Western Digital MyBook Live Duo review

Western Digital’s “My Book” brand has been critically lauded for good looks and a commitment to innovation from launch. It was one of the first external, consumer drives that looked like it belonged on a desk, instead of in a rack with a bunch of other hardware. The Live Duo model doesn’t mess with that trend.

With similar styling to the other My Books, the Western Digital have taken the curvilinear, single drive template and simply made it wider to accommodate a second drive. This is “War and Peace” instead of “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

The version we tested was the newest addition to the line-up, shipping with a mammoth 8TB of storage space. Bucking convention, the RAID configuration uses all the available storage, rather than mirroring in RAID 1 mode. It’s always a good idea to decide from the off which mode you plan to use as rebuilding the array later can be very time consuming. When the device is factory fresh it only takes 3 minutes to switch around. This is common to all the NAS devices we’ve looked at, by the way.

If, by any chance, you need to change drives or have an empty My Book, drives can be swapped or replaced through an access hatch in the top of the unit. There’s a little more protection than some of the other drives we’ve reviewed - as you’ll need to open a second door to get to your drives. There’s no screwdriver needed though and the process is still quick and simple.

Remote access to the My Book is enabled using WD 2go. There’s an app for iOS users that works with iPad or iPhone. For extra security, you’ll need to register the device you use in the MyBook’s settings first - a bit like pairing a Bluetooth device. The service can be used to transfer files over the Internet too. A browser based version of WD 2go can be accessed online. There’s no built in web server though.

OUR VERDICT

One thing that’s consistent throughout the My Book brand is ease of use. Plug and play capability. The Live Duo combines with this with powerful and easy to configure features like media center support and iTunes streaming.

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