External hard drives aren't quite as popular as they used to be. And that's due to the cloud. But many people do like to still have a portable hard drive available to store things that can be accessed when there's no internet connection, or if they don't have an unlimited data plan. That's where the My Passport from WD or Western Digital comes in. It's a great looking portable hard drive that comes in at a pretty low cost. And with it being back to school season right now, it's a great time to pick one up. However, is the My Passport worth the cash? Let's find out.
To no surprise, the My Passport works with multiple operating systems. During this review, we mostly used it with a macOS-powered machine, but it was also tested with a Chromebook and a Windows laptop. It worked the same with all three OS', simply plug it in and you're good to go. Which is exactly what you'd expect in 2017. However, it is worth noting that it is formatted for Windows machines out of the box. So to use it with a Macbook or a Chromebook, you'll need to reformat it respectively. The model we have here is a 4TB model, and as you'd expect, it can hold a lot of files. 4TB is the highest capacity that the My Passport currently goes for, but it is also available in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB if you don't need quite that much space. Western Digital does also offer it in a variety of colors.
The My Passport isn't quite as thin as some of the drives from its main competitor, Seagate, but it is still fairly small. It's actually rather amazing in this day and age that 4TB of storage can fit in something so small. It does offer up USB 3.0 speeds, allowing you to transfer files fairly quickly. This is mostly useful when you are transferring large files like videos and such. There's also a way to automatically backup your system onto your My Passport. Using WD's built in software, you can schedule it to automatically back up things like pictures, music and other files. Western Digital also touts that this uses AES 256-bit encryption, so you won't need to worry about people hacking into your hard drive and getting your data.
Of course, the big question here is whether you should buy the My Passport portable hard drive, and the answer is mostly yes. WD has a lot going with the My Passport. It's something that's small and light and has a ton of storage. It also is legitimately a "portable" hard drive, meaning it doesn't need power other than the USB port (there was a time when a drive with this much storage needed to be plugged into the wall, believe it or not). Additionally, this hard drive costs just $119 for 4TB of space, that's an absolute steal if you use Plex. The My Passport is great for a Plex Server, we used it as a Plex Server plugged into the NVIDIA SHIELD TV and it worked flawlessly as you would expect.
The My Passport is available in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB or 4TB storage capacities and starts as low as $59. Now with it being back to school time right now, you'll likely find it on sale. It can be picked up from Western Digital's website as well as Amazon's website. With Amazon you will get free two-day shipping, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member. With Western Digital's website you'll still get free shipping but it could take a bit longer to get to your doorstep.