Western Digital’s My Passport series of external HDDs are among the most widely used models on the market today. Compared with external SSDs, these offer substantially more storage space at a far more affordable cost, but they aren’t necessarily the best-priced external drives.
Western Digital designed this version of its My Passport external HDDs to be compact, pocket-sized devices with tons of storage space. These drives are available in capacities between 1 to 5TB. This review will focus on the 5TB model, but as these drives all ship with the same feature set, you can see this review as an introduction to the lower capacity models as well.
The My Passport external HDD utilizes a Micro-USB Type-B connector that runs USB 3.2 Gen1 data protocols. This connection is capable of a maximum bandwidth of 500MB/s, though the HDD itself is incapable of transferring data at this speed.
To help keep your data secure, WD provides the WD Security app that enables you to password-lock the drive using AES-256 hardware encryption.
To gauge the WD My Passport 5TB’s performance, our sister site PCMag tested the drive against a handful of other external HDDs using benchmarks.
Testing with Crystal Disk showed WD My Passport to have solid performance, but the results don’t give it an advantage against the other tested drives. Its read performance was second-best among the drives, whereas the drive’s read performance was second-worst. Overall the drive’s performance was just average in this test and quite close to most of the other drives. The only notable exceptions are the WD My Passport 4TB, which was slower, and the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch 2TB, which was slightly faster on average.
In PCMag’s custom folder transfer test, WD’s My Passport was able to transfer a 1.2GB folder in 12 seconds. All of the tested drivers were virtually tied in this test, though.
Western Digital set the My Passport 5TB with an MSRP of $149.99, but you can buy it now from Walmart for $129.99. This price isn’t unreasonable, but there are more affordable solutions available.
Seagate’s Backup Plus 5TB external HDD is just $109.99, and it offers similar features. We haven’t tested that drive to know how well it performs, but its specs indicate that it should perform similar to the WD My Passport as well. I wouldn’t go so far as to crown one of these drives over the other, but as neither holds a clear performance lead, I’d recommend watching for sales and buying whichever drive is available with the best price at the time you are shopping.
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