Western Digital My Passport for Mac (500GB)

This Western Digital external hard drive offers an easy and cheap storage solution for Mac users.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Western Digital My Passport for Mac (500GB)
  • Western Digital My Passport for Mac (500GB)
  • Western Digital My Passport for Mac (500GB)
  • Western Digital My Passport for Mac (500GB)
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • 500GB of storage, attractive and minimal design, compatible with Time Machine

Cons

  • No third-party encryption software provided, only USB 2.0

Bottom Line

Western Digital's My Passport for Mac is one of the cheapest 500GB external hard drives currently available, and it offers decent performance for the price.

Would you buy this?

The My Passport for Mac is a no-frills external hard drive that lacks the comprehensive connectivity of the more expensive Western Digital My Passport Studio II. It is one of the cheapest external drives on the Australian market and a must-have for anyone who needs a quick and easy backup solution.

Apart from the Mac symbol and the extra labelling, the only difference between a Mac-specific drive and any other is the file system. Anyone with reasonable level of technical proficiency is able to format a hard drive into a HFS+ Journaled file system — the primary format used on Mac OS X. Thankfully, and unlike some other hard drive vendors, Western Digital doesn't charge a premium for having done this for you.

Western Digital employs familiar design aesthetics in the My Passport for Mac. The drive is enclosed in a small book-like casing with a two-tone black and silver fascia. Tapered edges and the USB 2.0 port's placement on the bottom of the unit prevent users from standing the drive up. However the My Passport for Mac has small rubber feet and a minimal footprint when placed horizontally.

Western Digital's higher end My Passport Studio II and My Passport Elite have capacity indicators, but disappointingly the My Passport for Mac doesn't include one.

Only USB 2.0 connectivity is offered on the My Passport for Mac, but this suffices for most tasks.

My Passport for Mac uses the same 500GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD5000BEVT) found in the My Passport Studio II, so it performs on par with the Studio II over USB 2.0. We benchmarked the drive in HFS+ Journaled format using a 2007 15in MacBook Pro with a 200GB 7200rpm hard drive, and in NTFS format with a 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda ES2 on a test PC. In both instances it delivered decent results. Read speeds averaged 32.76 megabytes per second (MBps) during file transfers, while write speeds were only slightly slower at 24.33MBps. In a copy transfer data test — duplicating the same files on the hard drive itself — the My Passport for Mac managed to perform at 14.17MBps. The drive certainly matches the speed of Western Digital's My Passport Studio II over USB 2.0.

The drive is compatible with Mac OS X's integrated backup solution, Time Machine (but then again, all external hard drives are), and the operating system helps users set up basic or advanced syncing options and schedules. Western Digital provides documentation but not any first- or third-party software, such as the encryption software that PC users get with Western Digital's My Passport Elite. (On the other hand, no bloatware is included.)

The biggest incentive to buy Western Digital's My Passport for Mac is its price: at 60c per GB it is extremely cheap, particularly for a 500GB drive. If you don't need FireWire 800 connectivity or a capacity indicator, the My Passport for Mac is a good buy.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?