WD My Passport Ultra Portable External HDD [7th Gen] Review

Western Digital (WD) My Passport Ultra External Hard Drive is an affordable, fast, secure and ultra-compact, portable 2.5-inch external HDD that’s protected with a 3-year limited warranty period and it is compatible with both Windows OS and MAC OS X. WD My Passport Ultra is thin, at just 12.8mm of height, and its build is solid, durable and shock resistant with capacities encompassing of 500 GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB. This portable device weighs just around 5.4 ounces or 153 grams with dimension of 4.3 inch in Length, 3.2 inch in Width and 0.6 inch in Height.

This Premium storage device comes in 5-different colors: Black, Blue, Berry, White and a special Metal edition for a classy look. This drives utilizes USB 3.0 connectivity which is backward-compatible with USB 2.0, an issue that many novices frequently ask about. If you use this drive on a USB 3.0 connectivity, you’ll get a data transfer rate of 5 Gb /s, which is two times faster than USB 2.0 interface, that only has data transfer rate of 480 Mb/s.

One of the most important aspects of this drive is that it has rich pre-loaded software called ‘WD SmartWare Pro’; which consists of WD Back Up, WD Security, WD Utilities and WD quick View.

WD Backup allows you to automatically back up your files to cloud storage via your Drop box account with scheduled time. And, it also supports third-party cloud storage like One drive. The user have the option to customize the schedule time to back up their data to the cloud storage, schedule time could be from hourly to monthly backup of your data. And, Backup software feature helps you to have a safe and secure transmission of your data.

WD Utilities software is user friendly; it helps you to “register your drive, run diagnostics, Erase your drive with just one Click, to set your drive timer and it also helps you to set up your drive’s security functionality.”

The diagnostic feature in Utility software helps to check for potential drive failures by running a functionality called ‘Run Drive Status Check’ and the result could be determined within matter of few seconds and by running another functionality called ‘Quick Drive Test’ major performance failures could be identified within two minutes. ‘Complete Drive Test Run’ functionality could be performed to detect bad sectors and this test run will take up several hours for high-capacity drives. When the drive is not in use for a long time, ‘Sleep Timer’ feature will make the drive to go into sleep MODE; this feature helps to save power and long-time wear and tear of the drive.

WD Security software offers you to set ‘password protection and 256-bit hardware encryption’ to safeguard your data like pictures, videos and files. Password protection enables you to protect your files and folders. Since the security is built into the device, it is safe to access your computer, even if your computer’s security is compromised. WD Security Software is, limited only to Windows and MAC operating system; it doesn’t support Linux when it comes to encryption. Although, you encrypt your hard drive in Linux by using a tool, you would be able to unlock the drive by using Window OS or MAC OS only.
This, WD My Passport drive is made better than its previous generations. Sequential reads is 25% times faster and Writes are 10% faster than its previous models. The availability of maximum Capacity of 3 TB storage proves that, the drive’s size has exponentially increased by 50 % when compared to its predecessor models of Western Digital (WD).
The drive is formatted using NTFS file system as in Microsoft Windows; when switching from a computer to MAC you will find that you are unable to write files to an external hard drive. If you want to write files to MAC you will need to re-format it. Formatting your drive will erase all the files currently on it. You must back up all of the files on the drive before erasing it.

Formatting for MAC can be done by: 1) Choosing ‘Mac OS Extended’ option which is also known as HFS+ from Utilities functionality would make your drive compatible only with a MAC and Windows won’t be able to access it, unless MACdrive or similar program is installed on the PC. 2) Choosing ‘MS-DOS File system’ option which is also known as FAT32 would make your drive compatible with both Windows and MAC, but the drawback with this option is the file size has to be less than 4 GB. You can choose both these options to format your drive.

Even though this MY Passport SSD drive is a well accomplished product it still needs little enhancements. Now I’m going to focus on the PROS and CONS of this product:

 Slim, Sleek and durable built body with shock resistant technology
 Special Metallic color for a classy look and therefore stylish to carry around
 Automatic cloud back up of your data, customized to user-defined schedule time
 Increased performance compared to its predecessor models.
 Availability of 3TB capacity model
 This single drive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports of a device
 Ultra speed file transfer using USB 3.0 interface
 Rich Pre-loaded software, which is simple to use
 256-authentication for hardware encryption
 Compatibility with MAC after formatting
 No separate power supply is needed it charges directly from USB port
 Drive is pre-formatted with NTFS system, for using in MAC it has to be reformatted by using Mac OS Extended and MS DOS file system option.
 Security software is limited only to Windows and MAC. It doesn’t support Linux when it comes to encryption.
 Short USB Cable, that comes along with the package

So the closure is: Western Digital has been offering the customers with efficient and cutting-edge technology products for the past several years. This drive is simple to use with excellent support software and helps you have added storage and back-up when you are on the go; it is ideal for your notebooks and PCs. WD My Passport Ultra is an accomplished SSD for a very great price.

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