The Western Digital Passport Wireless
is a member of a new class of storage devices that combine run-of-the-mill USB
storage with wireless hotspot and media center functionality. These devices essentially marry what used to be two separate drives - an external USB device and a media device that can stream data wirelessly to connected devices. They also help address the relatively small amount of storage that is included with today's mobile devices, as they let you store and access terabytes of data on your smartphone or tablet without having to store it locally. It's an interesting combination, and very useful if you're the type of person who is constantly passing your external drive around to family members or co-workers. Instead of using Sneaker Net, a drive like the WD My Passport Wireless
lets other people connect to the drive wirelessly for file sharing, and it also allows connected users to stream its contents either via a mobile app or via file explorer/Finder. It even doubles as a Wi-Fi
Hotspot, and can let up to eight users share an internet connection. And for the photographers out there, it has a built-in SD card reader that can automatically dump its contents onto the drive when a card is inserted.
The drive we received for review is a plump 2TB version, which is the highest capacity available for a single 2.5" drive. WD
also offers the drive in smaller 1TB and 500GB versions as well. It is battery powered, and bus-powered, so the only items in the box are an AC plug adapter and a USB 3.0 cable along with a Quick Start guide.
WD claims the drive's rechargeable battery is good for over six hours of streaming or 20 hours when its idle. It also allows up to eight users to connect to it at once, and can stream media to DLNA
devices, TVs, consoles, etc. It also includes a two-year warranty. Let's get a closer look at the product...