by Jerry Jackson
The Western Digital My Book World Edition is a high performance network storage solution wrapped inside an attractive casing that allows you to share files with multiple computers over the internet or a home network. This compact file sharing solution lets you backup all your computers and works seamlessly with iTunes and Xbox 360 so that everyone in your family has access to music, photos, and videos that are important to you. Notebook users can also benefit by keeping important files on a networked drive at home, so a stolen laptop doesn’t result in stolen data. Let’s take a closer look.
Build and Design
The Western Digital My Book World Edition looks quite similar to the rest of the “My Book” family of external storage drives and is extremely compact for a network attached storage (NAS) enclosure that contains either 1TB or 2TB worth of desktop hard drives. Full specifications include:
- Height: 6.81 inches
- Length: 5.78 inches
- Width: 2.28 inches
- Weight: 2.41 pounds
- Connectivity: Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mb/s transfer rates), USB 2.0 expansion
- Package Contents:
- Network hard drive
- Ethernet cable
- AC adapter
- Software CD
- Quick Install Guide
- MSRP: $229.99 for 1TB, $449.99 for 2TB
The enclosure exterior is made of all white plastics and features a white LED status indicator on the front. The enclosure is very sleek and stylish with a minimalistic design and a subtle Western Digital “WD” logo on the sides. The top, bottom and back of the enclosure feature a perforated surface designed to help air flow inside and keep the hard drive cool. The only thing to see on the bottom of the My Book World Edition is a small sticker containing the product information, such as the serial number, model number, and country of manufacture.
To get to the point, this is one of the best looking NAS solutions we’ve seen. It’s simple, functional, and attractive … unless you hate glossy white plastic and the pulsing white LED. We usually don’t care how a NAS enclosure looks since most owners will connect the thing to a home network and then stick it behind a router or hide it in a closet. However, the My Book World Edition looks nice enough that you might be willing to leave it sitting out on your desk without feeling embarrassed when company comes over.
The only thing I don’t love about the enclosure design (the same thing I dislike about the other “My Book” enclosures) is the security lock slot is “hidden” on the back among the vent holes. An IT manager (or a security-conscious family member) might find it frustrating when they try to connect a security cable to the enclosure and can’t find the lock slot.
Setup and Features
We could say the My Book World Edition is remarkably simple to setup and use, but that honestly makes it sound more complicated than it is. The World Edition is about as close as you can get to a “plug-and-play” NAS. Simply connect the World Edition to your network router, insert the included software CD, click “Map Network Drive” and that’s it! You can start using the World Edition in a matter of seconds. Yes, more complex activities, such as scheduling backups, configuring iTunes or adjusting security settings takes more time, but this is the simplest way to create network attached storage we have ever seen.
One nice feature on the World Edition that isn’t found on all NAS enclosures is a USB port for storage expansion. This USB port can’t connect directly to a computer, but it allows you to connect an external USB storage drive to the World Edition in case you need to add more storage to your network.
The My Book World Edition offers exceptional speed and power efficiency thanks to the use of WD hard drives with “GreenPower” technology. GreenPower drives combine a delicate balance of spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithms designed for both significant power savings and solid performance. The drive inside the World Edition consumes less power by automatically unloading the recording head during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag, and disengaging read/write channel electronics. The drive also calculates the optimum seek speed to lower power consumption, noise and vibration. The bottom line is significantly less power consumption than typical desktop drives without sacrificing performance.
The My Book World Edition is rated at a theoretical maximum of 1000Mb (megabits) transfer rate on a 1Gb network which equates to 125MB (megabytes) per second. Of course, the speed of your home network router and how much data is being transferred by other devices on your network will have a direct impact on the speed of the My Book World Edition.
Atto is one of the standard synthetic benchmarks we use to test the performance of a storage drive. Below you can see the average read and write times for the My Book World Edition compared to other NAS units and wired storage solutions.
Western Digital My Book World Edition
Iomega StorCenter ix2
WD My Book Mirror Edition USB External Drive
Seagate Internal SATA Desktop HDD
As you can see, the My Book World Edition is the fastest stand-alone NAS we have reviewed in our office … making the My Book World Edition a great low-cost alternative to a home server if all you need is backup and file sharing. As mentioned previously, one minor disadvantage to using networked storage is that transfer speeds will decrease if you are actively downloading files from the Internet or if multiple computers on your network are accessing the network at the same time. Below are the Atto benchmark numbers taken from the My Book World Edition during moderate network activity:
The Western Digital My Book World Edition is a great addition to the My Book family of external storage devices and offers consumers an extremely easy-to-use network storage solution. The fact that average consumers now have a way to instantly backup their files without even thinking about it practically makes the My Book World Edition a “must have” accessory for the home or office. Being able to use this device as an iTunes server or for streaming video to a game console makes it great for home entertainment.
Although an eSATA drive would be faster for people who need extreme speed, wireless storage is far more advantageous for people with multiple computers.
Bottom line, the My Book World Edition is a fantastic stand-alone network drive that is easy to use and provides exceptional wireless transfer speeds. The Western Digital GreenPower drives used inside means the World Edition consumes significantly less power while delivering performance on par with power hungry network storage devices using 7200 RPM hard drives. Families or small offices with multiple laptops now have a simple way to make sure everyone has access to important files … even if the hard drive inside your notebook or netbook is full.
- Extremely fast: The fastest consumer NAS we’ve tested
- Simple setup and use makes this ideal for home and small office
- White plastics look cool but might stand out in some homes or offices
- Fast, but not as fast as a wired eSATA enclosure or internal SATA drive
- Security lock slot “hidden” on back of the enclosure
Pricing and Availability
The Western Digital My Book World Edition ($229.99 for 1TB, $449.99 for 2TB) is available for purchase on the Western Digital website or at many retail and online stores.