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The technology and accessories manufacturer Western Digital offers various external SSD hard drives. But what do the individual names mean? What is the difference between the WD My Book, WD My Passport, WD My Passport Ultra, and WD Elements? You will find the answer to this question in this guide. I came across the topic because a reader asked me which HDD to use for his Time Machine backup. He fluctuates between the "WD My Passport for Mac" and the "WD Elements", which I recommended in the article. That's why I'll go back to the term “for Mac” at the end.
By means of the names themselves, one can only speculate what the unique selling point of the individual WD hard drives should be. What about the “book”, the “passport” and the “elements” of the HDDs? Here I have summarized the meanings for you:
When buying Western Digital HDD hard drives for external use on Mac, iMac and MacBook, the most important thing to consider is whether the memory is powered via USB or a power supply unit. If the latter is the case, mobile use is not fully possible. In addition, all WD hard drives with the “My” name offer data encryption and / or tools for data recovery. In addition to storing and exchanging files, the focus here is on data security. The name "Elements" means the reduction to the "most elementary" function of an external hard drive - storage. But these models are also a bit cheaper.
Hard drives are not made for Windows or macOS per se. Whether and to what extent you can use it on a PC or Mac depends only on the data system used, which you can also set up yourself. Manufacturers know, however, that some Mac users spend a few more euros on formatting to exFAT or another Mac-compatible file format and the designation “for Mac”. The same hard drive arrives in the packaging anyway. Therefore you can save yourself the extra charge and in the case of an external hard drive equipped with NTFS (and thus “for Windows”) simply use your Mac's Disk Utility to format it ;)
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.