups. It also performed quietly and remained cool throughout.
Service and support
Similar to the My Book World Edition, the MyBook Live also has a three-year warranty from Western Digital, which is long compared with the one-year warranty of most NAS servers. Toll-free phone support is available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Western Digital's site offers e-mail and tech support, FAQs, a searchable knowledge base, and downloads. Unfortunately, unlike other vendors, Western Digital only allows registered users to access its download section.