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WD's new 1TB portable hard drive: $249, 256-bit hardware encryption

Western Digital's new line of portable and desktop hard drives have higher capacities, smaller sizes, tougher hardware security and support for incremental backups.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Western Digital's new line of portable and desktop hard drives have higher capacities, smaller sizes, tougher hardware security and support for incremental backups.

WD's 2.5-inch, USB-powered portable My Passport lineup has three new models: 'Essential,' 'Essential SE' and 'Mac.' The lineup now tops out at 1TB capacity. Its USB-to-SATA-to-drive connection has been exchanged for direct-to-USB, saving space without speed loss, the company says.

WD's 3.5-inch My Book desktop lineup offers two new models: 'Essential' and 'Mac.'

Here's the rundown:

My Passport Essential:

  • USB 2.0
  • 320GB, 500GB, 640GB
  • MSRP $99 to $149
  • NTFS File system optimized for PC
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 5 colors: Midnight Black, Arctic White, Pacific Blue, Cool Silver and Real Red
  • optional docking station

My Passport Essential SE:

  • USB 2.0
  • 750GB & 1TB
  • MSRP $179-$249
  • NTFS File system optimized for PC
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Colors: Midnight Black
  • optional docking station available in November

My Passport for Mac:

  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • USB 2.0
  • 320GB, 500 GB
  • MSRP $99-$139
  • HFS+JournaledFile system optimized for Mac
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Charcoal Matte
  • optional docking station

My Book Essential:

  • Eco-friendly drive
  • Cool, quiet, fanless design
  • USB 2.0
  • 500 GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB
  • $99 to $249
  • NTFS File system optimized for PC
  • 2 -year limited warranty
  • Light-up capacity gauge on the front edge of the drive

My Book for Mac:

  • Eco-friendly drive
  • Cool, quiet, fanless design
  • USB 2.0
  • 1 TB
  • $139
  • HFS+JournaledFile system optimized for Mac
  • 2 -year limited warranty
  • Light-up capacity gauge on the front edge of the drive

Security across the board is now 256-bit hardware-based encryption, rather than only software-encrypted. That means stronger security at the expense of remembering a password (forget the password, and you're out of luck).

The drives also support incremental backups, meaning that it can save all versions of a file in case you overwrite one version.

Precise release dates were not announced.

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