WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable Hard Drive Review

WD My Passport Ultra
by Rob Williams on August 9, 2013 in Storage

For those who like a little extra when purchasing a portable drive, WD’s My Passport Ultra offers a compelling package. In addition to the inclusion of a soft pouch that helps keep the drive looking new, a robust backup solution is also included that’s easy-to-use and effective – and even sports the option of backing-up to the cloud, via Dropbox.


When we took a look at WD’s My Passport last summer, we were left impressed for a couple of reasons. For starters, it performed well, and who wouldn’t love 2TB in such a small form-factor? Then there was the robust (but clunky) backup software, a durable, good-looking design, and for those who want to take advantage of it, hardware encryption.

This summer, WD followed-up to that series with “Ultra”, which overall looks pretty similar but does have a couple of notable differences. At the forefront, cloud backups are here, and as long as Dropbox is your solution of choice, WD has got you covered. Second, the Pro version of SmartWare is included, allowing you to backup with more than just WD drives. It might be a small touch, but an included soft pouch rounds out the deal, and overall, it’s a good addition.

WD’s My Passport Ultra drives come in black, red, silver and blue. I’ll let you take a guess as to the one we’re dealing with.

WD My Passport Ultra 01

The Ultra’s densities range from 500GB to 2TB, with the physical size being based on that. The 1TB model, which we’re looking at here, is 0.61″ thick (and 154 grams), while the 2TB, just like the My Passport in the shot below, is 0.82″ thick (and 227 grams).

WD My Passport Ultra 02

The top of the Ultra might look textured, but it’s as smooth as can be. The same can be said for the bottom, though it’s not glossy as the top is. No surprise, this is a USB 3.0 device (backwards compatible with USB 2.0), as you can see by the connector in the shot below.

WD My Passport Ultra 03

Once plugged into your PC, you’ll have 931GB in total to make use of. Be careful not to format the drive too hastily, however, as WD has its software bundle waiting for you inside. You’re free to format the drive to any file system you like, but the encryption software is only designed to work with Windows and OS X.

WD My Passport Ultra 1TB - Storage Space Under Windows

Remember when 1TB seemed enormous?

It happened quick, but we’ve exhausted the feature’s list, so without wasting time, let’s dive into a look at the software.

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  • fortran4ever

    My main complaint is that once the device was connected to my computer, there were no instructions on how to proceed forward. I depended on my own experience to muddle my own way in installing the software. The software automates the typical backup and recovery functions for those with less experience with backup/recovery technology. I was pleased to learn from this review about its strong encryption capability.

    I would also like to say the the review of this device is excellent!

  • fortran4ever

    One problem that has surfaced is that I want to delete folders stored on WD My Passport Ultra. I would greatly appreciate getting some insight on this issue

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      What’s the problem, exactly? You should never have issues deleting folders on your drive.