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WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black review

WD - My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive - black review
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.Why do you need WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black? My Passport Wireless SSD has up to 10 hours continuous use. Bring it on an all-day shoot, stay out in the field longer. Take it on a long trip, continuously stream videos on the road or in flight. It has one-touch copy button that makes it easy to quickly back up photos and videos from an SD card without a computer or additional software. It comes with a built-in SD 3.0 card reader with up to 65MB/s read speeds. Is it worth buying? Find more in WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black review.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Small (135mm x 135mm/5.31″)
  • Light (0.97 lb/0.44 kg)
  • Rugged(ish)
  • Long battery life (10h)
  • Fast memory card imports (65MB/s)
  • Simple setup
  • Fast streaming

Cons

  • Expensive for larger capacities
  • Unattractive design
  • Buttons require long/multiple presses

Specification – WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black

  • Storage Capacity and Price 250GB ($229), 500GB ($299), 1TB ($499) and 2TB ($799)
  • Transfer Rates Read: Up to 390 MB/s
  • Interfaces 1x micro USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x SD (UHS-I)
  • Wireless Dual-Band 802.11 ac/n
  • Battery Capacity 6,700 mAh
  • Battery Life 10 Hours
  • Housing Shock Resistant
  • Power Output (As Power Bank) 1.5A
  • Mobile Applications iOS and Android
  • Dimensions 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.2″ / 13.5 x 13.5 x 3.0 cm
  • Weight 1.01 lb / 0.46 kg

Who is this for – WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black

If you’re someone who travels, or simply wants the smallest, lightest and fastest in-field backup solution available today, this is the product for you.

What do I mean by ‘in-field?’ Well, as a destination wedding photographer, I’m often in a situation where I need to create a backup of photos from a shoot from my memory cards before I have access to my laptop.

For video shooters, you can even import/stream any video footage from your card on your mobile device too. If you work as a team, multiple users can access the content of the My Passport wirelessly at the same time too.

Pricing and availability

WD’s My Passport Wireless SSD is available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB with prices ranging from  $230 / £220 / AU$429 for the 250GB model to $800 / £700 / AU$1,399 for the 2TB version, with Black Friday PC components deals likely reducing the cost a bit.

WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black review

Build

While the device isn’t weather- or dust-proof, it does come with a removable drop-resistant rubber bumper, giving it a rugged look and a non-slip surface to improve grip. Moreover, all the ports and buttons are flush with the exterior, and in combination with the thickness of the bumper, that should help protect the drive from the elements and accidental scrapes.

Design

My Passport Wireless SSD has been built for life on the go: it comes packing a built-in SD card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and an internal Li-Ion battery that gives you up to 10 hours of continuous wireless use. It weighs 359g (0.79 pounds) without the bumper, but dress it up in its rugged jacket and you’ll be carrying 461g (1.02 pounds) in the bag.

Ports

On the ‘top’ edge of the My Passport Wireless SSD is a power button, a 10-pin micro-B USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0 socket that’s On-The-Go (OTG) compatible. There’s also a second switch on the top which powers up the battery indicator and inititates SD card transfers, and also works as the WPS switch for the initial Wi-Fi setup. The only other physical feature on the drive is the SD card slot, which lives around the corner from those USB ports, and there’s also battery, Wi-Fi and power indicator lights on the front face.

RAW File Support

What’s nice about the My Passport-series devices, is that you can preview RAW files from many different cameras when using the WD My Cloud app. The software is able to read thumbnails from RAW files (using the embedded JPEG thumbnails in RAW files), so you can preview images from both SD cards and the built-in storage. Many camera brands and models are supported from a number of different manufacturers, including Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus and others. The full list of supported cameras is provided here. Interestingly, even some medium format cameras such as the Fuji GFX 50S and Hasselblad X1D-50c are supported, which is great!

Look and LED indicator

The top side of the drive is mostly blank, save for a small WD logo and blue status LEDs with descriptive text near the center. One light indicates Wi-Fi status, the other is for drive activity. A separate series of five LEDs in the corner serve a dual purpose. Users can tap the file import button on the edge to have these display the battery level while no SD card or USB drive is inserted. Alternatively, the LEDs indicate file transfer progress from an SD card or the USB interface. The device does ship with a sticker providing the initial Wi-Fi passcode, but this is intended to be easily removed.

App use

Once configured and connected, the My Cloud app presents itself as a file explorer. Users can browse an inserted SD card or thumb drive or else jump right into the drive’s onboard storage. If “Storage” is selected, the user is presented with additional tabs to browse by media type such as photos, music, and videos or they can continue tapping through folders.

WD - My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive - black review
WD - My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive - black review
WD - My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive - black review

Any configuration of the My Cloud app is handled through the slide-out menu. Select the gear next to the drive name to view a breakdown of the device’s storage, check battery levels more precisely, re-configure Wi-Fi settings, or change data importing preferences. There is also an advanced section under “More” in the upper-right corner where users can lock the drive down, upgrade firmware, configure media sharing, and more.

WD - My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive - black review
my passport wireless ssd my cloud slide out menu services

The initial slide-out menu also allows users to browse their phone or tablet’s local storage and move files between the two devices. The My Cloud app becomes even more useful in its unassuming “Manage devices/services” section. Here, users can add other existing My Cloud compatible WD products, or even add a cloud service directly. The My Cloud app currently supports Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. As with the local storage option, users can not only upload files to the cloud, but download them to the My Passport Wireless SSD as well. It functions as a convenient hub for all your data.

my passport wireless ssd my cloud app settings
my passport wireless ssd my cloud app passcode
my passport wireless ssd my cloud app login bug

Users can also configure caching preferences for their phone, configure auto-backup if desired, and setup a passcode on the app through “Settings”. It is important to note that once the passcode is set, it will require users to use a MyCloud.com account to re-access the app. Users cannot create a MyCloud.com account unless they have a My Cloud NAS and the My Cloud Home accounts do not work either. Users can still bypass this login by clicking “Add Device” which brings them right into the storage tree. Our recommendation is to leave the app’s passcode lock unset and instead rely on a secure whole-device PIN.

4K video : WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black

The speed of the SSD is perfectly sufficient for those wanting to run CaptureOneLightroom or any other apps from the unit. 3rd party video editing apps such as FiLMiC and LumaTouch add to the overall functionality to the mobile workflow and will be a benefit to anyone who enjoys editing on their smartphone or tablet.

The My Passport Wireless SSD makes streaming 4K video a breeze and frees up precious cargo room from other devices. You can skip importing to iTunes and simply import the media to the drive and go, thanks to the VLC app. Anyone with the WiFi password (up to 8 devices) can access the media on their device and the unit can be connected directly to a computer or monitor if you prefer to watch on a larger screen.

WD – My Passport wireless SSD 1TB external hard drive – black Performance review

Using the mobile apps, it’s easy and relatively quick to browse through your files and folders, or stream multimedia content. We did however encounter some hiccups (literally) when trying to stream recorded 4K drone footage on the iOS version of the My Cloud app. Using the app’s built-in player, these 4K videos paused due to buffering practically every second and a half — if you’re shooting 4K video and want to preview it, then, you’ll need to do it via a wired USB connection. On our phone over Wi-Fi, only a short, 10-second 4K video played smoothly. 

Splitting up that 8.9GB of content into an image set and a video set did result in more consistent speeds when we repeated tests, but ultimately took longer than even that second, slower combined test. Moving 5.6GB of 4K videos took 2 minutes and 26 seconds (38.4MB/s), while 3.3GB of RAW and JPEG files were transferred in 3 minutes and 32 seconds (15.5MB/s) – both well below that aforementioned 65MB/s max speed.

If you’re shooting lots of big photos in RAW, or filming video in 4K, getting those files back onto your editing rig should be substantially quicker, but there’s also enough speed here that you could, in theory, work on those files directly from the WD’s internal SSD.

Over wireless, we saw maximum transfer speeds of about 17.5MB/s for reads and 14.8MB/s for writes – that was tested from a distance of 3m using a 2017 MacBook Pro with 2×2 802.11ac. Obviously, the number and size of files you’re looking to transfer will have an impact on that (transferring lots of smaller images tends to slow down overall speeds), and those speeds are slow enough that if you’re actually editing images of videos, you’ll definitely want to plug the drive in via USB 3.0.

How to open My Passport wireless? How to Access Files on the My Passport Wireless SSD?

After images and movies are loaded on the SSD, accessing them is going to become important. The My Passport Wireless SSD has three connection methods:

  1. USB 3.0
  2. Direct Wireless (AP)
  3. Home Wi-Fi Network

Attaching the My Passport Wireless SSD to a computer using a USB 3.0 cable essentially creates a direct-attached drive that can be used for any of the same purposes. Note that the My Passport’s Wi-Fi is turned off when USB-attached. This connection method results in the fastest file transfer.

Setting up the My Passport Wireless SSD is a breeze. 

To start, you just connect via Wi-Fi using the details printed on a sticker on the drive’s top, then login via a web browser on PC or Mac, or the WD My Cloud app on a mobile device. The latter’s available for both iOS and Android and works on both phones and tablets. 

For access via a computer and web browser, you log onto the My Cloud dashboard by entering either http://MyPassport/ or http://192.168.60.1 on Windows 10, 8.1 and 7 machines, or either http://MyPassport.local/ or http://192.168.60.1 on macOS.

Keep in mind that when you switch the drive on to connect to its Wi-Fi access point, you’ll find two networks being broadcast – one at 5GHz and the other at 2.4GHz. You can use either to set up and connect to the drive, but 5GHz is the better choice because of the extra speed it can offer.

On both the web interface and the My Cloud app, the setup experience is straightforward, and although the drive is already configured for immediate use out of the box, there’s a range of optional advanced features you can turn on or off by digging into the settings. 

Charging WD My Passport Wireless SSD

Charging the device is pretty easy – you can either use the provided 2.4A wall adapter, or connect the device to a USB port of any device that can provide power. Once power is connected, the four LCD indicator lights will blink and provide information on how much charging is left to do. Each bar represents roughly 25%, so if you see three bars light up and the fourth one flashing, it means that the charge is currently above 75%. Once the battery is fully charged up, all four LED lights will stay lit up. Obviously, if you want to be able to charge the device faster, it is better to use a more powerful charger that can provide sufficient amperage.

How to do WD My Passport SSD wireless upgrade?

I thought I would share this info in case anyone else wants to play around or they’re unlucky and their hard drive die (please refer to first line of my post).

Step 1 – Download the firmware from WD https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?g=235&lang=en 626
Step 2 – Format a SD card with the FAT-32 Filesystem
Step 3 – Create an folder on the SD card with the name ‘update’ (without the ‘’)
Step 4 – Copy the firmware file into the update folder
Step 5 – If you’re switching hard drives, this is the time to do it. I will warn you once again, make a note of the last 8 characters of the hard drive’s serial number. This will be your WiFi password.

Step 6 – Insert the SD card into your MPWP
Step 7 – Turn on your MPWP and quickly hold the SD/copy button for about 5 seconds. This will trigger the bootloader to restore the firmward that’s on the sd card.
Step 8 – Have your favorite beverage while the hard drive led flashes, that means it’s doing it’s thing…
Step 9 – The device will reboot once it’s done and then you’re good to setup 

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