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376 of 389 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent NAS Product!
Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4 TB Personal Cloud Storage Drive by Western Digital reviewed here for Amazon is an Excellent Network attached data storage product. It is very simple to use and consumes very little power ideally suited for home media streaming environments and also doubles as a "Personal Cloud" Storage drive to access your photos and files over the...
Published on February 21, 2012 by rbhatta

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313 of 337 people found the following review helpful
The manufacturer commented on the review below
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Concept - Dangerously Unstable Execution
I have had the 6GB Duo for about three weeks now. Though I love the concept, the instability of the system is cause for alarm. Below is a detailed review:

THE GOOD:
(+) Great Concept
(+) Online Access
(+) Mobile Apps
(+) Large Space
(+) RAID redundancy (or so I thought - see THE UGLY below)

The concept is great - a personal...
Published on March 6, 2012 by Deremer Studios


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376 of 389 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent NAS Product!, February 21, 2012
This review is from: WD My Book Live Duo 4TB Personal Cloud Storage NAS Share Files and Photos (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4 TB Personal Cloud Storage Drive by Western Digital reviewed here for Amazon is an Excellent Network attached data storage product. It is very simple to use and consumes very little power ideally suited for home media streaming environments and also doubles as a "Personal Cloud" Storage drive to access your photos and files over the internet.

For your background information, I am an "Enterprise Systems Engineer" by profession and work for a global IT company and I have worked with many NAS and SAN products over the years and fully understand the limitations and expectations from customers who use these product lines. It is a nice offering from WD to combine "Personal Cloud" with a NAS product and honestly I am truly impressed by this My Book Live Duo.

Here are some PROs and CONs first for some quick overview before we get to the nitty gritty details.

PROS
[+] Personal Cloud Storage + NAS all-in-one device - Love it!
[+] Plenty fast enough to play Hi-Def Video files over Gigabit Wired or Wireless-N networks
[+] Super Efficient Power usage - Perfect for home environments!
[+] Extremely Silent operation - No FAN design
[+] Capability to have Data Redundancy mode (RAID 1) - Peace of mind!
[+] High Quality Hardware - Pleasing nice looking "My Book Live" series design.
[+] View photos and file with free apps for your iOS and or Android tablets
[+] Connect up-to 7 USB HDD devices using a powered USB Hub for additional shares!.

CONS:
[-] No power off button - This is a minor issue (You can still power off using the GUI)
[-] Setting up remote mobile or Personal cloud Access is "multi-step" activation process which can be time consuming and tricky for some - Thankfully you need to do it only once!.

Before I talk in great detail about the software portions this product let me tell you that WD Live Duo is fully functional with 4TB RAID 0 SPAN right out of the box without using any software. For experienced users you can completely ignore the included software and get the basic functions as NAS device working without using the software CD (My Book Live Discovery Software + SmartWare etc;) that is provided with the product.

If you know how to browse your network and discover the IP address of WD Live Duo you can map network drives and start using the "public" share to store and access you data as guest user without setting up users and additional NAS shares etc;

The "public" folder also contains the needed software and you can install all the applications like SmartWare and other packages for windows and Mac to the attached PC's.

For others who are not technically inclined, thankfully the include CD "setup" process guides you thru' the full process of setting up your WD Live Duo on your home network.

The included "SmartWare" software provides features like backing up your PCs connected to your home network. Software works well and the user interface is simple to use. If you really want to use it to backup your PC files it does work. FYI - It does take considerable amount of time to do a full PC backup. But thankfully, you can customize the time and select the need directories and let it backup when your PC is idle.

Personal Cloud feature:
=======================
This is new buzz word now-a-days that everyone wants to have it in their product. Let me explain what this is and what it can do for you. A "personal cloud" is your "own data" like photos and or that video file of your vacation that you secure at your own location and on your WD Live DUO hard disks and completely under your control. Unlike public clouds which are being offered by multitude of hosted services companies these days, a "personal cloud" feature allows you to keep all your data in one safe place inside your home. Other things you can do are sharing of these files with your family members, streaming these media files remotely, and ability to access your content via Internet from anywhere. Bottom-line: No monthly fees. No "unknown" strange location where your personal data resides. That is "Personal Cloud".

WD's "2go" web access software app provides fee-free remote access from My Book Live Duo personal cloud storage. You need to register your device with your name and email, Instructions will be sent by WD via email how to activate it. Once you log in, WD "2go" software mounts My Book Live Duo to your computer like a local drive and your remote folders from your "personal cloud" are available on your Mac or PC.

The speed at which you can access your files fully depends on how fast internet connection (Upload speeds are important here) you have at home as well as how fast Internet connectivity (Download speeds are important here) you have at the remote location where you attempted to mount your personal cloud.

For most small document transfers, uploading downloading few photos and files it is just perfect. Just do not expect to stream that Hi-definition Blu-Ray Rip remotely :-)

Suggestions:
============
In order to maximize performance you need to disable the services that you do not want to use. For example: I do not want this to be my "Itunes" Server so I disabled it. I also did not use the Media Streaming (DLNA) features so that the box is not busy with those additional tasks.

Most of my PC's and Media streaming devices on my home network are capable of mounting SAMBA NAS shares. So there was no real need for WD Live Duo to stream via DLNA.

If you want you can pair this up with Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player and you will be very happy with the results. WD TV Live Streaming Media Player is excellent when it comes to playback of multitude of media files and this Western Digital My Book Live Duo 4 TB Personal Cloud Storage Drive is an excellent storage device.

Do not expect to change RAID 0 (SPAN) to RAID 1 (Mirror) instantaneously, the rebuild process takes a very long time (But you can still access the files while the rebuilt takes place in the background with some performance hit)

Verdict:
========
This Product is awesome! - 4 ˝ stars!

Important Information:
======================
FYI- There were some batches of WD Live Duo wherein WD did not populate the correct files in the software directory and users got "Runtime" errors when attempting to install the software. Please see my comments section how to resolve that issue.

Thanks for reading my review and please feel free to comment if you have any questions.
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149 of 152 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you need a NAS for your home, buy this one!, July 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WD My Book Live Duo 4TB Personal Cloud Storage NAS Share Files and Photos (Personal Computers)
For those not familiar with exactly what this product is:

This is NOT an external hard drive. It is much more than that. If you need an external hard drive, this will not work for you. This is basically a 4 TB file server, or NAS (Network Attached Storage). You attach it to your network via an Ethernet (CAT5e/6) cable. Plug it into your wireless router or a hub/switch on your network. The box says "Access your files wirelessly!". That's a little misleading. There is no wifi on this. That just means that computers on your network that are connected wirelessly can access it. Lame, but whatever.

Let me just address the complaints from other reviews:

About "Slowness":
First you should probably read the manual. It defaults to "Power Saver Mode" which puts the hard drives to "sleep" after a specified idle time. So if your hard drives are "sleeping" there will be some lag in you initial access time. Some clients view this as "disconnected". So if you need instant, constant access to this, turn that feature off. Second, this is for home/home office use. Don't attach this to a business network and expect good performance with several people accessing it all at once. There is a reason business class NAS's cost $10,000+. This costs under $400. Its a "Personal Cloud Storage Drive". I can copy a Blu-Ray rip to this in about 10-20 minutes. I have a Gigabit network.

About "No fault tolerance":
That is just incorrect. This ships with the drives set up with RAID 0. RAID 0 increases read and write performance, but has no fault tolerance at all. In fact, you are twice as likely to lose all the data on the drives because if one fails, the data on the other drive is useless. However, you can set this up to use RAID 1 (mirroring). You will lose half of your space though. This is just the reality of RAID. Not the products fault. So if you chose to stay with RAID 0 and a drive fails and you lose your data, well its kind of your own fault. You should stay with RAID 0 only if you are backing this thing up. Drives fail. Its just something they do. Deal with it.

Anyway, the "Cloud" functionality of this is decent. You can access your files from your iPhone or a web browser. Don't expect to watch a movie from it while on the road. Buy a sling box if you want to do that. I'd like to see more features for the iPhone apps, and the web browser. The web access basically with map a drive to it like Dump Truck or other WebDav type services. But again, this is a $400 product. Don't expect to get a Google server for that price.

One problem that I did notice is that if you plug a USB drive into it, you can turn that drive into an additional share on the NAS. However, if that drive is reset, or is removed and plugged back in, it resets the default share name. Maybe I'm asking too much, but it would be nice if it remembered what you named the share. Not a big deal though.

I use it as a backup location for all my computers at home. I also use it for media storage. I load it with movies and stream them using a WD TV Live box. It works perfectly for this. I have 2 of these devices and haven't had any problems with them. I have 4 stars instead of 5 because I'd like to see improvements to the "Cloud" features of it. That said, Western Digital is pretty good about updating their products with new firmware that include new features, so I'm sure more "Cloudness" is coming.

In conclusion, if you need a NAS for your home, buy this one! Nothing comes close to the features and the price. I'd buy this for the same price even if it didn't include hard drives.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
313 of 337 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Concept - Dangerously Unstable Execution, March 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have had the 6GB Duo for about three weeks now. Though I love the concept, the instability of the system is cause for alarm. Below is a detailed review:

THE GOOD:
(+) Great Concept
(+) Online Access
(+) Mobile Apps
(+) Large Space
(+) RAID redundancy (or so I thought - see THE UGLY below)

The concept is great - a personal cloud with fast speed, online secure access, mobile viewing through some nice iOS and Android apps, lots of space, the actual drives are WD Green drives (I have had many and none have failed to date) and the security of Raid 1 redundancy over two 3TB drives. Should one of the drives fail, in less than 5 minutes either drive can be easily removed and replaced (using a matching drive - an easily found and inexpensive WD Green 3TB drive).

I own a photography studio where we run a four-machine PC network. I'm always searching for the best way to efficiently and safely store our material. We are especially keen on ensuring our data is as safe as possible from corruption or loss. We've used a variety of systems and processes over the years, and were excited to see the release of this product as it seemed the perfect balance of security, accessibility, redundancy and speed. Unfortunately, the product did not meet my expectations, as you can read below.

THE BAD:
(-) Laggy Speed
(-) Buggy Apps
(-) Limited Control
(-) Drive Runs Very Hot

We received the drive and quickly began migrating our data to the new system. Overall, my initial impression was good. It was pretty simple to setup and the conversion to RAID1 was simply a click of a button. In total, we transferred about 1.2 TB of data in chunks over the course of several days. However, once we started using the drive, I was surprised by how slow it was. We work with substantial quantities of large files, so the slowness was a serious issue and resulted in us having to rework our process to avoid the lag. Not ideal.

Another issue is that there is no button, or any way to turn off the system or put it into sleep mode in a way that ensures a safe shutdown. As a result, you are instructed in the manual to guess by the front LED indicator that it's not currently writing and can be shut down. Not the most user friendly.

THE UGLY:(in my experience really, really ugly)
(X) Dangerously Unstable in RAID configuration
(X) No Fail-safes
(X) Dual Drive Corruption possible
(X) Risk of Total Data Loss

About a week ago, we had an issue where our machines (Windows 7) where the drive was offline and could not be accessed. However, after shutting down all the computers and the WD Duo, then rebooting the DUO, waiting 3 minutes, then booting the other machines, we were able to access the Duo without an issue. Then yesterday happened. The same issue occurred and we went through the same process, but this time the drive would not respond. We tried again. Still nothing. To make a long story shorter, we discovered that the front LED indicator was indicating the drive to be stuck in the booting process. Both drives were corrupted. Looking into this issue, it is unfortunately very common among previous WD Live drives and the only viable solution is sending it to a data recovery service, which can cost anywhere from about $500 to $2500 depending on the amount of data and extent of the damage. Very, uber not good...

Luckily, if you find yourself in a similar pinch, I have found the following software to be helpful in recovering the data yourself (though you need to be able to put one of the two drives into your desktop computer in order to do anything). The program is called Raise Data Recovery for Ext2/3/4. I have been able to recover most of the content, though anything that I have edited on the WD Dus is either not detected or unreadable. But hey, I was looking forward to redoing two weeks worth of work.

The frustrating thing is that this didn't have to happen. WD could have easily put in a partition or even a built-in bit of memory to house a backup boot system, should the drives become corrupted. This would at least allow you to do diagnostic work. Hopefully, the next version will have such a feature.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on May 2, 2012 9:26:30 AM PDT
We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with the My Book Live Duo. Western Digital does rigorously test our products including thermal testing the industrial design under extreme conditions, as well as test the drive within the product to assure the best quality for our customers. We are very sorry to hear that your drive failed so quickly after purchase. We have improved many of our applications in this in our latest firmware revision. To place the latest firmware on your product, please visit the following link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5735. If you would like assistance with your concerns, we would like to resolve this particular issue for you with a positive resolution to your experience. You may contact us at 1 (800) 275-4932, or via our support website at: http://support.wdc.com/rs/. Please indicate within the online case creation or with the first support agent you speak with, that you are responding to an Amazon review, so we route you and your information to the correct team members.
 
 

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drive failed within a week, September 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Drive arived on 9/19. Switched it on 9/21 and set to RAID1 (took most of the night converting the empty drive to RAID1!). Completed initial setup and configuration on 9/22. Copied photos from my Macbook on 9/23. Copied all backup photos from my 8 year old Buffalo Linkstation on 9/24. Copied all backup home videos from my Linkstation on 9/25. Disk B failed on 9/26.

Less than 6 days of use and less than 100GB of data written - not a very impressive performance!

UPDATE!
9/27 Requested a replacement drive from WD under warranty. 10/4 Still waiting for it.
9/29 Switched DUO back on - Drive B was available - unit rebuilt RAID. Full Diagnostic test said Drive B was good!
9/30 Sent support message to WD asking whether this implied a firmware issue on the drive or the DUO. 10/4 Still waiting for WD Support response.
10/4 Drive B SMART error and failed again!

UPDATE April 2013
So the replacement drive arrived 10/14 and I installed it - the Live Duo rebuilt the RAID copy. Unit has been on 24/7 since. A firmware update in December corrected a problem with it never going into standby mode. Now it is frequently in standby mode - as I would expect.
All my documents and media are backed up to the drive using a rsync script - do not like Mac Time Machine!
My iTunes is setup to switch between playing MP3s from my MacBook and lossless (FLAC) music directly from the Live Duo to my home stereo via my Airport Express. Plays flawlessly. However, if you are copying data to the Live Duo at the same time it is playing music, then the music breaks up, it cannot handle that.
The WD2Go app is very useful for accessing documents from my iPad.

So all in all this drive has now worked happily for 6 months since the original faulty drive was replaced. That proved that the RAID works rebuilding drive B from drive A - the big unknown of course is if drive A was to fail - would the RAID rebuild actually work to recreate the replacement drive A? The RAID copy on drive B is not ever accessible.
Given that the content is largely a backup of what is on the MacBook and data that is only on the Live Duo is mostly backed up to a DVD or, in the case of music, on the original CD - then it would be no worse that a simple backup drive failing. As long as you remember all drives will fail at some point and plan accordingly then you should be fine. If you are using this primarily as a backup drive, as I am, then great. If you are storing valuable data on it - then you need a backup - even if you are using RAID. You can always plug a USB backup drive into the unit.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, June 3, 2012
By 
Yesterday we installed a Western Digital My Book Live Duo (dumbest name...ever) server with 6 terabytes of storage to replace our failed server. Within the first 48 hours we had:

1) formatted two 3TB drives in Raid 1 (drive to drive mirrored backup)

2) installed all of our backed up music and photographic images

3) backed up the server to an external hard drive (you simply cannot trust any of these devices), after calling the free concierge service number for technical help (some one was not looking at the correct on line manual).

4) backed up a Windows 7 PC to the server using WD Smartware

5) linked Time Machine on two OS X Mac Books to the server

6) accessed the server remotely via free web site hosting

7) accessed the server via iPhone & iPad

8) received backup status email sent automatically by the server

The end game is that the server centralizes all of our music and photography, performs automatic backup of all of our computers and the server is backed up to itself (nightly), using Raid AND backed up to an external hard drive.

If you think that this is over the top, tell me how you would feel if you lost all of your photos, music and your unpublished novel...devastated, I know.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay Away, September 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
. . .bought the 1TB and 6TB versions and they were usable for about 3 1/2 weeks, then all sorts of connectivity issues started to happen to both. During the 3 1/2 weeks, the transfer rate for a 1.4 GB file would take eight hours to complete and the streaming worked intermittently. BEFORE YOU BUY, do a Google search on "My Book Live not connecting" or "My Book Live connectivity problems" or "My Book Live no longer authorizes" or "My Book Live slow transfer rate" and you will see a ton of dissatisfied customers who have encountered the same problems posting on several blogs and WD's forum site. It wouldn't be so bad but there is absolutely no customer service to speak of, especially since it is an outsourced call center and they feign ignorance while not helping you. This is after you have waited on hold for a minimum of 30 minutes (after you have navigated through their prompts). There was even an instance where after I got through to a live person but after a minute of saying what the problems I encountered, he said to call back because his system is not allowing him to hear the phone conversation correctly and that if I call back he will be the one answering. Bullocks! Another half hour wait and someone else picks up and is equally unhelpful. Seriously, whoever gave these products a glowing review is either working for WD or their call center because there are way these many customers encountering these same problems for it to be anything but a systemic problem with the entire product line. After this post, I plan on making a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a major failer don't coun't on Raid here, September 4, 2012
I have 4 MyBook Live's and they have all worked good but I wanted data backup by using the RAID feature of this Duo device. Well this is a major diapointment. You can't coun't on this duo drive to give you real RAID protection. It dosn't realy work that way. I am sending one back for factory replacement for a second time and all data is lost! Again!. They built the operating system on to the hard drive instead of firmware so if you have a problem you can't boot it and recover data off the other drive. Very poor engineering. I have spent 2 months coping DVD's to the device to run on the media server thinking I was protected with RAID having a mirrow copy on the other drive just too loose it all a second time. It is a good thing I'm not counting on that drive for important information. That's not the only problem with this device, It has a major flaw in the softwate too. If you are writting data to the network share and trying to use the media server, it will often go off line and you will have to access the web interface to stop and re start the media server. The same problem exist in both of the units I have. I reported this but to Western Digital several month ago but they still have not updated thier firmware and the bug presist. I have manged IT systems for over 25 years and this is the first time I ever lost data in a RAID system. Becuase of the way they engineered this product, it may be techinaly RAID but for all pratical purposes it's not. If you realy need a true RAID NAS, this is not it. I run a Netgear NAS RAID at my office and that is the real deal with real RAID protection. Western Digital needs to redesign this to boot off firmware and fix the media server from dropping off line before it is worth buying. The other standard MyBook Live's that are not the Duo, are fine devices and well worth the money.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars At Present, Totally Displeased, July 30, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Everything seemed fine until I actually tried to use this device. It drops off the network under load every 10-15 minutes, making any real backups impossible. I tried contacting WD support, but have had no response for the last two weeks. If I ever get it working I'll amend this report.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Aug 1, 2012 8:52:27 PM PDT
We appreciate your feedback and apologize for the inconvenience you may have experienced with your Western Digital My Book Live. As this is not a typical issue, we recommend verifying that the My Book Live has the current firmware as this may easily resolve what you are currently experiencing. Please refer to the following link to learn more about updating the firmware: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5735
You may learn more about the firmware release notes here: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/updates/?family=wdfmb_live
The Western Digital My Book Live support 10/100/1000 Mbs/Gbs transfer speeds. Keep in mind, the transfer speeds may vary based on the local network's hardware. We recommend using gigabit hardware to achieve the maximum transfer rates. We are here to support our product, we would appreciate the opportunity to further assist you, and resolve any further concerns you may have with the device and/or your experience. You may contact us at 1 (800) 275-4932, or via our support website at: http://support.wdc.com/rs/.
Please indicate within the online case creation or with the first support agent you speak with, that you are responding to an Amazon review, so we route you and your information to the correct team members.
 
 

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious heat issues, August 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I work in enterprise storage with NAS and SAN technologies. I don't expect a consumer grade product to live to the standards set by NetApp or perhaps EMC, but right out of the box, as a home device this WD product was a little dubious. It looked simple enough; put a couple slots in the top and (ironically enough) it could pass for a toaster. The back of the unit only has connectivity for 1) an AC plug, 2) one RJ-45 ethernet connection, and 3) one USB connection. The rest of the unit strives to look sleek and streamlined. There is no power button.

The device was having trouble being recognized. I used the ethernet cable that came with the unit. Speaking of which, the cable could have been longer, a couple more feet in length and it would have seemed less like a leash to the wireless router. I tried every port on the wireless router multiple times, I tried swapping out the cable, the device just wasn't showing up. I was getting the impression that the device might have a defective network jack. I then connected it directly to the laptop which recognized it. I wish I could explain what magic happened, but after that I reconnected it to the router and it was now visible.

Once connectivity was established it seemed like free sailing. The device is managed by entering its IP address into a browser. The management interface is fairly intuitive although menus are layered so you sometimes have to drill down to get to what you're looking for. Out of the box the NAS device is configured as RAID 0. I place a higher value on fault tolerance than maximum speed so right off the bat I used the management GUI to convert to RAID 1. This mirroring of the two internal drives means that this becomes a 3 TB storage device but the added insurance is worth it. I'm guessing it must have taken somewhere between nine and twelve hours for the NAS unit to complete the reconfiguration to RAID 1; I started it around dinnertime, left it running overnight and by morning it was done.

At that point the device is usable immediately. The included CD installs a utility required on any PC to provide network connectivity to the NAS unit. The default share contains several empty folders with names suggesting use for particular file types, along the lines of Microsoft's "My Documents". I left the device running for a few days just for kind of a break in period.

Here's a major design flaw: no power button. The only way to power down is through your browser. Problem is, if you encounter any kind of network difficulties, or if the network jack on the device goes bad the only way to power the unit down is to yank the AC cable. A storage device is the last device in the world you'd want to do that to; it risks a head crash. A head crash very likely means that your data is unrecoverable even by a professional data recovery service. As I think about it I believe this device does have one of those pinprick sized holes where you can shove a paperclip into it to reset it to factory defaults. Perhaps that will reboot the device as well...or maybe not.

Once the device was up and running and had the benefit of some break in time I started moving data to it. I did a series of large data moves to it. Perhaps I should have thought twice. Even before any data transfers took place, during the break in period this device would occasionally send overheating alerts. Typically, half an hour later it would send another alert that temperature was okay. Near-constant data transfers had been taking place over the wireless network for about 29 hours when the device sent out the alert, "Initiating thermal shutdown - Your device is critically overheated and is shutting down immediately to prevent damage."

I'm glad it responded to the threat by attempting to shut down. Thing is, it didn't shut down. When I checked the status of my moves and then the condition of the NAS device I found that the disks were still spinning. It supposedly had shut down half an hour or forty five minutes earlier but it was still hot as a griddle with disks spinning. I had to use the GUI to manually power it down.

Another major design flaw: the device has no fan. Its construction is such that it's two hard drives with about the space of one bay between them which contains the motherboard for the unit. There are vents - on the top of the unit and on the bottom; clearance on the bottom is what, maybe a quarter of an inch? And none on the sides or back, so half the vents are useless unless you mount the thing on its side.

I don't even have all my data transferred to this NAS unit and I'm already concerned. RAID is good but the flaw with home NAS RAID devices is that if the unit itself goes down, you need to find some other means of recovery. With no power button this really should have redundancy with two RJ-45 network jacks. I'm just not impressed and would not recommend this device. I give it two stars instead of one because I have not lost any data...yet.

Update: The device has been off for over twelve hours. It's cooled down, so for purposes of populating it with the initial data for which it was intended I have moved it from the router and have given it a direct connection to the network jack of the system from which I am transferring data. It recognized immediately and was available at the same network drive mapping I'd assigned when it was connected to the wireless network. I have placed it on its side, on a trivet, to help with heat dissipation, with a small fan a foot away blowing directly on it. Hopefully this will suffice for populating it with data but the device had better not require this level of accomodation indefinitely.

Update: I left the device on and directly attached to the host from which data was transferring. The device was still sitting on its side on a trivet to help with heat dissipation, in an open area with its vents unobstructed. With a small room fan positioned a foot away no heat alerts appeared for four days.

But within an hour after I removed the fan and returned it to one of the kids' rooms at bedtime, around 10:30pm the critical heat alert reappeared. Again it alleged to be shutting the system down. Again the system didn't actually shut down; it was still running when I woke up the next morning. Given this performance, the "Shut Down Device" option should be available from the main splash screen for the NAS device's management interface rather than being buried under the Utilities menu item.

I am lowering the rating of this device from two stars to one. A storage device is the most critical piece of a home network. I regret this purchase.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice NAS that is easy to use., March 10, 2012
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This review is from: WD My Book Live Duo 4TB Personal Cloud Storage NAS Share Files and Photos (Personal Computers)
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I have a Synology 2 disk NAS device that has been great. I also have a Pogo plug type device that allows me to remote into to access files remotely. The Synology is a very nice NAS that tries to be a lot of things, media server, iTunes server, web server, and mail server just to name a few. For average users this is probably over kill but they could still use the device without issue. The Pogo Plug is nice as you just attach a usb drive to it and access to those files remotely is fairly easy. I wanted to try out the Western Digital Live Duo as it seemed to offer the best of both of those devices.

I have been running the Live Duo for about a month now and I am very pleased with it. This device does not try to be to much and what it does offer it does well. This drive. like the Synology NAS, offers the ability to have RAID one disk mirror for greater data protection from drive failure. I have mine setup this way and it is working well. It takes a few hours for the drives to complete their setup once you tell the Duo to setup as a mirror. This device already comes with disk storage included which makes it easier for average users to setup as they then don't have to by disks and figure out which ones will work with the device. It did not take me long to have this device setup with shares and user access for access from home. One thing I was interested on this device was to try out the "Cloud" capabilities as even though my Pogo Plug works fine it sometimes has issues uploading files from its web interface when working remotely. Western Digital did a very nice job on their remote access. Everything is accessed via web interface using https so there are no ports to open on home router for port 443. You do have to sign up to create an account and register your Duo to access your files but that was straight forward. Once I had my shares and users setup and had setup my remote access it was time to try it out from work. To access your home files you go to a general Western Digital Duo remote access web site, enter in your user id and password and it finds your device. When using Internet Explorer to access your files remotely Western Digital did one very nice thing. Unlike some other devices which use the web interface only to access your files, the WD device allows you to open up a Windows explorer window that creates a mapped drive letter. You can then see all your files, add/remove them as you would on any Windows drive. I find this to be much better then doing it always through the web interface. If you are using a MAC it works the same way, it will open a finder window to see your files as you would when working on your local computer. You can add one extra layer of security when accessing your device, you can setup a password so that when you remote in you need not only your sign on info but also a password to then see your data files.

The DUO can also be a great backup device. You can use it with Mac time machine. I have tested this out and it works well. My time machine setup found the Duo and all I had to do is choose it as the backup disk and everything else worked fine. In the Windows world you have to do a bit more. You can use the built in Windows backup program if you are familiar with it but you can also use the included windows backup software that WD provides. I used the WD backup software provided to backup my wife's Win 7 laptop and that worked well. As with any full backup, especially over wireless, it can take several hours to fully backup a pc.

So my experience thus far is very good with the Live Duo. It does not try to be everything to everyone, what it does try to focus on is remote file access, backups, easy setup, and some additional features such as iTunes server. My experience is that it does all of these well, especially the remote access. One thing to note is that some other vendors such as Pogo Plug offer space on their servers for storage as well as your ability to access files on your own drive. The Live Duo does not offer that, everything is stored on your home network. I mention this as with anything network related there could be issues with your home internet etc that could prevent you from accessing your files. If you are counting on critical files for work or school this is a great device but if your home internet is down you are out of luck. Outside of that one side note, I fully recommend this device.

My favorite aspects of this device are:

1. Its very quiet.

2. It has a power save mode.

3. Remote access works very well.

4. RAID 1 configuration.

5. Straight forward user interface to setup users and shares.

6. Great for backups through time machine or windows.
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