The old adage, "looks can be deceiving," applies very well to the Western Digital My Book World Edition network-attached storage (NAS) device. With its small and simplistic physical design, housed in white plastic, and featuring only a set of white LED status lights on its front, this NAS device belies the power, features, and depth of configuration options just hiding beneath its shiny veneer.
Which is not to say that the WD My Book World Edition NAS device isn't simple to use--it is actually one of the easier NAS devices we've worked with. Network storage neophytes should have little trouble getting up and running in no time. But contrary to the seemingly simple nature of the product, those looking for advanced administration options will be very impressed with what the WD My Book World Edition can do beyond being just being a networked receptacle for file sharing, media streaming, and automated backups. For example, the WD My Book World Edition's advanced settings including the ability to set user quotas; which is something that even the business-class Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition NAS Server isn't capable of. (More on this and other advanced features later).
WD currently offers two versions of the WD My Book World Edition: a 1TB version (MSRP: $229.99) and a 2TB version (MSRP: $449.99). Both units use the same housing and therefore have the same small form-factor. The only difference between them is the size of the single hard drive inside the unit. We looked at the 2TB version, which uses a single, 3.5-inch, SATA-based, WD 2TB hard drive.
External USB storage file systems supported:
10/100/1000Mbps RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port; (1) USB 2.0 port
NTFS; FAT; HFS+
Windows XP/Vista; Mac OS X 10.4 or higher; UPnP; DLNA
HTTP; HTTPS; CIFS/SMB; NFS; FTP; AFP
3 years (limited)
Network storage system; Ethernet cable; AC adapter; Software CD; Quick Install Guide
The WD My Book World Edition's seven-page Quick Install Guide is about as simple as it gets in terms of getting a product set up and operational quickly. In fact, each OS (Windows XP/Windows, Mac OS X 10.4, and Mac OS X 10.5) gets exactly one short page to explain how to install and start using the WD My Book World Edition NAS device. Despite the brevity, the instructions are sufficient--especially considering that most of the heavy lifting is done by the bundled software (at least on Windows platforms). While this terse set of instructions will get you operational, it only provides information on how to access the drive's public folders. If you want to set up private folder shares or dive beneath the surface, you'll want to take a gander at the electronic user manual on the bundled CD. A word of warning for those who are technically-minded and don't like to read manuals: the default login credentials for the device's web-based Network Storage Manager interface can be found in the electronic user manual and not in the printed Quick Install Guide--although seasoned networking gurus should have little trouble guessing the default login credentials.