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WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)

by Western Digital
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


  • Portable hard drive with dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Connectivity for today with speed for tomorrow
  • Up to 3x faster transfer rates with USB 3.0
  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Hardware encryption, password protection
See more product details
There is a newer model of this item:
WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Red WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Red 4.5 out of 5 stars (439)
44.99
In stock.


Product Information

Technical Details
BrandWestern Digital
Item Weight141 g
Product Dimensions11.1 x 8.3 x 1.5 cm
Item model numberWDBACY5000ARD-EESN
ColorRed
Hard Drive Size500 GB
  
Additional Information
ASINB004445JHW
Best Sellers Rank 25,992 in Computers & Accessories (See top 100)
Shipping Weight281 g
Date First Available20 Oct 2010
  
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Product Description

Product Description

WD Quality inside and out
My Passport portable drives are the world's best selling drives. With 20 years of experience we know how to protect your data.

My Passport Essential – Next Generation Storage To Go.

Put your digital life on the stylishly small My Passport Essential portable hard drive. With WD quality and USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity, this drive is designed for today with tomorrow in mind.

Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Interface

If you're worried that your portable drive won't be able to keep up with the transfer rates of the future, then look no further than the My Passport Essential. With the dual interface you'll have a single drive with both universal compatibility for today, and the next-generation speed you need for tomorrow. Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.

Up to 3x Faster Transfer Rates

When connected to a USB 3.0 port this drive lets you access and save files up to 3 times faster than USB 2.0. Imagine being able to transfer a 2-hour HD movie in just 5 minutes instead of 13 minutes.* Not only will this save you time and allow you to do other tasks, but it also makes your media that much more portable, available to take with you or be transferred within minutes.

*Performance may vary based on user's hardware and system configuration.

Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.
A single drive with universal compatibility today and next-generation speed for tomorrow.
WD Quality Inside and Out

For over 20 years, millions of people worldwide have trusted their data to WD hard drives. We are successful because we understand the importance of your data and our first concern is keeping that data safe.

WD SmartWare Software

You're in control of your backup. With our intuitive backup system you can decide how you approach securing your data for the future - you can install all the features, select just the components you need, or if you prefer, choose not to use the software at all.

Automatic, Continuous Backup

A backup system that works as you do, running quietly in the background to protect your data using minimal PC resources. Whenever you add or change a file it's instantly backed up, so you can be safe in the knowledge that if the worst happens, your stored data will let you carry on from only moments before.

Ultra-small portable drive.
Lightweight, stylish and easy to carry, this drive is powered directly from the USB port on your PC.
Password Protection for Privacy

Data privacy is a big concern for many people, and with a portable drive there is always the possibility that it could be misplaced during a journey. Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorised access with password protection and encryption.

USB-Powered

A truly portable drive without a chunky power adapter. As this drive is powered directly from the USB port on your PC, no separate power supply is needed, allowing you the freedom and flexibility to take this small drive anywhere and connect via any compatible device or hub when you need it.

Planet Friendly

We designed a small box that uses recycled material and minimises waste. We encourage you to recycle it when you're finished, to help reduce waste further and help the environment.

Ideal for:
  • Connecting with your USB 2.0 port today and using with USB 3.0 when you're ready
  • Transferring files up to three times faster when connected to a USB 3.0 port
  • Protecting your data with automatic, continuous backup
  • Adding extra storage space for photos, videos and music
  • Securing private or sensitive data with password protection and hardware encryption

Portable Storage Comparison Table

Western Digital Elements Portable Western Digital Elements Portable SE Western Digital My Passport Essential Western Digital My Passport Essential SE
SUMMARY Simply affordable, easily portable. Maximum capacity storage in a compact design. Next generation storage to go. Next generation high-capacity storage to go.
Capacity
250GB - 500GB
500GB - 1TB
500GB
750GB - 1TB
Interface
USB 2.0
USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
Available Colours
Black
Black
WD SmartWare
Yes
Yes
Automatic Backup
Yes
Yes
Password Protection and Hardware Encryption
Yes
Yes

Manufacturer's Description

WD Quality inside and out
My Passport portable drives are the world's best selling drives. With 20 years of experience we know how to protect your data.

My Passport Essential – Next Generation Storage To Go.

Put your digital life on the stylishly small My Passport Essential portable hard drive. With WD quality and USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity, this drive is designed for today with tomorrow in mind.

Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Interface

If you're worried that your portable drive won't be able to keep up with the transfer rates of the future, then look no further than the My Passport Essential. With the dual interface you'll have a single drive with both universal compatibility for today, and the next-generation speed you need for tomorrow. Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.

Up to 3x Faster Transfer Rates

When connected to a USB 3.0 port this drive lets you access and save files up to 3 times faster than USB 2.0. Imagine being able to transfer a 2-hour HD movie in just 5 minutes instead of 13 minutes.* Not only will this save you time and allow you to do other tasks, but it also makes your media that much more portable, available to take with you or be transferred within minutes.

*Performance may vary based on user's hardware and system configuration.

Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.
A single drive with universal compatibility today and next-generation speed for tomorrow.
WD Quality Inside and Out

For over 20 years, millions of people worldwide have trusted their data to WD hard drives. We are successful because we understand the importance of your data and our first concern is keeping that data safe.

WD SmartWare Software

You're in control of your backup. With our intuitive backup system you can decide how you approach securing your data for the future - you can install all the features, select just the components you need, or if you prefer, choose not to use the software at all.

Automatic, Continuous Backup

A backup system that works as you do, running quietly in the background to protect your data using minimal PC resources. Whenever you add or change a file it's instantly backed up, so you can be safe in the knowledge that if the worst happens, your stored data will let you carry on from only moments before.

Ultra-small portable drive.
Lightweight, stylish and easy to carry, this drive is powered directly from the USB port on your PC.
Password Protection for Privacy

Data privacy is a big concern for many people, and with a portable drive there is always the possibility that it could be misplaced during a journey. Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorised access with password protection and encryption.

USB-Powered

A truly portable drive without a chunky power adapter. As this drive is powered directly from the USB port on your PC, no separate power supply is needed, allowing you the freedom and flexibility to take this small drive anywhere and connect via any compatible device or hub when you need it.

Planet Friendly

We designed a small box that uses recycled material and minimises waste. We encourage you to recycle it when you're finished, to help reduce waste further and help the environment.

Ideal for:
  • Connecting with your USB 2.0 port today and using with USB 3.0 when you're ready
  • Transferring files up to three times faster when connected to a USB 3.0 port
  • Protecting your data with automatic, continuous backup
  • Adding extra storage space for photos, videos and music
  • Securing private or sensitive data with password protection and hardware encryption

Portable Storage Comparison Table

Western Digital Elements Portable Western Digital Elements Portable SE Western Digital My Passport Essential Western Digital My Passport Essential SE
SUMMARY Simply affordable, easily portable. Maximum capacity storage in a compact design. Next generation storage to go. Next generation high-capacity storage to go.
Capacity
250GB - 500GB
500GB - 1TB
500GB
750GB - 1TB
Interface
USB 2.0
USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
Available Colours
Black
Black
WD SmartWare
Yes
Yes
Automatic Backup
Yes
Yes
Password Protection and Hardware Encryption
Yes
Yes


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working fine so far... 12 Jan 2011
By Jasper
Verified Purchase
Chose this drive based on manufacturer, storage size and price. Other makes seem to be having more failures, according to reviews. Only had it for a month, but working well as an external back-up for my laptop (Windows Vista 32 bit home premium).

Set-up was just plug in and go - ignoring the "need to install a driver" window that popped up. File access is fast enough for me, only using the USB 2 functionality (seems to access photos as quickly as from the hard drive).

I haven't bothered with the in-built back up software having read some of the slightly negative reviews - I use Microsoft's SyncToy 2.1 (free to download) instead, which has worked well so far.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Product 11 Jan 2011
Just arrived today, 1 day earlier than they stated

I read other reviews about the software that comes with it, so I just formatted the drive, I suggest you do the same so you don't come across the same problems as other people did
Formatting takes about 15 seconds, just right click the drive, select format, keep as NTFS, Allocation Size Default, keep rest the same

The Hard Drive Itself:
Total usable capacity: 465GB (* * * *)
Currently copying over 100GB of files and its transferring it at 17.5MB/s (Average) (says about 1 hour)... (* * * *)

The Extras:
The cable that comes with it is like one I have never seen before, its about 35cm long, the connector is small, thin (* * *)
The packaging is cheap, it tears when you try and take everything out of the box (* *)

The Price:
Cheap in my opinion, I looked around for cheaper alternatives and this was by far the Best Value for Money at 52~ (* * * * *)
Taking in to consideration it is 3.0 compatible

Summary:
Overall I'm generally happy with this product, it does what I want, although I did expect faster speeds and a better cable (will be a pain and expense to replace the cable), but it was the cheapest at the time of purchase so good product overall.

Now I want to see just how long it will last...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Careful if you are a Macintosh owner 10 July 2012
Verified Purchase
Although badged as working with both Mac and PC the reality is a bit more complicated. Basically, the Smartware backup software that is already on the disc when purchased is really fussy and can cause problems. Basically 'the Mac can Read/Write to a OS X formatted disk but can only Read an NTFS formatted disk.' In contrast, a Windows machine can Read/Write an NTFS formatted disk but struggles with a Mac formatted disk.''

The Mac forums are awash with complaints that this device can suddenly start behaving in READ ONLY mode and can't be written to. This can happen, for example, if you inadvertently unplug it from the USB port without ejecting it properly.

If you are intending only to use this as a plug and play backup device just for a Macintosh, then I STRONGLY advise you to reformat it before putting anything valuable on it. This is actually very easy. Once you plug it into the USB port for the first time, open Applications then Utilities and then open Disk Utility. In Disk Utility click the Erase tab and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

The Hard Drive will be reformatted and will now work just like a very large memory stick. In my opinion this is much better than trying to use some of the more fancy functions like Time Machine backup or any of the 'smart' software it comes already formatted with. These are really clunky and fussy and caused me no end of grief until I worked out what was wrong. Having said that, once formatted it is a really neat little backup device (hence the 4 stars). But initially it was a nightmare until reformatted (hence not 5).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not robust, iffy software 22 Jan 2012
By Comical Engineer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Good points:
* Good data transfer rate
* Compact

Bad points:
* Dropping it just 100mm onto a hard surface can kill the drive!!!
* Bundled backup software will only sync to 1 pc hence useless to move data between several PCs if you have used backup functions
* Backup software also encrypts data - but locked to 1 pc, so if that PC goes you are stuck with a disc full of encrypted data that you can't easily get back
* WD also use hardware encryption so if the drive does crash, it's difficult to recover the data even for a professional (ask me how I know this...)
* Also doesn't like heat, cold or damp (don't leave it it in the boot of the car overnight)

Summary:
* Be very careful transporting this device
* Don't use the bundled backup software
* Use it only to back up your PC, not as a primary drive
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice 21 May 2011
By Beanie Luck Spud TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I bought a new pc at xmas and had the chance to purchase this for half price and i jumped at the chance.

It is simple and easy to use, you just load the drivers necessary from the software supplied and away you go. I have to say though i am using Windows 7 and had no issues with it, after i had plugged it in and windows recognised it it was all ready to go, easy as pie.

Transfer rate is very quick, i transferred over 250gb of pictures and music and it took less than an hour, nobody can really complain at that.

I take this everywhere i go, on holidays especially as i can plug it into other peoples laptops and computers etc and be able to access everything.

I haven't had any issue with noise or faulty wiring ?? like another reviewer has said, and yes the micro usb cable is a bit short i guess at only a whole metre long but seriously all sarcasm aside, do you really need a cable longer than that to plug it into a laptop or a front usb port on a pc ?
No, so i think that's just nitpicking.

I dont regret my choice at all, i love the bright red colour and its great to be able to take all of my music, movies, pics etc with me without having to buy a laptop.

Perfect..
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont buy a WD Passport hard drive
Because you cannot see what it is backing up. And you run the risk of what happened to me. Despite religiously backing up my laptop every weekend from the moment I got my laptop,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just love it
Great product. It's been around 3 years I bought it, no complains yet. Password protection worked well each time I put the hard drive in.
Published 6 months ago by Svet
5.0 out of 5 stars WD My Passport Red 500GB Hard drive
It's great, I am so glad that I bought this item. I use it as a backup hard drive for my computer, and I haven't have any problem with it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by JH
5.0 out of 5 stars Good hard drive
I've been using this for years and am just now getting around to writing a review. I depend on this hard drive to back up important info - no problems yet!
Published 8 months ago by Kristen
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy
Quite happy with the WD external hard drive. Very good speed and the slim and light design is fantastic. Would recommend it.
Published 11 months ago by Vanya Dimitrova
4.0 out of 5 stars Gift
I bought this as a gift for my sister, as far as I know she's had no problem with it
Published 12 months ago by Dominic OToole
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Instead of filling up the pc with tons of pictures, films etc this is a great item to have and it can be stored away so easily, a must buy
Published 13 months ago by Earl88
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT
i can't express how much i love this red thing. it hasn't given me any problems thank god and holds a lot of my work. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Karine Hammoud
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality that i was expecting from WD
I had a 320GB WD My Passport, i bought this as a gift for my partner. since i bought this she never had any problem with it and this was what i was expecting from WD. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amir Khamsehnezhad
1.0 out of 5 stars Passpor essential
I used it only once. Second time I used, my two laptops couldn't recognised it, neither my desk top. I had to send it back to the supplier.
Published 22 months ago by Sinan
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