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Western Digital starts selling 44TB of external HDD storage for $1,500

Western Digital My Book Duo
Enlarge / Western Digital’s My Book Duo has two 3.5-inch HDDs inside.

Western Digital

Western Digital today announced bigger-capacity versions of its My Book and dual-drive My Book Duo external hard disk drives (HDDs). The new 22TB and 44TB offerings represent some of the roomiest consumer offerings the company has ever offered.

Targeting people needing large-scale options and prioritizing price per GB over speed, the new external storage devices consist of one (in the case of the 22TB My Book) or two (My Book Duo) 3.5-inch drives. Western Digital’s announcement today said the 22TB My Book is its “highest capacity consumer drive ever,” but, as noted by Tom’s Hardware, the company started selling 22TB network-attached storage (NAS) drives ($400 MSRP as of writing) in July. But with the My Book line offering the components neatly packed into an enclosure and ready to live on top of a desk as backup storage, the series has broader appeal.

The My Book measures 5.48×1.93×6.72 inches and now goes up to 22TB.
Enlarge / The My Book measures 5.48×1.93×6.72 inches and now goes up to 22TB.

Western Digital

The My Book Duo, which Western Digital had already been selling in 16TB to 36TB capacities, also adds ports to your setup. It has a USB-C port supporting up to 5Gbps for connecting to systems and also gives you two USB-A ports.

The 44TB option arrives in a RAID 0 configuration for top speeds. However, if you’d rather use a RAID 1 configuration for redundancy or have your system view the storage device as two separate drives, the My Book Duo allows both via software.

It’s no secret that HDDs have been less popular than solid-state drives (SSDs) in recent years due to SSDs’ generally faster speeds and durability. But if you need a lot of storage and don’t want to spend much money, HDDs remain a viable option. With their mechanical parts driving faster wear and tear than SSDs and susceptibility to data loss with accidental drops, though, it would be wise to use HDDs as a secondary option, where data is also stored elsewhere.

Western Digital’s My Book drives work with Windows 10 and later and, via the NTFS driver, macOS 11 and later, allowing you to work across Microsoft’s and Apple’s OSes without having to reformat.

While hard drives are easier on the wallet than SSDs, Western Digital’s My Book lineup doesn’t quite give you the most GB per dollar. For a quick comparison, the 22TB My Book has a $600 MSRP, but you can get a 22TB (conventional magnetic recording) NAS hard drive from the same company for $500. Western Digital has also started selling a 22TB Elements external hard drive for $550, but it’s missing some features compared to the My Book, such as backup software, password protection, and USB-C, and it requires reformatting for macOS.

Meanwhile, the 44TB My Book Duo has a $1,500 MSRP. While you can get a premium laptop for that price, the drive is still much more spacious and affordable than an external SSD. Western Digital’s largest external SSD, which targets professional use, maxes out at 32TB with a jaw-dropping $7,500 MSRP.

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