Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro review — it’s really powerful

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Last August, I attended the Western Digital Pro Series product launch which also features the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro. The My Passport Wireless Pro has piqued my interest and I felt that it will be a great complement for most people working in the media or photographers. I never expected to be given a chance to review the unit itself, this is my review of the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB and why I love it.

 

Unboxing

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The Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro comes in a blue rectangular box. At the front of the box we have the actual picture of the storage itself. The unit I received is 2TB in capacity. For those might ask, the unit is a wireless mobile storage with wireless AC connection for up to 433 Mb/s transfer speeds with a battery for use when out and about, and also allows it to be used as a powerbank during emergencies where your phone’s battery life is more vital than the wireless storage capability.

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Moving over to the back we have a little explanation of the WD My Passport Wireless Pro capabilities in multiple languages. From what we can see here, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro touts a built-in SD 3.0 card reader, capable of up to 40MB/s write speed, Full HD streaming support over AC wireless and up to 10 hours of battery life.

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Inside the package we have the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro, a USB 3.0 cable (Male Type-A to Micro B) one wall USB power adapter, 2 wall plug adapters and the usual documentations.

 

Appearance

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The WD My Passport Wireless Pro comes in a square plastic enclosure measuring 5 x 5 inches. It comes in two capacities, which are 2TB and 3TB. Available only in black color, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro design is simple with LED notification for the HDD, wireless activity and four LED indicators for the battery status.

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At the bottom of the unit, we have the product label with the necessary information such as the input/output power, product number and serial number.

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On side at the top edge of WD My Passport Wireless Pro we have the on/off button, a USB 3.0 port for offline connection, a USB 2.0 port for it to function as a powerbank, and a button for battery status. In addition, the battery status button also works as SD Card copy or move button with a long press. On the other side, there’s nothing more except the built-in SD 3.0 card reader port.

 

Specification

The WD My Passport Wireless Pro can work as Plex and Twonky servers, both are great to have, especially Plex, which has such a great UI. But it will cost you another RM18 to remove the playback restriction in the Android app. For the wireless connectivity, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro has dual-band AC wireless, supporting 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz channels for wider compatibility. Its wireless capability also can transform the WD My Passport Wireless Pro into a Wi-Fi extender in your home network, or maybe as a hotspot for 4G connection. It cannot use a 4G SIM for data, but it can connect to your smartphone/4G modem, and share the connection with any devices connected to it, allowing the devices to be able to access the internet as well as the storage.

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The hard-disk is pre-formatted with the ExFAT file system, which ensures the storage works regardless of your operating system.

 

Software Bundled

The Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro has its own companion software for every platform, including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. During the review, I used it with my Windows PC and Android, so I’m using the WD Access on the PC, and My Cloud on my Android devices.

WD Access

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After you installed the WD Access in your computer, you are now able to change the setting through browser. In addition, if the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is connected to the same network, you can map it as network storage.

My Cloud

Works similar as the WD Access, My Cloud is a app to manage the WD My Passport Wireless Pro for Android. With the application, you can change the settings and access the files on the WD My Passport Wireless Pro.

Testing Methodology

The Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro is tested as an offline and online storage drive. For the offline storage test, I ran a synthetic benchmark and our real world performance test to determine the performance. For the online test over the wireless connection, I will explain it in the user experience section.

Processor Intel Core i7-5820K
Motherboard ASUS X99-Deluxe
Memory Avexir Blitz 16GB DDR4
Storage Sandisk Ultra II 256GB
Power Supply Cooler Master V850

Performance

Synthetic Performance

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In the CrystalDiskMark benchmark test, the sequential transfer speeds are identical for both read and write. The results are actually a bit slower than the rest of the external drives we have reviewed before.

Real World Performance

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Slower transfer speed in the synthetic benchmark are proven in real world test. The WD My Passport Wireless Pro take little more time to finish the files transfers. But as we know, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro key point selling is not as a regular external storage. Its real potential is of this storage is when we start using it as a wireless drive.

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User Experience

Every computer in the Pokde.net office is connected to the wireless network, making it easier to use the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro. Needless to say, the ability to access data from any device connected to the WiFi is really nifty. Once you connect the WD My Passport Wireless Pro to your home or office wireless network, you can easily access it as a Plex server or map it as a network storage.

Mapping the storage in the network is the best way for me and it allowed me the run benchmarks off the partition. I tested with both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz wireless bands, and the results are as below.

On 2.4GHz connection

On 2.4GHz connection

On 5.0GHz connection

On 5.0GHz connection

The speed is way too slow compared to when we connected it to our bench rig over USB 3.0. But you must know and aware that the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is capable of being connected with up to 8 devices simultaneously. This is mean that it’s capable to play up to 8 movies in full HD resolution at the same time.

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Talking about movies, you might need to install Plex app on your smart devices which I don’t like it very much as you must pay in order to remove the playback restriction on Android. That add another extra RM18 to the total costs. Alternatively, I’m using ES File explorer for the file management and MX Player as the media player, both of which are free.

As the My Cloud software only allows you to access the files in the WD My Passport Wireless Pro, ES File Explorer was a lot better with its much more comprehensive feature set. With the application now you can even copy or move files between your smart devices and Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro without any restriction as long as both devices are connected in the same network.

It’s also has nothing to worry about in terms of the battery life, and that’s the reason why Western Digital enabled it to charge smart devices or action cameras. As soon as you connect it to a USB power source, it will get charged.

 

Conclusion

It took me about a whole week to work out how I can utilize the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro to its fully potential. There are a lot more features that I couldn’t afford to cover, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud which can sync with the WD My Passport Wireless Pro. It also supports multiple cloud storage accounts.

The WD My Passport Wireless Pro indeed is an impressive personal cloud storage compared to its predecessor. For me the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is not only made for professional photographers but it has a lot benefit for a lot of people. Take for example, members of the media can share his/her photos with his/her colleague very easily, or if you are on a solo travel trip and have no time to back up your memories photos from your camera, a long press on the SD button is all you need to back up all your photos.

Pokde-Gold

Western Digital Malaysia is only bringing in the 3TB version as the price difference is not very significant. You can get the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 3TB for RM1099 at online retailers. I know it is pricey but for me, it deserves our Gold Pokdeward.

The PokdeRig

We would like to thank our sponsors for our very own benchmarking rig – The PokdeRig. These companies believe in us and put their trust into what we do. They deserve all the love in the world!

Asus X99-Deluxe

Asus X99-Deluxe

Intel Core i7-5820K

Intel Core i7-5820K

CM MasterAir Pro 4

CM MasterAir Pro 4

CM V850

CM V850 PSU

Sandisk Ultra II

Sandisk Ultra II

Avexir Blitz 16GB DDR4

Avexir Blitz 16GB DDR4