HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES are so common nowadays that given five minutes and a screwdriver anyone with some elementary handyman skills can put one together.
This makes life difficult for companies making ready-built products because they have to rely on either the mystique that everything to do with computers is difficult or on the inherent laziness of people to ensure continued sales. Luckily there’s a third option and that is clever industrial design.
It’s in this area that the Western Digital MyBook series of drives really shine. When they were designing these drives, they stepped away from making them look like a piece of computer kit and chose instead to follow the design inspiration of a hardcover novel, hence the name.
The MyBook that we were sent to review was the 500GB model, which is pretty much middle of the range nowadays. To add perspective to this, two of these drives would have more storage capacity than most large companies would have had six to 10 years ago.
The drive comes with both USB and Firewire options and the great thing about Firewire is that it’s possible to link new drives to the older ones rather than having to buy a USB hub or connect them directly to the computer. With the MyBook this is especially useful because you may want to line them up on a bookshelf somewhere, and doing it this way reduces the amount of cable clutter.
Western Digital ships the drive with backup software on it so it’s possible to plug it in, install the software and backup your entire hard drive with little effort whatsoever.
While not the cheapest way to add external storage to your PC, the MyBook does offer massive capacities and great industrial design, which is enough to earn a recommendation.