Review : WD ShareSpace 4TB

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The WD ShareSpace is a network attached storage unit which features four hard drive bays, gigabit ethernet, 3 USB ports and boasts a total capacity of 8TB (upgradable to more). It also offers RAID to ensure your precious documents, photos, music, movies etc are safe from corruption.

It’s small in size but can be heavy when you have all 4 hard drives installed. It can fit in just about any space that suites you.

Check out our review and more after the break.

  • Score:

    9.0 / 10

  • The Good:

    Gigabit ethernet, RAID, 4 hard drive bays, 3 USB Ports, Small and Compact, Very quiet

  • The Bad:

    Not hot swappable, didn’t reach gigabit speeds

  • Bottom Line:

    This is fantastic for home use or small business.

With the increasing need to backup files every day, sometimes a USB portable hard drive doesn’t cut it. Or if your a professional movie maker, photographer or run a small business and need to share files, the WD ShareSpace can cater for your needs and you don’t need an IT department to set it up.

The WD ShareSpace is a 8TB monster network attached storage device which built in RAID, gigabit ethernet, iTunes server, Windows Media server, FTP, USB backup, computer backup, download server and more. You’ve got 4 hard drive bays to load SATAII hard drives into and 3 USB ports to either backup the USB drives onto the ShareSpace or to share them on the network.

The setup is very easy. Just plug it in, turn it on and insert the enclosed CD into each computer (this is not needed if you are knowledgable at computers). It will setup required software and enable access to the drive. Setting up on mac was easier as it just simply appeared on the network list.

The built in iTunes server allows you to store your entire iTunes collection on the ShareSpace and share it over the network. It also has a UPnP/DLNA server built in allowing you to share photos and movies with things like Playstation 3, xBox 360 and Windows Media Centre. You can also view photos from the ShareSpace on your iPhone by downloading the app on the App Store. I didn’t test this however due to constraints to time.

During testing, I had the RAID setup as Span which means all 4 drives show as one drive. On my 10/100 network, I saw speeds of 12 MB/s while downloading/uploading files to the WD ShareSpace which is the max for a 10/100 network. I then tested on a 10/100/1000 network and received just around the same speeds. This is due to either the physical hard drive speed, the RAID performance or the under powered processor in the device. However, speeds of 12 MB/s are prefect for just about anything, so I’m not complaining.

Changing the hard drives in the device is quite easy. The casing can be removed by two thumb screws and the hard drives can be removed and installed by simply pushing or pulling on the green caddy. However, the device isn’t hot swappable! The device must be fully powered down and turned off before hard drives can be changed. This is a small disadvantage, however, once the hard drives are installed, they shouldn’t need to be removed.

The built in web server is the way to go for updating settings and such on the ShareSpace. The Basic mode is simple and allows you to add, edit and delete users that are allowed to access the NAS and folders on the NAS that are shared across the network. It also allows you to restart/shutdown the device and enable remote access for the included software.

All in all, this device was great to use and was speedy to use. Setup was a breeze and the device is small and compact to fit anywhere that suites your needs. If your after a NAS and you have a bit of cash, then this is the one to choose.