Anthony thurston reviews

THE WD My Passport Wireless SSD

THE WD My Passport Wireless SSD

The Ultimate External Storage For Traveling Creatives?

As a photographer who travels a lot for shooting, as well as a writer who travels often to cover events, I am often faced with needing to backup data that I am creating while on the go. Be that in another state that I have flown to get to, or a clients home in a city i've driven to. Fast external storage is key when it comes to editing photos and video, though admittedly not all that 'needed' for the writing portion of my work.

So when WD Announced their new My Passport Wireless SSD I was incredibly interested in getting my hands on one as soon as possible.
WD My Passport Wireless SSD 1TB
I love being able to back up my images from a session on my drive home, thanks to the WD My Passport Wireless SSD
I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the 1TB models and I have been making use of it here over the last several weeks as I've been on trips around town, as well as flying to both LA and Las Vegas. So I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what one could expect from this unit in most cases for a traveling creative. The only exception maybe being someone who is on a multiple day hike or trek in the wilderness with no access to electricity.

But anyway, my point is that I have put the My Passport Wireless SSD through a good bit of usage in the way it was marketed to be used for. So now I am here to share my thoughts with you on this mobile storage solution from WD.

*The thoughts and opinions shared in this review are my own and were not paid for, nor influenced by WD or their Affiliates*



  • 1TB SSD Storage
  • Internal Battery (Up to 10hrs Runtime)
  • Built In SD Card Reader (at USB 3 Speeds)
  • Wireless access to data through mobile or computer
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports (One In, One Out)
  • Rugged Build (Withstand falls up to 1m)
  • Built in Media Streaming

My Passport Wireless SSD // THE DESIGN 

The WD My Passport Wireless SSD takes after its spinning-disc based brother, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro, and so as you would assume, it features a square 1:1 design with rounded corners. Around the outside of the unit there is a rubber bumper which helps the My Passport Wireless SSD stay safe when accidentally dropped or while rustling around your backpack.

The front of the My Passport Wireless SSD features very simple branding and two two sets of LED lights. The primary set, located down by the product branding, features an LED to indicate the Wireless status of the unit, and another LED to indicate the status of the SSD itself. The secondary set of LED lights is in the upper left corner, and these are the My Passport Wireless SSD's power indicator lights. When you press the SD/Battery button on the top of the unit those lights will illuminate to display the rough percentage of power left in the unit (to the nearest 25%). These lights also illuminate when the unit is being charged.
WD My Passport Wireless SSD 1TB
On the left side of the My Passport Wireless SSD you will find the SD card slot. It can be a pain sometimes to press the SD card in enough to have it eject due to the rubber bumper, but overall this spot makes sense for the SD slot. Other than the SD card slot on the left side of the unit, the rest of the controls for the MY Passport Wireless SSD are on the top of the unit.

This is where you will find the SD/Battery button (if an SD card is in the slot that button will begin the process to transfer data off the card onto the SSD, if there is no SD card than the button just illuminates the battery indicator lights to show you how much power the internal battery has left).

Next to that is a USB slot for connecting other devices to the My Passport Wireless SSD; for example, to charge your phone, import files from an external SD card reader, or connecting your camera directly to pull the images off that. It should be noted though, this slot is only capable of transferring data to the My Passport Wireless SSD at USB 2.0 speeds.

Next to that is the primary USB port, this is the one that you will use to charge the MY Passport Wireless SSD and connect the unit to your computer. This port is capable of full USB 3.0 speeds and will give you the best connection to any device you are using the My Passport Wireless SSD to.

Next to that is the power button. This should be fairly self explanatory, there is no trick to it. Press the button to turn the unit on and hold the button to turn the unit off.

My Passport Wireless SSD //  THE FUNCTION

The WD My Passport Wireless SSD works just like the My Passport Wireless PRO does, meaning you can connect to the device wirelessly with your phone or computer to access and use data on the drive. This is a great feature to be able to have when you are away from your computer and you want to have a look at the images or video that you just backed up to the My Passport Wireless SSD. To do this all you need to do is download the My Cloud app from the iOS or Android App stores and follow the simple on screen instructions to connect to the WiFi signal being emitted by the My Passport Wireless SSD.

Once complete, all you need to do is turn on the unit and then connect your phone to the My Passport Wireless SSD. From there you can see how much space you have left on the drive, access media on the drive (view raw or jpeg images, video text files, PDF, etc) and manage settings for the drive (security, backup to Dropbox, things like that).

I have to give it to WD, this is really one of the easiest things to set up. I may be biased as I have been a bit of a techie my entire life, so I am no stranger to dealing with WiFi, and troubleshooting issues. So the process was incredibly simple for me. That said, I didn't run into any issues during the process at all and the instructions were really easy to follow. I honestly don't think many will have any issues setting up their My Passport Wireless SSD.
WD My Passport Wireless SSD 1TB
Where I ran into annoyances with the WD My Passport Wireless SSD was in connecting the unit directly to my computer using the included USB cable. That is to say, the unit appears to be incredibly picky about how and what you use to connect it to your computer. I was unable to get the WD My Passport Wireless SSD to connect to my computer successfully with anything other than the cable that came with the unit (I tried a USB 3 to USB C and just a longer USB 3 cable) and what's more, the unit would also not connect unless plugged into the USB 3 port on my laptop directly.

If I used an adapter (to try and connect it to one of my Thunderbolt 3 ports) or a hub, the WD My Passport Wireless SSD was not able to be detected by the computer. This was a really frustrating and annoying realization, and hopefully one that WD gets sorted out in the future with a firmware update or something.

That said, once I did figure this out and was able to connect the unit to my computer with the wire I was able to achieve speeds of up to and around 400 MB/s with the WD My Passport Wireless SSD. Not nearly as fast as my internal NvME based SSD, but right on par with the internal SATA based SSD units that I use in my desktop and in DIY enclosures.

This is plenty fast enough to run a Lightroom or Capture One catalog off, or edit videos off, or almost anything else for that matter. This is what makes the My Passport Wireless such a great tool, not only does it make backup and access incredibly convenient, but also incredibly fast - the best of both worlds, in my opinion.

Thoughts & Conclusions

WD My Passport Wireless SSD | 1 TB

So here we are, at the end of the review, I guess I should probably wrap up my thoughts and give you a sort of overall opinion on the WD My Passport Wireless SSD as a whole. Simply put, I like it. It is exactly the sort of external storage unit that I have wanted, allowing me, for example, to backup images from one of my SD cards while simply driving home from one of my boudoir sessions.
"Simply put, I like it. It is exactly the sort of external storage unit that I have wanted..."
The only real drawbacks to the My Passport Wireless SSD come in the form of the pricetag (well get to that more later) and the annoyances with connecting this unit to my computer. I can't imagine that the My Passport Wireless was intended to be so picky about what cable is used and how its connected, so my hope is that WD will get my feedback and resolve that issues through some sort of firmware update.
WD My Passport Wireless SSD Review
Because as it is now, the unit would not even be able to be connected to one of those newer Macbooks with only thunderbolt 3 ports, and only Mac/PCs with regular old USB A ports will be able to take full advantage of the drive by connecting it directly to the machine.This is a problem, not just because it is stupid, but because let's be honest, the majority of creatives and especially the majority of creative who are going to need/want a drive like this are likely Mac users, and may even have one of the newer models. Not good.

That said, I am just sitting over here sipping my coffee with my HP Spectre x360, happy that I was able to get mine connecting once I figured out why it was being weird.

If you are someone who is able to use the drive with no problems, as is, then the question really becomes about the price tag and what these special features are worth to you and how much sense it makes in your current workflow.
WD My Passport Wireless SSD Review
The model that I was able to review here prices in at a whopping $599, that is not cheap - especially if you are simply needing external storage and none of the perks this unit affords you. There are lesser versions like the 250GB model which you can grab for $199, more affordable - but still spendy for 250GB of storage.

So you really need to decide if you need the features that the My Passport Wireless SSD gives you; fast wired access, wireless access, rugged build, internal battery and fast SD card data backup. The biggest benefit here though is the increased speed from the SSD when connected directly to your computer. If you don't want/need that then you can get a great deal and more storage space from one of WD's My Passport Wireless Pro units.

So in the end, I am happy to give the WD My Passport Wireless SSD a solid 4 1/2 stars. Its a great external drive for any traveling creative and really its only downside is that slight annoyance with connectivity which I would imagine will be resolved in the future. For those who need a drive like this, it is exactly what you are looking for and it's worth every penny.

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