WD goes cable-free with My Passport Wireless

Stream content wirelessly to smartphones and tablets.

Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless is a portable hard disk drive (HDD) that will wirelessly strean content to smartphones and tablets.

The HDD can create a Wi-Fi direct network in which 8 devices can jump on, although WD recommend only four devices stream HD videos at any one time. It can also join a home network, or serve as a wireless hotspot. There's always a wired USB 3.0 connection which can be used for writing and reading content when the hard drive is connected to a computer.

Managing the drive can be done over WD’s browser-based dashboard. Smartphones and tablets access the content stored on the drive with the free MyCloud app, available for iOS and Android.

The built-in rechargeable battery promises up to six hours of continuous video streaming, and 20 hours of standby. WD representatives said the battery saver mode (activated via the MyCloud app) boosts battery life by about 15 per cent, though in doing so it reduces wireless transfer speeds and network range.

A battery indicator light is located on the front of the unit; blue marks a full charge, green means the battery is between 70 to 90 per cent full, orange refers to between 50 and 70 per cent, while red is below 50 per cent.

WD has included a full-sized SD card slot in the My Passport Wireless. While it adds a bit of extra storage and convenience (getting photos from a camera to the drive becomes even easier), the slot is shallow, meaning an SD card will stick out when plugged in.

The Western Digital drive will compete against Seagate's Wireless Plus range released in August.

The My Passport Wireless comes in a 1TB or 2TB capacity, priced $249.99 ($NZD299) and $299.99 ($NZD399), respectively. While WD’s fact sheet indicates a 500GB version of the product exists, it has not been listed as available in Australia.

Stay tuned for our full review of the WD My Passport Wireless.