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Well there are usually two types of people who need a portable hard drive. Firstly there people that just need additional storage and make use of hard from time to time. Then there are another set of people more like "professionals on the go" who basically are from the creative field and are constantly doing some work like taking pictures, recording videos, and producing tremendous amounts of data.
- organized backups
- Integrated mobile app
- Integration with cloud services
- Built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
- Excellent battery life
- Sturdy Design
- No way to view Raw files in My Cloud app
- Plastic case scratches easily
- USB 2.0 connection for non-SD media types
While the first category of people can buy any hard drives available in the market, the latter might need something a little more multi-functional and advance-- like Western Digital's new My Passport Wireless Pro.
The new My Passport portable hard drive, available in 2TB and 3TB versions and it is one of the most flexible computer accessories that you can buy. Well, the device is basically a 6400 mAh portable battery, an SD card, USB reader, and an AC wireless router. Further, the device has been designed to work with Mac and Windows and if you plug it in via USB it will work just like any other normal hard drive.
If you recall WD's original My Passport Wireless media-streaming Wi-Fi hard drive, it basically came with a shorter battery life and an inability to charge other devices. However, WD has now fixed both issues with the all-new My Passport Wireless Pro. The new model is a much improved and much more capable product.
Design and Features
The updated WD Wireless Pro comes with a unique and different design and further comes with an improved set of features. The company has made some improvements from its first-generation of wireless hard drives.
We were sent the 3TB version which is on sale at Amazon for Rs. 24,283 while the 2TB model is priced at Rs. 16,600. You will be paying a bit more compared to normal hard drives but this is a premium product that does a lot more. Further, the Pro moniker in the name and the wording of the product description on Western Digital's website make it clear that this drive is aimed at a prosumer audience, one that wouldn't mind paying extra if that means "streamlining your workflow" as WD puts it.
The drive is made of hard plastic with plenty of rounded corners, and it feels sturdy. On top there's the WD logo and six status lights: four to indicate the battery capacity, one for the Wi-Fi status and one to indicate whether the drive is spinning. There's also a removable sticker with the SSID and default password of the device.
Underneath you'll find four rubber feet as well as another sticker with more details about the My Passport Wireless Pro - including the serial number and the MAC address. There is also an SD card slot located on one side and two square buttons - one for power and the other one for accessing the SD card. There is a flat USB 3.0 connector and a standard USB 2.0 host port.
The drive comes with a 12.24W (5.1V/2.4A) power supply unit. Its dimensions are 125 x 125 x 22mm, and it weighs 450g. All in all My Passport Wireless Pro feels dense and solid.
The new Passport Wireless Pro is quite easy to setup and straightforward, though we did find ourselves referring to the user manual initially. For mobile devices, you'll need to download the WD My Cloud app from the appropriate app store before starting. When using your computer and mobile device you will simply need to turn on the drive, connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot it creates using a web browser or the My Cloud app, and follow the setup instructions. And that's fairly the whole step.
Once the setup process is complete there are basically three ways you can connect to the My Passport Wireless Pro. The first is via a direct Wi-Fi connection between the Passport and your computer or mobile device. This works whether the Passport is connected to the internet or not, and it allows you to access the contents of the drive using the My Cloud app or a computer.
Secondly, if you have configured your My Passport Pro to connect to a Wi-Fi network any computer on the network will be able to access the drive (It depends on the permissions you have set though).
And finally, the My Passport can always be plugged directly into a computer using a USB 3.0 cable. This way the device acts like a normal hard drive, but a direct connection provides the best performance.
The WD30NPRZ runs at 5,400RPM and is equipped with 64MB cache. It consumes an average of 2W in read/write mode and 0.7W when idle. It's worth noting that the average drive read time stands at 8.5ms. The drive performed quite well on CrystalDiskMark, hitting 121.9MBps and 120.9MBps in read and write respectively.
The drive offers 802.11ac connectivity which means that you will be able to transfer files a bit faster. You will obviously need to have compatible devices to make the most of it.
But again My Passport Wireless main aspect has been speed, and Western Digital has clearly focused on improving this aspect of the user experience with the Pro model. In particular, WD says the SD card slot can now read data at 75 MB/sec, compared to 10 MB/sec on the original model. In actual usage, we found that it took about 5 minutes to back up a card with 10GB of data using the built-in card reader.
By comparison, connecting the drive to a laptop via USB and using the laptop's built-in SD card reader to copy the same data set to the Passport took around 2 minutes and 30 seconds, or about half the time. The card reader on the Passport is fast enough for a portable backup solution.
There's also a USB port on the device in case you need to back up files from a different type of media. In practice, the 10GB reference data set transferred in about 6 minutes and 30 seconds, compared to 5 minutes for the built-in card reader.
As for the battery, WD claims the battery on the My Passport Wireless Pro can last up to 11.5 hours, or 6-8 hours under heavy use. In our test, it typically got around 8 hours of use on a charge. The drive comes with an AC power adapter for charging or to keep the drive powered full time. There's also a battery-saving mode that should put out an extra half hour to forty-five minutes.
The good thing though with this device is that you can charge your smartphone, DSLR, or other USB device wherever you're at. Using the integrated 6400 mAh power bank, you get the perfect travel partner to keep your devices running.
So what do we think about My Passport Wireless Pro. To put it in a single sentence, it has a lot more juice, it can stream one way or another to every portable device out there, it's easy to use, and it has the ability to charge other devices.
Overall we really liked using the My Passport Wireless Pro, and in some apt situations it can be a great solution. For example, if you're the type of person that travels a lot or you're on the go most of the time. The burden of carrying a laptop is gone as it provides mobile accessibility. Besides, power users will likely find some utility in the device as well.
Western Digital has improved a lot with this model and in fact, we were impressed with the My Passport Wireless Pro. However, whether it's the right tool for you will come down to your use case.