WD My Pass­port Wire­less SSD

A MUST-HAVE TOOL IN EV­ERY TRAV­EL­LING PHO­TOG­RA­PHER’S BAG.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME -

IF YOU’RE SHOOT­ING LOTS OF BIG PHO­TOS IN RAW, OR FILM­ING VIDEO IN 4K, GET­TING THOSE BACK ONTO YOUR EDIT­ING RIG SHOULD BE SUB­STAN­TIALLY QUICKER.

STOR­AGE GI­ANT WEST­ERN Dig­i­tal is no stranger when it comes to cre­at­ing gear that serves the needs of pro pho­tog­ra­phers. Over the last few years, it’s fo­cused on this seg­ment with a range of de­vices that make trans­fer­ring and back­ing up pho­tos while in the field quicker and sim­pler. The com­pany has now added a third prod­uct to its wire­less range with this new SSD model, with the main draw be­ing the ad­di­tional speed and dura­bil­ity that solid-state stor­age pro­vides.

The My Pass­port Wire­less SSD has been built for life on the go: it comes packing a built-in SD card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity and a built-in bat­tery that gives you up to 10 hours of con­tin­u­ous use. Once you’ve got the im­ages from your cam­era’s SD card trans­ferred, you can view them on your smart­phone or tablet via a the My Cloud app, without need­ing to go near a com­puter. While the de­vice isn’t weather- or dust-proof, it does come in a re­mov­able drop-re­sis­tant bumper, giv­ing it a rugged look and a non-slip sur­face to im­prove grip.

Set­ting up the My Pass­port Wire­less SSD is a breeze — just con­nect via Wi-Fi us­ing the de­tails on the sticker on the drive’s top, then log in via a web browser or the WD My Cloud app. The user in­ter­face is straight­for­ward, and al­though the drive is al­ready con­fig­ured for

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im­me­di­ate use, there’s a range of op­tional ad­vanced fea­tures you can take ad­van­tage of. For ex­am­ple, users wish­ing to stream me­dia (up to 4K res­o­lu­tion) di­rectly from the drive can in­stall the Plex Me­dia Server and watch movies on their phones without con­sum­ing their pre­cious on­board stor­age space.

While the older hard-drive mod­els in WD’s wire­less range are de­cent per­form­ers, the SSD ver­sion leaves them for dead, with a roughly three­fold speed in­crease when trans­fer­ring files to and from a PC or Mac via USB. In our tests, we clocked a top read speed of 390.1MB/s and 385.5MB/s for writes. While that doesn’t make this the fastest por­ta­ble SSD money can buy — we’ve had USB SSDs hit 500MB/s — it’s a big boost over the 130MB/s you’ll see from the fastest con­ven­tional hard drives. If you’re shoot­ing lots of big pho­tos in RAW, or film­ing video in 4K, get­ting those back onto your edit­ing rig should be sub­stan­tially quicker.

But the drive is more than just an ex­ter­nal SSD: it of­fers the pho­tog­ra­pher a way to back up im­ages from an SD card di­rectly to the drive with a sin­gle tap. It can even trans­fer files from other USB flash drives as well, and can charge your de­vices via its USB On-the-Go port that sup­plies up to 1.5A of power. And with a 6,700mAh bat­tery pow­er­ing the drive, there’s hon­estly plenty to spare if your de­vices need a lit­tle more juice while you’re out on a shoot. It is, how­ever, dis­ap­point­ing to see only a non­stan­dard 10-pin mi­cro-B USB 3.0 port on the drive for con­nect­ing to PC — a USB-C port would have been pre­ferred — and means you’re stuck us­ing the in­cluded USB mi­cro-B to USB-A cable for PC trans­fers. That makes con­nect­ing to newer lap­tops with only USB-C a pain. The other down­side also in­volves USB — that On-the-Go port is USB 2.0 only, mean­ing trans­fers from ex­ter­nal USB 3 de­vices will of­ten be se­verely throt­tled.

If you can live with those caveats, how­ever, this one’s a great al­ter­na­tive to WD’s ex­ist­ing wire­less hard drives.

[ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ]

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