Western Digital, who recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the “My Passport” range have released the next generation of its popular external hard drive. The My Passport Wireless allows you to save and access content wirelessly from a variety of different devices, including your smartphone and tablet! Is Wireless connectivity too much for external drives? Should we just rely on USB? There’s only one way to find out..
The great thing about having a WiFi enabled hard drive is that it’s not tied down to the computer that it’s plugged into – the My Passport Wireless lets you connect with up to 8 devices at the same time. This means that if you’re stuck on a long car journey, everyone in the car can stream a movie from the drive to their smartphone/tablet at the same time! Say goodbye to “Are we there yet?” and say hello to “Can we watch the end of the film before we get out?”.
The My Passport Wireless also has a built-in SD Card slot, ideal for creatives (photographers, videographers, etc) who can simply insert their SD Card and with the touch of a button move all their files to the drive, allowing them to carry on shooting without the need for several SD Cards. They could take photos, transfer the files to the drive then view/edit them on a tablet – all on location without the need for wires. With the My Passport Wireless being the ideal portable hard drive, it may come as no surprise that it’s battery powered. Don’t worry though, the rechargeable battery packs 6 hours of continuous video streaming and up to 20 hours of standby time.
Already regret buying the 16GB iPhone 6? The My Passport Wireless has you covered there too! You can transfer all your videos/photos to the drive and access them securely any time you need to, thanks to the WD My Cloud mobile app, available for both Android and iOS. It doesn’t stop there though – you can stream the videos, photos and music to a variety of connected TVs, media players and games consoles. For example, I like to browse through my files on my iPad via the app and then stream movies to my Apple TV. Nice and easy!
Another feature of the My Passport Wireless is Internet sharing. You can turn the HDD into a WiFi hub to share an internet connection with multiple devices – while I thought this feature did have its uses as the devices would have to be connected to the HDD to access it, I didn’t think it was critical with most smartphones having Bluetooth/USB mobile hotspot capabilities baked into their OS. You can also connect the drive to your home network to share files between all your connected devices. This feature is a favourite of mine as I often leave the My Passport Wireless plugged in near to the router so my files are always available when I need them!
As well as the WD My Cloud app, you can also access an intuitive dashboard to configure, manage and diagnose your drive via your internet browser. When you access the drive, you’ll find a shortcut to the dashboard that can be used on your PC/Mac. It gives you a great overview of the device, storage and battery power and allows you to tweak settings and even format the drive if need be.
WiFi is great but personally, I think nothing can beat a physical connection – apart from technological developments in the Game Boy series where after years of using a horrendously short, temperamental wire, you could wirelessly battle and trade your Pokemon! God, I feel old but I digress. The WD My Passport Wireless also packs a USB 3.0 port meaning that you can quickly transfer large amounts of data to and from the drive – I transferred 90GB of files to the drive in just 35 minutes!
I think the My Passport Wireless is a great hard drive and its wireless capabilities really put it above the competition. I love the idea of multiple people being able to access movies at the same time, especially with long coach/train/car journeys! The USB 3.0 also means it’s fast when plugged in too. It’s available in 2 different capacities – 1TB (£146.99) & 2TB (£191.99) and you can buy one today from select UK Retailers or the WD Store.
I think the My Passport Wireless is a great piece of kit, especially for those that work in the creative industry. The built in SD Card slot and USB 3.0 mean that you're prepared for every situation! Easy to use and works across a myriad of devices.
WiFi Transfer Speed7
Look and Feel8
Compatibility with smart devices10