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Western Digital unveils remotely accessible NAS server

Western Digital Corp. today introduced a new home edition of its network-attached storage (NAS) server that offers continuous data protection, remote accessibility and — most importantly — plug-and-play installation.

The My Book World Edition NAS drive comes in 1TB and 2TB capacities and, once it's plugged into an Ethernet router, is automatically discovered by Macs and Vista PCs without any network configuration required, according to Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing at Western Digital.

The WD My Book World Edition NAS drive”There are 36 million networked households in the U.S. and 70 million worldwide. But less than 10% of people are using automated software to backup,” Pistilli said. “The rest think it's too hard. This will give all of those people an easy way to back up.”

Once connected to a home or small business router, the drive will show up on Macs and Windows Vista PCs in the network devices folder. For XP users, there's a quick discovery tool that maps the drive with three mouse clicks.

The World Edition drive ships with five user licenses and Western Digital's WD Anywhere backup software, which automatically backs up any PC connected to the drive. First, a user must select PCs and files to be backed up and select the World Edition drive as the target. The drive will then automatically make backups of each instance of a file every time it's saved, Pistilli said.

“Writing over files or accidentally deleting files is fairly common, so WD Anywhere backup software makes it easy to restore up to four different versions of the file, and the only difference is the date and time of the file,” Pistilli said.

The drive also comes with a free subscription to Western Digital's Access powered by MioNet — a remote access service. Once logged in, a user can share files with anyone via an e-mail message with a link enabling access.

Rear view of the World Edition driveThe World Edition drive can build a digital media library that allows music and photo to be shared and videos to be streamed directly to any PC, Mac or connected DLNA media player, such as Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles. It also enables streaming to wireless digital picture frames or televisions using the integrated Universal Plug and Play media server and iTunes Music server software.

The World Edition drive also uses Western Digital's GreenPower hard drive, which the company claims will use 33% less power than its previous NAS model. A 1TB version of the drive retails for $229. The 2TB version sells for $449.

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