Western Digital Mybook World Edition (2nd edition)

The new(ish) mybook world edition
The new(ish) mybook world edition

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed some kind of NAS for my home as I’m often replacing my linux distro, installing Win7 or whatever and I wanted somewhere more permanent for my files.

I looked at the possibility of getting another PC to set up as a NAS, but this looked like it was going to be too costly, and I really needed something that could be plugged into my router which is stuck in the kitchen so I went for the WD Mybook World Edition as I knew it was running Linux and was hackable.

So far I’ve been fairly happy with it, it was *Very* easy to enable SSH and get to work fiddling with it. There’s a checkbox option on its web interface to allow SSH access. From there it’s fairly easy to install optware (similar to apt on Debian/Ubuntu) which allows you to easily install pretty much anything.

Performance is apparently a lot better than the old blue-ring version, however I must say the USB & ntfs performance is laughable – after a lot of tweaking I managed to only get 1.2MB(megabytes!)/sec out of it via USB where as I get about 5MB/sec over my wireless network! Oh well.

The only other issue I’ve had with it is the software it runs.. WD have done something very bizzare indeed and used what seems to be some kind of generic PHP software for embedded devices to run the thing. At first I thought this was just for the web front end, but no, there are all kinds of system() and shell() (or whatever it is) calls in a whole bunch of weird php files that do everything from mounting hard disks to starting other services etc.. very weird! I think significant performance gains could have been made if WD had opted for a more ‘normal’ system rather than having the overhead of a web server and php for everything.

Having said that, using optware allows you to do things as you would on a normal system without interfering with the main system which is a nice feature of optware.

Overall, I’d recommend this device – it’s not the best, but for the price I think it’s pretty reasonable.

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