Western Digital My Book Live 1TB Home Network Drive Reviewed

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Western Digital My Book Live 1TB Home Network Drive Reviewed

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Western-Digital-My-Book-Live-Networked-Drive-review-streaming.jpgHigh Points
• The My Book Live drive is an easy way to get into network attached storage solutions without having to have a great deal of a) money and b) knowledge.
• The My Book Live can be had in three different varieties, ranging from 1TB on up to 3TB, which is going to be enough for many users. For those with modest movie collections or a need to only stream music and perhaps photos, the 1TB My Book Live drive should fit the bill nicely.
• The My Book Live is a straightforward and easy-to-use network attached storage device that is both Mac- and PC-compatible, though I suggest setting it up with a PC to avoid any file management headaches down the road.
• The My Book Live drive via its Gigabit Ethernet port is fast enough to stream full HD content, complete with uncompressed audio codecs, though getting said content onto the drive is up to you.

Low Points
• The My Book Live drive is noisy, producing noticeable whirring and "thunk" sounds when in use.
• The My Book Live drive is not expandable the way that some other drives and/or NAS arrays are.
• The My Book Live requires you to purchase or already own a Gigabit router in order to extract the maximum performance from its Gigabit Ethernet port, which does add to its overall cost of ownership.
• The My Book Live isn't the least expensive option, if I'm honest.

Competition and Comparisons
Discussing hard drives and the like is a new thing for this publication, as well as for this reviewer, though I'm confident it's a segment of the market we'll be diving into more and more as we move ever closer to the death of physical media. That being said, there are numerous network attached storage drives and/or solution out there that match or exceed the capabilities provided by the My Book Live. The My Book Live is clearly aimed at the novice user, one who doesn't wish to be bothered with complex file management protocols and/or network setups. For those looking for something a bit more robust or at the very least upgradeable, there's iOmega, Buffalo and Drobo, to name a few. All of the aforementioned brands (except Drobo) offer self-contained options, as well as NAS devices that you can populate with any number of hot swappable hard drives of your choosing. Keep in mind, prices do go up as you increase your ability to customize.

Conclusion
For those of you who may be new to the concept of network attached storage or have a modest collection of media that you wish to make available to a host of network-enabled devices, the My Book Live is a great way to get one's feet wet. It's limited by its capacity, though it can be had in sizes up to 3TB, though at that size I would recommend getting something more along the lines of a Drobo, for it will allow you to grow beyond 3TB should you this be what you need. Still, for the uninitiated, the My Book Live is a solid go-to NAS drive, provided you also have a Gigabit-enabled router to insure maximum performance.

Additional Resources
• Read similar reviews in our Media Server Review section.
• Learn more in our Streaming, Apps, and Downloads News section.
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HTR Product Rating for Western Digital My Book Live 1TB Home Network Drive

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

2.5

Overall

3.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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