Western Digital Ups the Ante with Updated WD 2go

Western Digital Ups the Ante with Updated WD 2go

Western Digital Ups the Ante with Updated WD 2go

Western Digital offers a plethora of external storage devices to suit the needs of end-users to SOHO setups. However, without the necessary software and support, these devices would run the risk of turning into isolated islands of information and data. With this in mind, the company offered its personal cloud storage solution with a central hardware-based hub in the form of its My Book Live products.

To recap, the Live series of products allow you to access the WD external storage device and its content via an app - the WD 2go. The 'cloud' analogy applies only because you can access your content (perhaps on a WD My Book Live stored at home) via this app from any device, anywhere. Additionally, you can also tie it with your Dropbox account and WD 2go allows you to access and transfer content between Dropbox and your WD My Book Live storage unit.

This is the iOS version of the WD 2go mobile application. With this software, users are able to access their WD storage devices on supported iOS devices. This mobile application is also available for Android devices.

Not resting on its laurels, the company has combined its previous offerings of WD 2Go and WD 2Go Pro (a paid app) into the current single package of the updated WD 2go. One of the highlights of the new WD 2go is that it is now completely free, thus paving way for greater adoption of the 'Live' aspect found in the WD My Book series in future products from the company.

The WD 2go software has three access options; the first two are mobile applications that are supported on iOS and Android devices respectively. The third access option is through a web browser from desktop computing devices like a PC or Mac. With these access options, owners of Western Digital My Book Live external storage devices are able to access their devices over their local networks. If they are on-the-road, they would also be able to access those devices as long as these road warriors have internet connectivity.


Set Up Before the Get-Go

In order to set up a personal cloud solution that supports WD 2go, the first step is get your WD My Book Live device on a local network with internet connectivity. The NAS software system on the My Book Live enables the NAS storage to be presented as a local network node. Western Digital mentioned that this series of storage devices is able to work with most commonly used routers. Speaking of routers, WD mentioned that their new solutions like the My Net 9000 and My Net 900 Central would be prime candidates for users to consider in future if your old router is due for an upgrade.

The My Net N900 is a HD video streaming capable dual-band wireless router with a whopping seven LAN ports. Its counterpart with onboard storage of up to 2TB is the My Net 900 Central (though it comes with only four LAN ports). They are currently not available locally but it is a matter of time before they are seen on retail shelves here.

Once the WD My Book Live goes online, the WD 2go takes a private cloud approach to the storage drive's availability and its files and contents would be made available to the user and others whom the user has given explicit access through an authentication service that is backed by Western Digital.


Authentication Needed!

Since the WD My Book Live is a network node, the user is able to access the device through any of the three access options of WD 2go as mentioned earlier. During the demonstration, we were shown the web browser interface of WD 2go that was used to administer and access a previously configured online My Book Live Duo storage device.

This is the web browser interface of the WD 2go application and shown here is the system settings for an online WD My Book Live Duo where the access list for authorized devices are configured.

Upon adding a device for remote/mobile access, the user is presented with a unique 12-digit authentication code. This code is your key to gain access to the WD storage device via the WD 2go app on your phone, tablet or notebook. If you plan to grant access to others, this code has to be sent to the respective user before they can have access to your storage device while on-the-move. The seamless nature of this access setup process and the use of an authentication code means that the user wouldn't have to worry about setting up a fixed URL or dynamic DNS to ensure the shared device is available over his personal cloud (which essentially rides on the public internet for shared connectivity to authorized users and for anywhere usage).

According to Western Digital, the My Book Live and supported devices are able to support up to 60 users in their private cloud capacity. Each generated authentication code as a time-to-live of 72 hours and upon its expiration, access to the shared device will cease.


Entering the Private Cloud

As mentioned earlier, in order to gain access to the shared device, the end-user needs to key in the 12-digit authentication code made known to him by the user administering the private cloud. The authentication process will be handled by Western Digital servers that make up the system support for the entire WD 2go software system.

Shown here is the WD 2go iOS application where the end-user is required to enter the unique activation code. Upon a successful authentication procedure, the end-user would have access to the device, a private cloud without technical hassles. 

After a successful authentication procedure, the shared device is listed in the left panel of the WD 2go mobile application. There is also support for Dropbox.

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