by Lyle Smith

WD My Passport Ultra Review (4TB)

The My Passport Ultra drive is a portable HDD that features USB 3.0 connectivity and the company’s usual slick-looking design. Designed for consumers and professionals on the go who to store large amounts of data, the new My Passport Ultra is available in a maximum capacity of 4TB. This new release features an updated design, higher capacity, and improved performance compared to the previous generation.

To this end, the My Passport Ultra offers what we normally see with portable drives. This includes the company’s built in 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption as well as the WD Security software to help add further protection to content. Users can also set a password to activate hardware encryption and data protection. In addition, the WD Backup software is included, allowing users to schedule automatic backs ups of their photos, videos, documents and other important files from their computer to the My Passport Ultra.

Backed by a 3-year limited warranty, the WD My Passport Ultra comes in capacities of 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB priced at $79.99, $99.99, $129.99 and $139.99 respectively.

WD My Passport Ultra Specifications

  • Capacity: 4TB, 3TB, 2TB, 1TB
  • Interface: USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 compatible
  • Additional Details
    • Included WD Discovery software for social media and cloud storage import, backup and password protection
  • Contents
    • My Passport hard drive
    • USB 3.0 cable
    • WD Discovery, WD Backup, WD Security and WD Drive Utilities software
    • Quick install guide
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

Design and build

At 3.21 inches wide and 4.33 inches long, the My Passport Ultra drive combines both metal and plastic finishes for a unique look featuring two color schemes: Black and gray and white and gold. The most important feature with this particular type of storage devices is their portability, and this one certainly falls into that category, as it can easily fit in the palm of your hand, pocket, or bag.

On the front side of the My Passport Ultra drive is the USB 3.0 interface port (which also supports USB 2.0) as well as the power/activity LED, the later which indicates activity, idle, and standby behaviors.

Performance

To test My Passport Ultra 4TB, we used the HP Z640 Workstation and compared with this prior gen portable HDD:

In our 2MB sequential test the new Ultra was able to hit 119.27MB/s write and 122.91MB/s read. The previous gen Ultra hit read and write speeds of and 109.1MB/s and 108.8MB/s. With our 2MB random workload the new Ultra was able to 71.58MB/s write and 81.7MB/s read compared to the older model’s 73.9MB/s read and 73.3MB/s write.

With 4k transfers, the WD My Passport Ultra gave us 31.76 IOPS write and 80.54IOPS read.

Conclusion

WD storage solutions are a staple for many consumers and often synonymous for reliability. As such, the new WD My Passport Ultra is another solid addition to the company’s large portfolio of portable drives. Though it doesn’t boast the speedy performance of an SSD, the new Ultra is meant as a backup solution for media professionals and consumers who don’t necessarily need the fastest option possible. It also offers the standard password protection with 256-bit AES hardware encryption as well as the company’s easy-to-use (yet versatile) automated backup software. The new My Passport Ultra also features a new spiffy metallic/plastic build that design-savvy consumers will certainly enjoy.

As far as performance goes, there were no surprises. In sequential 2MB performance, the WD Passport Ultra posted hit a respectable 119.27MB/s write and 122.91MB/s read, while 2MB random speeds reached 71.58MB/s write and 81.7MB/s read, a slight increase over the prior generation.

Pros

  • WD pedigree in reliability
  • Easy-to-use backup software
  • Nice enclosure design

Cons

  • No USB-C cord or compatibility 

Bottom Line

With its easy-to-use software, the new WD Passport Ultra will suit the needs of any consumer looks for a reliable, large capacity portable backup solution.

WD My Passport Ultra on Amazon

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