Western Digital My Passport Ultra review: A fantastic external drive, but one of its two variants is better than the other

Make sure you get the USB-C port version of Western Digital's new My Passport Ultra.

Western Digital My Passport Ultra in hand.
(Image: © Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

Windows Central Verdict

Western Digital recently increased the capacity of its My Passport Ultra HDD to 6TB, making it a fantastic external storage device. Performance is solid, and the design is hearty enough for travel. While it isn't as slim as some other competitors, it's still compact and easy to use. Plus, it comes with a five-year license for security software that doubles as a good HDD maintenance tool. If you need to add a large amount of storage space for your laptop or desktop, this is a great HDD to go with.


  • +

    Good read and write speeds

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    1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB, and 6TB options

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    Available in different colors

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    Easy to travel with

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    Includes USB-C cable and adapter

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    Comes with a five-year license for security software


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    It's somewhat thick

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    Some versions come with an outdated port

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When it comes to increasing storage space on your laptop or desktop, one of the easiest means available to you is with either an external solid-state drive (SSD) or a hard disk drive (HDD). There are a lot of pros and cons for either option (you can dive into that more in our SSD vs HDD guide), but HDDs tend to cost less while still providing a large storage capacity for you to use. This makes them an especially good choice for people who want a lot of storage space without spending a bunch for it. 

Recently, Western Digital upped its highest My Passport Ultra HDD to a 6TB capacity. I had the opportunity to evaluate this new option over the course of the last week. Let's dive into what makes this little device so useful. 


This review was made possible with a review sample provided by Western Digital. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.

My Passport Ultra: Price, availability, and specs

Simply plug My Passport Ultra into a computer using the included cable and you're good to use the HDD.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

• Price: From $64.99 at Best Buy
Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB
Port: USB-C
Interface: USB-A 3.2 Gen1
Sequential read: Up to 120 MB/s
• Transfer rate: Up to 5Gbps
• Dimensions: 4.22 x 2.95 x 0.81"
• Weight: 0.46lbs (0.21kg)

Western Digital is a well-known manufacturer of data storage devices and drives. As such, its products, including the My Passport Ultra, are available at various retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Newegg, and more. You can also purchase the My Passport Ultra directly from the Western Digital website. This device is available in different colors, with the most prevalent options being black, blue, silver, or gold. However, some color choices are only available at specific stores.

This hard drive currently comes in five capacities, and each one has a different value — 1TB has a $69.99 MSRP, 2TB has a $89.99 MSRP, 4TB has a $129.99 MSRP, 5TB has a $139.99 MSRP, and the 6TB has a $204.99 MSRP. These are good prices compared to other HDD competitors.

It's also possible to find some or all of these capacities selling at lower prices during retailer sales events. 


Western Digital My Passport Ultra HDD | Starting at $64.99 at Best Buy

Western Digital's My Passport Ultra HDD is available in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB, and 6TB capacities. It's a reliable little storage device that easily connects externally to your laptop or desktop. It even comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter.

Buy at: Best Buy | Western Digital| Amazon | Walmart | Newegg

My Passport Ultra: Design and compatibility

My Passport Ultra has a small, square design that makes it easy to travel with.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

While it isn't the slimmest HDD on the market, the My Passport Ultra does look nice and fits in my hand. Since it is less than an inch thick, it's compact enough for easy travel. I also appreciate that it is sturdy enough for me to feel comfortable throwing it into my laptop bag or backpack without feeling like it will break in transit. Of course, you don't want to throw it around intentionally, but it should handle general travel well.

Depending on the capacity you choose, there are several different color options, and each one has rubber footpads on the underside to prevent the device from sliding around on a desk. The 6TB HDD I received has an attractive blue casing on the front that turns into a black matte casing on the back. It looks good in both formal and relaxed settings, which makes it a great option for work or personal use. 

By default, the My Passport Ultra works with Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. However, the Western Digital website also explains that it can be used with macOS 11+ if you reformat the device and download the appropriate NTFS driver. 

My Passport Ultra comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable as well a as a USB-C to USB-A adapter. (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

After looking around a bit online, I discovered that there are two versions of this HDD—one with an outdated micro-B USB port and one with a much more modern USB-C port. The version I received has the latter, and I advise anyone looking to buy this HDD to make sure to get this USB-C version. It will make the HDD compatible with more modern devices out of the box. 

The My Passport Ultra I received also comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter to ensure that I'll be able to connect it to whatever computer I need to. The minute it gets plugged in, a small white light comes on, and the HDD is ready to be used. It's very convenient and works well. 

Acronis True Image allows adjust security protection settings, backup disks, or even clean disks.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

Security-wise, this HDD offers 256-bit AES hardware encryption and also comes with a five-year license for Acronis True Image, a program that not only protects against ransomware attacks but also allows you to backup and restore files. Basically, this adds an extra level of security and assurance to My Passport Ultra that some other HDDs on the market do not have. 

In order to activate Acronis, I simply had to connect the My Passport Ultra to my computer, open the drive, and click on the preinstalled program labeled "Install Western Digital Software for Windows." This program then brought up a page that took me to the Acronis download. After installing that, I was able to use the program to clone the disk, clean the disk, and adjust active protections.

My Passport Ultra: Transfer speed tests

My Passport Ultra test with CrystalDiskMark shows a 118 MB/s read speed and a 116 MB/s write speed.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

During my time with My Passport Ultra, I transferred a lot of data onto it and also used it with a few different laptops and desktops. Each time I plugged it in, the My Passport Ultra immediately became ready for use, and I never had any major issues with its performance. 

I ran a CystalDiskMark test using the My Passport Ultra, which showed a 118 MB/s read speed and a 116 MB/s write speed. This isn't the fastest HDD out there, but it is solid and steady. 

In addition to the CrystalDiskMark test, I also transferred roughly 4GB of data (comprised of a few small games, several big PSD files of digital drawings, and large wedding photos) onto the HDD in one go and kept an eye on the HDD's speed. As is usually the case, the HDD started off really fast but slowed down a bit as the minutes ticked by. There were a few stretches where the read speed dipped down and got as low as 20.7 MB/s, but the HDD recovered and picked back up. Overall, the read speed mostly stuck between 119 MB/s and 91 MB/s, which is good. 

My Passport Ultra: Competition

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When considering other external storage devices, you have your pick of either the best external SSDs or the best external HDDs. In general, SSDs are faster, but they tend to cost more. So, it really just depends on what you want from your storage device. 

When it comes to SSDs, I suggest you take a look at our Samsung T7 Shield review. This SSD is available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities with your choice of a black, beige, or blue rugged casing. It reaches read speeds up to 1050 MB/s, making it significantly faster than the My Passport Ultra HDD. The 1TB sells for $99.00 at Amazon, while the 4TB sells for $318.39 at Amazon

If you're specifically looking for a good Xbox gaming HDD, then you should look at our WD_BLACK P10 review. This game drive supports up to 130 MB/s transfers and comes in 2TB, 4TB, 5TB, or 6TB capacities. It's compatible with Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. The 2 TB model costs $94.99 at Best Buy, while the largest 6TB option sells for $189.99 at Amazon.

My Passport Ultra: Should you buy it?

My Passport Ultra is a terrific storage option for any desktop or laptop owners.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

You should buy it if ...

You want to expand your storage without having to open your laptop or desktop up

External HDDs like the My Passport Ultra simply require you to plug them into your laptop or desktop and then you have more room for files and programs. There are no extra steps for upgrading your computer in order to gain more storage space. 

You shouldn't buy it if ...

You'd really prefer an external SSD to an external HDD

HDDs and SSDs are both helpful storage devices. However, there's no denying that SSDs are a lot faster as long as you're willing to pay more to get one. 

If you need additional storage space on your laptop or desktop, then this external HDD is a great choice. My Passport Ultra has plenty of storage capacities to choose from to help meet your needs, and they're all well-priced and within a reasonable range. Plus, this HDD offers solid performance to handle whatever files you need it to hold. Of course, getting a five-year license for Acronis True Image with this purchase also adds to this device's security while making maintenance easier. 

It's not the sleekest or slimmest HDD out there, but it is hearty and should travel well without getting damaged too easily. If you do decide to purchase My Passport Ultra, just make sure you buy one with a USB-C port rather than the outdated micro USB.

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).