WD My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive Review

As a leading provider of storage solutions, Western Digital is committed to making your life easier. Their array of hard drives, both internal and external, will have an HDD for anyone’s needs. External hard drives can be helpful for any type of person and you can’t go wrong with My Passport Ultra.

Specs

 

 

PROS
  • Lightweight and small, considering the large capacities available
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • WD’s included backup and encryption software
CONS
  • There are no noteworthy minuses to the drive itself. Some alternatives might provide higher transfer speeds and cost a bit less.

 

Breakdown of the Features

Some of the top features of this hard drive include:

1-4TB of Storage: One terabyte would be enough for most people’s needs, not to mention four of them. A drive this size will most definitely hold all of your videos, photos, and documents, even if they’re in high definition, as well as tons of even the most spacious games in the market (around 50GB each).

USB 3.0: This hard drive features USB 3.0 connectivity, which means you can transfer files from your computer to your hard drive, and back, at fast speeds. A USB 3.0 cable is included, and, as with all USB 3.0 devices, the hard drive is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0. This means you can truly use it any way you want.

Password Protection: Many people choose to back up their files in case their laptop is stolen. They don’t want their precious files stolen, lost, or tampered with. Unfortunately, the downfall of many hard drives is that, if stolen, all of the files can be easily accessed. Fortunately, Western Digital has found a solution to this problem, by offering password protection and 256 bit AES hardware encryption. It is still a breeze to lock and unlock your drive, but only for you. If you choose a good password, no one else will be able to access your files.

Cloud Backup: This hard drive features both local and cloud backup. It works with cloud services such as Dropbox, although a Dropbox account is required. WD Backup software also allows for scheduled backups on the drive.

 

Design and Alternatives

The most noticeable design feature of WD My Passport Ultra is, of course, its small size. This drive will fit in your pocket while carrying up to four terabytes of data. If the latest version color options of berry red or black are not enough for you, the special metal edition provides a posh, metallic finish in either blue-black scheme or silver, adding to the looks of the compact device.

WD 1TB Silver My Passport Ultra Metal Edition Portable  External Hard Drive  - USB 3.0  - WDBTYH0010BSL-NESN

Speaking of versions, the drive models have gone through multiple iterations of improvements, so make sure that you’re not wasting money for an older, more expensive model. All Amazon links above will take you to the latest (2016) version of the drive.

Among its competition, the My Passport Ultra comes on top in terms of software features – WD Elements only provides a short backup program trial, Seagate Backup Plus Slim only has a backup software, while My Passport Ultra also has an AES 256-bit encryption feature. Other than that, all three drives are pretty similar, with Elements costing a bit less but, in turn, having fewer software features. For more alternatives, check out our portable hard drive buying guide.

 

 

First Impressions

When I first received My Passport, I was immediately amazed by how lightweight it is. It weighs around eight ounces. After unboxing, I immediately plugged it in to see how it worked. I purchased it to use with my Xbox One, but I decided to test it on my computer first. My computer immediately recognized it, to my surprise. I did not have to install anything, it was ready to go right away. After testing it by backing up a few files, I decided to go ahead and try it with my Xbox. I plugged it in and, again, it was immediately recognized. It was automatically formatted and from that point on I was able to use it for future saves. I was impressed right away with how easy it was to use this hard drive.

WD My Passport Ultra portable external hard drive review, box

What’s in the box?

When you order this hard drive, you are getting the drive, a USB 3.0 cable, and a user manual. It gives you everything you need to set up and use the hard drive.

 

User Experience

I am a very picky person, who prefers products that are easy to use and do their job the way they’re supposed to. That being said, my experience with this hard drive has been great. I have actually purchased three of them since they work so good and are so affordable. One of them, I use for work – I put all of my important work documents on it and carry it back and forth with me to and from work. The second one, I use for my personal laptop – I backup all my movies and pictures on it regularly. I have been using the personal one for almost 5 months now and I still haven’t run out of space. In fact, I don’t think I have even used half of the space that is available. Lastly, I use the third one for my Xbox – I got tired of having to uninstall games each time I got a new one and then having to go back and reinstall them when I wanted to play them later on. Getting this hard drive instantly fixed this issue. I have been able to download several games onto the hard drive and I still have not run out of space. It is much easier than downloading right onto the Xbox.

WD My Passport Ultra portable external hard drive review, user experiance

Other people I know who have this hard drive love it as well. I have a few friends who have been using theirs for over a year and they say they still have unused storage space. I got mine after a friend of mine swore by it, and he was definitely right. After exploring a few online forums, I can say this hard drive is almost universally loved. Even if you happen to get a defective unit, the 3-year limited warranty will ensure that WD will trade it for a brand new one that works.

 

Verdict

WD My Passport Ultra is a handy little device, capable of holding tons of information. It’s not the cheapest drive in the market, nor is it the fastest, but if you’re looking for a way to always keep your data on you, this small and very portable drive will suit you perfectly. The data security and backup options added by WD’s complimentary software make the average price of WD My Passport Ultra much more reasonable.

[Updated in 2017]
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Capacity
9
Performance
6
Features
8
Design
8
Price
7
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ExternalHDD
He's fanatic tech lover with degree in electrical engineering. Hobbies? To buy, test, break and write about newest gadgets. Also, the CEO of HDDmag.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I think WD mess it up with encryption, data is encrypted even if you don't want that. Data recovery turned up to be almost imposible. Board change (because of port damage)is imposible due to encryption key being in there. The risk of loosing our data increases because of that…

  2. I’ve never had my WD Passport finish anything,….. analytics,backups….never finishes, sometimes it gets to 80 – 90 % but usually only 13-20%, always reporting it missed backups, had it plugged in for a month and still haven’t had a complete backup.
    Probably be ok for individual files, but don’t depend on it for a hard drive backup.

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