WD My Passport full review

Western Digital has updated their WD My Passport range with a new revision, in this case the eight generation drive is a portable hard drive that offers both cloud storage and hardware encryption. Also see: Best portable hard drives.

Note: This review was originally based on the WD My Passport Ultra 1TB, but given that the internal hardware of both the My Passpor Ultra and the 2016 My Passport are identical, we have chosen to update this review. You will still be able to find the Ultra on Amazon for around £50 and in the US for $53.99 on Amazon.

WD My Passport 4TB (2016) review: Price

The drive comes in 1-, 2-, 3- and 4TB options. It's found in six colours: Blue Black, Classic Black, Red, Orange, Yellow and White. The new generation drive has a distincly different look from previous models. We found the drive a little chunky in-hand, with it coming in at a resonably heavy weight (yet to be disclosed by WD). It is designed with a gradient colour, with the textured part of the drive offering a more stylish look - however with its sharp edges, we do feel it is a little 1980s.

The WD drive can be found on Amazon for around £50 and in the US for  $53.99 on Amazon. In comparison to its competitors it is very well priced at 4p per GB.

WD My Passport 4TB (2016) review: Features and design 

The drive has a full plastic enclosure, where some colour variants, such as the one we received in white has a glossy finish to it. This does mean it attracts fingerprints and smudges easily. It also is a slightly chunky drive with a 130g weight to it - nevertheless, we still consider it portable.

The WD My Passport Ultra has 256-bit AES encryption, which is a huge plus for those concerned about security. Everything you store to the drive is encrypted and makes it harder for those wanting to steal your data.

WD My Passport 4TB (2016) - Windows 10

Included with the drive is WD Backup and WD Drive utilities. WD Backup is easy-to-use, and allows you to backup your files to your drive or to a selected cloud service, such as Dropbox or Baidu. Its interface is really easy on the eye and will appeal to a lot of users. Also see: Best NAS drives.

WD My Passport Ultra 1TB - Cloud

WD Utilities has a lot more options, where we were impressed by the diagnosis tools provided by Western Digital. You can test your drive for errors and even prevent drive failures from occuring.

There is also the option to put the drive to sleep and a way of erasing it securely.

WD My Passport Ultra 1TB - Software

The drive is connected through a USB 3.0 interface, works on Mac and comes with a two-year warranty.

WD My Passport 4TB (2016) review: Performance

Being a hard drive, it enheritently won't perform as fast or as quietly as an SSD portable drive. We found the WD drive to perform well versus other hard drives in the market.

WD My Passport 4TB (2016) - CrystalDiskMark

Sequential read/write speeds hit 114.3/114.1MB/s respectively, with its 4KB benchmark only achieving 0.5/1.4MB/s. The drive's 4KB performance is nothing to be surprised about, with all portable hard drives on the market achieving similar speeds, such as the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB and Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB.

The drive is good at its write speeds, making it an ideal solution for those looking for a relatively inexpensive, high-capacity drive to store large files on. If you will be transferring multiple small files, you will be better off opting for a portable SSD instead - such as the Adata SE730.


WD My Passport: Specs

  • Price per GB (at tested capacity): 4p
  • Capacity tested: 4TB
  • Capacity range: 1-, 2-, 3-, 4TB
  • Storage Type: HDD
  • Sequential performance: 119.3/112.8/s
  • 4K performance: 0.5/1.6MB/s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: 256-bit AES encryption
  • Software: WD Backup & WD Utilities
  • Dimensions: 81.5x110x16.3mm
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Warranty: 3 years

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