Western Digital is one of the most popular and trusted brands that offer different storage solutions.
Its two most famous products, namely My Book and My Passport, are among the high-rated products on Amazon that can compete with pricier brands.
If you’re looking for a solution to store and back up your data, you may want to know which one is better for your purposes.
This post compares My Book and My Passport and explores their features, pros, and cons.
My Book Vs. My Passport (Pros, Cons, Differences)
A. My Book
Western Digital has produced a wide range of external hard drives over the years.
My Book is one of these drives specifically designed for desktop storage.
Here are its main features:
1. Design And Looks
The new WD My Book shares some features of its predecessors and other WD products.
For example, just like the older My Book Duo, the My Book has a vertical orientation and a scalloped polycarbonate side, similar to My Passport.
It looks like an actual book, while different iterations vary slightly in design.
Some models have a sleek design with shiny black plastic, while others feature a horizontal or diagonal groove all around the device.
Since it’s shiny, it’s not smudge-free.
Older models, such as the Pro Edition, feature a silver case instead of black and a circular blue LED that acts as the capacity gauge.
Different models have different ways of showing the drive activity through blue, white, or green lights.
Although it’s compact for a desktop storage drive, it’s not small enough to fit into your pocket.
It measures 6.7” × 1.9” × 5.5” and weighs from 0.37 pounds (167 gr.) to 7.6 pounds (3,450 gr), depending on the storage capacity.
Although you can carry it around, that’s not its intended use.
The dedicated power adapter and the larger storage space show that it’s better to use it on your desktop.
2. Storage Features
WD My Book storage devices come in a wide range of storage capacities, currently ranging from 4 TB to 18 TB.
It features a WD Red hard drive inside the case, spinning at 5,400 rpm and serving as an archival solution.
The WD Red drive has the highest capacity among other WD drives, namely Blue and Black drives.
A 4-TB WD My Book costs $94.99, translating to 2.3 cents per gigabyte of storage.
That’s very affordable storage that makes My Book one of the least expensive storage devices on the market.
As mentioned earlier, the drive comes with a WD Red mechanism designed for NAS box use.
This mechanism features low power consumption, reliable performance for long-term use, and very little heat generation.
The SATA mechanism interfaces with USB, and once you connect the power cable, you’ll see the contents of the drive and your available space.
It features a USB Type-B Micro connection, a barrel Power socket, and a Kensington lock slot to physically secure the device.
My Book also comes with a pretty long USB cable that’s expected for a desktop storage device since you don’t need to carry it around.
Plus, it should reach from your desk to the computer case if it’s floor-mounted.
4. Setup And Performance
My Book is very easy to set up and has a straightforward process of connecting to the computer.
The drive is ready to use out of the box, and you can immediately start file transfer after connecting it to the PC.
It comes with an exFAT format that allows the Windows and macOS computers to read and transfer data directly.
It also comes with two installers for Windows and macOS.
When you start installing the drive, it asks you if you wish to share your information, which you don’t want to accept as it’s not recommended for security reasons.
It also comes preloaded with WD Discovery that shows how much available space you have on the drive.
You can also use it to set passwords or install other utilities specific to Western Digital.
They include a security tool, a backup tool, and a general utility.
These tools allow you to configure advanced setups such as RAID, encrypt data stored on the drive, or get local backups of your data.
Another exciting feature is that it allows you to import data from a backup file on cloud storage, although the options are limited.
They include Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.
You can also set a password for the drive itself, which is tied to the device.
This way, you don’t need to enter the password whenever you open it on your system.
However, if a person has access to your computer, they can access the contents of the drive.
This password protects you against people who try to access your data from other machines or those who try to steal your drive.
Although My Book is an archive solution, it has passed speed tests quite successfully.
This higher speed makes it a better choice over many of its competitors and portable storage devices.
Platter technology has created a level playing field for different brands and vendors by offering the same speed and performance for every device that uses 5,400-rpm hard drives.
The speed tests examine actions like file transfer, read and write transfer, error checking, heating.
The users who have performed these tests have generally reported acceptable performance, making My Book a great and highly recommended desktop external storage.
6. Warranty And Price
As mentioned earlier, My Book is one of the most reasonably priced external hard drives with an excellent per-gigabyte price.
You can find the 4-TB device on Amazon for $80, making its case with a price that’s hard to beat.
Still, the lowest price per gigabyte belongs to the 6-TB model at 1.9 cents per gigabyte.
However, the higher capacities have a higher price per gigabyte and may not perform as well as smaller ones because they need more platters.
The three-year limited warranty on My Book products starts from the purchase date written on the receipt.
The warranty only covers problems created for functionality and craftsmanship purposes under normal use.
This means if you open the drive to check what’s inside, you’ll void the warranty.
All in all, this feature-packed device can be an excellent choice if you are looking for a desktop solution, especially with its reasonable price and generous warranty.
- Wide range of capacities.
- Three-year warranty.
- Reasonable speed.
- Great per-gigabyte price.
- Backup utility.
- Encryption and password protection.
- Needs an external power adapter.
- No live backup solution.
- No SSD caching.
- Spinning drive.
B. My Passport
My Passport is a highly successful portable hard drive made by Western Digital, with a wide range of capacities and features.
Here’s what it has to offer:
1. Looks And Design
WD retains its interest in conservative looks in My Passport with the metal–plastic combo and the wavy/flat styling.
The edges are slightly rounded, and the partly wavy surface serves functional and aesthetic purposes.
This gives the product, otherwise a plastic box, an attractive look and prevents it from slipping out of your hands.
You can also choose the previous range still available on Amazon among red, gold, blue, black, and silver.
The new range includes dark blue, white, black, and red.
The size makes the device ultra-portable, the wide range of capacities, and the reasonable prices give you a portable hard drive that stands out from its competitors and becomes the first go-to option for many.
Compared to its predecessor, the new My Passport sports a slimmer body with a white light that indicates the activity status of the device.
The device measures 4.22” x 2.95” x 0.44” and weighs 4.23 ounces (120 gr.) to 7.4 ounces (210 gr.), depending on the capacity.
The higher capacities are heavier due to the increased number of platters.
It doesn’t have any screws or sharp edges that catch on clothing, and the whole device has a solid and stylish feel.
The device features a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port on the top edge and a Micro-USB Type-B connector that matches the cable included in the box.
You can also connect the device to a USB 2.0 port, but you’ll have a slower data transfer.
My Passport comes preformatted in the NTFS file system for Windows and HFS+ for macOS.
If you want to use one format with another operating system, you can simply reformat it to match your OS.
You could also use the exFAT format to use the drive for both operating systems.
The device features a 5,400-rpm platter that distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering built-in data encryption and bundled software that allows for extra utilities.
The AES-256 hardware encryption and password protection allow you to use the device safely and not worry about it getting lost or stolen since it’s portable.
The preinstalled security app helps you use the encryption system and add a password.
You can perform many actions using this dashboard, such as switching off the LED light and setting up a password for hardware encryption.
With the password, the system asks you to enter your password each time you connect your device.
It also gives you the option to determine the computers you use and unlock My Passport for those you use regularly.
There’s a catch, though.
If you forget your password, you can never recover it.
You could reformat the drive and reset your password, but it will erase all your data.
It’s better to enter your password whenever you want to use it and avoid forgetting it.
The WD Discovery software is the dashboard that helps you access the My Passport drive and My Cloud Home.
It also features an app store that helps you get free or paid WD applications at reduced prices.
Inside the plastic enclosure is an SMR-based 2.5-inch HDD, a 128MB DRAM cache, a USB bridge, and a built-in connector.
Since it has a hard drive instead of an SSD inside, My Passport is vulnerable to physical shocks.
Therefore, you need to be careful when you carry it around.
If you jolt or drop it or move it while in use, you may damage the hard drive inside.
It can operate at temperatures between 41 and 95˚F (5–35˚C), so you should also be careful when you expose it to temperatures lower or higher than this range.
4. Performance And Speed
You can use the drive out of the box if you have the right format for your operating system.
While WD company doesn’t provide any information on the drive’s performance ratings, you can expect it to perform at 120–140 MB/s, depending on the size and capacity.
The users who have done performance tests on My Passport have reported that it had a similar and even better performance than its rivals, such as the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch.
It passes file transfer, disk speed, and read and write tests successfully, making it one of the best choices on the market.
5. Price And Support
With the list prices given on the WD website, My Passport has a reasonable price per gigabyte and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can find them at lower prices on other places like Amazon, even for a lower price per gigabyte.
The difference in price between different capacities is small, so it’s more logical to opt for a high capacity as there’s nothing like too much capacity.
The Mac versions are a little more expensive than the Windows versions (by $10).
For example, the 2TB drive for Windows costs $64.99 while the Mac version costs $74.99 at the time of this writing.
That’s because of a second cable included for Mac versions, USB-C-to-Micro-B cable.
In addition, they come in just three capacities of 2, 4, and 5 TB.
That said, you can save $10 if you have this second cable by getting a Windows drive and reformatting it for Mac.
- Compact and light.
- Comes with a host of apps for checking drive health, reformatting, security, etc.
- Usable for Mac and Windows.
- USB Type-C connector.
- Sleek design.
- Susceptible to damage
- Plastic housing
- Not so great for mac users
My Book Vs. My Passport
Comparing My Book and My Passport may not be logical as they’re designed for two different purposes.
One of them is portable while the other one is for desktop.
However, regarding their performance and features, they have similarities and differences that we’ll explore below.
As both drives are the same company’s products, it’s logical to see many similarities between them.
In terms of hardware, both devices use platters to store data on and a SATA hard drive.
Both of them use USB 3.0 connectivity and have lights to show their activity status.
Both storage devices have password protection and data encryption and support Windows and macOS.
They also allow you to reformat them and use them on different operating systems.
Since both devices feature 5,400RPM hard drives, there’s no difference in performance and transfer rate speeds.
So, the only thing that makes you choose one over the other is the intended use.
The first noticeable difference is their looks and sizes, which is logical given their different functions.
Since My Book is a desktop storage device, it can be higher capacity, bulkier, and heavier.
It also has different connectivity, using an adapter and a longer cable.
On the other hand, the portability of My Passport creates some restrictions in terms of storage capacity.
Since it uses spinning platters to store data, you can’t expect it to be high capacity as it will get bulkier.
Here’s a rundown of the similarities and differences between the two devices:
|My Passport||My Book|
|Storage Type||2.5” HDD||3.5” HDD|
|Capacity||1, 2, 4, 5TB||4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18TB|
|Color Range||Black, blue, red, white||black|
|Dimensions||4.22” x 2.95” x 0.75”||5.48” x 1.93” x 6.72”|
|Weight||4.23 ounces to 7.4 ounces||0.37 Pounds to 2.9 Pounds|
|OS Compatibility||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac|
|Interfaces||USB 3.2 Gen 1||USB 3.0|
|Bridge Configuration||SATA III to USB 3.0 Micro-B||SATA III to USB 3.0 Micro-B|
|Software||WD Backup and WD Security software||WD Backup and WD Security software|
|Power Supply||Bus-powered||18W (12V @ 1.5A) External Power Adapter|
|Warranty||3 years with 30 days money-return guarantee||3 years|
|Price||$52.99 to $114.99 on the official website (lower on Amazon)||$94.99 to $489.99 on the official website (lower on Amazon)|