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Web Access

If you have neither Android nor iOS device, you can use WD 2go's web portal to get at your files. But it doesn't work like you might expect. Instead of providing a navigable in-browser file and folder view, Web access uses a combination of login portal and Java app. I tested Web access from a Windows XP SP3 system.

You start by hitting the Web Access menu on a My Book NAS (Figure 12). You enter a user name and email address and then click a link in a confirmation email that is sent.

Web Access account registration

Figure 12: Web Access account registration

The link takes you to a page where you create a password (Figure 13).

Web account password creation

Figure 13: Web account password creation

To access your My Book Live shares, you go to and log in with your credentials (Figure 14).

Web access login

Figure 14: Web access login

You then get the device view, click the dropdown and select View shares (Figure 15).

Web access devices

Figure 15: Web access devices

This takes you to the Shares page (Figure 16) and downloads a Java app that launches when you click the Open in Explorer button.

Web access Shares page

Figure 16: Web access Shares page

After the Java app does its thing, an Explorer window automatically opens (Figure 17) showing all the folders in your share. At this point, you have full access to your My Book Live share, just as you would on any other mapped drive.

Web access mapped drive folders

Figure 17: Web access mapped drive folders

Figure 18 shows the WD 2go mapped drive in My Computer.

Web access mapped drive

Figure 18: Web access mapped drive

My Internet connection was going through its usual late afternoon severe throughput reduction when I tried a few test drag-and-drops. The slow response sure looked to me like the transfer was going through the cloud vs. being locally re-routed between the computer and My Book Live Duo that were sitting right on the same LAN.

Closing Thoughts

Kudos to WD for making remote NAS access just about as easy as it can be. If you have used an enter-a-code system to get a Roku or other device linked to your Hulu+ or Netflix account, you can get WD 2go up and running, no sweat.

The hard part about WD 2go is figuring out the limitations for each platform it supports. With Android, file access is strictly read only and you can neither up nor download files. For iOS, the same limitations as Android apply to the free app, but you can spend $3 and get download privileges, sync features and more file sharing options. $3 isn't that big a deal in the scheme of things, but it makes you wonder why WD didn't just bundle the features into the free app.

Web access is even more convoluted. The good news is that your My Book Live share will behave just like a mapped drive. The bad news is that this feature appears to work only on Windows systems. Seems like it would have been a lot simpler to provide an in-the-browser interface like other NASes provide for web-based access.

In all, I think that Pogoplug provides easier-to-use consumer "private cloud" remote access, and more fully-featured apps with consistent features for both iOS and Android. Pogoplug's downside is that you need to run an app to get mapped drive ease-of use. But Buffalo's CloudStors (Solo, dual drive) combine local NAS convenience with Pogoplug easy remote access and may be a better alternative than the My Book Lives if you don't mind lower NAS performance.

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