Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4TB review

17 May 2012

Oodles of storage, decent performance and usable 
remote access features make for a solid all-round NAS device

Western Digital My Book Live Duo - front
Price when reviewed: 
300(£300 inc VAT)
4

Following the same styling as the rest of Western Digital’s My Book range, the My Book Live Duo packs twin 2TB drives and a whole host of cloud storage features into a thick dictionary-sized case.

The two drives are configured as one huge 4TB repository by default, but it’s also possible to build a 2TB RAID1 array for greater data security – something we’d highly recommend doing.

The WD’s plastic chassis doesn’t feel especially sturdy. It’s good to see that the drives are removable, but the plasticky flaps attached to each drive feel cheap. The metal fascia keeping the drives in place occasionally proved tricky to close, too.

As for connectivity, there’s only a single USB 2 port, which allows a drive to be shared across the network, or act as a backup target.

Thankfully, the device’s web interface makes amends. A strip along the bottom of the screen shows operational status and remaining storage. The rest of the WD’s features are easy to locate and accompanied by useful walkthroughs.

Western Digital My Book Live Duo - front

The WD 2go service gives remote access from any internet-connected PC, and users can log into the service from anywhere. Handily, the service maps a network drive into Windows Explorer, so files can be copied to and from the My Book Live Duo as if it were connected locally.

The My Book Live Duo is also accessible via a suite of Android and iOS apps. The free WD Photos app is simple but effective; the free WD 2go app (for general file browsing) is less convincing; you’ll also have to spend £2 on WD 2go Pro if you want automatic file sync, the ability to download, or the option to send files via email.

We clocked the My Book Live Duo at 67MB/sec while reading large files, and writing large files saw that drop to 40MB/sec. Small-file transfers, however, fell to 3.8MB/sec and 2.4MB/sec.

Considering the price, Western Digital has put together an excellent package. Performance is adequate, and the remote access is easy to set up. Synology’s DS212j is vastly superior, but at this price, the Western Digital is well worth considering.

Details

Price ex VAT £250
Price inc VAT £300
Overall rating 4
Performance 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 5

Basic specifications

Capacity 4GB
RAID capability yes
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Services

FTP server? yes
UPnP media server? yes
Print server? no
Web hosting? no
BitTorrent client? no
Timed power-down/startup? no
HIbernate on idle? yes

Connections

Ethernet ports 1
USB connection? yes
eSATA interface no

Power consumption

Idle power consumption 13W
Peak power consumption 16W

Physical

Dimensions 99 x 157 x 165mm (WDH)

Security and administration

Kensington lock slot? yes
Admin support for users yes
Admin support for groups yes
Admin support for disk quotas no
Email alerts yes