It has been a while since the external and portable solid-state drives (SSDs) went mainstream. No one wants the clunky spinners, the old hard drives anymore. Since the original WD My Passport SSD back in 2017, it has remained very much in the reckoning for anyone who wanted an SSD based external storage drive. It remained in and around the top of the comparative performance stakes, but since then, rivals have been out and about with smaller and more affordable options since. Time then, for WD to up its game as well. And it has, by some margin. The latest edition of the WD My Passport SSD is smaller, nimbler and faster than before. And for the money matters, there are three variants that you can choose from with prices often depending on deals and offers that you can take advantage of—the 500GB is priced at around Rs 8,999 while the 1TB option costs around Rs 15,999 and the 2TB version will set you back by a cool Rs 24,999 or so,
In terms of the alternatives, you have the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD that is priced around Rs 6,699 for the 500GB variant and around Rs 10,999 for the 1TB option, in case you are looking at something very rugged from the outset. There’s also the compact Samsung T5, which costs Rs 5,999 for the 500GB option, for instance. Mind you, the WD My Passport SSD is much faster than both of these options. There, spoiler alert! Too late!
The biggest change internally is the switch from the SATA to the NVMe internals, which means these jumps from a best-case scenario top read speed of 540MB/s to now being rated at 1050MB/s of read speeds and 1000MB/s of write speeds. The connection type is USB 3.2 Gen2, though I have to point out that the USB-C cable that comes as part of the WD My Passport SSD box is incredibly short—you’ll either leave it dangling when connected to an iMac or a PC or buy yourself a longer cable. These are fine with laptops since they sit beside it on the table, but the cable is so short, the WD My Passport SSD cannot rest on the table when connected to the USB ports on an Apple iMac 27-inch.
Shorter and thinner or longer and wider issues aside, the WD My Passport SSD delivers on what it promises. Speed, and lots of it. In the real-world usage scenarios of transferring 25GB heavy folders with a mix of small and large files, the WD My Passport SSD touched as high as 812MB/s in terms of transfer speeds. A lot of the performance will depend on the USB standard on your PC or Mac—the older your machine, the slower the real-world performance will be. I happened to have a fairly recent machine sitting around when the WD My Passport SSD arrived for review, and the results are impressive when it comes to synthetic benchmarks as well. In the Crystal DiskMark test, the WD My Passport SSD returned with read speeds of 1023MB/s and write speeds of 911MB/s. Through the tests and the real-world usage, I did not notice the WD My Passport SSD heat up more than one would expect a storage device to.
The WD My Passport SSD is one good looking drive too. It has an anodized aluminum frame and when you pick it up, its actually very compact too. It weighs just 46 grams. Your smartphone probably weighs four times of that. Multiple colour choices too—Gold, Midnight Blue and Space Grey, the latter perhaps if you want to match it with your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. It is rugged too, with shock and vibration resistance and dropping it from up to 6 feet or so doesn’t do any harm to the drive. There are no activity LEDs on the drive itself though, and in case of a non-responsive drive situation, it can be a bit hard to troubleshoot.
Preloaded on the WD My Passport SSD is the WD Discovery software for Windows and macOS that’s lets you set up the backup for your computing devices including Time Machine for Apple Mac devices and also monitor the health of your drive.
The Last Word: Smaller And Faster And Worth Every Penny
The thing with the WD My Passport SSD is that if you are in the market for an external SSD drive, this is a no brainer. It is fast, it is really compact, and it is futureproofed enough. Yes, you pay a slight premium over some rivals, but it is also much faster in comparison and supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption. And that is worth the extra money you rake out once for a storage that you’ll probably keep for many years.