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

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My Passport Wireless SSD: Use Cases

Event photography is the use case where we expect the My Passport Wireless SSD to shine. Every working photographer understands the fear of losing a day’s worth of photos to a corrupt or damaged memory card. While no solution will be as reliable as a camera with dual card slots, drives like this can be used to lessen the risk of data loss by cycling memory cards throughout the shoot.

We brought it along with us to several photo shoots to gauge our impressions. First and foremost, its small size makes it far more convenient to carry along than even a small laptop. It just is not reasonable to pull out a laptop and turn it on for direct backups every so often. We can simply leave the My Passport Wireless SSD on and pop out the SD card for backup any time we catch a break.

my passport wireless ssd camera bag

We found that if we kept two SD cards swapping back and forth we could nearly eliminate downtime. The SD cards import reasonably quickly but are far from instantaneous. At our tested rate of 43.74 MB/s, it takes about one minute to transfer 100 of our 25-30 MB RAW images to the drive from an SD card. When we are snapping potentially thousands of images in the span of a few hours, every minute counts and additional redundancy never hurts. Offloading cards when able rather than when full also helps mitigate losses in the event a data corruption does happen. You will still lose out on a few minutes of action, but the event will not be a complete wash and you may be able to take quick re-shoots.

Thankfully, the drive is also able to detect duplicate images and does not waste time reimporting them. This allows us to keep everything on the SD cards after transferring to maintain redundancy and save time from the formatting process. Each import creates its own timestamped folder as well for ease of organization. This is particularly helpful when jumping from booth to booth at an event.

my passport wireless ssd wifi image preview

The drive can also help add some professional polish to a shoot. At the end of a shoot we can pull out our phone or tablet to review photos with the client on a larger and more convenient display than the back of a camera. This gives us a better sense of how the images look and enables us to quickly run a few through Lightroom CC Mobile for a timely social media post. We know the same can be done with a card reader on a phone directly, but that method is not always reliable. In our experience there have been unexpected times where the phone requires the card to be formatted differently, is out of storage itself, or any number of other factors. The My Passport Wireless SSD is simply more reliable.

The catch with reviewing files this way is that RAW thumbnails can take some time to generate, and some thumbnails occasionally never seem to generate at all. If an image is opened it will still load, but it can be a minor irritation when there are hundreds, or thousands, of photos taken for an event and you are trying to skim through for a particular moment. Still, the My Passport Wireless SSD is a winner for event photoshoots with added peace-of-mind through data redundancy and added workflow options.

my passport wireless ssd image previews unloaded
Thumbnails can take time to generate

Unsurprisingly, the My Passport Wireless SSD is also a welcome companion when traveling. All of the benefits for event photography carry over, with a few added perks. While the backup schedule may not need to be as frequent, it is still convenient to offload files to the drive while moving from area to area.

When traveling with groups, whether that be colleagues, friends, or family, everyone can offload files to the drive to create a central repository of files to share. The per-import folder structure can help make it easy to remember who took which selections of photos. Then, at the end of the trip you can connect flash drives to offload copies or move everything to a computer for more permanent storage.

my passport wireless ssd bumper ports

For extended outings, the My Passport Wireless SSD is able to serve as a power bank as well. It does not support any fast-charging capabilities, but in a pinch it can provide power for your smartphone or even USB charging compatible cameras. It can deliver 2.4 Amps at up to 12 Watts.

For more off-the-grid excursions, users can load it up with videos and stream them via the My Cloud app. We found the connection was solid enough to stream 1080p content just fine, including our All-I (90 mbps) video sample. 4K footage recorded on our Pixel 3 and transferred to the drive also played back seamlessly, though it has a lower encoding bitrate of around 50 mbps. This streaming can function just as well to review footage from a video production, assuming no monitor is available.

my passport wireless ssd press kits

The My Passport Wireless SSD also comes in handy for us when covering events for another reason. Companies often provide their press kits to us using USB drives. We can easily offload these drives to it and access the information all in one place.

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