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Showing 1-10 of 11,616 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 12,202 reviews
on November 14, 2013
Update 2/23/14 - Okay fellow Amazon shoppers. I'm caving in to some of the comments that have been posted on my review and upping my star rating to four stars. Reason being that the price of this storage drive keeps fluctuating so much that it's often a better deal than other, lesser drives out there. I've also edited my review a bit to accommodate that. The drive itself has been working like a champ for me so far and I've got no complaints there. However, I'm still holding off one star due to most of the reasons I stated in my original review. The WD Smartware included software is still garbage despite recent updates/patches, and I stick to my story that the packaging is misleading to the non-technical.

I had been using a Seagate FreeAgent Go 640GB portable drive for about three years now, and wanted something with some more space and higher transfer speeds. I purchased this drive for it's beefy 2 TB of storage space and speedier USB 3.0 interface.

Out of the box, you get the drive, a 15" USB 3.0 cable, soft pouch, quick install guide, and a 3-year limited warranty. The drive looks nice, and appears to be of good construction. Doesn't look or feel cheaply made. I like how compact it is. It's about an inch shorter in length than my FreeAgent Go, and maybe a millimeter or two thicker. The included soft pouch is a nice addition and helps keep dust and dirt off of it. Not an ideal case solution if you're prone to dropping things or somewhat rough with your belongings, so you might want to invest in a more rugged case. It works fine for me though as I keep mine in a messenger bag when on the go, and it's a nice addition considering most other drives don't come with anything. The included USB cable is long enough to plug into the USB port on the front of my PC and reach my desk's surface. So, thumbs up there.

Functionally, the My Passport Ultra 2TB works as advertised. Transfer rates are roughly 3x faster than that of a USB 2.0 drive. I noticed the difference in speed right away when transferring large files (1-5GB+), taking only 2-3 minutes instead of 5-10 minutes or longer depending on file size. I work with large media files all day long, so the bump up in transfer speeds is really nice. The drive is very quiet while running. You wouldn't even know that it's on except for a tiny little LED indicator light to the right of the USB connector port.

So, why only four stars? Hardware-wise, The Passport Ultra is no different from WD's regular Passport series of portable drives. They're the same exact drives, only slightly different in appearance. What the regular Passports lack from the Ultra is the soft pouch, the Ultra label, and WD's misleading labeling on the box that touts, "Auto & Cloud Backup Plus Security." The "Auto" backup is merely referring to WD's abysmal backup software included on the drive, WD SmartWare (more on that later). The "Cloud" backup is basically instructions on the box for setting up a DropBox account. No kidding! They're advertising cloud storage on the front of their packaging like it's a feature they're offering. Flip the box over and you'll see that it's nothing more than an advertising gimmick for DropBox with instructions on how to set up an account.

As for the included backup software, WD Smartware, they should consider renaming this to Dumbware or Stupidware, because it simply doesn't work. The software is supposed to keep your designated files and folders on your PC synced to your Passport, meaning, when a file is updated or a new file is added, Smartware is supposed to see those changes and update the files on your Passport the next time you sync. Unfortunately, the current version of Smartware has a bug where it doesn't notice any updated or newly added files and doesn't copy them to your drive when you sync, rendering the whole thing useless. People have been complaining about this on WD's support forum for a while now, and WD has yet to acknowledge it's customers about the issue on the forums or address the issue with an update or fix. This is highly unacceptable!

EDIT 2/23/14: Despite a new update for WD Smartware (v2.2.1, updated 11/25/13) which was supposed to, "fix an issue where files are not backing up properly in some instances," it still does not function properly. After running the update, the software often hangs for too long or freezes up altogether. So, I've given up on WD Smartware. I wish I could use Seagate's Manager software with this drive, as I never had a problem with that software.

In summary, the WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External Drive is a really great drive. It's small, fast, quiet, and works as advertised. However, the drive retails for $30 more than the regular Passport model of the same storage capacity. All you're really getting for that extra $30 is a silly, soft pouch, Ultra labeling on the drive, and the feeling that you've been made a sucker for believing this product was anything more than it appeared to be. So save yourself a few dollars and get the regular Passport 2TB and put that $30 towards a better protective case.

EDIT 2/23/14: Depending on when you purchase the drive, the price may be cheaper than other, lesser drives. In this situation my comment about the more expensive price would be irrelevant. If you find this drive on the cheap, by all means make the purchase. It is a great drive, especially at a bargain price!

Pros:
- Lots of storage in small, compact form factor.
- USB 3.0 transfer speeds. Great for large media files!
- Included pouch keeps away dirt and dust.
- Included USB cable is long enough for some play.

Cons:
- Misleading labeling.
- Same drive as the regular Passport, except for pouch and Ultra markings.
- WD Smartware automatic backup software is garbage. Doesn't work as advertised! Use an alternate 3rd-party backup
solution.
5150+ comments| 1,917 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 20, 2015
Works great! I purchased it for my Xbox One because I needed more storage. No complaints it provides extra storage in beautifully designed, compact box.
I added a photo to show a reference of how big it is, you could get the exact dimensions but it's about a wide as a Q-Tip, and is tiny compared to a blue ray case. The cable is about a foot long but, it's hooking right up to your device anyways. Overall this is perfect for the price and necessity.
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on February 28, 2014
I'm used to external HDDs that are about the size of spiral notebook, and about an inch thick. Or the size of two bricks placed side by side. That's what I was expecting when I ordered this. I didn't mind because I wanted a drive that had a good capacity and that was USB 3.0 so I could try out the new 3.0 jack on my new laptop. I've never owned a USB 3.0 device before this one.

Needless to say I was blown away. I was expecting it to be delivered in a box the size of a small microwave oven (Amazon tends to pack things that way). I was actually a bit pissed off when I saw that the package was a MANILA ENVELOPE! However, when I opened it and saw how frickin' tiny the drive is, I changed my mind. This thing is small enough to fit into my back jeans pocket. Heck, this thing is SMALLER THAN MY CELL PHONE!! Of course, I own a Galaxy Note II, but hey, it's still a sight to behold.

I've done only a little bit of performance testing so far, but it's about twice as fast in the USB 3.0 port as it was in the USB 2.0 port (40 MB/sec vs 22 MB/sec).

I used CDM 3 to benchmark it; and below are the results:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 112.099 MB/s
Sequential Write : 110.528 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 41.950 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 57.537 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.535 MB/s [ 130.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.453 MB/s [ 354.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 0.598 MB/s [ 146.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.486 MB/s [ 362.8 IOPS]

Test : 1000 MB [G: 0.0% (0.4/931.5 GB)] (x5)
Date : 2014/02/28 21:18:42
OS : Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

Greater than 110 MB/second sequential data transfer. WOW!

I'm quite pleased with this...I even splurged and got the blue version.

Quite happy with this thing.
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on April 28, 2014
Well, I was really excited to have all my file & system image backups on a single drive, without a wall wart and in a portable small form factor (I never move it as it is connected to a desktop system). Unfortunately, after 3 months, it started whining, then grinding and clicking and now it comes on only 5% of the time, regardless of the computer it is hooked up to - I thought it was the antique of a PATA drive I had connected to the motherboard making the noise but it wasn't. WD Drive Utilities says the SMART status passed, CrystalDisk Info says it failed and the Quick Drive test in the WD Utility says it failed. This just reinforces the need for a complementary Cloud backup solution or a second backup drive. This drive was "Made in Thailand" so who knows if it was made with the equipment that got affected by the flooding in the past. Usually, I only go with WD Black hard disk drives due to their well known, industry reliability and warranty coverage. I would just buy that with an external hd case but I'm already invested in this drive now. Hopefully the replacement is new and works like expected.

UPDATE: Since I had files on there that I wanted but wasn't willing to pay $500-$1000+ for data recovery services, I tried doing a PCB swap with a donor board and firmware transfer since that seemed like an inexpensive possible fix (pros did the firmware transfer). When that didn't resolve the situation, I had another 2TB WD My Passport Ultra around and I opened up that case to see what is involved with a potential platter swap (that didn't go well either). While doing so, when I opened up the "new" Passport Ultra, I noticed it specifically said on the drive "Recertified"!!!! I can't believe it. Seeing this only reaffirms my thoughts on just buying an external hard drive case and OEM HDD together and using that instead because otherwise, you don't know what you are getting. I still will use the WD Blacks as they have never failed me and I am very impressed with their performance and warranty. Also, for backup, I will stick with the 3.5" size as now I know, with everything so miniaturized on the the 2.5", recovery seems a little more challenging (which I will do what I can to even prevent that from being needed again).
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on January 29, 2015
This was my second Passport Ultra - One too many. It will not perform a continuous back-up. I tried to contact Western Digital [you have to register and you have to use a PW] - Ok no problem...except they can't accept a generated PW. What?? This is sort of a tech company, right?? People who are just a little tech savvy are beginning to realize that they are going to get hacked if they don't use complex pass words...and that requires a password manager with the ability to generate long, multifaceted passwords. Come on WD, are you mired in the dark ages of computing, or is it that you just don't want to be bothered?! I prefer email inquiries vs. telephone attempts with script readers conversing in verbiage only remotely similar to English. So, instead of the possibility of a software update, or even a tweak that I might have missed, I now have to return the drive, and try a different product. That means additional software and more procedures to remember.
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on February 7, 2015
Let me start off by saying the drive itself is great. Backups up quickly and efficiently and there is a wide range of options...BUT there are some lacking features. Many other reviews tell you what it can do, I feel you need to know where it's lacking.

Let's begin with and issue that will affect novice computer users. This drive comes with a tiny one page pamphlet. The graphic shows you to connect the drive to your computer, then there's a little graphic of a book and a web address. You need to go to the document section of their website. From there, you locate the manual for your drive. Going by their pamphlet, you need to be connected to the internet at the time of your initial install. This is not always an option for everyone. But here's the thing, if you're a Windows user, click on MY COMPUTER, then click on the MY PASSPORT drive, you will find a directory of User Manuals. The instructions should state this. Once you're in the user manual, you discover that you only needed to run the WD APPS SETUP file, which you access in the same way as the manuals. Already you're doing more work than necessary. A simple sentence of 'connect drive to computer, open drive folder, double click WD APP SETUP file' would have saved some aggravation. Once the software is installed on your system, you can access the help menu within the program, which is very user friendly.

There are a few software items I don't like. You have many choices on when to schedule your backup, (daily, weekly, monthly, immediately) except on a certain DATE of the month. Say, I want to back one of my systems on the 1st of the month. Not an option. You can choose the first Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday, etc) of the month, but not a specific day.

I also would have appreciated a confirmation screen or at the very least, a status bar notification that told me my drive actually performed the backup. Even a little notification that the drive is currently backing up would be nice. And as I discovered, a blinking light on the drive does not necessarily mean it's backing up your computer. To ensure the drive is actually backing up or to confirm a backup has completed, you have to open the WB SmartWare software and click on the Backup Tab. If it's currently backing up files, you will seeing a 'copying files' message on the top of the screen. To confirm a backup, you need to click on the clock icon located near the bottom of the screen. This will tell you your Next Backup, Missed Backup and Last Backup. BUT, I had a daily backup set for 5PM and the drive wasn't connected at the time...the missed backup never appeared on the list. One might argue that it didn't log the missed backup because the drive wasn't connected. My argument is you should NEVER keep your backup drive continuously connected. If a virus hits your computer, it hits your Passport Ultra too. I've already been there, done that with another external drive, hence the reason why I always disconnect.

The hardware is great and I love the drive, BUT I have had to help a few older, less tech savvy people set this up and explain how to double check their backups. They've all asked the same thing..."why doesn't it tell you when it's done?" Bottom line, it an awesome little drive, but the software leaves a bit to be desired. Would I recommend it? Only to people who have a modest amount of tech knowledge and who don't mind extra clicks to double check their backup.
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on May 15, 2017
Dead within the year. First time in my life not using a seagate or toshiba and i regret it with every bone in my body. Used it to back up ALL of my photos ever taken in digital or scanned in from old family photos since the late 90's... GONE. Put extensive research, and hours talking to WD and other computer professionals; into the problem and for no less than 1500$$ i can have my data recovered. Seriously only plugged into my computer less than a dozen times and id say 200 hrs of read write time logged. Was just enough time to put everything on and delete off the source drives. With this ransomware computer bug that is going around locking up your computer data until you pay a hacker to get it back, reminded me of my sweet grandparents and other lost relatives who are now being held hostage in this little black box that sits in a drawer waiting to be freed. Thought id finally give it a review now the anger and frustration of loosing every photo ive ever taken is on it, but i cant get it off; has warn down. Only hanging on to it as a time capsule, so one day when its easier and cheaper, I get my family back.
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on October 5, 2014
it came in a factory package but it wasn't sealed. The Volume name is "Nab-2TB" and I noticed it is already 10% full even though you couldn't see any files inside the hard drive. I set my windows to show hidden folders, that way I noticed someone already have used this hard driver and there were over 20 different animation inside the trash folder. I needed the hard drive right away so didn't return it . but I believe some of these hard drives are either refurbished or used. BE AWARE !!
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on August 8, 2014
I ordered this product in March because I am a writer and needed to back up my writing. I handled the Passport like a newborn child, keeping it safe in the box when I was not using it. I plugged it in 4 times over the next few months, and on the fifth time, it was not recognized by my computer any more. I contacted WD support and walked through all the steps that were possible to fix it, and it was finally concluded it was not fixable. So, WD sends me to their support website so that I can retrieve my data from the hard drive, and wouldn't you know - I have to pay for it. Over 150 dollars AN HOUR is what they charge, with average cost being over 500 dollars. So, now, because I bought this, I have to decide to leave all of my work missing, or spend a fortune to get it back. I think this is ludicrous. Yes, I know, back up your work on a couple drives, but I think it is also fair to expect a brand new product to work. I am horribly displeased by this product and will NEVER buy it again.
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on February 8, 2015
I bought this drive due to the fact that it seemed rather inexpensive for a 1Tb model and was the best seller in amazon. When I opened it, it seemed very pretty and slick, the drive can have a password protection and there is also a way to encrypt your files. The problems started when I tried to do such things. The most simply of tasks, backing up, can't be done with this drive. It stalls if the backup is too big and after a few minutes it completely stopped. It has taken 2 hours just to backup 700Mb of data due to the fact that it has been halted to 100Kb a second, something that any modern drive can beat easily. Going through forums to fix the problem yields no results due it being a software error. Its also worth noting that this is IF you want to have password protection on your drive. If not you can just delete all the WD software and leave it completely bare, which is not the point of anyone buying this hardware. Completely disappointed in this product.
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