Travelling Lighter: WD MyPassport Wireless HDD review


WD MyPassport Wireless Hard Drive review

Chiropractors love photographers.

It’s no wonder, with the amount of gear we carry around during our trips: camera bodies, multiple lenses, tripod, filters, flash units, batteries, cables, clothes (clothes are always last..) and of course a laptop and all the different hard drives. Let me tell you, the smell of Tiger Balm has become a part of me.

So in order to avoid that, we’re constantly trying to minimize our gear and end up with a lighter backpack. The rise of mirrorless cameras is already helping, but there are also other options.

Recently, I purchased the WD My Passport Wireless 2 TB hard drive to test while travelling for a few days in Italy. The idea was to avoid taking my laptop with all its cables and find a solution to quickly backup my photos on the road, as well as provide quick edits to my clients if necessary.

So I brought only my new HDD, and my Android tablet.

What’s the verdict? It went great! Not only did I minimize the gear I was carrying (my laptop is heavy), but having the new WD hard drive made it so much easier to just quickly backup my images and not worry about having to find a power source to plug my laptop, take out my card reader, plug in my external drives and wait till everything is backed up.

Because one of the biggest advantages of the WD My Passport, is that it comes with an integrated card reader. Just insert your SD card directly in the drive and it will automatically start backing up while you continue working. Since it also has a wifi connection, you don’t need to worry about connecting cables. Just pair your tablet/phone/laptop with the drive, set your password and you’re done!

WD My Passport Wireless HDD review

So here are the pros and cons of the WD My Passport Wireless HDD:

Pros:

  • It’s compact and easy to use. There are only 2 buttons: “On/Off” and “Wifi”.
  • It’s easy to set up. Once the drive is on, it creates a wifi hotspot so you can connect your device. You can set a password to make it more secure. It also accepts connections from multiple devices. You can also, of course, connect it through USB cable (3.0).
  • You can view your files through the WD app, both available for Android and iOS. It’s easy to use and has a clean interface.
  • It has an SD card reader. Great for photographers! Just insert your card and it can start backing up automatically, or you can choose to back up through the app.
  • No need to carry around a laptop. I only used a tablet to browse through my images. If needed, I can do some quick edits with LR mobile.
  • Wifi is decent. It takes a few seconds to load thumbnails if you have a large collection, but I had no trouble at all streaming videos. Great for entertainment on the road.
  • The drive can be charged through the USB cable (which contains multiple plugs for various countries), and packs a 3,400mAh battery (4-6h of constant use).
  • The drive comes in a 1TB or 2TB option. I chose the 2TB as it isn’t much more expensive.
  • An advanced feature, but the drive can also serve as a bridge to share an internet connection and includes a DLNA media server.

Cons:

  • The drive is slightly chunkier and heavier than other hard drives and the body doesn’t appear very rugged. I didn’t have any trouble with it, but it can make a photographer paranoid.
  • The backing up process is slow. The reason for this is that the drive is performing additional tasks to ensure that there are no duplicates and that the transfer is going smoothly. The drive also takes about 30 seconds to actually boot up.
  • It supports only SD cards. If your camera has CF cards, it won’t be very useful.
  • It’s more expensive than normal drives, but it has the advantage to be wireless with a card reader.
  • You have to use the WD app to access your files. No other options available (as far as I know).
  • Raw files don’t have previews. This is probably due to Android/iOS and not the app, but you can only view previews of jpegs.

So far, I’m pretty happy with the drive. Since I have multiple SD cards, I can be sure I’ll have an extra backup and not worry too much if a card becomes corrupted or lost.
Do I recommend it? If you have a very lightweight laptop, it’s probably not that useful. But if not, I definitely recommend it for photographers and videographers on the road.

mypassport_app_review

Overview of the WD MyCloud app

If you have any specific questions about it, please let me know in the comments section and I’ll be happy to answer.

 

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with WD and I have bought the hard drive myself. This review is an honest review based on my own experience with the product. All links are Amazon affiliate links.