Review: Verbatim MediaShare vs. WD Elements PDF Print E-mail

To me, the word media defines music, movies and images. The problem, particularly for those of us that like to use as little quality robbing compression as possible, these forms of data tend to be memory hogs.

One solution is to keep on replacing the hard drives in our PC's or laptops. This, however, is not always practical.

Another solution is to use either a network attached server or hard drive, or to use external hard drives. Both of these solutions have their positives and negatives. These differences came to light recently while I was using both.
TB Verbatim MediaShare
The first solution to cross my path was the one TB Verbatim MediaShare which, according to the manufacturer, has been designed for easy network storage and comes with all the features needed to manage content.
These features include a really classy looking chassis that looks durable enough to withstand all the rigours of daily life. It has an eSATA port for auto mirroring and USB ports for transferring data to or from USB drives, and an Easy Transfer Button that lets one transfer files from a USB drive. Alternatively, there is a single slot memory card to be placed directly onto MediaShare, which will even save power by going to sleep when it's not being used.
I had read that the MediaShare would be a little bit difficult to set up, but I didn’t find this to be the case.
Sure, you need to connect it to a router and to the Internet, and you have to load supplied software, but once this is done, you're pretty much set to distribute media across your network. It was also pretty easy getting all kinds of media - be it movies, music or images - onto the MediaShare. For ease of set-up, there were folders already named movies, music, etc.
Verbatim offers you the option of Premium features, but these are on a subscription basis, so I never tried them.
Using the MediaShare was about as simple as looking at my home network, choosing the MediaShare and selecting what I wanted to watch or listen to.
The downside of the MediaShare is that the review model only had a one TB hard drive, and this is a little small. Another was the cost of the unit, which in my opinion is a little high, and I'll explain why a bit later on.
Before I get to that, let me tell you about the next media storage solution that I managed to snag for review. 
WD Elements External Hard Drive
While this little tyke with its two TB didn’t have an aluminium case, it did look pretty good - or about as good as an external hard drive is able to look - and at around half the price of the MediaShare, it offered twice the storage capacity.
Of course it didn’t have the same kind of connectivity as the Verbatim, but it countered this with absolute ease of use. Plug and play at its simplest.
Since it is a USB device, it was picked up by my PC as soon as it was attached and powered up. Compared to the MediaShare, it took a bit longer to load data onto it. However, watching the movies that I had stored on it, was a simple and glitch-free affair.
Spec for spec (and barring memory capacity, since you can always add an external drive via USB) the MediaShare should be the storage device of choice. 
I say ‘should be’, because among these two, my personal choice is the WD Elements External Hard Drive. Here’s why:
For around the same price as the MediaShare, you could buy the Elements external hard drive, a device such as the Mede8er MED200x Media player, as well as a Mede8er USB wireless dongle. This combination would then offer wireless streaming of data across a network, greater memory capacity, and the ability to actually view and listen to all of the media stored on the hard drive, without the need for a network or computer at all.
In my opinion, this offers greater freedom, mobility, and double the storage capacity, even if it is a two box solution. That is also why I think that the MediaShare is a little pricey.
Verbatim MediaShare network storage/media streamer
Good: This is a classy looking unit that is well made. It's also reasonably easy to set up.  
Bad: It's built in hard drive is limited to 1TB and to me it seems just a little dated
Rating: 6/10
Price: +- R 2000
Contact: Verbatim Southern Africa 011 253 4940
Western Digital Elements 2TB USB 2 external hard drive
Good: It's plug and play easy to use
Bad: The way memory prices are dropping, by the end of next month it may be a little expensive
Rating: 8/10
Price:  R 968

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