"Great value and performance, Lots of storage"4.0 starson by jhacker
Pros: Lots of storage, discoverable by other computers and devices, smartphone app lets you view photos from anywhere, 3 year warranty
Cons: Buggy out-of-the-box software, Mionet software takes patience to set up
Summary: I was searching for a network hard drive to replace my Windows Home Server. It just wasn't doing the job anymore. I chose this Western Digital based upon comments I had seen on other websites stating that the performance and speed of this model was better than most others. On my 100mbps network, I see about 8 mb/s of transfer speed. It took about 6 hours to transfer 140GB worth of video. If I ever upgrade to 1gigabit ethernet, I'll be anxious to see the results. The included software has some functionality, but is buggy. If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have wasted my time with the contents of the included disc. When I tried to access the user interface to change settings, it kept locking up on me. I tried it on IE and Google Chrome. Instead of taking a chance of it locking up again, I searched the web for the upgraded software, and downloaded it that way. That solved the problem, for the most part. Mionet is a different story. Mionet is the software WD uses to share your hard drive contents across the internet. I had to do a lot of research to figure out why it wouldn't work. It turned out that you have to register the hard drive in order to see the Mionet software link. Even after registering, it took quite a while for the link to appear. Then, when setting up Mionet, it wouldn't see the directories I had set for remote sharing in the WD software. I had to deselect the shares, then select them again. Mionet has a file sharing feature, but the person I shared with couldn't get it to work. They're not very tech savvy though. I do know that you have to use Java though. What's nice is that I can see all the pictures I have shared on my Android phone through WD's app. You get a free trial to additional features of the Mionet software, but if I understand, your access to your shares remains free. I'm not clear about how long the trial lasts. The other computers on the network, along with our XBOX 360 are able to see the drive. I haven't tried the Twonky add-in yet.After owning this drive for about 3 months, I'm impressed with WD's constant attention to product development. They have released upgraded firmware at least twice in three months. The latest is a major update which eliminates the clunky Mionet remote interface. It is replaced by something called WD2GO, which is infinitely better. They have developed mobile apps (Android, iOS) which allow you to access your files from your mobile device. It's like having a cloud drive that you can easily add files to without having to pay a subscription fee for. Plus, they have refreshed the web interface to access them, as well. The newest update also allows you to backup your drive to prepare for the unlikely event of a failure.
I've had a bad experience with WD external drives, but I decided to give them another chance. After only a few days, I'm rather impressed with this drive after working out some bugs. I'm hoping for the day when I can shut off my power hog of a file server for good, and simply use my Western Digital network hard drive.
Updated on Aug 1, 2011
Updated on Feb 18, 2012Fast forward about 8 months, and I have had to replace this drive under warranty already. Now I have to replace it again, due to the fact that I cannot access the web interface for the drive. Both problems have been caused by firmware update issues. I am not happy that I have had to do this TWICE, but at least I haven't lost any files as a result.