Design and Setup
We last viewed the Western Digital My Passport Ultra in 2015. That drive was an updated version of the main one we reviewed in 2014. The My Passport we’re reviewing here isn’t technically the successor of these drives, since it doesn’t have the “Ultra” branding. The My Passport Ultra drives include extra software and also have a far more upscale look, but are otherwise nearly the same as the My Passport series. (We’ll discuss software later in this review.)
The My Passport comes in six different colors. We’ve the blue and black versions because of this review, but you may also have them in red, orange, yellow, and white. The surface construction is all plastic, although it’s thick and of top quality. The pricier My Passport Ultra drives have a combo metal and plastic exterior and, of course, a snazzier look. They have a tendency to retail for approximately $10 more.
The drive itself includes a durable appear and feel. The top half includes a smooth and shiny finish, as the bottom half includes a grooved surface and an anti-glare coating. The My Passport feels durable enough, though it doesn’t carry almost any official MIL-spec strength or waterproof rating.
The dimensions of the drive are 4.4×3.2×0.9 inches, and it weighs about one-fifth of a pound, like the cable. Here you can view our My Passport drives next to a typical coffee cup, for reference.
On the lower of the drive, there are four small rubber feet to keep it from slipping around an excessive amount of.
The included cable connects to the drive by using a “Micro B” connector. The finish that goes into your personal computer may be the standard rectangular Type-A USB. That is a USB version 3.0 drive, but it’s backwards appropriate for USB 2.0. The cable measures about 16 inches from end to get rid of.
Specifications and Performance
The available storage capacities for the My Passport are 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB around this writing. From a gigabytes-per-dollar perspective, the 4TB drive is the foremost value; it retails for $119. The 2TB versions we’ve retail for $79, but we found them taking a few dollars less online. Competing drives, including the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB and the Toshiba 2TB Canvio Basics, appeared to be priced with 10 dollars of the WD drive, indicating its price is competitive. There’s no hiding the actual fact that these sorts of drives are commodities.
As we expected on a drive of the size, the My Passport comes formatted with the NTFS filing system, that will let you copy files up to many gigabytes in proportions. It’s all set out from the box for whatever you intend to copy to it. To check the storage performance of the My Passport, we hooked it up to your Windows 10 test computer and transferred an individual 9GB file backwards and forwards. To eradicate any kind of bottleneck on the PC side, the foundation file was placed on a lightning-fast solid-state-drive (SSD).
Copying the file from our test computer to the My Passport, we recorded a peak write speed of 97MB per second, with the transfer completing in 1 minute, 35 seconds. Transferring the file back again to the computer, we observed a peak read speed of 117MB per second, with the procedure completing in 1 minute, 21 seconds. That performance is approximately as good as you may expect from a lightweight 2.5-inch hard disk drive. Using this drive to back up or synchronize many gigabytes of data regularly shouldn’t be considered a problem. Note you’ll want to hook up the drive to a USB 3.0 port to find the best possible transfer speeds. (As we noted, the drive works with with the older USB 2.0 connection.)
The My Passport sits between your Elements series and the My Passport Ultra drives in Western Digital’s external storage lineup. The Elements drives don’t include software, whereas the My Passport includes WD Backup software and hardware data encryption. The My Passport Ultra includes extra software.
The WD Backup software is preloaded to the drive. Once you plug the drive into your personal computer for the very first time, you can access the program installer right at the main of the drive (WD Apps Setup.exe). It requires simply a few clicks of the mouse to set up the software.
Once installed, WD Backup runs in the backdrop and backs up your files according to your schedule. The setup wizard for selecting files to back up is easy.
You can select whichever files you prefer from your own local computer. By default, your entire documents, pictures, and so forth will be selected. In addition, you may also select those from your own cloud storage services. Dropbox was installed on our test computer, and WD Backup gave us the choice to getting files from there.
It’s a matter of editing the backup schedule from there. The default schedule is hourly, but which can be easily changed by clicking the Edit Schedule button:
Inside our example, we set the backup to perform once daily at 12 am.
In case you have to retrieve and restore your files from your own My Passport, you’ll first want to set up the software on your pc (assuming you’re by using a new computer, that’s). Open the program after it’s installed and click on the Restore button. The program has an programmed mode that will try to restore the files where these were at first located. Alternatively, you can just tell the program where you want to buy to put the files. (We’d probably just do the latter, and copy them where we wanted.)
The My Passport drive also contains the WD Security software. This enables you to password-protect your My Passport, protecting against unauthorized access. These drives are very portable, in the end, so don’t count out you could accidentally leave the drive somewhere public. You’ll have to enter the password you set every time you want to gain access to the drive. If you’re frequently accessing the drive, it could possibly be more convenient to permit the drive’s auto-unlock feature in the WD Security software. Provided that you’re logged into your personal computer, the drive will stay unlocked.
We used the My Passport for a number of weeks as an individual backup drive, taking it around wherever we brought our computer. This will pretty much boil right down to personal preference, but we thought the squared-off corners were somewhat sharp. The more costly My Passport X offers a sleeker design with rounded corners if you feel the squared-off edges is a bother to you.
The glossy plastic exterior appeared to endure well to deterioration. At least, keeping it inside our computer bag unprotected alongside a couple of other peripherals didn’t seem to be to scratch or mar the final that much.
Something we will recommend for daily transport is that you unplug the drive’s cable before putting it in your bag. If left connected, the cable can put undue pressure on the connector and potentially cause failure as time passes. It’s not worth the chance when it’s so simple to disconnect the cable.
Something worth mentioning concerning this drive is that it offers a typical three-year warranty. The competing drives we viewed from Seagate only included a one-year warranty. You’d expect an external storage drive such as this to last for quite a while, and a three-year warrantee gives you reassurance. Our personal experience with these drives is they are reliable if treated with basic care. (Which means not throwing it around; there are moving parts inside, in the end.) The WD My Passport Ultra we reviewed in 2014 continues to be going strong.
The essential idea with the WD My Passport is that it’s a straightforward backup device. The included WD Backup software is simple to configure and use. You can schedule recurring computerized backups, which is very the ideal solution. Furthermore, the My Passport has built-in security that one could configure so a password must access it. The less costly WD Elements storage drive line doesn’t are the software we just mentioned. (If you choose the pricier My Passport Ultra series drives, they have a slightly higher-grade construction and extra software.)
The My Passport drive we reviewed didn’t have wireless or cloud-based features. If you want those, WD supplies the My Passport Wireless Pro for $179 in a 2TB capacity. That’s quite the increase from the $79 My Passport 2TB we reviewed here. But again, if you’re soon after a straightforward backup device without network features, then your My Passport is a good pick.
Includes backup and security software
Obtainable in multiple colors
Standard 3-year warranty
Good data transfer performance
No included carry case