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April 2, 2012
- Attractive design
- Fast file read times
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA
The competitively priced Western Digital My Book Live Duo is a two-drive network attached storage (NAS) device that offers an astounding 4TB of storage capacity. It's very easy to use and offers speedy file read times, but it does lack some features and the latest USB 3.0 connectivity.
The design of the Western Digital My Book Live Duo is very simple yet elegant. Its matte black finish ensures it fits right into any place you put it. It measures 6.5 x 6.2 x 3.9-inches (wdh) and weighs almost 5-pounds.
Western Digital pre-configures the unit in JBOD mode, or Just a Bunch of Disks. This will force the unit to use the first drive until it is full before it begins to use the second drive. This mode provides no data safety because if the one drive fails, you'll lose all the data on that drive. You can, however, use the My Book Live Duo in RAID 1 mode. RAID 1 will mirror your data across both drives, but that also means you lose half of your storage space (2TB instead of 4TB).
Setup of the drive is simple, just plug it into your network via Ethernet or to a local computer through USB 2.0. Unfortunately there is no USB 3.0 or eSATA, so it's a tad limited in that regard. Once you're setup, you can map to the network drive from any computer on your network, Windows or Mac.
You may also access your files via mobile access through the WD2go Web service. This service has two free apps for both Apple iOS and Android devices and they work rather well. Other that this, there's really no other services that the Western Digital My Book Live Duo has to offer. If you're looking for more, like network printing or remote access, check out the Buffalo CloudStor Pro (2TB). If you want a plain NAS with lots of storage, this is probably the one to get.
Performance with the My Book Live Duo is very good thanks to the 800MHz PowerPC processor and 256MB of built-in memory. We found the drive to have very good read speeds, so it will do a great job for media streaming throughout your network. Write speeds are good too, but not as fast as some other NAS devices that we've tested.