The device allows you to plug a USB hard drive--for backing up content--into the port on the back of the NAS server and manage it using the Web interface. The USB port, unfortunately, doesn't offer any other USB-relate functions, such as the ability to host a printer. The NAS also doesn't support any self-downloading features where you can set the NAS to download files on its own without the involvement of a computer.
For remote access, the My Book World Edition uses MioNet as its solution. Basically, you register the NAS server with an account at MioNet and then you can log into the NAS server from anywhere over the Internet to get data off of it. However, we found that this is possibly the worst over-the-Internet access solution we've seen in a NAS server.
The setup of the server is easy. Once you have connected the NAS server to a computer, you can then launch the MioNet registration Web page from the included CD. Then, follow three easy steps to set up an account with MioNet; the NAS server will be registered to the account automatically. During this process, you will be recommended to download and install the MioNet software. This is not necessary, however, as the My Book World Edition's remote access feature doesn't require any software or any computer in your network to remain powered on in order to work properly. The software allows you to access your computer over the Internet.
While the setup was easy, we found that accessing the files from the NAS sever was peculiar. On the remote computer, we went to the MioNet Web site and signed in with the new account. We downloaded and installed Java after being prompted to and then were able to browse the share folders on the My Book World Edition using both Internet Explorer and FireFox.
Unfortunately, browsing files and folder seemed to be the only thing that worked. We were not able to copy any files or folders from the NAS to the remote computer. The truth is as we tried to drag and drop or opened a file, the whole Web page froze and the mouse pointer turned into an hourglass, sometime indefinitely. We couldn't even figure out if the drag-and-drop function was supported and in case it was, if it'd work with only single files or with a whole folder. All in all we found this remote access solution virtually useless.
After our unpleasant ordeal with remote access, we were surprised that Western Digital added small, thoughtful features like the ability to turn off the sometimes distracting front status LED light. Just in case you wanted to leave the drive working in your bedroom while you slept at night.
What it lacks in features, the My Book World Edition more than makes up in performance. It's the second fastest router we've tested, trouncing every other router we've reviewed, and trails only behind our current champion, the Synology DS209+.
The My Book World Edition finished our CNET Labs' test with 120.1Mbps on the write test and 206Mbps on the read test. These impressive scores are comparable to those of some USB 2.0 external hard drives. Note that external hard drives are connected to a computer directly (via USB, FireWire or eSATA ports) and therefore have much better advantage in regard to throughput speed, as opposed to NAS servers that connect to a computer via the network.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
During our testing, the My Book World Edition performed without any hiccups. It also performed quietly and remained cool throughout.
Service and support
Western Digital backs the My Book World Edition with a generous three-year warranty. Toll-free phone support is available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Western Digital's site offers e-mail and tech support, FAQs, a searchable knowledgebase, and downloads. Unfortunately, unlike other vendors the download is not available to general public; Western Digital only allows registered users to access its download section.