The best work I ever did as a photographer resides in a collection of Western Digital external hard drives that are stored in an old, large camera bag in my closet. The images span more than a decade and with any one of the WD My Passport drives, I can confidently plug one in and quickly find some black-and-white relic of my past.
You can see the progress of time in the pictures (clothes and hair styles) as well as in the design and sizes of the WD drives. Each year, the drives offered more storage space in the same basic compact housing.
So I was astonished a couple of weeks back when the UPS driver dropped off a WD My Passport sized just a little bigger than a deck of cards — with a whopping 4 terabytes of storage.
New My Passport drives went on sale Tuesday in six colors — black, yellow, red, white, orange and blue — and offer a range of encrypted storage sizes once only possible in a larger package and for a far heftier price.
The glossy black drive I received has a surface divided by smooth and vertical ribbed textures. The My Passport line starts with 1 terabyte at $79.99 and comes in 2TB ($109.99), 3TB ($149.99) and 4 TB ($159.99) sizes.
The My Passport for Mac drives can work with Time Machine and has password protection 256-bit AES hardware encryption. Western Digital also released a My Book series in 3, 4, 6 and 8TB drives for the desktop that ranges from $129.99 to $299.99.
I’ve loved My Passport drives because they are light to carry and easy to use when you work remotely. I don’t have a dedicated home desk, so it’s nice to be able to slip one of these sleek drives into my bag. You can store a variety of files, from documents and pictures to video and your music library.
If you are copying over a lot of files, make sure you allow some time for them to transfer. Some reviewers over the years have complained about transfer times, but the first folder I dragged onto this newest drive with 44 GB worth of files took less than 15 minutes.
I tend to talk nice to my hard drives as I plug one in after a while to retrieve an old file. I’ve heard stories from colleagues losing work over hard drives that crashed. Because of those stories, I’ve tended to back up my backup drives, and the WD prices make soothing my anxiety affordable.
Knocking on the wood table next to me, I haven’t had a single Western Digital drive crash.
There’s not a lot more to say about My Passport, though this newest one may be the prettiest in my collection. By design, it is not meant to be your most exciting device. It has one job — dependable digital file storage and retrieval.
And that’s enough.