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Western Digital MyBook World Edition comes with 2 Terabytes capacity in two 1 Terabyte Western Digital Green Power disks. The drive is external and can be connected via USB 2.0 and Ethernet.
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The drive is formatted to be used in RAID 1 configuration for extra data safety and this selection makes the drive’s capacity 1 Terabyte. In a RAID 1 configuration, the data is written on both of the disks, so if one fails, you can still recover it from the other. If you want to utilize the full capacity of the drive and improve your disk’s performance you have to select the RAID 0 configuration. The trade off is that if one drive goes down, the data is 'striped' across both drives and you won't be able to get anything back.
However, in terms of disk replacement, I did not find the World Edition as convenient as the Mirror Edition. If for any reason you want to replace the hard disks, make sure that they are from the Green Power series from Western Digital, otherwise it/they won’t work. The case does not have a built-in power supply. Like all of the other Western Digital external disks (except the Passport Edition) it come with a power adapter. The drive is 5.8x14.7x17.3 (WxLxH in cm) and weighs 1.09 kg without the adapter and accessories. With the power adapter, do not consider this drive to be carried except in emergencies. But with the MioNet remote access feature, you can access your disk contents anywhere from the Internet. In addition to these features, it can stream your multimedia content (music, videos, photos) and iTunes media server. Being a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compliant device, it can talk with any DLNA-compliant device in your network.
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As with the other Western Digital drives, World Edition has software to allow easy installation. The software is indeed installed easily and is well documented in the user guide. But I must state that I have run into some configuration problems. I had to consult the online Western Digital knowledge base to solve the problems. Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully on the knowledge base. Specifically:
When you plug the WD drive to your network, place the installation CD in your CD/DVD drive and follow the instructions to install. When the device is recognized by the wizard and you are asked if you want to map the network drive under the “Things to do” heading, I advise you to do so and map the drive automatically. If you want to map the drive manually, you choose the drive letter to be mapped. But in both cases, the assigned drive letter does not change. Once you complete the wizard, you do not need to run it again because it is needed only for initial drive recognition.
WD Anywhere Backup software allows five users to store their data on the drive. In order to do this, you have to install the Anywhere Backup Software on all the computers that will access the drive. Before installing from the CD, I suggest you to go to Western Digital’s product registration page first. Register your product and download the latest software release from the website. Your download will be a zip file, unzip it, run the setup.exe file and then follow the on screen instructions, which you can complete by the Next - Finish routine. When you are done, I suggest you set up a backup plan for the computer(s).
Making a backup plan is easy with the software, which works as a wizard. When you open the backup program, click on the “Backup All of My Files” button. On the next screen click “Create” and in the next screen click “Next.” Now, we will select our destination where our backups will be stored. Normally, the destination is the WD disk. Click next and in the next screen you will see two choices: “All items from smart picks” and “My Own Backup Items.” For an easy backup configuration we will choose “All items from smart picks.” The window that is opened is fairly intuitive, tick the items that you want to be backed up. If you can not find your folders here, switch to the “Local folders” tab and select the folders you want. The software will give you an estimated size of the data to be backed up together with the available space. Click next and give your backup a name. Here, I would like to have an option to rename my backups by date and time, such as Backup_090410_1005, in YYMMDD_HHMM format.
To work with the remote access features of the drive, you have to register with MioNet, however you can do this when you are installing the MioNet services from the CD that came with your WD disk. Click on the “MioNet Services” in the Application Installer program and register to MioNet services, where you will also select your username and password. After the successful registration, the software will locate your MyBook World Edition. Give your drive a name and then click OK. The folders present in your WD drive are displayed. To access your files remotely, go to the MioNet’s website and enter your username and password. Your files will be listed under the “My Resources” tab.
The formatting and the RAID configuration can be done from the WD’s software. I am happy to see that the necessary software is available for Macs as well, for both Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.
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I love Western Digital hard disks, internal and external, but I must make an exception for this one. WD MyBook World Edition 2 is no more than sub-par network attached storage. The offered features are great, but they need a little bit of tweaking to work; they do not work out of the box. Other than that, I found the device’s read and write speeds very slow compared to other network attached drives on the same network, despite the gigabit connection. Plus, the cooling fan is loud and the drives heat very quickly.
Some users also reported that they experience interruptions in media streaming, closing down due to overheating, not supporting long filenames and drives failing quickly. Admittedly I did not experience these problems myself, though again I have noticed the fan makes a lot of noise and the drives still get quite warm. The number of complaints was so high that I do not feel confident recommending the product, despite its good storage/dollar value. That's a shame, as the built-in Twonky Media Server software, along with the value, make it otherwise very attractive.
Its predessessor, the Western Digital My Book World Edition (reviewed here), which has many similar features with version 2, but fewer issues, however, is still available, and well worth a look.