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WD My Passport Ultra 4TB Review

We check out a rather affordable yet stylish and capable portable storage option from WD, the My Passport Ultra 4TB external hard drive.

Published Tue, Oct 3 2017 8:16 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Western Digital
WD My Passport Ultra 4TB Review 99 | TweakTown.com

For years, Western Digital has enjoyed a solid external drive portfolio. The My Passport has been a large part of this and has expanded to include both solid state and platter-based solutions. The latest in this lineup is the My Passport Ultra, and we have it in house for review.

Options for this new solution include a color balance of black and grey on one model and white and gold for another. Capacity ranges from 1TB to 4TB with all solutions using the new half and half design aesthetic from WD. This solution is compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 using the Type-C connection.

Getting into features, we have a long list, starting with drive encryption. Using the WD Security application, you have access to 256-bit AES encryption to keep the contents of your drive safe. For backup purposes, WD includes a copy of their WD Backup software allowing you to schedule backups as needed or sync to cloud storage.

WD has priced the 4TB My Passport Ultra at $139.99 with a three-year warranty.

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Packaging follows the new look we have recently seen with the My Passport SSD. Capacity is listed at the bottom right along with warranty and software details.

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The back offers a compatibility list at the bottom.

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The scope of delivery gives us a USB cable and the drive itself.

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The drive again uses a two-part design, the bottom a metallic gold and the top a gloss white.

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The back houses regulatory info on a sticker along with the part number.

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The top of the drive houses the connectivity via a USB Micro B connection. To the right, there's a small white activity LED.

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WD Backup is one piece of software included with the drive. Above, we have set up a backup plan for an everyday backup and below edited to include the files we want from our desktop.

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The performance was average for a hard drive, 128 MB/s read and 123 MB/s write.

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Breaking it down further, we look at ATTO results, where we see the WD reach peak performance around 32K.

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I wanted to throw some real data at this drive to see how it would do in a backup situation. Here I have 81 pictures totaling 311MB; the WD was able to handle that in 3.3 seconds at 81 MB/s.

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Pushing that same test, we used video files from a DJI Phantom 3 Pro, three files totaling 3.3GB. The Passport handled this in 28 seconds at 112 MB/s.

Portable hard drives have always been about taking your data with you on the go. While SSDs have started to take over this space as well, we aren't quite there yet in terms of capacity. WD has continued to push the boundaries of what can be stored on a single disk, and the My Passport lineup is a solid place to showcase it. Build quality is solid with no issues arising in my month or so with the drive, even when using it as a game drive for my Xbox One.

Performance isn't the highest we have seen from an external hard drive but it isn't the worst, and it's actually respectable. The My Passport Ultra reached a peak of 129 MB/s read and 123 MB/s write and with ATTO showed it can reach that level of performance from 32K to 64M. Further testing with real data showed a quick 3.3 seconds to move a batch of photos and only 28 seconds to move three videos shot with a Phantom 3 Pro.

With the included software, WD really has a solid product with the My Passport Ultra, and the given capacity options, it means all consumers are within reach of this solution. With its MSRP at $139.99, WD is offering its My Passport Ultra solution $10 cheaper than competitors, and that's just good for all of us.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

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The Bottom Line: WD has done quite well with the Passport Ultra. It's priced competitively and offers a full range of capacity options, great software, and solid performance.

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Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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