It was probably around this time last year that my hard drive
caught on fire. It was the stuff of nightmares and after coming
home from walking the dog, I smelt this putrid smell and saw
smoke coming from my hard drive. Yes, these things can happen...
you have been warned!
Fortunately I managed to save the
PC but the drive was fried. To make matters worse, I was one of
those people who rarely backed up and I lost family photos,
music and documents. I tried to get the drive working again but
its condition was palliative and to resurrect the data (if
possible), would cost over $1,000. RIP
Since then, I've become an advocate
for backups and I was recently given the chance to review
Western Digital's latest external hard drive, the My Book.
This 4 terabyte (TB) drive is not only huge in terms of space
but it's quite fast and boasts this nifty feature called
Automatic Backups. In essence it's basically an external hard
drive for backups!
By connecting this drive to your PC
and if any changes are made on your master disc (e.g. files or
directories), it is instantly backed up by the software included
with this product to the My Book. The great element about the
Automatic Backup feature is that it is not noticeable. You can
even set passwords to your backups and the My Book uses the
latest encryption algorithms to ensure totally protection. It's
definitely some additional peace of mind.
WD My Book Essential
Capacity: 4TB (WDBACW0040HBK)
Interface: 1x USB3.0 & USB2.0
Dimensions (H x D x W): 6.5 x 5.3 x 1.9 in. / 165 x 135 x 48
Weight: 2.60lbs / 1.18kg
Operating Temperature: 41ºF to 95ºF / 5ºC to 35ºC
Non-Operating Temperature: -4ºF to 149ºF / -20ºC to 65ºC
Input Voltage: 100-240VAC
Input Frequency: 47 - 63 Hz
In terms of design, the My Book is quite a sleek looking product
with its jet black colour and minimalistic appearance. The drive
itself measures at 165x135x48mm and is relatively quite small,
although a little on the heavy side. The drive comes with a USB
3.0 Cable, power supply, quick install guide and warranty
Software and Manual is included
on the drive itself
The drive also boasts vents on the
top and back for cooling which assists with the longevity of the
drive. When the software is installed, the icon in the tray
displays how much space is available, is the drive locked and if
the temperature is okay. Overall its a quiet and
aesthetically looking external drive. On the back of the unit is
the connection for power, USB (SS) and a power button.
Installing the My Book on our Windows 7 machine was a breeze.
The drive simply connected to a spare USB 3.0 port and Windows 7
automatically detected the drive. As mentioned, the My Book
supports USB 3.0 which is the fastest USB protocol at the moment
and is backward compatible with USB 2.0. Compared to USB 2.0,
USB 3.0 is up to 3 times faster.
WD SmartWare is the backup
software of the My Book
Although the drive can be used as a
standalone product, the backup abilities is where the My Book
comes into its own. The software included is SmartWare which
installs in a heartbeat and contains a very user friendly
interface which easily allows you to setup your backup options.
I also like how the software and manuals for the drive are
stored on the drive itself and only take up around 450MB of
One touch back-up
Backing up our C: Drive took
around 90 minutes
Although the drive cannot compare
to an internal drive (e.g. SATA) or a SSD unit, the drive
produced some decent read/write speeds via USB. With that said,
this drive is strictly a USB product and comparing it to SATA or
SSD is quite unfair but we still tested anyway!
Given that these are USB 3.0
speeds... we were not complaining!
For just $269AUD (March 2013), the
Western Digital My Book 4TB storage with auto backup is a very
affordable external drive. Best of all, it's extremely easy to
use and can be setup in minutes. It may not be the fastest drive
around but when it comes to one-touch backups, it's definitely a
drive that can be used in the home or office.