WD My Passport Wireless Pro Review

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WD My Passport Wireless Pro – 2nd Gen Portable Device

Western Digital (WD) introduced the WD My Passport Wireless mobile storage back in 2014 that allowed tech savvy users to wirelessly connect up to eight devices to backup or share content for up to six hours of streaming. The appeal of a wireless drive is high among photographers where many would like to sync files straight from their Wi-Fi enabled camera or their SD straight to the cloud where many have Dropbox accounts or something similar. The original model was a bit tough for some users to setup and connect to, the interface was a bit slow and as any first generation device there were some inevitable issues that required firmware updates to fix. Still, it was hit for photographers in the field that needed to backup or offload SD cards quickly.

The good news is that for the past 1.5 years the engineers at WD have been able to take all the feedback from the original device and try to improve it. The result of their hard work would be the WD My Passport Wireless Pro. Designed specifically for the creative community, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro has arrived as the new and improved model and features a slew of improvements to ensure easy editing, streaming and sharing of content.

 

My Passport Wireless Pro Retail Bundle

The new WD My Passport Wireless Pro is available in 2TB and 3TB capacities and can be found today on Amazon for $190.70 shipped and $217.63 shipped, respectively. Each model is backed by a 2-year warranty. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the WD My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB model that is sold under part number WDBP2P0020BBK.  This 2TB capacity model features a single 2TB WD Blue WD20NPVZ 5400 RPM hard drive that would run you $129.99 by itself. This SATA III 6Gbps drive with 8MB of cache uses the 2.5-inch notebook form factor and used up to 1.7 Watts of power according to the data sheet.

mypassport-wireless-pro-bundle

Inside the My Passport Digital retail box you’ll find the device itself, a 2 foot long USB 3.0 data/power cable (Male Type-A to Micro-B), wall USB power adapter, quick install instructions and of course the warranty information.

It should be noted that the length and width of the My Passport Wireless Pro is identical on both the 2TB and 3TB models. All of the drives are 5.00 inches (126.0 mm) in length by 5.00 inches (126.0 mm) in width and 0.94 inches (24.0 mm) in height. The weight comes in at 1.00 lb (0.55 kg). This makes the WD My Passsport Wireless HD larger than than the original series by a pretty decent amount, but was still designed to be portable.

2.4A Travel Charge Adapter

We usually don’t talk about wall chargers too much, but WD included a 2.4A Travel Charge Adapter on the My Passport Wireless Pro models. This power supply outputs 2.4A at 5.1v and that means you’ll be able to quickly charge the 6,400 mAh (24Wh) Li-Po battery! Not too often you see portable drive coming with a 12.24W adapter and it means that we were able to fully charge the battery from a fully dead state to 100% in about 3.5 hours.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro

Since most devices connect to the My Passport Wireless Pro  with only their Wi-Fi connection, the My Passport Wireless storage drive functions as a Wi-Fi extender as well.  This means it has network pass-through capabilities, so you’ll still have access to the local network and even the internet if the router you are connected to offers such service. The password for the network is located on a sticker on the front cover.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro USB Ports

Along the top edge of the My Passport Wireless Pro you’ll find the power button, USB 3.0 port that is used for charging and data transfers with a cable, a USB 2.0 port for data transfers and charging mobile devices and lastly the SD card/Battery Capacity Button. A quick button press will show the battery life on four LED lights on the front cover. The the LEDs blink / climb in succession as a the device is charging and represent 25, 50, 75 and 100%. If you have an SD card inserted and do a long press of this button you’ll manually initiate an SD card copy/move (depending on how you have it setup in the settings) and the LED lights on the top cover are used as a file copy status indicator. Just remember not to remove the SD card until all the lights are lit solid!

The inclusion of a USB 2.0 port means that you can charge your mobile devices while transferring data simultaneously. The USB 2.0 port tops out at around 25 MB/s on this model, so if you have a ton of images it might be faster to take the SD card out and use the SD slot as it tops out at 75 MB/s.

WD My Passport Wireless PRo SD Card Reader

On the left side of the device you’ll find the SD 3.0 card slot that allows you to back up or transfer your photos and videos from your SD card to keep on shooting. The built-in reader is officially rated at up to 65 MB/s read and 40 MB/s write speeds. Our testing showed that we were capable of hitting up to 75 MB/s and transferring 10GB of files took about five minutes. Some might have been hoping for a faster reader for the latest UHS-II memory cards, but this one is faster than the original and are glad to be not constrained by a USB 2.0 interface.

It should be noted that WD is doing intelligent file transfer on the new Wireless Pro device. They have an algorithm running that does a byte-by-byte comparison of SD Card content and files copied/moved to My Passport Wireless Pro ensures files are safely transferred.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro Bottom

The back of the drive has some rubber feet on it along with the usual product labeling (serial numbers, MAC addresses, product number and so on).

Faster, longer battery life, more storage capacity and lower MSRPs. The WD My Passport Wireless Pro isn’t looking like it will disappoint.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB Inside

Inside the WD My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB

With the cover of the WD My Passport Wireless Pro removed we can see the guts of the system that is made up of mostly Realtek components. There are three thermal pads being used to help dissipate heat from the hottest components.

  • Realtek RTD1195PN Dual Cortex-A7 SoC
  • Realtek RTL871X Wi-Fi SoC
  • Realtek RTL8189ES 802.11n 1×1 2.4 GHz WLAN radio (SDIO Interface)
  • Realtek RTL8811AU 802.11ac 1×1 5 GHz WLAN radio (USB 2.0 Interface)
  • WD Blue WD20NPVZ 5400 RPM 2TB 2.5″ Hard Drive
  • Li-Ion battery RDJ10 – 6400 mAh 3.75V 24Wh (2 x 18650 cells)

WD My Passport Wireless Pro 2TB

Let’s take a look at how we can setup the My Passport Wireless Pro and see how it performs when it comes to transfer speeds and also wireless connectivity!

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  • hmadsen

    Is it possible to set this up, so that files stored in “movies for kids” and “movies for adults” is seperated.

    Right now i have a Seagate Wireless plus and it just scans every folder and puts everything it finds into one big pile.

    I would like to be able to make only the “Movies for kids” available on the kid’s tablets. They dont need to see the movies i see (Action movies, people getting killed and so on) but on the Seagate it is not possible to differentiate like that.

    Is this possible on this drive ?

  • jb0nez

    Dunno about 2, but the 3TB Pro version DOES NOT SUPPORT the Mycloud feature. Get used to carrying your personal cloud around.

  • Ehsan Jaan

    hi every one.
    I Just need to know if this device work ok as Plex server as I want to buy it only as Plex server.

    Thank you

    • jb0nez

      yep. can’t transcode but easy setup

  • Allan

    I’ve been trying my WD wireless Passport Pro 3 TB and it continually crashes. The firmware is from June and it is October.and there has been no updates. Tech support is almost non-existent.

  • Si

    Hi, is it possible to back the data up on the wireless pro to another external hard drive using mac Time Machine?

  • Sudarat Saelim
  • Paul C

    Hi, could you please tell me if the Plex server can serve directly from an attached USB stick or HDD? Also if the unit can be left attached to it’s charger (plugged in/not running on battery alone) while acting as a Plex server? I am keen to see if this could be setup as a more ‘permanent’ media server with content on external USB HDD, rather than having my PC running while watching movies. Cheers!

    • Mighty_Miro_WD

      Hi Paul!

      My Passport Wireless Pro could be used as a Plex server if it is connected to the charger.

      If you plug it directly into the PC however you can choose between two options:

      1. Enable the USB and lose the Wi-Fi connection – that’s because when you connect your computer and drive this way, the drives wireless network is disabled.
      2. Lock the drive – This is a USB lock rather than an encrypted lock and although the drive is locked, it will be accessible with a Wi-Fi connection. This option doesn’t allow the PC to recognize it as a standard USB drive, so you’ll be able to access it via your Wi-Fi connection. In order to do that just click the Hardware icon on the Navigation bar to display the Hardware screen. Once that’s done you will see the Drive Lock field and there click the toggle button to On.

      Hope this helps, mate!

      Cheers! 🙂

  • Art Burt

    I’m looking for something that will allow me to login while traveling (logged into a hotel internet connection) as well as a device that I can use as a standalone Wi-Fi connection point for my other devices to share video/media stored on the device for say, times like camping. Do I need an internet connection, each time I start up the device (like Chromecast)?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      The Wireless Pro supports pass-through internet and I showed the performance of that on Charter Spectrum digital cable TV service on page 4. If you don’t have an internet connection you can still connect to the devices wireless network and share the devices local content. So, an internet connection isn’t required.

  • Jarret Peterson

    Will the device handle multiple, simultaneous, different streams to different devices? i.e. Can I put it in the car, and have my 3 kids watch 3 different movies at the same time?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Yes! I put that in page two, but it was buried a bit. You can simultaneously stream up to 8 HD videos (8 videos x 8Mbps HD MP4 streams) with the Wireless Pro. You should be good if the bit rate is along those lines.

      • Jarret Peterson

        Thanks! I missed that in the second page. Much appreciated!

  • Slayne

    Thanks for that review.
    Is it possible to connect a external hdd 2.5” on the usb 2.0 port host, and copy some files from the “WD My Passport Wireless Pro” to the external hdd please ? In order to backup some files on two hard drives, without a computer.
    Thanks for your answer !
    Regards.

    • Mighty_Miro_WD

      Hi @Shayne!

      Since I’m a WD rep I’d like to help you out here. 🙂

      You can transfer your files without using a PC , but you have to enable this option via the drive interface first.

      In short, once you initialize the My Passport Wireless external go to the mentioned interface and select Media option from the Navigation Icons. Once you get there simply scroll down, switch the Import Mode to Move and after that switch the Automatic Import to On from the USB device options.

      Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions you may have. 🙂

      • Slayne

        Hi ! Thanks a lot for your answer ! It helps me a lot ! So it’s possible to transfer files in the two ways by the USB 2.0 port host. It’s a really good point ! And I guess that the WD My Passport Wireless Pro, thanks to his battery, can supply the external HDD. Thanks again and have a nice day !
        Regards.

      • Michael

        Since you’re the rep, is it possible to swap the HDD out for an SSD? (And obviously copy the drive using some utility)

        I’m working on a car friendly solution…yes, I know my warranty will go out the window…

        • Mighty_Miro_WD

          Hi Michael!

          Theoretically you should be able to replace the drive if you want, but I won’t suggest to replace it with a SSD or removing it from the case not only because it will void the warranty of the product, but also because the drive inside could be SATA or USB native.

          You can find more information in this KB article:
          http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=BjhLEI

          Cheers! 🙂

      • EvilTed

        That is IMPORT, he is asking about EXPORT to the USB interface.
        For example, being able to mirror the SD card files from the WD Wireless Pro to an external USB drive without the need for a computer.

        Is this possible with MyCloud application and an iPad, for example.
        I’d like to be able to take WD Wireless Pro, LaCie Rugged + iPad Pro on a trip.

        Workflow = copy SD card contents to WD and somehow get a mirror copy to the LaCie.
        Is this possible?

        • Gary Kohn

          Did you get a response to this…I want to do the same thing but am unable to figure out how.

  • John Norton

    Nice review, thanks.