WD My Passport Wireless Pro backs up photos faster, streams up to 8 videos at once

When Western Digital (WD) released the My Passport Wireless back in the latter half of 2014 it attracted the attention of creatives, specifically photographers. Having the ability to back-up images from an SD card to a battery powered drive, while still being able to access the images via Wi-Fi (a portable server) seemed like a dream come true.

Unfortunately for these users, the My Passport Wireless had not been designed with heavy-duty workloads in mind. The SD card backup process is torturously slow, and the built-in Wi-Fi app does not support viewing of RAW file formats that advanced photographers need. To that end, those with less demanding needs were able to get good use out of the product, but by and large, creatives and photographers were left something more to be desired.

It seems WD noticed this as well, and created the new My Passport Wireless Pro. This time, it was designed from the ground up with professional workloads in mind. SD 3.0 means transferring images from a card to the hard drive will be quick and painless. USB 3.0 connectivity means transferring files from this drive to your computer, or from another portable drive to the My Passport Wireless Pro, will be fast as well (although the original My Passport Wireless also had USB 3.0). Another nod to creatives: The drive, via the app, supports Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform, allowing you to directly upload content to the cloud.

WD My Passport Wireless Pro

The My Passport Wireless Pro also boosts battery life up to 10 hours, a welcome improvement over the previous model. But another perfect improvement – and an ingenious upgrade – is the addition of a power bank to charge a phone or tablet off the My Passport Wireless Pro’s battery – essentially turning the unit into a 3-in-1 device capable of charging, backup, and streaming. Yes, that’s right, the My Passport Wireless Pro can function as a media server or wireless hotspot. You can connect the drive to a network and turn it into a wireless router to provide Internet access to multiple devices, or stream movie and music files via Plex or DLNA/UPnP. WD says the drive can stream up to eight HD movies (MP4 at 8Mbps) at the same time.

The wireless functionality itself received quite the upgrade as well, moving up to 802.11ac from the 2×2 N protocol of the original model. This means that with compatible cameras that support wireless FTP transfers, you can do more than just look at images on the hard drive from your phone – you can actually connect the drive to the camera and save images from the camera directly to the drive wirelessly. The more robust Wi-Fi is also what allows the device to function as a media server.

The My Passport Wireless Pro weighs in at roughly a pound, while measuring 5 x 5 x 1 inches. In other words, the unit is still small and easily fits into bags or coats with a spare pocket. It’s larger than the original, but doesn’t feel any heavier. The My Passport Wireless Pro will come in 2TB and 3TB variants, with suggested retail prices of $230 and $250, respectively. WD will also continue to sell the original to less-demanding users who want a more affordable solution. The new drive is available today at the WD Store, Amazon, and select retailers worldwide.

In related news, WD also announced the new My Cloud Pro Series of network-attached storage (NAS) drive. Like the My Passport Wireless Pro, the My Cloud Pro is part of the WD Pro series and it’s also designed with creatives in mind, but NAS drives are meant to stay put in a home or office, of course. Besides backup, the new NAS is fast and robust enough to handle on-drive editing of photos and design files, while also doubling as a Plex/DLNA/UPnP media server. Connect a camera, USB drive, or even the My Passport Wireless Pro to it, and it’ll automatically back up the content from the attached devices with one push of a button. The drive is also smart enough to know what files have already been backed up, saving you the trouble of dealing with duplicates. Because the function of the NAS is to serve heavy loads of data, there’s no Wi-Fi, but it’s capable of streaming 4K content – important for video editors – and can be accessed remotely. My Cloud Pro NAS starts at $400, depending on the two-bay or four-bay configuration (i.e., how many hard drives are in it, and at what capacity).

WD My Cloud Pro NAS in four-bay configuration.

Apple’s interest in self-driving cars reported to be revving up

A new report suggests that Apple is in talks with a number of suppliers to purchase lidar sensors, an essential tool for self-driving cars. The news is once again spiking rumors that Apple might be building vehicles.

These business machines can rival any consumer laptop in style and function

These laptops have the reliability, performance, and battery life you need whether you're at your desk or flying across the country for a meeting, letting you to revel in a function-first approach.

Samsung Galaxy S10 update gives manual control of Bright Night mode

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

Etch-A-Snap camera puts a modern spin on one of your favorite childhood toys

Can't draw on an Etch A Sketch? Snap a photo with the Etch-A-Snap and the camera will draw out the scene for you. The weirdly cool camera designed by Martin Fitzpatrick replaces the usual LCD screen with an old-school Etch A Sketch.

The Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 is a knockout lens for any smartphone

Where cheaper wide-angle accessory lenses add distortion, and costlier models don't always justify their higher prices, the Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 offers a valuable balance of modest price and high quality optics.

Family feud: Huawei P30 Pro vs. P20 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro camera shootout

The Huawei P30 Pro's camera has an amazing zoom mode and low light capabilities. But take these away, and how does it compare when facing its sibling phones, the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, taking regular photos?

Nikon Z 7 vs. Sony A7R III: High-res mirrorless cameras compared

The Nikon Z 7 and Sony A7R III both have over 40 megapixels, but which one comes out on top? With similar image quality, the answer comes down to speed, autofocus, battery life, and design.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera gets a steep price cut at Walmart

Modern smartphones can snap pretty impressive pics, but if you want pro-quality photos, you need a dedicated digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, and it’s on sale right now for…

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Nikon Z 7: When megapixels matter, which do you choose?

The 47-megapixels Lumix S1R and 46-megapixel Nikon Z 7 are the two highest-resolution, full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. The S1R features a high-resolution mode that can take 187MP images, but the Nikon is lighter and cheaper.

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?

China bans selfies at gigantic Aperture Spherical Telescope

You can't take a selfie with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope anymore, as the Chinese government has banned everything from smartphones to digital cameras in the surrounding 5-kilometer area.

Light on price but rich on features, these are the best cameras for students

Need pro-level features on a budget? The best cameras for students mix advanced features with a more palatable price point. From $2K entry level full frame cameras to $600 budget picks, here are five of the best cameras for students.