What I Use: WD My Book Live

Today I received the 1TB WD My Book Live. At home, neither my wife nor I save files directly onto our computers. Too much of a hassle trying to figure out what needs to be backed up on each computer, where to store each backup, etc (when you do this stuff at work every day, the last thing you want to do is deal with tech support issues at home). Instead, we have been using NAS devices.

NAS is short for Network Attached Storage and basically it is an external hard drive that connects to your home network instead of directly to a computer.  For years, my wife and I have saved our documents, pictures, movies, music and other files to some type of NAS device. It gives us the flexibility to move from the multiple computers and other devices, such as our Xbox gaming consoles, instead of being confined to one particular device.

Unfortunately, our current NAS, a Buffalo Technology LinkStation Mini, almost full (remember when 500GB was a lot of space a few years ago) so I have been looking for a replacement. Over the summer, I did move our home movies and photos to a Dell Inspiron Zino HD running Windows Home Server 2011 with a 2nd Generation Drobo for storage. While I love WHS, there are some things that I’ve had issues with (that I won’t go into right now).

Enter the WD My Book Live. Setup was straightforward after two firmware updates. Everything looks good so far. Still need to test accessing my files away from home. And guess what? There’s an app for that too! WD 2go Pro.

UPDATE (1/20/12): Unfortunately, the WD My Book Live did not live up to my expectations. While it did provide the features as advertised, some of them did not provide the functionality that I needed for my home networking environment. This is more specific to the ability to stream to my Xbox consoles in our living room and my home office. The issues that I encountered seemed to be related to the Twonky Media Server that it uses for streaming. The version that comes with the My Book Live is an older version than the one that is available now and unfortunately there is not an update available at the moment. If you don’t need the media streaming features in your home, the WD My Book Live is a great choice even though it did not meet my needs. Sticking with Window Home Server 2011.

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