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Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB review

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Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB
  • Western Digital ShareSpace 2TB

Summary

Our Score:

7

Despite being one of the biggest hard disk manufacturers Western Digital has had a very low profile with NAS appliances. It dipped its toes in a few years ago with the NetCenter which didn't rock anyone's boat and was supplanted by the World Book series. The latest ShareSpace aims to recover WD some lost ground in the consumer and small business NAS appliance market and a key feature is ease of use and value.

Here we have the 2TB model which ships with a pair of 1TB Western Digital Caviar GreenPower hard disks, though a 4TB model is also available for around £620 including VAT which also seems pretty good value. The drives are installed in cold-swap carriers which means you'll need to power the system off to replace them.

Doing so requires the undoing of two thumbscrews at the rear and removal of the cover. The drives are easily accessible from the side but we found the plastic carriers need some physical persuasion before they would release. If you feel the need to add more drives the 2TB model comes with two empty drive bays.

Everything is embedded on a small controller board which sports a 500MHz Marvell SoC (system on chip) and offers a single Gigabit Ethernet port alongside a triplet of USB ports. The drives come preconfigured as a simple spanned JBOD volume for maximum capacity but no fault tolerance but you can change this to a mirror or a stripe and RAID-5 comes into play with three or more drives. A large fan at the rear handles all cooling and we found it to be virtually silent during testing.

Installation is helped along nicely by WD's discovery tool which automatically locates the appliance on the network. It offers direct access to the main web interface and other options for mapping network drives, viewing existing shares and creating desktop shortcuts for them. Ease of use is definitely a high priority as on first contact with the web interface a wizard based process is started which sets up the time zone, requests a new administrative password and sorts out IP addressing.

This web interface is a cheerful affair that opens with a basic mode view which provides swift access to simple device settings, creating users, setting up shared folders and checking on the system status. One feature that sets the ShareSpace apart from the rest is the integrated support for the MioNet service which lets you access selected files and folders over the Internet.

Once you've created an account and registered the appliance you can log in to the MioNet web site and copy files to and from the ShareSpace. There is a catch as the device only comes with 30-day trial of the full MioNet service and if you don't upgrade you drop back to MioNet Basic which doesn't allow you to remotely access your own resources.

Craig Turner

January 13, 2009, 4:29 am

It certainly looks the part, not sure if I misread but is that metal or silver plastic? Oh and MioNet, are they OSX compatible? It reminds me when I bought a 1TB MyBook which obviously came with MioNet and not even did it have Vista support - this is something like 18 months back?





Any, performance results (as I don't know how'd they compare) aside I'm still happy to have bought a Drobo V2, my very own little black box! Nicely ticking away with 4x 1TB F1's.





It's pretty amazing to see how many are being produced by all the different companies nowadays with clearly many people seeking much more storage at home!

CM896

May 29, 2009, 7:56 am

The review states that the ShareSpace does not support UPnP media services yet the Western Digital website claims that it is UPnP certified for streaming multimedia.


"Stream digital media anywhere in your home - Built-in media server for streaming music, photos and movies to any DLNA certified multimedia device such as Playstation® 3, Xbox 360®, wireless digital picture frames, and connected audio receivers. DLNA 1.5 & UPnP certified." Can you please clarify what this actually means? On first read it sounds as though you can stream to UPnP devices but re-reading the statement it appears as though there is only support for streaming to DLNA devices.

dealaddict

November 12, 2010, 2:39 pm

Let me tell you all weaknesses as an owner that not easily seen from reviews:





1. On manual, it said you have to use WD hard disk, although I didn't try


2. Agent will tell you it is not design for disks with mix sizes. Although I got it work, but they won't garentee and I am on my own


3. You cannot expand by replacing disk one by one as supported by Netgear X-RAID or Drobo Beyond RAID. That means, if you have 4 disk and run out of space, then you need to copy your data somewhere, replace all 4 of them, then copy the data back. Imagine you have 3 TB of data, and the auto back up button not work.


4. Painfully slow


5. Awkard design that you have to take out the whole cover to change disk, instead of just flip open a door. So, it needs to be put in an open space


6. I have 4 external hard disk and the auto backup function only work on one of them, that means, I have to rely on the slow network interface


7. I have one of the disk failed after 9 months


8. Poor technical support agents who know nothing but read out the answer from the knowledge base


9. Firmware 2.2.9 completely screw up. And take them a long time to release a patch


10. Doesn't seem reliable. Read the WD community link and you can see other people's problem. (http://community.wdc.com/t5/WD...

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