WD My Book personal storage (review)

My Book
100% human

The WD My Book is a USB based, single hard disk in a desktop enclosure. It comes in 3-10TB capacities.

The review unit was 8TB – huge (although the free formatted space is closer to 7.452TB but who is counting). The US website is here.

Setup is simple.

  • Connect the USB-A 3.0 cable to your USB 3.0 port (Mac or Windows)
  • Plug in the 12V/1.5A charger
  • Within seconds Windows recognises the device and gives it a drive letter.

The drive is 139.3 x 49 x 170.6mm x around 1kg. It has a three-year warranty. The manual is here.

My Book

WD provided software

Windows Utilities (dotNetFx40 x86/x64 framework provided)

  • WDDriveUtilities
  • WD Backup
  • WDSecurity
  • WDDiscovery

WDDriveUtilities is a drive health and management utility. You don’t need to install this to use the drive. You can

  • check for potential failures (SMART test)
  • run quick/complete drive tests
  • set a sleep timer (turn off when not in use)
  • full drive erase (not MIL-STD).

WDBackup for Windows and Apple Time Machine compatibility for Mac can back up your photos, videos, music and documents. The My Book also works with Acronis True Image WD Edition to schedule full system backups.

WDSecurity turns on the drives built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption.

WDDiscovery software connects to popular social media and cloud storage services, like Facebook, Dropbox and Google Drive. Import your photos, videos and docs to the My Book drive to help preserve your online life.

Speed – My Book

Unfortunately, speed is the Achilles heel of all Serial ATA (USB) devices. It is a 5,400RPM, SATA 600 drive.

Testing is on an HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 (GadgetGuy review here) directly connected to a USB-A 3.0 port.

While read/write speeds were acceptable at 171/169.0MB/s (these are internal speeds not using the USB cable/bus) the file transfer rate dropped to between 1.5MB/s read (download from PC) and 1.9MB/s write (upload).

My Book

I re-tested using the USB-A 3.0 port on the Kensington Thunderbolt 3 dock (review here) and there was no difference. Around 12-15Mb/s is maximum read/write over USB-A 3.0.

The only way to get faster speeds is to use a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (or Gen 2) SSD device. But you won’t get 8TB – at best 2TB for many, many times the cost.

See GadgetGuy’s review on the My Passport Ultras and SSD for their Crystal DiskMark speeds.

GadgetGuy’s take – quantity or speed

Any tech head should have Crystal DiskMark in their toolkit. Run it on internal or external hard disks or SSD. I recently ran it on eMMC storage in a cheap tablet, and a snail can move faster.

Of course, speed depends on need. If you are Joe and Jane Average, then the biggest file will be a photo at a few Megabytes (MB). This personal storage drive is for you.

If you have multiple users on a home network consider the WD My Cloud (not the Home version reviewed here)

If you store movies or do video editing etc., then go SSD and feel the price pain.

Prices  (ex Officeworks)

  • 4TB $209
  • 6TB $299
  • 8TB $399

Online you will find up to 20% discounts. The only issue here may be getting an Australian plug on the power brick and don’t forget freight costs.