WD rolls out networked hard drives

Lake Forest (CA) - Growing video and music collections are slowly opening a few business opportunity for hard drive manufacturers: Shared storage devices allow consumers to access their digital content via an Internet connection from anywhere in the world: WD joins the bandwagon with a 1 TB new network storage solution for consumers.

WD's "MyBook World Edition II" uses the same case designs as the previously launch MyBook hard drives, but lacks interfaces that would allow consumers to connect the device locally. Instead of a USB or Firewire port, the new drive - which can be purchased with either one or two 500 GB drives - comes with an Ethernet interface to support remote access.

The new World models come with Wad's Anywhere Access software, which promises easy access to content, for example through an integration into the Windows Explorer as well as available "Save As" and "Open" options whenever the user is connected to the Internet. The drive works independently of any specific PC, which means that the original host computer that is used for configuring the device does not need to be powered on for the MyBook World Edition II drives to remain functional.

Unique to the WD drives are their look that resembles regular books and fits nicely in an average book shelf, provided there is an Ethernet port behind that shelf. The 1 TB MyBook World Edition II is priced at $500; the 500 GB MyBook World Edition is available for a suggested retail price of $280.