Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition: safeguard your memories

It has never been quicker and easier to create enormous amounts of data. With the boom of digital cameras people are creating thousands of megabytes a year in photos and even that’s increasing. With 7 megapixel digital cameras dropping below $200 the size of these digital memories has been going up too. Adding to that people are taking more and more photos since it costs them nothing to do so!

While you might have taken 10 or 20 photos when you’ve gone out with the family for the day with a film camera it’s so easy to keep pressing that shutter button on your digicam and before you know it you have a hundred or more images.

Sure that means you will have captured every second of your day out but now what? Most people will plug their camera into their PC download the photos into a folder or image organising application wipe their memory card and start all over again. And herein lies a major flaw: what if your computer was to get a virus or your hard drive was to fail? Those photos could be gone forever no way to retrieve them. This is the area where most families stumble when it comes to digital photography. They have no backup plan.

There are various ways to make sure your memories are safe but the product we’re looking at today is possibly the next best thing to having a negative of your digital photos. It’s called the My Book Mirror Edition a new drive from Western Digital that makes it very easy to keep multiple backups of your photos videos documents and other files without any extra effort. Quite aptly named the My Book Mirror Edition has a trick up its sleeve.

It’s quite a chunky looking block larger than most other external hard drives on the market and there is a very good reason for that. Inside its glossy black plastic shell lies not one but two 1TB hard drives spinning in harmony using RAID 1 to keep two copies of every byte of data you copy to it.

For those who don’t know RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks meaning two or more hard drives are linked together for either increased storage and performance or backup purposes. RAID0 (striped) and RAID1 (mirrored) are the two most common RAID setups.

The My Book setup wizard allows you to choose between RAID0 and RAID1 and your choice will depend on your needs. Using RAID0 can be risky especially on a backup device as in the event one of the drives fails all the data shared between the two is lost.

RAID1 is the perfect setup for this unit as not only will the My Book serve as a backup for your computer but a backup for itself as well. 

Included with the My Book Mirror Edition is Western Digital’s “WD Anywhere” backup software for both PC and Mac allowing you to schedule automatic backups of selected files and folders. Being able to schedule your backups is vital as it is easy to forget or put it off with the thought that “another day won’t hurt”. WD Anywhere monitors the selected folders for changes and backs them up instantly in the background without any user intervention.

Alternatively Mac users could use OS X Leopard’s built-in Time Machine feature for automatic backups of their entire system. Unfortunately there is no Firewire port so you’ll have to stick to USB 2.0.

The Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition is the perfect backup solution for families who want to protect their precious memories with the security of multiple backups and the simplicity of performing just one.