Hard disk space is something that is of paramount important these days. With the increasing size of movies, games and the easy availability of mobile photography, storage space practically evaporates. Western Digital has always been very helpful, providing answers to the limited internal storage out devices have, and their latest addition to the My Passport line, the My Passport Ultra, found itself on my desk for review.
The device is a handy enough size, roughly 3x4x.5 inches, and with just a bit of heft to it. It’s not exactly pocketable, but toss it in a bag, and you’re bound to forget about it until you need to transfer files. The particular model we received was 2TB; more space than I have on my work laptop.
Transfer speeds on this particular WD are just about right for a USB 3.0 device. Windows 8.1 recognized the drive as soon as I plugged it in, and that was that. There’s really very little to say about this part of external HDDs, and that’s just the way I like it.
What separates the Ultra from other device is the included software. The whole suite comes with diagnosis, backup and utilities that make the whole experience that much more seamless. WD’s Smartware Pro software was the utility I found most useful. This took all the important, non-system files on my internal drive and backed them up on the My Passport Ultra. There was quite a bit there, so I just let it run in the background, and about an hour later, the several hundred Gigabytes of data I had was secure on another drive. In case you have sensitive data stored, it also allows you to lock the drive with a passcode to restrict access, and an auto-unlock feature for your main user account, saving you the trouble of entering the password when you are at your own machine.
The software allows you to do both scheduled and real-time backups, depending on what you choose, as well as cloud backups courtesy of Dropbox. The scheduled and constant backups come free with the purchase of a My Passport Ultra, and if you want the additional redundancy of Dropbox integration, you’ll have to shell out a few bucks for the service.
WD has always had solid devices. From the time I was building my own rigs, I have always felt a little safer with WD drives, and I expect this line to be no different. Their own 3-year warranty seems to back that feeling up. The WD My Passport Ultra is handy, fast, and if you need it, able to do cloud backups, so you can access a small, mirrored version of its contents online whenever you might need it, no extra steps involved. It’s a winner overall, so if you need a little extra space, this might be worth a quick look.