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Western Digital Joins the Cloud

Western Digital Joins the Cloud


Western Digital Joins the Cloud

Western Digital Joins the Cloud

Cloud storage is pretty popular these days; almost everyone in the tech industry is coming out with cloud-related services or products. Not one to sit out the party, Western Digital invited us to its Connected Life Home Tour that showcased its My Book Live personal cloud storage device and other products that are capable of connecting to this shared storage. Here are our impressions after taking the tour.


'Live' Storage

At the center of Western Digital’s personal cloud storage is the My Book Live. It is basically a My Book Essential drive that now comes with the ability to back up your files wirelessly and stream media to your entertainment center via a Gigabit Ethernet connection.

What is interesting though is that with other network-attached storage (NAS) devices or hard drives, you can only access the device and its contents via remote access or a web UI; but the My Book Live goes a step further and has apps for both Android and iOS devices that allow you to access your My Book Live and its contents.

The app, WD 2go is available for free but a paid version (which costs US$2.99) gives you the option to download files from your My Book Live directly to your mobile device, as well as the ability to print or email your files directly from your mobile device.

Most public cloud storage options require a monthly fee and store your data in a location that is not revealed to you. Western Digital’s take on cloud storage is that consumers will feel safer and more at ease if their data is stored in a hard drive in their home. Giving the consumer the ability to access their hard drive anywhere and at any time, either remotely or through an app, is what they feel is the ideal solution.

My Book Live is available now at S$179 for the 1TB version, S$249 for the 2TB version and S$319 for the 3TB version.


WD Live TV

We caught the My Book Live in action when WD introduced their newest media player, the WD TV Live. The latter was paired to the My Book Live and was able to stream videos, photos and music stored within the MyBook Live.

The WD TV Live is a step-up from their line of well known media players of which we reviewed their current WD TV Live Hub back in February.

How the WD TV Live differs from the Live Hub is that the newcomer has built-in Wi-Fi and supports 7.1 Dolby TrueHD. So while you had to use a wired Ethernet connection to access the Web with the existing Live Hub model, the newer WD Live TV makes it easier for you to access your content and eliminates the cable with its built-in Wi-Fi.

The TV Live is running the popular Mochi UI that was unveiled with the previous Live Hub, so if you have handled Mochi before, the experience should not be any different. Do take note that the TV Live does not possess an internal hard drive, unlike the Live Hub which comes with 1TB of internal storage.

The Live TV is expected to hit the stores within the next two weeks and will retail for S$189. Our only gripe for now is that the naming scheme could get a bit confusing for consumers during the transition period where both the older TV Live Hub and the newer Live TV are sold concurrently.


New External Hard Drives

WD is first and foremost a hard drive manufacturer so it would be surprising if they did not announce any new hard drives. And announce they did with the Mac compatible editions of some of their external storage drives.

My Passport Studio, My Passport, My Book Studio and My Book now have Mac compatible editions and are also designed to be used with Apple's Time Machine protocol. They also sport styling that won't look out of place when put beside your Apple products.

Here are the price points tabulated for these new Mac compatible storage devices. Note that where "Mac" isn't explicitly mentioned in the product naming, those models are made to be compatible for both PC and Mac products.

Capacity My Passport for Mac My Passport Studio
500GB S$119 S$169
750GB S$129 S$189
1TB S$159 S$219

 

 Capacity My Book Studio My Book for Mac
1TB S$189 S$139
2TB S$239 S$179
3TB S$319 S$259