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NAS Reviews

Remote Access Woes

I installed Mionet on a total of three computers, with mixed results. Initially, I had complete access, using the included 30-day trial of Mionet’s premium features, to the local resources of each of my computers. Remote control and folder sharing also worked as advertised.

However, during my testing, Mionet experienced some type of database corruption on their server that caused me to lose remote access to all of my Mionet-enabled computers. At Mionet’s suggestion, I uninstalled the client from each computer and reset the Mionet client in the World Edition NAS, created a new account, and re-installed Mionet on all three computers. I had reliable access to two of the three computers, but the third computer dropped offline. 

Perhaps it’s reviewer’s bad luck, but this morning as I was writing this review, I received an email from Mionet indicating that their network was down. Indeed, it was down, and none of my Mionet resources were available. Approximately 23 hours later, I received another email indicating that Mionet was back up. Unfortunately, to restore access, each computer required a reboot (actually you could stop and restart the Mionet service) in addition to a reboot of the World Edition. Since I was working on the road, without remote control, I couldn't reboot my test computers at my office. 

While I like the features offered by Mionet, from my limited experience with it, it’s not reliable enough for me to count on. Fortunately, Mionet offers a 30 day free trial to anyone, so even if you don’t buy the World Edition, you can evaluate it for yourself. I realize that my experience is a “snapshot” in time, and hopefully, Mionet, with WD’s resources behind it, will improve.

Performance

The My Book World Edition turned in disappointing performance. I filtered the results of SmallNetBuilder’s NAS performance charts to look at single drive products. The World Editions have gigabit Ethernet interfaces, but based on the performance charts, the throughput of the World Edition isn't evem limited by a 100 Mbps connection. 

On the large file 1000 Mbps write tests (Figure 8), the World Edition turned in the lowest average score of any single drive gigabit-enabled NAS. The average write throughput of 4.9 MB/s was less than half of the Buffalo LinkStation Live’s and a third of the LinkStation Pro’s.

Write performance
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Figure 8: 1000 Mbps Average Write Performance for single Drive NASs

Similarly, the World Edition turned in relatively low average performance numbers on the 1000 Mbps read tests (Figure 9). The average throughput of 6.1 MB/s was only about 25% of the LinkStation Pro’s.

Read performance
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Figure 9: 1000 Mbps Average Read Performance for single Drive NASs

Final Thoughts

As a road warrior, I like the idea of having access to my files as well as remote control of my office computers. The My Book World Edition NASs offers those features, but at an additional cost of $50/year for the premium service. Since the price includes licenses for up to five computers, it can be a good deal for some users, but not for those with only a single computer to access.

However, no matter what the price, if the service doesn’t work, you’ll just be wasting your money. In my week and a half of testing with WD Access Anywhere, much of it from a remote location, I had mixed success. Perhaps my problems were just a fluke, but since remote access is one of the key features of the product, I would have hoped to experience no problems whatsoever.

With performance that doesn’t live up to the promise of its gigabit Ethernet port, no UPnP media, FTP or print services, and an iffy remote-access option, the My Book World Edition doesn’t have a lot to recommend it.

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