WD My Book World Edition NAS Device

Article Index

Configuration (continued) & WD Anywhere Backup



Instead of logging into the WD My Book World Edition's Network Storage Manager interface, you can instead choose to log into the device's Downloader feature. (Note that the Downloader's default password is different than the default password for the Network Storage Manager; the default passwords are documented in the electronic user manual.)

   

 The Built-in Downloader feature.

 You can schedule when queued files
will be downloaded.


The Downloader allows you to download files directly to the WD My Book World Edition, so that once the information is entered into the Downloader, you do not need to leave your PC on in order to retrieve the files. To setup the Downloader to download a file, you must supply the URL of the file you want to download and what the name of the saved file should be. In some cases, the filename is already part of the URL, so this might feel redundant to some people; also, we found that the Downloader did not recognize all pasted download URLs. You can set for a file to start downloading automatically or place it in the download queue. Files placed in the queue will download based on when you've scheduled the Downloader to allow downloads; this is beneficial for those who want to download large files only during off hours so as not to impact the connection speed of PCs on their home network, or to avoid prime-time bandwidth caps from their ISPs. Note that you cannot schedule file downloads independently--the schedule is set for when to allow all queued downloads.

 

 The Copy Manager.


The third login option for the WD My Book World Edition's Web interface is for the Copy Manager (which uses the same administrator login credentials as the Network Storage Manager). The Copy Manager is a fairly simple tool that allows you to copy folders from the NAS device's built-in disk to an external drive attached to the device's USB port, or vice-versa. We didn't spend a lot of time with this simple feature other than to confirm that it works. As this task can easily be conducted a number of other ways that don't require logging into the device's Web interface, we question its overall usefulness--but then again, it is part of the geek's credo that it is better to have extra features you do not need, than to be missing features you might need.



WD Anywhere Backup
The WD My Book World Edition comes with the WD Anywhere Backup automated backup software for both Windows and Mac systems. The documentation states that the software license permits installing the software on up to 5 client systems, but you can always buy additional licenses if you need them.

   

 With just the click of a button, (almost) all
of your system's files can be
backed up to the device.

 You can also manually select what gets
backed up.


When you install WD Anywhere Backup on a Windows machine, it creates a shortcut on the desktop and sets the application to automatically launch when Windows launches--it typically stays hidden in the taskbar unless it requires user intervention. You can create multiple backup plans on a system if you want to backup different folders to different destinations. Once you select a destination for a backup plan and save the plan, you cannot subsequently edit the destination for that plan; if you need to make a change to the destination, you will have to create an entirely new backup plan. When you select the source folders for a backup plan, you can manually add folders or you can select folders to backup from the software's pre-defined "SmartPicks," which includes folders, such as My Documents, My Pictures, IE favorites, Windows Mail, and Music and Sound Files. It is important to note that the WD Anywhere Backup software depends on Windows for network drive mappings--if a drive is not mapped in Windows, the backup software will not be able to see it.

   

 A custom backup plan.

 WD Anywhere Backup operates
in the background.


When you create a backup plan, you can choose to also include the WD Anywhere OneClick Restore application; this is a stand-alone application that will allow you to restore files from the backup plan's destination folder without needing to use the WD Anywere Backup software (a useful feature when you are rebuilding a system following a local drive meltdown). While you could potentially backup the entire contents of a system's hard drive, you cannot backup a complete hard drive image for a full system restores from the WD My Book World Edition. Also, the software only supports source folders that are on drives connected directly to the system (internal or external, not networked). One feature we would have liked to see included with the bundled software or built into the device's firmware is the ability to automatically backup contents stored on the NAS device to a USB hard drive connected to the NAS device's USB port. Other available applications do support this, however, such as 2BrightSparks' free SyncBack Freeware software.

Restoring folders and files is pretty straightforward: You simply select an active (or even inactive) backup plan and then choose the folders and files you want to restore. You can restore to the Desktop, the original location, or assign a new folder to copy the files to.

WD Anywhere Backup works similarly on the Mac: the app automatically loads when the OS loads and it typically stays minimized as an icon on the menu bar. The Mac backup app also depends on the OS to map to network drives--if you can't access the networked destination with the Mac OS, the backup software won't be able to access the destination either. The Mac version of WD Anywhere Backup also includes "SmartPicks," which in this case, include items such as the Home folder, Application Preferences, iCal, iPhoto Library, iTunes Library, Keychain, Mail messages and settings, and Safari settings. The Mac version of the software also lets you create a backup plan that will automatically backup photos to either Shutterfly or Flickr. Unlike the Windows version of the backup app, however, the Mac version does not include a stand-alone restore app option.

   

 Restoring files on a Windows system.

 Restoring files on a Mac.


Both the Windows and Mac versions of WD Anywhere Backup constantly monitor all of the respective, active backup plans' source folders. When there is a change to the contents of a watched folder, the backup software will automatically copy the incremental changes to the backup's destination folder. The backup software can also backup multiple versions of a file as it changes over time. We observed the CPU utilization of the Windows and Mac versions of the backup apps as the software monitored the source folders: the Mac version usually stayed well below 0.5-percent, while the Windows version was usually somewhere between 00 and 02-percent CPU utilization.


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