We've long been encouraging people to invest in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. They let you store all your commonly used files, like music, videos, pictures, and maybe even spreadsheets and word processor documents, in a centralised location that is accessible from any computer connected to your home or office network (or even from the Internet). So no matter whether you're in bed using a laptop, at your main computer in your study, or down the bottom of the garden on your smartphone, you can access all your files quickly and easily.
The latest addition to this fleet of undeniably desirable products is the Western Digital My Book World Edition that was just announced today. It's available in 1TB and 2TB versions with list prices of £168.99 for the 1TB version and a slightly more wince-inducing £369.99 for the 2TB version. Today we're looking at the 1TB version so let's see how it fares.
Straight out the box, the My Book World Edition impresses with its beautiful glossy white exterior and subtle silver WD logos. The profile is typical WD - all its external hard drives have a name that's some variation on book - with the curved spine at the front and the ventilation grill 'pages' running round the top, back, and bottom. It's a style that works well and we'd have to say this is the most attractive NAS box we've seen to date.
Running up the middle of the spine is a strip of white lights, the bottom one of which lights up when the device is powered on, while the rest pulsate depending upon the drive's activity. It's a nice affect and certainly fits in well with the overall futuristic style. If you do just find it distracting, though, it can be turned off in the menu.
One thing that the slim and sleek profile does betray is the fact this only uses one hard drive. More expensive and fully featured NAS appliances employ at least two hard drives configured in some sort of RAID configuration. This gives them a degree of data redundancy whereby if one hard drive fails the other still has all your data. This, in a world where more and more information about our lives is stored on our computers, is a very important consideration. That said, the My Book World Edition does have a USB port on the back that can be used to add USB hard drives so you could, say, run a second backup to that drive as well.