WD My Book Essential USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Quick Review

by on July 19, 2011

in Reviews

WD My Book USB 3.0

I was an early adopter to USB 3.0 on my PC and I’ve been using Western Digital USB 3.0 drives since shortly after they became available.  I’ve been more than happy with with performance, price and durability of these drives over the past year or so.

Now, the thing that makes them so great is that more and more PCs are shipping with USB 3.0 compatibility, which means you don’t have to install a USB 3.0 PCIe card (although you can still find combos of these drives that come with a free PCIe card for your computer).  Additionally, they are very affordable.  I just picked up a pair of 1TB drives for less than $80 each at a local retailer.

The speed of these things are so fast that I’ve been editing photos and video files from Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects directly from the drives.  Of course, I would be better off with a local SSD drive to work from, but that’s not quite practical or affordable enough for me.  I’ve been using one drive as a production drive and a second drive as a backup drive for the data on the production drive.

While there are more elegant options for local backup, the price of these drives, combined with Western Digital’s easy backup software make it a decent solution for external PC storage.  The automatic backup interface is not quite as slick as Apple’s Time Machine; however, it’s still easy.  And, once you setup the backup, you can just forget about it.

While I’ve purchased several of the desktop versions of the drives, Western Digital recently sent me one of the portable My Passport USB 3.0 drives to take for a test drive.  The transfer speed with these little portable drives is just not something I’m accustomed to on a PC (as opposed to my external Mac drives, which have always been Firewire-equipped).  It’s great to have a bus-powered drive with a killer transfer rate like the My Passport delivers for the PC.  These would be a great additional for field use on a USB 3.0-equipped laptop.

Prior to USB 3.0, the only thing I used for external PC drives was USB 2.0.  I had always been able to upgrade my internal drives to handle production files and left the USB 2.0 drives as backup drives.

My backup system is probably not something you should model your own system after; however, I just wanted to point out the usefulness, value and performance that I’ve seen over the past year or so out of these WD USB 3.0 drives. So, for anyone looking to expand their PC’s storage and still have something that’s fast enough to work off of, take a look at these USB 3.0 drives from Western Digital.

You can find these Western Digital My Book USB 3.0 drives at just about any local electronics store.  Additionally, you can purchase them from Photography Bay’s online affiliate retailers via the links below.

WD My Book USB 3.0 External Hard Drives:  Amazon.com | B&H Photo

By making your photography and other gear purchases through these links, you are helping Photography Bay to continue bring quality camera tests, news and reviews. Thanks for your continued support.

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