WD My Passport Portable Hard Drive Review: Slim, Spacious and Secure

WD’s My Passport is a high capacity portable HDD boasting top-notch security

WD My Passport Portable Hard Drive
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Aside from perhaps lacking some rubber on its exterior to keep it from sliding around on our test bench, there’s little to dislike about WD’s latest My Passport. Well, there is the issue of its interface. While most new devices feature USB Type-C ports, and some of the My Passport models (like the Mac and Ultra models) both feature the newer USB Type-C ports, as they should, WD lazily opted to forego the new standard on the vanilla version of the My Passport drive. Instead, the company slapped in the older and less-reliable SuperSpeed Micro USB B port with a USB-A cable. That seems dated in this day and age.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Still, while skimping out to probably save on manufacturing costs, the design provides ample bandwidth for the HDD’s underlying performance capabilities. Quite impressively, the drive displayed very consistent write performance, more so than even the CMR-based LaCie Mobile Drive. But WD’s latest My Passport portable HDD isn’t a record-breaker by any means, peaking around 120-130 MBps in testing.

If you’re on the hunt for speed, this is most definitely not an ideal choice—no HDD is. An SSD with 10Gbps or Thunderbolt 3 support would serve you much better, but of course also cost much more. This device’s performance pales in comparison to its flash competitors, which can hit 1 GBps or higher performance figures. But, if you’re looking to just back up your files or system, maybe transfer some files between PCs, or just need a lot of space for your data on the go without spending hundreds of dollars, the WD My Passport may be a near-ideal candidate.

This drive comes in capacities up to 5TB, and since street prices have started to fall, it has become a better value than ever. It looks good and comes backed by a plentiful 3-year warranty. To top things off, it boasts top-notch AES 256-bit hardware encryption password protection to keep your content secure from prying eyes. That’s great addition, especially if you’re the type who travels often and wants to keep sensitive data safe.


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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.