Western Digital My Passport Multimedia Portable Hard Drive, 4TB
Last updated date: June 3, 2022
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Update as June 3, 2022:
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Featuring a large capacity of up to 5 TB, this traditional-style hard drive comes in several basic colors with a slim and compact design. It includes software for streamlined automatic backups along with password protection and encryption to add extra security.
In our analysis of 16 expert reviews, the Western Digital My Passport Multimedia Portable Hard Drive, 4TB placed 3rd when we looked at the top 7 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Slim design. Automatic backup – easy to use. Password protection + 256-bit AES hardware encryption. WD Discovery software for WD Backup, password protection and drive management. SuperSpeed USB port; USB 2.0 compatible. Every journey needs a passport. The My Passport drive is trusted, portable storage that gives you the confidence and freedom to drive forward in life. With a new, stylish design that fits in the palm of your hand, there’s space to store, organize, and share your photos, videos, music, and documents. Perfectly paired with Western Digital backup software and password protection, the My Passport drive helps keep your digital life’s contents safe.
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An Overview On
If you need extra storage for a computer, tablet, game console or phone, a portable hard drive can offer a helpful and flexible solution. These small devices work well whether you desire extra space for documents and media files, need to regularly back up your system or just prefer a portable device that lets you easily access files in different places. A portable hard drive can also help you hold onto an older computer a bit longer if you’re just running short on space.
When shopping for a portable hard drive, you’ll come across two main types: traditional hard disk drives and newer solid-state drives (SSDs). Each type uses different types of technology and has pros and cons that make them suitable for different users and storage needs.
The traditional portable hard disk drive contains moving parts inside and uses a magnetic system, so it has much slower read and write speeds compared to the SSDs available today. These portable drives can get damaged from drops or knocks more easily, so they often work better if you plan to keep the drive on a desk rather than take it places with you. They can have very large capacities and come at a much lower cost per megabyte than SSDs, so they can offer a good solution for large system backups or multimedia storage.
If you want the fastest data transfer speeds possible, more durability and a lighter weight, you can look into buying an SSD. While these hard drives come at a higher cost for storage, they’re more durable since they don’t have the moving parts that traditional hard drives do. This kind of technology can offer extremely fast speeds where it feels your files or applications load instantly. These drives require less power and come with a lighter weight for even more portability.
Capacities will vary depending on the type of portable hard drive. Generally, you’ll find that portable SSDs come in capacities ranging from 120 gigabytes to 2 terabytes. On the other hand, many traditional hard disk drives start at 500 gigabytes and top out at 4 or 5 terabytes depending on the manufacturer. You’ll want to consider the type of data you plan to store on the device and keep in mind that going bigger can offer more flexibility down the road.
Compatibility is important when choosing a portable hard drive and includes both the formatting of the drive and the type of connection used.
Many drives come pre-formatted to work with Windows computers, so they would need reformating before you could use them with another device like a Mac or Linux computer. Portable hard drives are often designed to connect to devices with standard USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports and can offer reasonably fast speeds and high compatibility. Others have a Thunderbolt connection with even faster speeds.
You’ll find that portable hard drives may have special features that enhance durability. If you plan to carry the portable drive around with you and feel concerned you could drop or knock the drive while on the go, consider products that come inside a rugged casing that can protect the drive in extreme conditions.
Some portable hard drive manufacturers incorporate safety features that can come in handy if you plan to store sensitive data on the drive and worry that someone may access the files if the drive gets lost or stolen. For example, you’ll find some drives with fingerprint readers or special encryption that requires a code to access the drive at all. It’s also common for many portable hard drives to come with special software that can boost security.
The Buying Guide
- If you plan to plug your portable hard drive into a USB hub on your computer, check that the hub can effectively power the drive to prevent damage and data transfer issues. Hubs that don’t use an external power source often specify that you should not plug in a hard drive, while powered USB hubs can handle this kind of storage device without an issue.
- Some portable hard drives come with an adapter so that you can use the device with both Thunderbolt and standard USB connections. However, keep in mind that you’ll be limited to the data transfer speed of whichever cable and connection you decide to use. For example, if your computer only has USB 2.0 ports, you won’t get the faster speeds even if a USB 3.0 cable gets used.
- Along with finding black portable hard drives that can blend in with any system, you can find units that stand out, too. For example, you’ll find options in bold colors such as blue, green, red and silver for a more fun look. You can even decorate the portable drive with stickers like you might with your laptop.
- While many people use a portable hard drive to back up important files, keep in mind that these devices can also fail or get damaged. So, you might also store particularly important files elsewhere, such as in the cloud, or even on another storage device like a flash drive.
- To prevent possible damage to your portable hard drive, keep it away from extreme temperatures, dirty surfaces and moisture. You’ll also want to position the drive on a surface where there’s less of a risk of it falling. Bumps can damage the internal components, especially if you’re using a traditional hard disk with moving parts inside.
- You might come across some portable hard drives that require connecting two cables to your device: one for extra power and one for data. So, make sure your device has enough available ports if you go with a product requiring a dual connection.
- When buying a portable hard drive to use to back up a computer, it’s a good idea to choose an external drive with a larger capacity than your internal drive. That’s because your computer’s backup software often makes incremental backups at different time points, so you might have to delete older backups to have enough space in the future.
- Keep in mind that while portable hard drives with several terabytes of storage can offer plenty of flexibility, there’s also a tradeoff. If something happens to the drive, that’s a lot of data to potentially lose. So, you might opt to purchase a few smaller drives or at least back up crucial files to the cloud as an extra safeguard.
- You can usually use a portable hard drive to hold a bootable image of your entire computer for emergencies. This comes in handy in case your computer crashes since you can just plug the hard drive into another computer and boot up into your familiar programs and data. If you do this, you’ll have a much better experience with an SSD. Its faster speed will help with loading your operating system and programs.
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