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WD My Passport SSD review: Almost everything you'd want in a portable drive

This is the best portable storage WD has had to date.

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Dong Ngo
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Dong Ngo

SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

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The WD Passport SSD is arguably the best in the WD's popular My Passport family of portable drives. The drive is fast, rugged, versatile and features strong encryption as an option. The fact that it works with both Windows and MacOS right out of the box doesn't hurt, either.

wdfmpssdlifestyle.jpg
8.3

WD My Passport SSD

The Good

The My Passport SSD is rugged, light and super compact. The drive uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C to deliver fast performance. It works with both Windows and MacOS right out of the box and features strong encryption to protect data in case of loss or theft.

The Bad

The drive's capacity caps at just 1TB. It's a fingerprint magnet.

The Bottom Line

The My Passport SSD is an excellent portable drive for those needing to securely carry data on the go.

At the current street price of $100, $180 and $360 for 256GB, 512GB and 1TB, respectively, the My Passport SSD has enough to give the Samsung SSD T3 or the Glyph Atom a good run for their money (those prices respectively convert to £80, £140 and £280 for the UK and AU$130, AU$240 and AU$480 for Australia). It's an excellent storage device for anyone who needs something super compact yet very fast.

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The My Passport SSD is tiny, and comes with includes a cable as well as an adapter for it to work with all computers.

Dong Ngo/CNET

Compact and rugged design, strong encryption

Housing a solid-state drive (SSD) on the inside, the new My Passport SSD bucks the trend of WD's My Passport drives. Up to now, all previous drives in WD's My Passport family are based on regular hard drives.

Using solid-state storage allows the new My Passport to be WD's most compact portable drive yet. Measuring just 3.5 by 1.8 by 0.39 inches (90 by 45 by 10 millimeters), the new drive looks like a big domino piece. It's also so light, possibly lighter than the included USB-C cable.

The My Passport SSD is rugged, and slated to survive 6.5-foot drops with a shock resistance of up to 1,500 g-force. I tried dropping it many times on a carpet floor from that height and it worked just fine afterwards. The drive also include 256-bit AES hardware encryption -- the strongest commercial encryption to date -- that you can optionally turned on using WD Security software (available for both Windows and MacOS). Once this feature is turned on, nobody who doesn't know the password can access the data it contains.

Fast performance

The My Passport SSD is also the first drive from WD that features USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) with a USB-C port. This means it will work with all new computers that have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports. The drive also includes an adapter to connect it with any existing regular USB-A port, including those with a USB 2.0 port.

CNET Labs USB 3.1 performance

Caldigit Tuff (SSD) 462.7 420.48Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate GT 165.1 326.94WD My Passport SSD 307.2 301.43Glyph Atom SSD 421.4 269.45Sandisk Extreme 9000 Portable SSD 312.6 259.53Samsung Portable SSD T3 311.1 240.91LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt All-Terrain 155.7 227.43Caldigit Tuff (HDD) 140.9 140.79G-Drive Mobile USB-C (USB 3.1) 109.9 125.75WD My Passport (Fall 2016) 103.4 108.56
  • Write
  • Read
Note: Measured in megabytes per second. Longer bars mean faster performance.

The My Passport SSD is pre-formatted in exFAT file system standard, allowing it to work with both Windows and MacOS right out of the box without reformatting. In testing, it proved to be one of the fastest portable drives on the market with the sustained copy speed of around 300 megabytes per second via a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection. When tested with USB 2.0, the drive, also worked well with the top speed of some 40 MBps.

Should you get it?

Other than the limited storage space of 1TB, the My Passport SSD is an excellent drive for anybody who needs a super fast and compact portable drive. If you want something similar that's available in up to 3TB, however, the Samsung SSD T3 is the only alternative.

If you just want something with lots of storage space, and don't care much about the portability or the speed, you can get the regular hard drive-based My Passport for much less.

wdfmpssdlifestyle.jpg
8.3

WD My Passport SSD

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 9Performance 8
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