Decided to purchase one 4 TB WD My Book 3.0 USB external desktop HDD last week for evaluation purposes based on the sale price of $130 (including shipping) at NewEgg and in a worst case scenario, I could use it to portably transport my data to another PC, if needed.
Price … extremely quiet, even during massive file transfers (1.7 TB) … 2 year warranty … good air-flow design, felt cool to the touch even after transferring 1.7 TB of data, in a continuous 12 hour period … WD reliability, based on past ownership of WD HDD’s for PC’s and installation in external desktop enclosures … fast read/write functions, as compared to my existing 3.0 USB Fantom units … averaged about 48 MB's a second transfer speed.
Glossy black plastic exterior is a fingerprint magnet … no power button, which totally baffles me (power is handled by connecting/disconnecting the power adaptor). You can enable the sleep function, thru the provided WD software suite, which I’ve opted not to install, for various reasons … subjectively the unit doesn’t feel too sturdy (plastic vs. metal enclosures of the Fantom’s) and I doubt it could handle a fall beyond 3 inches and I’m not about to test it to find out.
I have no regrets whatsoever about purchasing the My Book, since I feel you always need a backup to all your data which is independent of your PC/network but it has crystalized how I will handle data storage/backup in the future. I’m in the middle of having a custom PC built and I plan on installing two 4 TB eSATA HDD’s in the drive bays, besides the main two 1 TB RAID 0 (mirror) HDD’s for the OS and programs, dedicated to storage/backup for faster read/write abilities and to save space on my desk. A single spare HDD would suffice but my paranoia runs deep after my first HDD failure in the mid-90’s, which still haunts me to this day, and I haven’t been caught flat-footed since. I’ve probably jinxed myself. All it would take is one massive lightning strike to wipe all of them out ... must remember to disconnect the My Book when not in use... I told you my paranoia runs deep.
I want to thank everyone for their input and advice ... take care.