Published on September 13th, 2014 | by Greg0
WD’s My Book Duo 8TB: So Much Space, So Little Time
Data storage is one of those areas where quantity counts- if you think you need a terabyte or two today, chances are you’ll need double that pretty soon. Of course, not everyone trusts the cloud with all of their files, and when you’re dealing with music, images, or video, vast arrays of drives can be taken up rather quickly. Especially if you’re aiming for high definition, 1080p quality, much less 3D versions. It’s surprisingly easy to fill up a large quantity in no time.
That’s why we recommend the Western Digital My Book Duo 8TB- it’s pretty much all the storage you’ll conceivably need for quite a while, unless you’re running a special effects or videogame studio. Eight terabytes of data is enough to 1.6 million photographs, 615 hours of video, or two million songs. It’s as much as we’ve ever seen in a single storage appliance, and perfect for backing up your whole system or setting up in a RAID 0 or 1 configuration. It uses USB 3.0 to connect, so is meant for a single connected computer at a time, though we loved the dual USB 3.0 ports which allow you to connect other devices, like thumb drives or smartphones, through the My Book. We’ve seen several products from WD over the years- from media streamers to routers- and they’ve always looked sharp. The My Book Duo is no exception.
For those unfamiliar with RAID, it’s basically a form of redundancy- duplicating every file, so that in case of a hard disk having errors or issues, you still have a completely separate additional backup as well. One nice thing about RAID is that it is essentially invisible to the user- you don’t have to manually worry about anything. This is a true hardware solution, with independent processing to ensure you don’t see data transfers slow down during the copying process. There’s onboard 256-bit AES hardware encryption, the most secure we’re familiar with. The drives inside are WD Red models, which are their higher-end, more reliable ones ideal for applications like critical storage. The My Book Duo is not a NAS though- there’s no networking onboard, wired or wireless.
But that often results in higher speeds for a single user, and we saw sustained transfer rates of over 120 MB/s (they claim up to 290 MB/s in optimal conditions). WD offers some excellent out-of-the-box backup software, and the system is NTFS formatted for Windows use (those using Mac OSX can reformat it easily enough). There’s Dropbox integration, Acronis True Image software for those who want a low-level safeguard of their data, for disaster recovery or even in case you’re preparing for an operating system upgrade. Available in a few different capacities- from 4TB to 12TB- it’s fairly affordable and a simple option for those with a single, dedicated computer and not much need for a fancier, more complicated network-attached storage option. If you have a bit more to spend as well, consider a Thunderbolt or SSD array, but for those looking for a solid, reliable USB 3.0 drive with space aplenty should look at the WD My Book Duo, running around $450 online and in store.