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Storage Devices Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Western Digital My Passport Essential review

£98.38 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Western Digital

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

A USB 2.0-only 500GB external hard drive, the Western Digital My Passport Essential is both small and capacious, with one of the most affordable cost-per-gigabyte ratios currently available. It's not without its issues, however.

A USB 2.0-only 500GB external hard drive, the Western Digital My Passport Essential is both small and capacious, with one of the most affordable cost-per-gigabyte ratios currently available. It's not without its issues, however.

We found the microUSB port - these connections are often found on smartphones but rarely on USB drives - to be a less reliable connection than the mini-USB setups seen elsewhere. If there's any danger of the Western Digital My Passport Essential drive being knocked while a backup or transfer is in progress, the procedure may fail. Not a good thing in a device intended to provide peace of mind.

More pleasingly, the Western Digital My Passport Essential's bundled SmartWare software is among the best we've seen. It's highly user-friendly and offers full-drive security.

The WD My Passport Essential also offers a fast data-transfer rate for a USB-only drive. In fact, the only other drive we've seen match the My Passport Essential's USB-only transfer rate is its WD My Passport Elite stablemate.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Western Digital My Passport Essential Expert Verdict »

External hard drive
500GB
Hi-Speed USB
Interface Transfer Rate: 480Mbps
Google Software Pack, WD Sync
80x126x15mm
180g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

We’d prefer a standard mini-USB port for the connection mechanism, but there’s not much else to fault on the affordable Western Digital My Passport Essential drive.

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