All current Mac owners will have Time Machine installed, some may use it with an external USB drive, but for ultimate ease of use backing up over a wireless network is favourite. Until recently there has only been one option, an Apple Time Capsule. The 1TB Time Capsule costs around £230 in the UK with the 2TB model stretching to £388. Nobody can put a price on the loss of important data, but quite frankly I found the cost of both Apple models off-putting, so I began to look at other options to achieve the same goal. I stumbled across the fact that Western Digital had updated the firmware in the MyBook NAS range to make them compatible with Time Machine, when you consider a 2TB model can be bought for £137 it really does make you stop and think.
Admittedly the Apple unit contains a wi-fi base station whereas the Western Digital unit doesn’t, but for many people, myself included this was a non issue. Setup of the unit was a breeze, simply connect the mains power and ethernet cable, the NAS itself is set to DHCP by default which made things simple on my home network. Configuring the unit to work seamlessly with Time Machine needed a little more work instructions of how to do this are provided on Western Digital’s website here.
Once configured Time Machine works perfectly with the WD NAS, I’ve currently been running it for a few months now with no issues. Western Digital also provide a free service which enables you to access the shared folders on the NAS via the internet through a system called mionet. It’s fine for sending and receiving small files such as spreadsheets, text and photos, but don’t expect to be transferring HD video files as it’s not quick enough.
In summary the Western Digital MyBook NAS is perfect for use as a wireless Time Machine backup drive.