Difference between WD My Book, WD My Passport, WD My Passport Ultra, and WD Elements

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.

What is the difference between the WD My Book, WD My Passport, WD My Passport Ultra, and WD Elements? Here you will find the answer to this question as well as details about the external SSD hard drives and their functions.

What is the difference between the WD My Book, WD My Passport, WD My Passport Ultra, and WD Elements? Here you will find the answer to this question as well as details about the external HDD hard drives and their functions.

WD Hard Drives: Difference Between My Book, My Passport, My Passport Ultra, and Elements?

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:

  • WD My Book hard drive: For stationary use on the desktop PC, Mac and iMac; not for mobile use, as a power supply via power pack is necessary; high capacities (up to 28 TB) - Amazon
  • WD My Passport hard drive: For mobile use on notebooks, tablets and smartphones, as the power supply is implemented via USB; also high capacities (up to 5 TB) - Amazon
  • WD My Passport Ultra hard drive: The ultra version of mobile storage brings z. B. higher data rates for faster content exchange with; USB-C with USB 3.1 standard is used for this (up to 5 TB) - Amazon
  • WD Elements desktop hard drive: External hard drive for desktop use (with power supply), which does not have any special software or data encryption; this is all about storage (up to 14 TB) - Amazon
  • WD Elements (Portable) Hard Drive: While the desktop version requires its own power supply, this model draws its power from a computer connected via USB (up to 5 TB) - Amazon

Very general classification: hard drives with and without power supply

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.

Advantages and disadvantages of “for Mac” hard drives

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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5 comments

  1. Jörg Pingel says:

    Thank you very much, this is very helpful!

  2. Name says:

    Elements and MyBook are HDD and not SSD disks. Not true?!
    Regards

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