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
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
WD My Cloud Pro NAS in four-bay configuration.
Cars

Acura engineers love speed so much that they set up a Pikes Peak race team

Acura will bring four cars to the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, all driven and crewed by the Honda luxury brand's own engineers. A fifth Acura entered by RealTime Racing will also compete.
Computing

Microsoft teams up with Kano to create a DIY Windows 10 PC for kids

Microsoft and Kano have unveiled a build-it-yourself Windows 10 PC aimed at making computing fun for kids. The Kano PC features an 11.6-inch touchscreen and attachable keyboard, and comes bundled with a range of software.
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Deals

Planning a camping trip? Stock up on camp gear with 25% off at Huckberry

It's camping season, so now's a good time as ever to make sure you've got everything you need. Today might be the best day to do it: we've just come across a big in-season sale at online outdoor retailer Huckberry, which ends at midnight…
Photography

Hasselblad X1D II 50C is a faster, cheaper, more refined medium-format camera

The sequel to the world's first medium-format mirrorless camera, the Hasselblad X1D II 50C is all about performance improvements and a refined shooting experience. It gains a new processor, OLED EVF, and 3.6-inch LCD screen.
Deals

The Canon PowerShot SX420 bundle gets a massive price cut from Walmart

Looking for a feature-packed and lightweight camera? You may want to check out the Canon PowerShot SX420. Right now, Walmart is offering this model at a huge discount. Normally $611, it is available for only $189.
Product Review

The Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S redefines sharp -- but is it worth the cost?

Nikon’s new mirrorless cameras now have a bright, versatile workhorse zoom that can be used without an adapter. Here's how the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S stacks up -- and whether it's worth $2,300.
Deals

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…
Photography

Hasselblad’s CFV II and 907X are a modern take on a photography classic

The CFV II 50C digital back is compatible with V system cameras from nearly the middle of last century, while the new 907X camera body turns it into an ultra-compact medium format machine using X system lenses.
Apple

Good news for Mac photographers — Lightroom now available from Mac App Store

Getting your hands on a copy of Adobe Lightroom CC just got a bit simpler for Mac users. The popular photo-editing app launched on the Mac App Store today, allowing photo editors to skip ordering from Adobe and go right to the App Store.
Photography

Take control of your photographic lighting with the best camera flashes for 2019

A good external flash makes your camera more capable and opens up new creative lighting options for you. Here are the best camera flashes you can buy for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, and Panasonic cameras.
Photography

Sandmarc crams cinematic video flare into a tiny iPhone anamorphic lens

Looking for some unique flare for your iPhone videos? The Sandmarc iPhone Anamorphic lens captures a wider aspect ratio, oval bokeh, and horizontal flare. The new iPhone lens, designed for video, uses a clip or case-style attachment.
Photography

The 2019 class of camera phones is great, and we tested them to find the best

It's the middle of the year, which means it's time for a mid-year camera shootout to find the best among our top phones of 2019. We pit six phones against each other, including the OnePlus 7 Pro, Pixel 3a, and Galaxy S10 Plus.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!