Network attached storage units have started becoming popular with the rise of powerful home networking solutions. Almost all mid-range and higher routers ship with USB ports. However, the transfer rates over USB are not quite satisfactory for most users. Many mainstream consumers also don't want the burden of configuring and running a NAS with multiple hard disks. On another note, companies like Apple and Google as well as startups like Dropbox and Box.net have made the cloud a buzzword amongst consumers. However, many users are still wary of trusting third party servers with the files. Western Digital has tried to address these two concerns with the My Book Live lineup.

The My Book Live lineup consists of 1 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB Western Digital hard disks in an external enclosure with a GbE port and a power adapter port. I had mentioned in one of the earlier NAS reviews that we have stopped seeing PowerPC based NAS platforms. With the Intel Atom pushing out Marvell chipsets from the mid-to-high end NAS market, Marvell chipsets took over the low end market based on the PowerPC platforms. Today, PowerPC platforms power network attached hard disks such as the My Book Live we are dealing with today.

The My Book Live is based upon the APM82181, a 800 MHz PowerPC 464 based platform (PDF). It has a host of features which are not utilized by the MyBook Live. For example, the PCI-E ports as well as the USB 2.0 OTG ports are fully disabled. The SATA port and GbE MAC are the only active components. The unit also has 256 MB of DRAM.

Before going into the review in detail, it is necessary to set expectations right. Potential customers should realize that the My Book Live doesn't provide data redundancy or availability. At best, it can complement an existing NAS in the network. This is aimed at users who want to add centrally accessible storage to their home network without the cost burden or setup hassles of a full fledged NAS. Even though the unit doesn't provide NAS features, it does include features to create periodic backups of its contents.

Western Digital sent us the the 3 TB version of the My Book Live for review. The unboxing and setup impressions, benchmarking results and a walkthrough of WD's personal cloud features are the various aspects covered in the rest of the review.

Unboxing and Setup Impressions
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  • haukionkannel - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yes it is illegal to copy youd dvd and blu-ray to hard disk... You are bypassing the copy protection and that is illegal..
    In any way it is possible to do it. And that is the reason why there is big disk like this... Am I delusionar or am I?

    But yeah, It would be nice to play your "own" vidoes etc from external hard disk instead of optical disk that are doomed to be worn out some day...
    Reply
  • CoreyAR - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I believe that copying a DVD, BluRay, anything that you personally own and using it under the rights granted to you by owning the original disc is not illegal...it is called fair use.

    However if you freely distribute the content then you are probably breaking the license that you obtained when you purchased the material and are then breaking the law.
    Reply
  • akedia - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Copying it is fair use, but circumventing DRM to do so is illegal, so though you have the right to copy your own media for your own usage, you cannot legally do what would be required to do so in most cases. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    What countries legal system are we talking about here? The legality of back up copies, circumvention of DRM etc. can differ widely from one country to another. :-) Reply
  • EJ257 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yes but if you are doing it purely for personal reason then there is no way the MPAA or RIAA would find out anyway. Sure it is technically illegal to circumvent the DRM on the disc but if your doing it behind closed doors (and windows) and you don't upload the rip to the web then who would know? Is your wife/gf going to report you? Are your friends who come over to watch that movie MPAA secret police? Reply
  • slick121 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    hehe good post!! Reply
  • iamezza - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Holy crap batman! 71C with an ambient temp of 25C this is utterly ridiculous for a hard drive to run this hot, there is no way it will last long term running so hot. Reply
  • dertechie - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    That's after 4 hours of 300GB of simultaneous reads and writes, basically the HDD equivalent of Prime95. He never actually told us what it was running at under normal conditions (and since he didn't seem too concerned, I'm betting it's <50C). Come to think of it, the external 3TB drive they reviewed a while ago did that too under torture.

    You'll hit that temp for initial back up, and then never again.

    I'd buy one of these, but the concept of 2TB+ drives without redundancy scares the crap out of me.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    With sporadic accesses, the hdd temperature hovers around 55 C. Not alarming, but worth a note. Reply
  • projektsun - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Any chance of a peak inside? Any way to upgrade ram in this? ALSO... why not put a 7200RPM hd in this? Heat? Reply

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