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Western Digital My Passport Wireless - Mobile Wireless Terabytes

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

Today I'm going to talk to you about something you might not have thought you needed, but once you realize what this new device can do, you might just want one. Imagine a Western Digital My Cloud, but only smaller, battery powered, and wireless. You could fill it with a bunch of movies, music, and other media for something like an upcoming family road trip. If said device could create its own wireless hotspot, the kids could connect to it via their tablets or other portable devices and watch their movie of choice during the drive. Once you are at your destination and snapping a bunch of photos, it would also be handy if this imaginary device could also mount SD cards for sharing recently taken photos with others on your trip. A bonus might be the ability to store a back-up of those SD cards as they become full, or maybe even empty them for folks without a lot of SD capacity available. As a final bonus, make all of this work in such a way that you could pull off an entire trip with *only* mobile devices and tablets - *without* a PC or a Mac. Think all of that can happen? It can now!:

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Behold the WD My Passport Wireless!

Read on for our full review!

Specifications:

Here is a conglomeration of features and specs lifted from the WD press deck:

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The specs are impressive for such a small and portable device. 2x2 Wireless N MIMO that can HD video stream to 4 devices simultaneously from its own access point, for up to 6 hours. The ability to offload SD cards on the go is not too shabby, either.

Packaging:

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The My Passport Wireless comes fully charged and well packaged. Included are quick start guide, directions, USB 3.0 cable, and 2.0A USB wall charger.

September 3, 2014 | 07:29 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

You forgot to add battery tests for a wireless storage device. I expected to read what battery life was for a single, and multiple(5) users streaming a full hd video file from the device. Also this review sorely lacked how good/bad the app for android/ios device is and any potential issues arrising out of the app. As not many people buying this drive would be using it via a smart phone or tablet.

September 3, 2014 | 01:44 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The mobile based apps were not yet updated to access this device at the time of testing. It uses the standard My Cloud app, which is proven and does stream audio / video and browse photos just fine.

For battery tests, we are working on them and will add a note to the review. Battery testing takes time to confirm repeatability, fully charge, etc. The claim is 4 simultaneous streams (8 mbps per stream) for 6 hours. Will know more on that result soon.

September 3, 2014 | 02:19 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

iOS My Cloud app functionality and screen shots have been added to page 2.

September 6, 2014 | 09:58 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Thanks a lot. For me as a photographer it definitely is a good deal. still curious about battery life is like as this will be used in remote locations to back up 4k videos. That SD card reader and option to back them up automatically. Its going to extremely useful in field. Max 4 user limit is not as good as some of the competing products.

September 3, 2014 | 09:13 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would love to see a battery test watching 2-4 1080p streams (MKV files?) from it to see how long it lasts. I would also like to see how easy it is to navigate via a mobile device rather than a PC. I've been looking at the Lace Fuel and I'm curious to see how this device compares to it when it comes to battery life.

September 9, 2014 | 02:26 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The verdict on power testing:

Streaming 1080p video to 2 iOS devices, via the My Cloud app, with fairly heavy wireless passthrough usage from a 3rd connected laptop: 5 hours, 27 minutes.

Streaming video via SMB to 4 simultaneous connected devices (HDD spindown seems to have a harder time when doing this, and as a result it remained spinning the entire time, even in lower power mode): 4 hours even.

From the looks of battery trend on the first test, I believe it would have made it to 6 hours if not for the heavy internet passthrough usage during the second half of the test. It was at just over 50% 3 hours into the test (before the other heavy simultaneous WiFi usage).

September 3, 2014 | 08:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are there any security features when in a public place to keep people from accessing the drive?

September 4, 2014 | 09:42 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Yup. There are several ways to lock down access, all within the config options.

September 4, 2014 | 07:44 AM - Posted by Br01 (not verified)

Hey al what is the best msata ssd to buy today?

September 4, 2014 | 09:45 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The Plextor M6M looked pretty good when we tested it.

September 4, 2014 | 09:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Direct connecting to a PC or Mac via USB 3.0 will automatically disable the built in WiFi and switch to direct connected mode
So it means we cannot have it connected all the time to a PC and at the same time browse pics on it from an iPad or smartphone? That's a shame. I wonder if a futur firmware could fix this?

September 4, 2014 | 09:42 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It appears to be only one way or the other. The device completely switches into a different mode when connected to a PC for data. I think the reasoning is that you would want to bypass all of the (slower) other parts of the device and get full 100+ MB/sec speed from the internal drive. Given how quickly it transfers when connected this way, I don't see it as a deal breaker.

September 4, 2014 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Br01 (not verified)

Thanks al☆

September 5, 2014 | 10:08 AM - Posted by obababoy

What about swapping an SSD? Would battery life improve?

September 9, 2014 | 02:20 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I'm sure it would, but at an added cost/GB.

September 11, 2014 | 07:21 PM - Posted by aaron (not verified)

Just got mine in today. So far it has taken almost 2 1/2 hrs to download 9GB off of a 32GB lexar sd card. This is a newer card and a fast one. I called WD and they have instructed me to reset the drive when it is done downloading as it shouldn't take that long. He said it might take as long as an hour for a 16gb card to download!!??!! If so, this thing's going back. Ain't nobody got time for that....

September 22, 2014 | 02:45 AM - Posted by David Jorge (not verified)

Hi Allyn,
Thank you for your review on this device.

I was a litlle disapointed when i read:

Direct connecting to a PC or Mac via USB 3.0 will automatically disable the built in WiFi and switch to direct connected mode

For me the ideal was to have both wifi and usb in simultaneous.

Do you know if even with the usb connected, you can enable the wifi mode via software or do you have to phisically unplug the usb cable?

Thanks in advance,
David

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