WD Launches an Easy-to-Use NAS Device

Perhaps the second-most prevalent reason why people don't back up the data on their computers is that they think it is too difficult or time-consuming. (The main reason why users don't back up their data is that they don't realize that they should--until it's too late--but that's a discussion for another time.) If backing up was truly seamless, then a lot more people would likely do it and far fewer folks would wake up to the rude surprise that years of photos, ripped CDs, and e-mails were gone in the blink of an eye when their system's hard drive unceremoniously died. With its eyes firmly focused on the set-it-once-and-forget-about-it crowd, Western Digital is looking to make system backups simple and fully automated with its redesigned My Book World Edition network-attached-storage (NAS) device.

Western Digital recently conducted a study of 1,500 consumers. About 70-percent of them claimed that they were, in fact, backing up their data. But as it turns out, for most users this backing up was in the form of "sporadic, tedious processes such as copying to CDs/DVDs or USB thumb drives." This is certainly not the most elegant, timely, or thorough manner of backing up your data--albeit it is sufficient for the needs of some users--not everyone needs a multi-user-capable NAS device.

Setting up the My Book World Edition is very straightforward. You simply plug in the power and an Ethernet cable (the device supports up to Gigabit Ethernet) and it's ready to go. Of course, if you want to take advantage of the device's ability to perform automated backups of multiple Windows or Mac systems, act as a media server, or enable remote access, you'll need do a few additional things to get those functions up to speed.

The My Book World Edition comes with a Flash-based WD Discovery Tool app for Windows XP and Vista, which not only automatically finds the NAS device on the network, but it even gives you the option of automatically mapping the drive for your systems. There is no automated tool for the Mac, but the documentation does provide step-by-step instructions for both Leopard (OS X 10.5) and Tiger (OS X 10.4).

The My Book World Edition comes with three preconfigured, shared folders for music, pictures, and videos--these are the folders that the device uses for serving media via its DLNA, UPnP, and iTunes Music server support. The NAS device also ships with both Windows and Mac versions of the WD Anywhere Backup software. When installing the software, you can choose the "Back Up All of My Files" option or choose to "Customize My Backup." Using Western Digital's MioNet service and software, you can set up select folders on the NAS device to be remotely accessible over the Internet. The My Book World Edition also includes a USB port for attaching a USB hard drive for additional storage or for backing up the NAS device's contents.

While the My Book World Edition is very easy to use, advanced users will appreciate the detailed HTML-based, integrated Network Storage Manager interface, where you can access advanced features such as user and folder share management, set passwords, set groups, set user quotas, set a static IP address, enable/disable the media server functionality, and other similar settings. The My Book World Edition supports HTTP, HTTPS, CIFS/SMB, NFS, FTP, and AFP protocols.

The 1TB capacity version of the My Book World Edition is available now with an MSRP of $229.99. A 2TB capacity version will be available within a few weeks, with an MSRP of $449.99.