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WD My Book Duo 12TB is great for digital hoarders

Published on Jul 24, 2014 11:07 AM
 
WD My Book Duo 12TB

Electronic devices generate so much data that many people may be struggling to store their music, photos and videos safely.

Even the best compression software can do only so much to reduce the size of these files.

Uploading them to a cloud storage provider is an option, although this can be costly and uses up bandwidth. The simplest method is to copy your files onto an external storage drive, which you can buy at any retail store.

However, assuming you have more than 10TB of data, the typical external hard drive becomes inadequate. WD has a high-end desktop storage solution, called the My Book Duo. The latest version increases the capacity from 8TB to 12TB.

In Windows File Explorer, the WD shows up as having 10.9TB of free space. While it is suitable for either PC or Mac computers, you need to format the drive before using it with a Mac.

The WD comes with two 6TB WD Red hard drives installed and configured in Raid 0. Tech-savvy users can replace these drives by opening the enclosure.

Running it in Raid 0 maximises performance by writing data to both drives at the same time, but data will be lost if any of the drives fail.

For a proper backup device, you should change it to Raid 1, where the two drives are copies of each other. However, in this case, the total capacity will be about 6TB.

These changes can be made using the bundled WD apps, which include tools for running diagnostics and automatically backing up your files. You can set the WD to back up files when changes are detected or at a scheduled time.

The software is simple to use and does not overwhelm novices with too many advanced options. It is also able to automatically upload data online to Dropbox, but unlocking this feature costs $44.90.

Copying a single large file to the WD via USB 3.0 is much faster compared with multiple small ones. For instance, a 1.5GB movie was copied in about 6sec, which works out to be a transfer rate of 256MB/sec. However, a large folder with numerous files adding up to 11GB took 1hr 49min to copy at a transfer rate of 104MB/sec.

At $999, WD's My Book Duo is expensive. It serves a similar function as network-attached storage (NAS) device, but lacks the networking component. On the other hand, it is more convenient and easier to set up than a NAS.

  • Digital hoarders, rejoice. This Raid-enabled external storage drive has ample capacity for your files, at least for a while. It is fast and easy to use, but be prepared to pay.

vinchang@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in The Straits Times on July 23 2014.

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $999

Capacity: 12TB (Raid 0)

Interface: USB 3.0

Weight: 2.32kg


RATING

Features 4/5

Design 4/5

Performance 4/5

Value for money 3/5

Overall 4/5

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