WD My Passport Wireless SSD Review: Network Storage On The Go

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My Passport Wireless SSD: Real-World Benchmarks

We are going to eschew advanced benchmarking to keep things simple. Many of our drive benchmarks require a disk format which we cannot reasonably do with the self-contained nature of this drive. Instead, we will run real-world tests using a sample of 300 24MP raw images plus a 5-minute 1080p/30 All-I video clip captured on our Canon 80D (.CR2) using a 128GB Sandisk Ultra UHS-1 microSD card. The files total 12.73 GB in size, with 9.55 GB of that contributed by the photos and the remaining 3.18 GB from the video.

We timed the following transfers and calculated the average transfer speeds in MB/s for all results:

  • USB Transfer to PC (USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 Port)
  • USB Transfer from PC (USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 Port)
  • Direct Wireless Transfer to PC (802.11ac)
  • Direct Wireless Transfer from PC (802.11ac)
  • Wireless Transfer to PC via Router (TP-Link Archer C8)
  • Wireless Transfer from PC via Router (TP-Link Archer C8)
  • Direct SD Card Import (128GB Sandisk Ultra UHS-1 microSDXC)
  • SD Card Import via USB Adapter (Anker USB 3.0 Card Reader AR200)
  • USB Flash Drive Import (16GB USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C Drive using Type-A)
The wireless transfer tests are performed using the SMBv1 share to be most analogous to USB transfers, but we did not notice any significant difference with FTP-based transfer rates.

my passport wireless ssd real world benchmarks

The USB to and from PC transfers are the best comparison we can make between this drive and other traditional portable SSDs. While we do not have competitors listed in the graph, other SATA based samples such as the Samsung T3 typically transfer in the 300 MB/s or higher range. Thunderbolt 3 based drives, such as the Samsung T5, can transfer at speeds upwards of 1 GB/s. 

The headlining feature of the My Passport Wireless SSD is, naturally, its on-the-go Wi-Fi capability. The network topology can be laid out where both your device and the My Passport are connected via a central router or else connecting your device to the My Passport's own network directly and optionally connecting the My Passport to your router in turn. As it turns out, this does impact performance rather significantly. Direct connections can be up to twice as efficient for transfers, but conversely this can negatively impact your general Internet speeds. Users will need to choose which they want to optimize for in a given instance. Thankfully making the choice is as simple as choosing which network to connect to on your device.

In any case, the wireless transfer speeds are not particularly fast, with even the best-case scenario (direct transfer from a PC) clocking in at just under a minute per gigabyte. This works well enough for moving a few images for social media and other sharing, but larger bulk transfers will be best served by direct USB connections. Even still, the wireless transfers are best relegated to smartphones and tablets as Windows 10's support is, at best, compromised.

my passport wireless ssd sd half insert

Finally, we come to the most prevalent use case - importing media. Direct SD imports are by far the best solution here thanks to the reader's USB 3.0 compatibility. Unfortunately, the USB-A 2.0 port does not keep pace so any transfers involving it will be negatively impacted. You can adapt for CompactFlash, XQD, and other media types, but the slower speeds are certainly a deterrent.

my passport wireless ssd sd adapter

With these numbers in mind, let's explore a few potential use-cases for the My Passport Wireless SSD.

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