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327 of 337 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra by name...
Doesn't the word 'ultra' in a product name just raise your expectations and make you wonder what's so 'ultra' instead of 'ordinary'? I already own the 'ordinary' version of this drive, the WD My Passport 2TB Drive, so I was especially curious. At first it seems the main difference is that the Ultra comes with a copy of SmartWare, a backup utility that can sync your...
Published 13 months ago by techpuppy

versus
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful
In my personal opinion WD set the bar for quality hard drives. Every hard drive I have ever purchased whether it be for a laptop, desktop, external or other like my Playstation has always been WD.
I always feel confident when purchasing WD drive but this time I don't feel so confident.
I purchased an older WD 2TB external hard drive but after my child knocked it...
Published 3 months ago by Andy.Y


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327 of 337 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra by name..., 1 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Doesn't the word 'ultra' in a product name just raise your expectations and make you wonder what's so 'ultra' instead of 'ordinary'? I already own the 'ordinary' version of this drive, the WD My Passport 2TB Drive, so I was especially curious. At first it seems the main difference is that the Ultra comes with a copy of SmartWare, a backup utility that can sync your computer's files keeping copies on the Ultra drive and also on your Dropbox account too. However (unless I missed something) you only get a month's free trial using the full feature set and if you want to continue using the Dropbox facility, for example, you'll have to pay a fee. That's a bit un-ultra. The drive also comes with a pair of WD utilities already on it, one for configuring and checking the drive and one for securing the content using encryption - however these are freely downloadable for use with any My Passport drive so they hardly qualify as ultra either. Physically both drives are the same size with a well-finished plastic case (it might look like metal but it isn't) and a solid feel but the Ultra version has its USB-3 port slightly to the right-side instead of the left and the port is 'upside-down' - as if the innards had been flipped over. However, there is another much more important difference, the speed of data transfer, and the Ultra just beats the standard Passport drive. For me it's testing about 10MB/s faster than the ordinary My Passport drive (when they're connected via USB3), which is about a 10% speed advantage. So maybe that's just enough to justify the Ultra moniker?

In most other respects it seems like the same drive, which is no bad thing, with a compact easily-transportable size and thoughtful details like little rubber nodules on the underside which stop it rattling on a hard surface whilst in use. There are specially moulded hard cases available from WD if you need to carry it around with you but I made do with an AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for My Passport which fits the drive well with room left for a USB cable and even, with a slight squeeze, another slim-line drive too. The drive utility has some useful options like the ability to set the Sleep timer in the drive to prevent it spinning down at inopportune moments while attached to a desktop computer, or to try to maximise battery life when used with your laptop - bearing in mind there's no mains adaptor with this drive, it draws the power it needs from the USB connection. Speaking of sleep, this drive will never interrupt yours - it's very quiet, almost silent, in operation and if it wasn't for the little white LED which flashes whilst it's in use you'll sometimes wonder if it's actually doing anything. There are dedicated 'turbo' drivers available too, for both Windows and Mac OS X, but I didn't find they made all that much difference and for general use everything you need is already in your operating system with no need to install anything extra. If you need to squeeze every megabit of speed out of your external drive then perhaps it's worth spending a bit extra to get the Ultra, otherwise either drive is well-made, nippy and very portable - what else could you ask for?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Xbox One, 24 Jun 2014
By 
S. Hudson (Southam, England) - See all my reviews
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I bought this for use with the recent Xbox One update which allows external storage. To be honest I wasn't sure if it'd work but I can confirm it does and is a great little HDD. It does have a constant glowing/pulsing light that does seem bright in complete darkness but its small enough you tuck it behind the console and its not noticeable. It's really simple just plug into the console then switch console on. It'll ask to format the HDD and takes seconds. It'll pop up a notification when done.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great With a Mac, 11 May 2014
By 
M. Keil (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I use this with a MacBook Pro laptop and it works great. You'll need to format it with Disk Utility first, after that you're good to go. The software included also includes a Mac version if you want to use it, although Time Machine is a suitably more efficient way of backing up your files if this is what you're buying it for.

I run my iTunes library off of this drive and it does a great job. I have full HD video from the iTunes store (about 5GB) and it can be played from the drive with no problems at all.

Transferring files is very quick - I noticed it was copying files at about 90-100 MB/s when copying from my main hard drive.

As other reviews have noted, this drive does get quite warm. I wouldn't say hot - certainly not enough to cause alarm.

I've owned many WD drives over the years and they are always reliable. I expect I'll have this one for a few years to come.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful, 24 Aug 2014
In my personal opinion WD set the bar for quality hard drives. Every hard drive I have ever purchased whether it be for a laptop, desktop, external or other like my Playstation has always been WD.
I always feel confident when purchasing WD drive but this time I don't feel so confident.
I purchased an older WD 2TB external hard drive but after my child knocked it off the desk it failed with head clash preventing it from working so I bought the previous model to this "WD my passport" and felt it was such a great product I got a second from my local PC World but the my passport ultra was the only one available which wasn't a problem to start with but after just a few hours of transferring data I plugged it into the laptop and it started clicking which is never a good sign, it has failed to load a few times but is currently still working but now I have little to no confidence in this particular drive and will be looking at an SSD unit to replace this one.
I would be careful of this drive as it seems like there maybe a few slipping through that are not of a very high standard of quality and if like me you use it for important data it is detrimental that the drive does not fail, so all in all if you suffer anything out of the ordinary take it straight back to the dealer of which you purchased it from as it may just be that you got one of the bad ones.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of storage space for a reasonable outlay - and the 2.5" drive's fairly speedy as well, 14 Nov 2013
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a classy looking little unit fitted with a 2.5" 'laptop' hard-drive and a single USB3 connection (backwards compatible with USB2). Nominally 2Tb, it comes pre-formatted with 1.81Tb of useable space. The drives case is mostly dense plastic with a thin pretty metal sheet top that's more for aesthetics than protection. I bought the matching extra-tough pod like WD Nomad Rugged case that offers great protection, with the only negatives being that the Nomad pod hides the drive LEDs and there's no place to store the short 40cm USB3 cable. Alternatively this drive also fits the less ruggedised AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case perfectly, and that usefully has space for storing the USB3 cable. This Passport drive is fully powered by the single port USB3 cable (no Y split cable required), and the huge 2Tb storage space makes the drive great value at around 5p per Gb (assuming a typical street price of £110), putting this drive on PC Pro's A list. It comes with a lightweight felt bag for travel. Technically you can also attach this drive to USB1 but with a 50x slower transfer speed the drive is unusable (a 12 min USB2 file transfer takes 6 hours via USB1 if it finishes at all). You can fit a Belkin or Startech USB3 PCIe/PCI card to upgrade transfer speeds with an older Windows desktop PC if necessary. The short 40cm USB3 cable supplied is apparently advantageous for getting enough USB 5V power through to run the hard drive, although the drive works fine for me with an Amazon Basics 1m USB3 cable and our desktop PC's USB2/USB3 ports.

The drive's bundled backup software is basic and seems serviceable, but I have Acronis True Image Home 2013 PC Backup and Recovery and besides for most of my backups a simple drag and drop suffices as my folder of the kids camcorder videos and photos from 2005 never changes anyway. I don't use the Passports iCloud option either as I have plenty of free alternatives from work and iClouds only cheap for Gb not Tb. Speed wise the drive was identical in operation to my larger WD USB2 drives via USB2, but read/write speeds were 2 to 3 times faster via my USB3 ports. Drive performance statistics from CrystalDiskMark suggested that via USB3 this passport drive's 98 and 72 Mb/s read&write transfer rates weren't that much slower than my main WD Black internal SATA drives sequential read&writes of 126 & 122 Mb/s. Via my PCs Startech PCI USB3 port (not the fastest), a 2Gb folder of photos drag&drop transferred in 75 seconds and a 10Gb folder took 6 min 50 seconds - our PCs/laptops run under Windows 7/8. So decent enough file transfer speeds, and fine for the main use of taking lots of files to and from the office or college. These days most of the hard drive components come from the same factories to be assembled by WD or Seagate etc. so I doubt there is really much to choose between the major hard drive manufacturers in terms of reliability.

I never treat these external drives as reliable backup though - anything spinning at 5,000+ rpm will fail eventually and if we are unlucky it will fail sooner rather than later. In fact the hard drive failure rate is around 5% in the first year alone (higher actually in the first year than in years two and three owing to manufacturing faults and misshandling at the warehouse/couriers during delivery). After 4 years continual use, PC Pro estimate that around 25% of hard drives will have failed. However at least these 2.5" laptop drives are specially shock toughened to withstand mobile use compared to their 3.5" desktop counterparts. Data is more at risk on any external hard drive compared to internal versions though, e.g. from experience I know the 5V power feed in the USB2 lead can short and fry the motherboard/CPU, or you can simply drop or lose the hard drive when lugging it between PCs - and ironically hard drives running cool (below 27oC) are around twice as likely to fail than those running at 40oC. Ideally keep one copy of crucial data/photos at a different location (if lightning, 'ransom' malware, or a thief strikes, all the PCs hard drives may go together) and keep a copy on your PC main drives as well, then chances are you won't lose all the copies at the same time. Still a nice ultra-portable drive from a respected manufacturer and pretty good value at £100 for the 2Tb external storage, so 4*. It has a one year warranty, and 14 months on the WD Ultra drive is still working perfectly..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best portable hard drive you can buy., 18 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For some reason this was cheaper than WD My Passport, even though this is the newer product. If you are looking for a portable hard drive, I would recommend this one. I have had no problems with it, and it does it's job. I put my whole collection of media on this drive and I stream the videos onto my tablet/smartphone using [6-in-1] RAVPower FileHub.

You also don't have to use the cloud backup software thing that comes with the drive. I just deleted it. It serves no purpose to me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb USB 3.0 external drive for Xbox One., 4 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this hard drive as Microsoft have added the ability to attach up to two USB 3.0 drives to the Xbox One console and this functionality was made available to me early as I was part of the preview program. I am buying a lot of my content digitally, so the ability to keep my games on an external drive appealed as a) I can attach the drive to other Xbox One consoles, sign in and play my games and b) if the Xbox console fails, and I have to get a replacement console then I will not have to re download the software.

The WD drive is incredibly small and light, and the styling matched the design of the console very well.

As soon as I attached the drive, the console recognised it up, formatted it, and it was ready to copy my content across.

The drive is remarkably quiet, although the light that shines out of the back of it is incredibly bright.

It's compact, and -damn- is it fast, I have seen noticeable improvements in the loading times of games (particularly Dead Rising 3) since I moved my installed game onto the external HDD.

The supplied USB cable *isn't* that long and I can see how this could be an issue for those looking to connect the drive to a desktop PC. However for the purpose I wanted the drive for, the supplied USB cable is more than long enough.

Obviously it's too soon to remark on the reliability or longevity of the drive. However, I must say, initially, the design and performance of the drive has more than lived up to all expectations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product but no pouch included, 26 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WD My Passport Ultra 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Red (Accessory)
The drive is very light, compact and easy to set-up for Mac too. It also looks pretty good with the colours and feels quite solid.

Transferring data is very fast as expected with 3.0 (i.e. I managed to copy around 6GB in around 3'-5' so I can't really complain and it's a lot faster than my Toshiba drive).

I can't comment on the Cloud backup as I'm not using it.

My main issue with it is that even though it's meant to come with a pouch to carry it around and there is space in the packaging for it, mine didn't have one. I did some research on the internet and found that it's a common thing so if you're interested in having it maybe you should purchase it in a store to ensure that it's there. Given the price, I feel that it should definitely be included.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great drive from WD, 5 July 2013
By 
Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm a very long time fan of Western Digital drives, all my backups and storage pools reside on one of their products or another. Not everyone likes the passport design but I find them visually appealing and chunky in a way that reassures of their quality. I already own 0.350Tb & 2Tb passport drives as well as various myBook drives too and I've always found them reliable and long lasting. From my, admittedly, short ownership period of this one, I see no reason to doubt its build quality and eventual longevity. Beyond the drive and storage it comes with a USB 3.0 cable and a nice storage pouch which is good for when out and about, personally I prefer a more rigid shell pouch but this should do for most usages.

I use my passport drives as my portable backup and bulk storage for media and various virtual machines. I've not had it long enough to make a definitive opinion of its performance, the USB3.0 connectors make a big difference of course but it is definitely a lot faster than the older drives I have with stable transfer of very large files done in about quarter of the time I'd expected (or faster). The performance is also good enough for me to run virtual machines straight off the drive rather than having to copy them back to the local drive.

Hard to say more really, it's a good looking, has vast capacity and is top notch piece of kit.

Note: the back-up software and advanced drivers, if you are using them, are not on a separate CD/DVD, they're on the drive itself, a useful point to note just in case you spend 20 minutes searching the place looking for it in vain like I did. To be honest I don't use the bundled software, personally I don't like it and think it's a poor solution, but the drive works fine without installing any of this.

Note: the included cable is the usual 20cm which means this is aimed at the mobile/portable/laptop user rather than the desktop or server community. The drive works well with other longer cables and over USB 3.0 hubs which means it can be used to support other usages but I've not tested it in anger or gauged performance over longer cables or hubs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small in size, big in capacity and fast, very fast., 24 Oct 2014
By 
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Very fast. The difference in time taken between this box on my new laptop (with USB 3) compared to the old laptop and the Passport drive that I used with that is amazing. It's attached to the laptop via a SimpleDock so the backup process is completely automated whenever I plug the laptop in at my desk.
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