External Data Storage: Western Digital My Book Home Edition

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western_digital_mybook_home_editionFollowing up on our external hard drive reviews, we were given the chance to review a Western Digital My Book Home Edition.  The My Book Home Edition comes in capacities from 320GB to 2TB (we tested the 500GB version) and all variations come with USB2.0, FireWire 400 and eSATA interfaces that allow for fast file transfer especially if using the eSATA interface (3 Gb/s).

Unlike other external hard drives however the My Book range of drives come in novel cases that stand upright and as the name suggests will quite easily fit on a standard bookshelf for easy storage.  The casing is manufactured in metal with a smooth matt black finish and there is a discrete set of blue LEDs on what would be the cover of "the book" that indicate the current functional state of the enclosed hard drive.  Included with the device are USB, firewire cables, AC adaptor and a quick start guide for fast and easy setup.  Unfortunately no eSATA cable is included as standard, however they are easy to source and relatively cheap.  A series of venting holes are present on the top edge of the device to aid with heat dissapation with no form of active heat dispersal.  In order to prevent overheating and to make the device more efficient it also incorporates "SmartPower" technology that automatically powers up and down the enclosure when the computer is turned on or off.

All that is required for setup is to plug the device into the mains and connection via the correct interface and the hard drive is automatically recognised in windows.   The hard drive comes formatted as FAT32 for compatibility with both Windows and Mac operating systems, however if it is destined for use with only one of the two it can easily be formatted to NTFS or HFS+ to suit.

Pre-installed on the drive is a small suite of programs including Memeo Autobackup (a basic backup software), Memeo Autosync (a trial software that allows encrypted syncing of files between computers) and a small application that allows backing up of the above softwares and all drivers required for usage.

In our tests we found setup to very simple, however we would recommend formatting of the drive to NTFS if you intend on using files larger than 4GB.  Transfer speeds were as fast as expected and we were particularly taken with the moving, pulsating blue LEDs (similar to the red lights from KITT the computer in Knightrider).

The small footprint of the Western Digital My Book Home Edition makes the drive perfect for those who are short on space and there are options for large capacity drives to suit almost any application.    The device incorporates a number of features to improve efficiency and therefore minimise heat build-up that can put the hard drive and therefore data at risk.  Although slightly more expensive than other equivalent capacity drives the feature the drives do come with a 3-year warranty that we felt on balance provided good value for money.

Available from:

Amazon: Western Digital My Book Home Edition