WD My Passport Wireless Pro Review: Portable Storage For Mobile Devices
My Passport Wireless Pro Software and Setup
The setup process for the new My Passport Wireless Pro is very similar to that of the original device. WD recommends fully charging the battery before attempting setup, and I found out they weren't kidding. Trying to set it up out of the box did not go well. In fact, it failed. A few hours later, once the device was charged fully, however, the setup was smooth as glass.
Don't expect much in terms of documentation, though. All WD gives you is a card with a few pictures on it and not much in the way of explanation. It's somewhat obvious, but a few words of additional guidance would have been better.
Using my laptop Wi-Fi manager, I selected the 'MyPassport 5 GHz' device and then paired it with my home Wi-Fi network. This automatically kicked off the browser to run the setup wizard. It downloaded the WD My Cloud app to set up the device and after a few clicks, I was able to access the My Passport Wireless Pro as a network drive on my laptop. It then kicked off the installation of the Plex Media Server software, which organizes and streams the media stored on the device.
The process was similar on my iPad. I paired the 5GHz connection with my home network, but the rest of the steps were a little more manual. I downloaded MyCloud from the App Store, and after installing and running that, I could access the drive.
Over the course of testing I discovered a particular shortcoming that can be somewhat of a nuisance. If you disconnect the drive from a power source, or if it is shut down, the wireless connection to the devices is lost and you must re-pair it. There is no automatic re-connection. But, the flip side is that this might be useful in terms of security.
The admin software remains largely the same from the older version of the drive. The home screen displays all the relevant info including the amount of free space on the drive as well as the number and type of files taking up space.
The Wi-Fi tab on the admin screen shows how the device is connected, and also lets you connect the drive to a Wi-Fi network so that others can share it. Under the Admin tab, you can change login details for the drive, such as the device and user name, password and SSH and FTP access. You can also restore the drive to factory settings here.
Under the Hardware tab, you see the current battery status, power state (charging or full) and can optimize for either performance or energy saving. We left it on Performance throughout testing. The Drive Lock lets you turn off the USB port for security purposes. You also have the option to shut down or reboot the device.
The Media tab lets you enable or disable streaming and configure the Plex Media Server, rebuild the media library, and change the behavior of the SD card port. You can select whether or not the default behavior is to copy or move the contents of the card to the drive when a card is inserted, which is a great choice to have.
The Support tab lets you send a diagnostic report to WD for remote support requests. You can also download a drive report in case a support agent asks you to do so. You can also run tests on the drive, and choose whether or not to participate in the product improvement program.