WD My Passport Edge review: Solid USB 3.0 hard drive for mobile users

The My Passport Edge is designed for Windows (there's a Mac version called, cleverly enough, My Passport Edge for Mac) and in terms of setting it up, there's nothing to it. Out of the box the drive is preformatted using the NTFS file system; when plugged into a computer with the included USB cable, it's up and running. Of course, like all other external drives, you can always reformat the Edge into HFS+ to use it with Macs.

The drive contains the WD SmartWare suite, which includes WD Drive Utility, WD Security, and WD Backup applications; I found these very useful. WD Drive Utility is a set of utilities that helps check on the drive's status, or test its functionality; WD Security lets you secure the drive's content with a password; and WD Backup is a handy backup program.

WD Backup actually makes making backing up data a very easy and intuitive job. You can choose to back up folders and files, or it can automatically back up important data, which is very useful for those who aren't as computer-savvy. The only complaint I have about it is that it doesn't back up the entire system as an image for system recovery in case the hard drive fails, or when you want to upgrade your computer to a new internal drive.

Performance
The My Passport Edge performed well for a drive of its size. I tested both with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and in both cases, it wasn't the fastest, nor was it the slowest, either. Overall it's right about average.

When used with USB 3.0, it scored 83MBps for writing, which is slightly faster than the GoFlex Slim, which reached 82MBps. In the read test, however, it registered 98MBps, slightly slower than the Slim. When used with USB 2.0, the drive averaged 25MBps and 33MBps for writing and reading, respectively.

The My Passport Edge worked very quietly in my testing and produced no vibration and almost no heat at all.

USB 3.0 external hard drive performance (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
IoSafe Solo G3
110.98 
109.1 
Seagate Backup Plus
110.1 
90.9 
Lexar JumpDrive Triton
112.19 
90.8 
Silicon Power Armor A80
102.7 
87.8 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
104.9 
87.7 
Clickfree C6
103.4 
87.7 
LaCie FastKey
115.5 
87.1 
Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
103.5 
86.2 
WD My Passport Edge
97.68 
82.6 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
101.9 
82.4 
ioSafe SoloPro
106 
77.1 
HP Portable Hard Drive
83.65 
69.4 
LaCie RuggedKey
116.82 
41.7 

USB 2.0 external hard drive performance (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Clickfree C2N
40.1 
28.2 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
37.3 
27.7 
LaCie FastKey
36.6 
28.8 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
36.5 
28.7 
LaCie Rugged Key
35.22 
26.6 
Lexar JumpDrive Triton
33.13 
28.8 
Clickfree C6
33.1 
28.7 
Seagate Backup Plus
33 
28.74 
WD My Passport Edge
32.69 
25.1 
G-Technology G-Connect
31.3 
30.9 
Seagate Satellite
28.8 
32.7 

Conclusion
Good-looking, sturdy, and very compact, the new WD My Passport Edge is a very good portable storage and backup solution for novice users.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Hard Drive Type external hard drive
  • Capacity 500 GB