Must-Have Backup & Storage Tool for the Field
Design & Build
Software and Apps
Value for Money
I’ll go ahead and say it. The WD My Passport Wireless Pro Hard Disk Drive is not just a essential tool to carry around for photographers and cinematographers, it is also one of the best backup and storage options out there to have in your toolkit today. WD has knocked it out of the park with this product and having spent about a month reviewing this product, I can confidently say this is by far my favorite WD product ever.
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro is a successor to the WD My Passport Wireless Hard Disk drive, which looked very similar to the WD My Passport Pro — a Thunderbolt powered RAID storage solution targeted towards professional Mac users which we reviewed earlier. The WD My Passport Wireless Pro, on the other hand, is targeted towards the Prosumer audience and the company has managed to overcome all major gripes I had with the My Passport Wireless — an average product at best.
Specifications of the WD My Passport Wireless Pro
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- SD 3.0 card reader
- USB 2.0 port for external card readers
- Connectivity to common cloud services, including Adobe Creative Cloud
- Rechargeable battery with up to 11.5 hours of operation
- Apps available for iOS and Android platforms
- Included Plex Media Server
Design and Build
For starters, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is substantially smaller, lighter and portable compared to its predecessor. It now resembles the size and shape of an old CD box — rather 3-4 boxes stacked on top of each other. It measures about 125mm x 125mm x 25mm and weighs in at just 450 grams. Although it’s made out of plastic, it feels solid and sturdy in hand. The material used is high quality and seems really durable. Unlike some other products, you won’t find this plastic creaking or bending inwards when force is applied. Considering that the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is meant to a completely portable device, its build quality is a huge plus.
At the top, you’ll find the ON/OFF button, the USB 3.0 input port, a USB-A output port and a battery-check button that also doubles up as the copy-card button. The top of the device has two LED indicators for Wi-Fi and disc read/write status respectively. You’ll also find the device’s own Wi-Fi network password printed on the right of these LED indicators. The SD Card slot is located on the left of the device and the WD My Passport Wireless Pro ships with a much faster SD card slot compared to the previous non-Pro WD My Passport Wireless model. We managed to see around 70 MB/sec read speeds on this compared to around 8-10 MB/sec on the previous model.
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro ships with an AC adapter rated at 5.1V and 2.4A, providing the device with around 12W of power. The device supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.
You can access the administration UI from your browser by going to http://mypassport.local/, provided you’re connected to the device’s Wi-Fi network.
Streamlines your Workflow
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro is an excellent product designed to streamline your workflow. If you’re a photographer or video-maker who travels a lot, this is the device for you. I really cannot recommend this enough.
Aside from working as an excellent portable storage device, the device is capable of automatically backing up your SD cards. This works great when you’re out on the field and require multiple cards for your shoots. Simply insert your SD cards into the device and tap the button and your data is automagically copied onto the device. The device takes incremental backups of your card, so your data isn’t duplicated, nor will you have to worry about manually copying just the new data. The device does everything for you. In our testing over the last few weeks, this has worked magnificently.
Every time you back up a card, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro will create a unique new folder to copy your data into. This means that all your data is neatly organized by date and time, ready for your perusal.
You can customize the Import Mode by choosing whether you want the device to ‘Copy’ your data or ‘Move’ it. The latter means your files are deleted from the card after a successful copy operation.
iOS and Android Apps
You can quickly view the data stored on the device by using the iOS and Android apps on your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphones respectively. You can view, copy, move or download the data as you wish. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t support viewing of RAW images, so if you’re shooting RAW (which we hope you are), you’ll have to save the images to your Camera Roll on iOS and then open them in another app that supports them. As a workaround, you can shoot in RAW + JPG so you have a preview of each RAW image. Quick Note: I found it very weird that the app categorizes RAW files as ‘Other’ data when viewing the storage stats.
The apps are also not nearly as good as the device itself and lack several useful features.
The apps can be linked to several cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and even Adobe’s Creative Cloud. You can easily move your files to and from these services, depending on the data bandwidth available to you. Having Adobe’s Creative Cloud integration is great since as a professional user, you can easily open and edit your images right on the device, without having to move them to your Desktop computer. Adobe’s mobile Photoshop apps have gotten really good over the last few months too.
Transfer Speeds and Performance
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro is considerably faster at transfers compared to its predecessor. Featuring ultra-fast Wi-Fi, previewing photos, audio or video stored on the device was a breeze. Similarly, thanks to the built-in USB 3.0 SD Card reader, backing up your SD Card data was fast and easy.
If your camera uses a CF card or any other format, you’ll have to use a card reader. Thankfully, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro offers a USB port that you can connect your card reader to and back up the data, but unfortunately, this port is still USB 2.0, so it’s going to be considerably slower compared to the built-in SD card reader.
Battery Life & Power Bank
Another handy feature of the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is its built-in power bank. It sports a 6400mAh battery that offers up to 10 hours of usage and also doubles up as a source of battery power for your external devices. This means that you can charge your smartphones or tablets while you’re backing up your data, and if you have some newer Sony cameras, you can charge them too. Of course, don’t expect too much out of this and we recommend you leave the power for the main purpose itself.
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro has managed to really impress us in our testing. It’s a fantastic successor to the WD My Passport Wireless and a must-have solution if you’re someone who travels a lot. I’d love to see proper support for RAW images, without which some of you may not find the device as useful, but in spite of that, this is a great tool to have with you. It provides an easy way to back up your cards and offers an additional layer to safeguard your data.
We highly recommend the WD My Passport Wireless Pro.