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You are here: NAS NAS Reviews WD My Book Live Reviewed - Performance, Closing Thoughts

WD My Book Live Reviewed - Performance, Closing Thoughts

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The My Book Live was tested with 01.02.03 firmware using our latest Revision 4 NAS test process. Tests were run using a 1000 Mbps LAN connection.

The new Benchmarks NAS Chart feature was used to generate the benchmark summary for the Live shown in Figure 11.

My  Book Live NAS Benchmark summary

Figure 11: My Book Live NAS Benchmark summary

As noted earlier, I couldn't get performance anywhere near the 100 MB/s that WD claims for reading. Highest read throughput was 78.4 MB/s from the Windows (7)-based File copy test, which is mostly large sequential file transfers. Win 7 has numerous file copy enhancements which usually show NASes in their best possible light. While 78.4 MB/s reads ain't bad, they aren't 100 MB/s, as WD claims.

Updated 11/1/2010

In a follow-up telcon, WD said it used Copymark to transfer single 5 GB and 22 GB test files to achieve the 100 MB/s read spec. The machine used was an i7, Windows 7 32 bit with the files coming from a WD Black 2 TB drive. WD also said that they got read performance very similar to my test results when they read smaller (1 GB) files.

So, that solves the mystery. If you have a machine with a fast CPU, Win 7 (or OS with equivalent file copy optimizations), PCIe based Gigabit Ethernet and a fast enough hard drive to support > 100 MB/s transfers, and you are transferring 5 GB + files, then you'll get 100 MB/s.

The Intel NASPT File Copy tests are usually lower than the Windows file copy results and are here, too. NASPT File Copy From NAS (read) clocked in at 70 MB/s.

I couldn't perform backup performance or iSCSI tests because the My Book Live doesn't support those features.

To see how the Live fares against other single-drive NASes, I ran Windows Write (Figure 12) and Read (Figure 13) File copy charts.

My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - write

Figure 12: My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - write

The Live is almost four times faster than the My Book World "white bar" for write and about 2.5 times as fast for read. But it also beats Buffalo's new Marvell-powered LinkStation Pro VL slightly on write and by a good 10 MB/s for read.

My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - read

Figure 12: My Book Live File Copy performance comparison - read

Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.

Closing Thoughts

If you can live with the Live's simplified feature set and lack of USB ports, then it's a pretty good buy for a single drive NAS. The 1 TB version is currently selling for around $150 vs. the Buffalo LinkStation VL's $178. The 2TB version is a similar deal, only $199 vs. $230 for the Buffalo.

Related Items:

WD Announces 100 MB/s Single Drive NAS
WD Doubles Your Cloud Storage Fun
WD My Book Live Duo Reviewed
WD Updates Dual-Drive My Book World NAS
WD Personal Cloud NAS Gets 4 TB Drives

User reviews

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Average user rating from: 10 user(s)

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Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

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Slowest Backup drive ever!

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Reviewed by Patrick
July 05, 2013
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Our My Book Live is connected via Gigabit Ethernet (confirmed by green light next to ethernet plug) to a D-Link DIR-860L Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router. My laptop is connected to the router via a bridged Gigabit Ethernet and 5.0Ghz-band 802.11n wireless connection.

The performance of the backup? 364KB/s (2.84 Mb/s) during one backup attempt and 40-50 KB/s (320-400 Kb/s) during another attempt.

Go to the WD Community forum for the My Book Live below to see that I am not alone: ( Sure others can get much faster, but there is no troubleshooting tool from WD if you happen to be stuck-in-the-mud (other than paying $14.95 for One support phone call).


Pretty good, but beware of hard shutdowns

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Reviewed by gnump
September 25, 2012
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First @OSS and all those, not understanding the definition of "backup":
A backup means, that you have the original data on your main drive, and a identical copy of them on one (or n) different drive(s), so that you never loose data as long as only one ( or n-1) dataset(s) is lost. To be safe in that point, you need to have at least three copies, also should not have the online at the same time except the moment of synchronisation and store them in different locations, e.g. at your aunt's house 20 miles away to prevent distruction by local hazards (fire, water-flood, hurricane, etc.).
IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE set of your data, no matter if its on you lokal drive or on the NAS,

I own(ed) 6 of those drives and four of my friends, my dad and my aunt do also own some. They are pretty fast, especially for that price. Whne you can live with the reduced feature set, it's pretty easy to handle. If you need more, you just go to your http://mybooklive.local/UI/login
Log in,
enable ssh access here,
start your putty and log in as root, pw welc0me (Zero!)
and you have a full blown debian Lenny root shell to play around. It's not as comfortable as a gui, but you can do almost everything.

According to the point reliability:
Two MyBookLives died.
One, because my brother unplugged the power cord several times, because he was disturbed by the hdd-hummm, until the hdd's heads crashed. The drive and its data were irrecoverably lost.
The second one because our telco's outdoor-DSLAM was hit by lightning, which, in consequence, killed my modem (and those of about 120 neighbors), router, GB-switch and the network interfaces of my printer and my MyBookLive. The mybook system itself and its HDD were still ok and bootet as normal, but when it tried to take the network interface up, nothing happened. I had to disassemble the mybook and connect the HDD to my computer to recover the data. The other two MyBooks also running at that time in the network, took no harm (except for one, using its LED indicator for activity and standby). The oldest two MyBooks are just over 30 months old and still running flawlessly.
So, they are pretty tough boxes if you keep in mind, that you should shut them down before unplugging the power cord.
A very interesting and important poit is, that they are pretty quiet. They have no screaming mini-fans, they are passively cooled and nevertheless pretty cool. The only sound they produce is the humming of the HDD itself which vould be conducted to your desk even they have rubber feet. To reduce this, take a thin soft rubber pad (anti-slip or something similar) and place it between your desk and the MyBookLive. The result ist, that you have to look at the status LED to see, if the drive is running, because you almost can't hear it, even in a veeery quiet environment.

So, to tell a long story short:
A pretty good deal regarding speed, storage, energy consumption and quietness. Easy to use if you can live with the shortages or flexible, if you are able to hack on a linux console.

- it's so fast that it knocks out every competitor unless they have a atom processor an cost three times as much as the MyBook without having HDDs installed
- it's really quiet. Same-Spped-Competitors have fans
- it's almost as cheap as a usb drive (15 €/20 $ difference) but accessible via net/wifi
- pretty reliable, if you don't mistreat it
- easy to use OR very flexible and extensible
- MyBookLive to MyBookLive Backup implemented
- its really energy-saving compared to competitors

- you cannot exchange the HDD (without loosing warranty) or install a second one
- no usb extension port for printers or 2nd HDD
- no usb port to connect it directly to your computer
- GB Ethernet connector only
- limited features in gui, uncomfortable in console mode, but very flexible then
- does sometimes not survive lightning stroke or little bro's attacks :-D

Sorry for my "extendable" english, I know that it should be better.


Mine died after a few months too

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Jay
July 23, 2012
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I already own a few Western Digital drives and I find them reliable as long as they rely on USB or FireWire. Sadly, the server edition (Live) is far from being as reliable. An employee from a computer store I regularly go to told me he had many returns as well. I would not recommend this drive although it has quite a few interesting features to offer. I won't review them here since the drive tends to fail too often and reliability being the number one feature one seeks into this type of device, all's said.


Totally Unreliable piece of Junk

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Reviewed by Oss
March 12, 2012
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I bought this 2 months ago, Due to power outage the Hard disk stopped working, It contained all my important data, I took out the drive just to find out that its damaged internally.

For me it was waste of money,time and resources. I will never recommended to use this as your primary backup


Mybook Live reliability

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Mario
October 02, 2011
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Got the first unit in May 2011. It dies in June. In-store replacement. It died again at end of September. I will not seek to replace it this time. The end.

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