*Disclaimer: The My Passport Wireless Pro was provided by the awesome people at Western Digital. However, the opinions expressed in the following review are my own and are in no way influenced by WD.
Is it just me, or is backing up a real PITA? Especially after a full day of shooting on location, the last thing you want to do when you get back to your accommodation is to spend hours backing up your images from the day. Well, the My Passport Wireless Pro might just be the missing component of your travel kit.
I’ve never had a brilliant track record when it comes to backing up my images, which I’m sure will come back to bite me in the butt later. Whilst I’m travelling I would typically fill a memory card, transfer the contents to my MacBook Pro, then transfer THOSE files to an external hard drive (I never format my SD cards until I’m home and the files are backed up on my main drives). My MacBook Pro has a fairly small internal SSD, so I would generally need to wipe the files from there once transferred to an external drive.
This is fairly straightforward workflow that I’ve been happy implementing over the past few years, but it surely isn’t the quickest option. Enter the My Passport Wireless Pro…
There are four sizes available for the My Passport Wireless Pro. 1, 2, 3 and 4TB. The 2TB model, featured in this review, retails for $340AUD. Not the cheapest hard drive around if you’re just looking for simple and portable, but this drive is so much more than that.
A few important specs:
- Available in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models.
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- SD 3.0 card slot
- USB 3.0
- USB 2.0 port for external transfer (card reader, dslr etc)
- Built in 6,400 mAh power bank
Aesthetics and Build Quality
I could instantly tell once removing the device from the packaging that it’s really well built. It feels solid and has some decent weight to it, but not enough to deter you from taking it travelling.
The device is almost entirely finished with a matt black plastic, but has a patterned, partially glossed finish on the top surface, which I’m already seeing is quite prone to finger printing. Certainly not a deal breaker, just something worth noting. Also, the bottom of the device is fitted with four rubber feet to prevent the drive from sliding around on whatever surface it is placed.
Whenever I’ve purchased external hard drives in the past, I almost always reformat the drive to remove any of the manufacturers preinstalled software. Don’t we all? With the My Passport Wireless Pro however, it’s that preinstalled software that makes this drive such a pleasure to use.
The initial setup was quite easy and straight forward and you can be ready to backup/transfer after a few simple steps.
- Turn the drive on by holding the power button for 2 seconds.
- Download the WD My Cloud app on your preferred device (I used my iPhone 7 Plus, purely because it is always with me and the app acts as somewhat of a dashboard and viewer for the drive and files, respectively).
- In the device’s network settings, select My Passport (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz), and enter the provided password for the drive.
- Then just follow the on screen instructions and voila – you’re set to go!
This image shows the “dashboard” on the iPhone app. There’s also a tablet and desktop version.
If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know I’m more of a practical reviewer as opposed to a theoretical/scientific reviewer. That has never been more true for what you’re about to read. If you do want to read a review on speed performance from a far more technical standpoint, then check out these links:
I ran a couple of fairly basic transfer speed tests and comparisons, using the functionality of the drive that I think I would use most. SD card import and USB 3.0 data transfer.
All tests were done transferring 546 files totalling 20.14 GB.
SD card import
- The SD card took 5 minutes and 40 seconds to download to the drive. (60 MBps)
- Those same files took just over 4 minutes to download to my iMac using the iMac’s built in card reader. (83.2 MBps)
USB 3.0 transfer
- Transferring files from my iMac to the drive took 4 minutes 27 seconds. (76.4 MBps)
- Transferring files from the drive to my iMac took 3 minutes 38 seconds. (95.5 MBps)
This drive is also capable of transferring data wirelessly, but in comparison to transferring data over USB 3.0, it just wasn’t worth the wait. Having said that, this device is capable of streaming music, movies and photos and USB 3.0 speeds are probably overkill for that kind of functionality.
*Take these results with a grain of salt. They are just my own in house tests I ran to see how the drive performed.
Example workflow using the My Passport Wireless Pro
- Capture awesome selfie with camera.
- Upload photos from SD card directly to MPWP.
- Transfer those files to the laptop and edit the crap out of them.
- Copy the edited file/s back to the MPWP.
- Transfer the edited banger from the MPWP to iPhone (via built in Wi-Fi).
- Upload to Instagram (see IG upload here).
Things I love:
- Ease of use (seriously couldn’t be any easier to set up and use).
- Price point (It might not be cheap for a hard drive, but for the capabilities and functionality of the device, it’s priced really well).
- Charges external devices eg. phone, tablet, GoPro, camera etc. using the 6,400 mAh internal battery.
- SD card backup is nice and quick and can be done with the press of a button (or no buttons if you have it set up that way).
- Great battery life (approx. 10 hours)
- The blue indicator lights (not only do they look rad, but they also tell you the status of your transfers).
Things I don’t love:
- I’d really like to see an SSD version of this drive. I know it would be smaller capacity, but the drive would also be smaller (and faster).
- Can’t view raw files through My Cloud app.
After using the My Passport Wireless Pro for about 2 weeks now, I can happily say that this drive WILL be replacing my old travel drives and previous terrible method of backing up.
Purely for its functionality alone, the My Passport Wireless Pro has got to be the most capable drive for travelling photographers and content creators. When it’s as simple as inserting your card from the days shoot and having your card backed up and ready to be edited once transferred to either your phone or laptop, using anything else would just seem like a chore.
Once again, WD have not asked me to praise this device, but to give my honest thoughts. And until they release an SSD version of this drive, this is definitely finding a permanent place in my travel photography kit.
Read more about the My Passport Wireless Pro on the Western Digital website, here.
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