Western Digital MyBook World Edition II review: Western Digital MyBook World Edition II
Two 500GB drives (1TB total) live inside the MyBook, which makes it quite hefty at 174.6mm by 159.3mm by 104mm, and it weighs in at a solid 2.7 kg. You wouldn't want to cart this around too often, but thanks to its web-based interface, you don't need to.
The bundled application, MioNet, is more powerful than its competitor GoToMyPC because it not only emulates your desktop, but also allows you to access your MyBook storage drive when your PC is off. Though you can access your drive via the MioNet website, for full transparency it is best to install the application on the remote PC as well -- this way you can assign the MyBook to a drive letter and use Windows' own drag and drop to access files.
The drive comes with a 30 day trial which will also let you access networked PCs and even Webcams, but after that the program restricts you to accessing the MyBook only. Signing up is relatively cheap though, with a year's subscription only costing US$64.95 (AU$78). By comparison, a GoToMyPC subscription is very costly at US$179.40 (AU$215).
The drive also allows for RAID 1 redundancy, so you automatically generate two copies of a file copied to the device -- just in case one of the drives fails. Of course, if you choose this the capacity is reduced to 500MB.
We must also note that there is as yet no Vista support for Mio or this drive. However, Western Digital informs us that drivers will be available in May 2007. However, if you use the pre-installed "Public" folder you will be able to use it within Vista as a visible network drive -- though obviously without the advanced features.
Sequential writes on the MyBook were lower at 4.7 MB/s, while the Maxtor managed a much healthier 6.14 MB/s. Read scores are important considerations if you're performing tasks such as streaming video, while write scores are important for tasks such as backing up.
Using the MioNet application is quite straightforward, with a friendly interface, and plenty of advanced options such as "Sharing Webcams" and viewing remote desktops available from the main page. Logging in to the MioNet Web site is also simple, though the proprietary Web interface it uses for transferring files isn't as elegant as Windows' own. Hence, we recommend installing the app on any PC you intend to use more than once with the drive.
The MyBook is "remarkably quiet" according to Western Digital's marketing, but by its standards so are the 40 dollar fan heaters you can buy at the supermarket. The MyBook is thermally controlled, and at full pelt made more noise than our desktop gaming PC. If you buy one of these you may want to keep it in the cupboard.