Product Review – My Passport Travel Hard Drive

This will be the first official product review, and I will be discussing the Western Digital My Passport 2 TB External Portable Hard Drive WD with Carry Case


“Why would you review a travel hard drive, Alan?”

That is an excellent question, and in order to fully explain the why, I need to set the proper stage.  Imagine you’ve turned on your computer, and you’re waiting for it to boot up.  You’re looking at the various pictures around your desk, and see Little Johnny in his soccer uniform, Jane in that adorable pink tutu at her dance recital, those fantastic beach vacation shots, and the actual proof that you caught that 40 pound rainbow trout.

Out of the blue, you hear a strange thunk from your computer, and while you’re thinking that you’ve never heard that sound before, it dawns on you that your computer is not behaving normally, and that your hard drive may have just died.  All of those great family photos you stored on your computer?  Gone.  Tax records?  Gone.  That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is your body telling you that you should have backed things up.

I hate to start off with Doom & Gloom, but the reality is that electro-mechanical devices fail.  And they don’t always announce when they will fail.  Laptops are even more prone to failure given the bumps that go along with travel.  The good news is that you can mitigate the risk of catastrophe by backing up critical files to a hard drive.  Here’s where the WD My Passport  travel hard drive comes in. (WD My Passport 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 Black)

Here are the things that I find most useful about the hard drive:

  • Size – It is small.  Very small.  As you can see in the pictures, it’s not much bigger than a credit card, and is less than half an inch thick.WD My Passport - Size comparo WD My Passport - Size compare (Travel hard drive)
  • Speed – It is very quick.  USB 3.0 is so much faster than USB 2.0, so backing up, or copying files is surprisingly fast.
  • Options – There are numerous size options (500GB, 1TB, etc.), color options, and some packed units come with a carrying case, and all of them include automatic backup software.

Heidi and I bought a couple of these drives to take with us during our travels, and it gives me some extra piece of mind that in the event that something bad happens to my laptop, I can recover the important stuff.

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Now some of you may be saying, “I backup to the cloud.”  Backing up to the cloud is an excellent idea, but upload speeds can be positively awful when traveling.  Even when we’re at home, our ISP upload speed is too slow to back up hundreds of GBs of files.  Plus, I like the fact that I control the data.  I can encrypt the drive so that even if it’s lost or misplaced, I don’t have to worry about someone getting access to my files.

So while this story started off scary, it doesn’t have to end that way.  If you’re looking for a reliable, fast, mobile backup solution, the Western Digital – My Passport travel hard drive is a great option.

Tip:  Purchase the biggest hard drive you can.  Having extra space provides more options for backups.  Being able to keep multiple versions of files, or storing files from multiple computers, are just a couple of examples.  They also offer a protective case.


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11 thoughts on “Product Review – My Passport Travel Hard Drive

  1. Yep, me too, I wouldn’t be without my hard drive. I need to sort out this cloud thing as extra protection.

  2. We considered a Western Digital MyPassport but in the end we were given a Lacie Rugged as a leaving gift. It’s also small and light and has USB 3.0 connection; it’s also shock-proof from two metres and has 500gb of memory. I think it’s pretty close in quality to the MyPassport.

    • LaCie makes good stuff. You bring up a good point about the shock-proof feature. That could be a valuable in a travel environment. Thanks for posting!

  3. I have one for my Mac and I LOVE it! So light and easy. Without having to plug in to an outlet is so wonderful! Great review.

  4. Haha, blue is the fastest colour? I will keep that in mind if I ever buy one, and make my son happy too, because he loves blue so much, ALL his things are blue! For the moment, I use Mozy – really neat, and they will back everything up for you automatically every day, so you don’t even need to think about it, and you don’t have to worry if you have a fire, a flood, a tornado, Malaga falls into the sea, etc. But I also have copies on CD of everything (takes a lot more work than Mozy, though, but that way I have everything on hand too).

  5. Thanks Mark!

    I would prefer to have a bigger drive, but larger than 2TB requires a power converter and all the bulk that goes with it. It is incredible how small they can make the drives.

  6. Nice review Alan, I have always kept backups of my laptop and my desktop (both Macs). I have a 2TB external drive on each of them. But I do want to get a small portable drive for when I am traveling. I have an old Iomega 320Gb external drive that’s way bigger than the 2Tb Passport – amazing how much drives are shrinking in size as they increase in capacity these days!

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