Western Digital has started following a distinctive red and blue packaging for all their product lines. Like all the other NAS units we have evaluated, it is quite straightforward to get up and running even without the use of the accompanying software CD. It is possible to incorporate a owner password so that the unit's settings are secured. The My Book Live unit can also be used as a target for backups (Time Machine in the Apple ecosystem and a WD SmartWare based solution for Windows machines). One of the best aspects of the My Book Live lineup is the fact that the units run a build of Debian Linux. The various operations triggered from the web interface are actually implemented with the standard Linux commands underneath.
Since the underlying platform is based on Debian Linux, it is quite easy to hack into the unit. I remember costly multi-drive NAS costing more than this without including any HDDs and performing much worse. Thanks for review!But you should note - this device can work as a decent DLNA server and provide all your media content library to all your DLNA-certified devices (TVs, notebooks, set-top boxes, smartphones, etc.). Venya, Thanks for your informative posts (which, I am sure, lot of readers will appreciate).I did mention Twonky in the second page of the review. I have over 1 TB (yes, terabyte) of music, 600 GB of movies, and 900 GB of TV shows, and two desktops and two laptops that want access.I use RipIt and Handbrake for movies and XLD for music. Speaking from experience, I've found having a small, cheap, configurable NAS on my home network to have a bunch of advantages.
If all this is true, the WD My Book Live, aptly called a Home Network Drive, may be all one needs. Once removed, you will find some documentation, a CD, Ethernet cable, power brick and the My Book Live. I've been running 2 separate folder group copies and a backup for about 30 to 45 minutes. You can get the SMART temperature value via SSH or from the Troubleshooting dump in the Web UI.
Once we were done with the benchmarking, the unit was loaded up with media files (and a few documents) and connected to the router to enable the unit to access the Internet.


As the gallery below shows, the user just needs to navigate to the IP of the unit in a browser to get started with the setup.
While the My Book Live doesn't offer that explicitly, it does provide short and full diagnostic tests to check for bad sectors and other hard disk issues. New users can have private shares and also be allowed access to existing shares, if necessary. The unit's web interface also has helpful links to customer support and the WD forums for the device. For example, setting up a safepoint (backing up the My Book Live to a network location) triggers the rsync command. Software-wise this is based on Twonky Media server.Only this feature alone make this device worth to purchase! The DLNA server it runs is TwonkyServer, which I couldn't make work in HD with my Samsung 650 LCD TV. It exists just to make up for the deficiencies of the products involved.The My Book Live is pretty neat and does its job of exposing the available files via a SMB share. I currenty backup my WHS with a usb2.0 external HDD but im looking to get a larger storage, 2TB but if it could be done with a ethernet HDD that would be so much easier. A quick glance around the package by any customer would reveal that this is not a DAS unit and that the only available port is a GbE network connection.
Logging into SSH reveals many aspects of the unit which would otherwise be revealed only via a teardown. Now, if only the TVs were good enough to just recognize and read from Samba shares, DLNA could have been rendered unnecessary.uPnP is pretty good by itself (It enables the Play To functionality in Windows), and all this DLNA standardization on top has only served to confuse consumers further. Instead of having to keep my desktop machine running when I'm not using it, I have a 5W server and a connected USB drive that powers up and down as needed. Since the unit is geared towards home use, we have the Twonky Media Server and iTunes server to round up the multimedia capabilities. We already noted the Applied Micro platform and the 256 MB of DRAM in the previous section. There are some configuration XML files for Twonky where you can setup separate profile for your TV and change content type. The end result is we pay less for electricity (important here in Hawai'i, given the rates we're charged) and it generates less heat (important on the days we run the AC).


The LAN configuration network mode is set to DHCP by default, though a static option is also available. This way, there would be no confusion about supported DLNA profiles and other such stuff (I believe on-the-fly transcoding by any media server program is just hiding the inefficiency of the renderer.. My desktop is where all of our photos first land, and I have a script that runs periodically to copy all the photos to the server. It's all automated, so I never have to worry about making sure it's all backed up, other than checking the logs every now and again to make sure the copy's working OK.Similarly, my wife likes having a copy of all our photos on her laptop so she can have them to show people when she's away from home. If youre was lucky enough to buy Samsung TV before reading forums about their problems ;)Actually, with my initial comment I just said that Ganesh skipped very important aspect in this review - DLNA. In the past, I ran an rsync server on my desktop machine so she'd get copies that way, but making sure she was up to date required coordination - I'd have to make sure my desktop was on at the same time as her laptop. All features and problems should be in review itself but not in user comments, dont you think? Because it's always on, I'm fairly certain that I have a good backup of all her stuff.Personally, I also like running backups to a volume that's not always mounted on the machine being backed up.
I've always thought that USB drives as a backup solution invite disaster, as they're likely always mounted, and therefore fully accessible in the event that you catch some nasty virus that decides to delete all of your files. For example, when we were out on holiday last month, as we filled the flash cards for our cameras, I'd pull the photos off to my little travel netbook and let it copy the photos back home overnight. If anything had happened to my laptop's drive while we were away, we wouldn't have lost our photos of our kids enjoying their holiday.Finally, the ultimate reason I run backups through my little low-power server is that it's basically just a cache. It's set up to copy everything over to a machine at work during the wee hours of the morning, giving me physical separation of our data and the backup.
The little server then trickles data out at our miserable 1Mbit upload speed, taking as long as it needs to to get the job done. That way, I don't have to leave my power-hungry desktop machine on for long periods of time while waiting for backups to complete, which is really useful.As to where our media files come from, we have a couple of hundred GB of photos, perhaps a little more in music (all ripped from our CDs, which lurk in the bottom of a cupboard these days) and maybe 700GB of movies and the likes (ripped from our DVDs which are the CDs' neighbours).



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