Gadget review: WD My Passport Wireless 1TB Hard Drive

The WD My Passport Wireless Hard Drive features an SD slot. Picture: Contributed
The WD My Passport Wireless Hard Drive features an SD slot. Picture: Contributed
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A wireless hard drive that allows photographers to backup while out and about

WD My Passport Wireless 1TB Hard Drive


IT is a danger that always lurks at the back of your mind; you are in a far flung location, perhaps working or enjoying a family holiday, and have taken hundreds of photographs, all stored on an SD card. But with no computer or internet connection to hand to duplicate them, what if the storage device should malfunction, or you happen wipe the images from your camera? Just the one accident could wipe out every precious moment - wouldn’t it be ideal to be able to snap and back up on the move?

That is the promise made by Western Digital for new wireless external hard drive range, one it more than lives up to. While the vast majority of wire-free HDs are relatively frill free affairs, the firm is targeting a specific audience by including an SD slot on the chassis of the devices, which are available from eBuyer and come in three capacities: 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. Coupled with wireless transfer capability, it makes for a hard drive that is versatile and portable.

The WD is not as sleek as its main competitor but appearances mean little

Weighing in at 278 grams the unit itself is light enough to fit in a pocket and has a black and silver finish. It is a functional look and WD’s offering is not as sleek or discreet at than the smaller Seagate Wireless Plus, but then hard drives are not routinely judged by their appearance. The My Passport looks fine and two LEDs on its front make it easy to determine its remaining battery power and wireless connectivity status.

Uploading images from an SD card is easy, as is using the WD My Cloud mobile app to deposit - or even steam - files from mobile and tablet devices. We tested the interface on both Android and iOS and it was quick and intuitive. Again, using the Seagate device as a comparison, the write speeds on the WD were slightly faster, shaving a few minutes off the bulk upload of a tranche of images. Reading data, too, proved speedy, with the WD performing well when used to store files as hefty as 50GB for use with an Xbox One console.

An excellent all-round choice, although photographers will get the most out of it

The one stumbling block in the package is the battery life. At around five hours, it is far from miserly, but does mean that if you are on holiday it is worthwhile packing a USB cable and a universal wall charger. Overall, however, the WD is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a wireless hard drive, with amateur and professional photographers those who will get the very most out of it.

The WD My Passport Wireless 1TB Hard Drive is available from eBuyer