Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Western Digital My Book 4 TB


Western Digital launched the 4 TB version of their My Book external desktop hard drive earlier this year. The new My Book 4 TB adds on to the existing 2 TB and 3 TB models. My Book offers fast USB 3.0 connectivity, hardware encryption, backup software and other features in a svelte looking gloss black enclosure.

The My Book 4 TB both looks like and works like its older 2 TB and 3 TB brethren. If you are familiar with them, then you are already familiar with the 4 TB. It’s just a capacity upgrade. That’s not to say the new model is uninteresting, but that there’s little that needs changing.

_DSC1356The packaging has not changed. It’s a little bulky, but I suppose extra protection is good. As you can see above, the box came with a corner squished in. Since we’re talking about a spinning hard disk drive in there, it’s probably good to dispense with minimalist packaging.

Inside the box, you get a power adapter with a couple of plug heads, a USB 3.0 cable, and a few pieces of literature.

External desktop hard drives are plug-and-play, and the My Book 4 TB just works. Connect the power, connect the USB 3.0 cable, and the My Book 4 TB spins up and is instantly accessible by my computer.

Western Digital sells both the regular “My Book” and another “My Book For Mac”. You should know that the only difference between them is how the drives are formatted in the factory. The “For Mac” version comes to you pre-formatted with OS X’s HFS+, instead of NTFS like on the regular models. Since I use a Mac, and I have the regular My Book, I immediately reformatted the drive to HFS+. (Mac OS X can read NTFS but not write to them.)


The most interesting thing to me about the My Book, as with many other Western Digital external drive products, is the built-in hardware encryption. There’s no reason now why you shouldn’t encrypt important data. Since it is done in hardware inside the My Book, there is no performance impact on your computer’s processor.

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test will convince you about the zero performance cost of the hardware encryption. The left-side benchmark was done on the My Book 4 TB without password security, and the right-side one had password security enabled.

UntitledThis hardware feature alone, in my opinion, already puts the My Book ahead of the competition. The approximately 145MB/s reads and writes as shown in the above benchmarks are quite respectable.

Other software provided by Western Digital include system-level image backup, scheduled or continuous file-level automatic backup, and backup to cloud (DropBox). They are all nice to have. They don’t run on Macs. But as a Mac user, I’m quite happy with OS X’s Time Machine, which will, of course, work with the My Book.


The My Book 4 TB is a welcome update to the My Book line of external desktop hard drives.


  • Svelte looking enclosure
  • Huge capacity
  • Hardware encryption with zero performance impact


  • I could not honestly list a real con here, but if I had to, I’ll go with price


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