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Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB Review - More Power

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

Externals, Internals, Setup, and Dashboard

Externals

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The My Passport Wireless Pro has a nice solid build quality and feels like the sort of thing you could toss into a backpack without worrying about breaking anything. For those that prefer everything in its own case, WD will be retailing a semi-hard ($25) and neoprene ($15) case.

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The top left edge is where the magic happens. Here we find the SD card reader, USB 3.0 port, which is used to connect to a PC for data + charging. We also find a USB 2.0 port - a new addition, which can import media from connected smartphones. Portable devices can also be charged from this port, even if the Wireless Pro itself is powered down.

The button at that corner doubles to (short press) briefly light the battery life indicator (4 blue LEDs) or (longer press) manually initiate a SD card import / unload (depending on the configured option). During SD / USB import activity, the LEDs blink / climb in succession as a 25/50/70/100% copy status indicator. Once all lights are lit solid, the media can be removed and put back into use elsewhere.

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The solid finish carries around to the bottom, with non-skid rubber feet installed. The housing is a screwless design which is a bit tricky to get apart.

An interesting tidbit that I discovered after this review went live: Should you ever need to restore to default settings, and if you had changed the default wireless password and tossed the quick start guide, the default password is the last 8 characters of the S/N.

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Compared to its older brother, the new Pro model comes in a bit larger in size.

Internals

Let's see what is taking up that additional room:

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Alright, so we've got a 2TB HDD hiding under the main PCB, and off to the side, we find a 24Wh battery pack consisting of 2x 18650 cells.

Setup

Setup was a bit easier than it was with the original model, thanks to the included quick start guide. The SSID / password are on a sticker right on the device itself, making things about as easy as they possibly could be.

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If you're connected via laptop, you should see a new storage device listed. Double clicking it brings you here:

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The dashboard walks you through getting the My Passport Wireless Pro linked to your primary router. If this is your home network, you can then connect your laptop back to your usual connection as the Wireless Pro is essentially a Wireless NAS at that point. When setting up while traveling, there is an option in the WiFi connection dialogue that prevents sharing to the WAN, which keeps other hotel users from snooping on your content. For those cases, you'd need to stay connected to the Wireless Pro and use its pass-through feature to access the internet.

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Another thing you are prompted for during initial setup is to install Plex Media Server. This replaces the default (Twonky) server and enables Plex media streaming to devices on its network. If you don't know what Plex is, read all about it here. While Plex is a nice addition here, those with no intention to use it may consider leaving the Twonky server enabled (you can switch back to it even if Plex has already been installed).

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Since the Pro model supports import from USB as well as SD, there is now an additional section where you can configure auto-import, move/copy, and manually initiate a sync.

The other dashboard features are unchanged from the first generation model - find those covered here.

Video News


June 21, 2016 | 10:23 AM - Posted by Chaitanya (not verified)

I hope they have fixed some complaints of photographers. There was no way of finding out if the sd card inserted was copied completly without going through app. Also that sd reader was connected with usb 2.0, so I hope its now connected via usb 3.0 instead.

June 21, 2016 | 10:59 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

As mentioned in the review, SD imports now use the battery status indicator as a percent copied indicator (in 25% increments), and the SD reader goes ~60-70 MB/s (>USB 2.0 speed).

June 21, 2016 | 11:11 AM - Posted by Chaitanya (not verified)

Thanks for info, though that reader kind of slow. 60MBps means that its not even utilising Uhs-I speeds to max. With Uhs-II cards available it would have been really time saver. Although it seems like WD certainly has listned to feedback and take. step in right direction. 18650 batteries also mean they are easier to replace once orignal set goes bad.

June 21, 2016 | 02:54 PM - Posted by Gunbuster

Gotta say that might be the most uninspired packaging I have seen so far this year.

June 21, 2016 | 05:16 PM - Posted by DanF (not verified)

Does this drive have the ability to connect to a wifi enabled camera directly and back up images as they are being shot - so that they are written both to the SD card and the drive simultaneously?

June 21, 2016 | 05:37 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Unfortunately, no, but that is a very power-inefficient method of shooting (for both the camera and the destination device).

June 21, 2016 | 09:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So you are SOL if you use a camera that uses CF, like most higher end DSLR's. Stopped reading as soon as I saw this limit. I'm not sure why they'd make a idea that appeals for photographers so limited in use.

June 21, 2016 | 10:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Because the vast majority of cameras actually sold are SDHC/SDXC cameras. CF-based cameras account for a tiny amount of cameras sold today, let alone the myriad of other devices that use MicroSD that are then compatible with a simple adapter (read: mobile phones).

July 12, 2016 | 12:40 PM - Posted by genghisnico13 (not verified)

Something interesting to add, you can SSH to the drive, so that gives you flexibility to modify stuff.

October 20, 2016 | 05:09 PM - Posted by Tamal Basak (not verified)

It seems like WD certainly has listned to feedback and take. 60MBps means that its not even utilising Uhs-I speeds to max. With Uhs-II cards available it would have been really time saver.

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