In this day and age of cloud storage and SSD’s, do we really still need hard drives?

Well, I think we defintely do. Cloud storage does have it’s advantages: On-the-go access to your files being the main one. But having alternative backups for your most crucial files is also important. And while SSD’s bring ultra-fast speed transfers (and potentially better reliability), Hard drives bring much more capacity than SSD’s for the same dollar value.

I picked up this hard drive over Lazada’s 8.8 Sale – to make sure I have enough space to back up my files. I use my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to takes lots of photos and videos of guitar (and food) – making it really easy for me to fill up my phone’s storage.



  • Western Digital Reliability (This model has been in the market for a long time)
  • 3 Year Warranty and AES-256 Password protection/Backup software bundled
  • LED Indicator, with S.M.A.R.T hard drive health support

Not so good:

  • Uses a dated USB 3.0 Micro-B port, rather than USB-C

Summary: This is an excellent hard drive, but for ease of use, WD needs to update that dated USB connector to USB C

Score: 4.7/5 (Editor’s Choice)

The Unboxing

Opening the box, we get the hard drive, USB-C Micro-B Cable and instruction manual. Note: No pouch is bundled in the box.

Looking at the hard drive, we instantly see that old USB Micro-B connector. In the year of 2021, where almost everything is using USB-C, I’m frankly surprised that WD hasn’t updated this hard drive to use USB C. Even portable SSD’s that transfer files 3-4 times faster than hard drives are using USB-C connectors nowadays, so there’s no reason why a hard drive shouldn’t use one. Because of this dated design, I have to make sure I bring the right cable to use this hard drive with my PC

With that said, I’ve used at least 3-4 hard drives with this connector and never had an issue. So It’s just a minor inconvenience.

Connecting the hard drive to my PC was a snap. We instantly see the 5TB drive with WD backup/password protection software included in the hard drive. It is normal to see the 5TB drive reflected as 4.54TB, due to differences in how Windows calculates hard drive capacity, compared to hard drive manufacturers.

Good Feature Set

LED Light Indicators

The WD drive has a tiny LED light that:

  • Flashes Rapidly when the drive is in use
  • Stays on when the drive is idle (hard drive still spinning)
  • Flashes slowly when the drive is in sleep mode (to save power)

There are some hard drives that don’t come with this feature – so don’t take it for granted. I like these type of indicators – when the LED light flashes rapidly, that’s your best sign to NOT PHYSICALLY DISCONNECT the hard drive – because your hard drive is almost defintely still copying/modifying some of your files, and turning the hard drive off during such crucial time periods would almost certainly result in data loss/corrupted files.

S.M.A.R.T Drive!

The hard drive has full SMART features – including Temperature Sensor. This allows you to keep track of your drive’s health – and watch for any signs of the hard drive aging or failing. This is a 5400RPM drive (normal for USB drives). Here, I’m using CrystalDiskInfo to check the Hard Drive’s health and ensure it is new before using it.

#TechWithAaron Tip Time: How to check if your Western Digital Hard Drive is New and Genuine

Here’s a quick #TechWithAaron Tip for you: One easy way to check if your hard drive is really NEW is by checking the power on Count and Power On Hours the moment you connect the hard drive to your PC. If the number reflected here drive is between 1-5 times, with 0 power on hours, it’s almost defintely new!

Any numbers larger here indicates that someone has turned on this hard drive and used it for at least a while. So if you see strange numbers here, Screenshot and save the report on your computer, and demand for an exchange or refund (unless you bought the hard drive as a used item, of course).

While on this window, you can also check the stated Serial Number and compare it with serial number on the Box and hard drive sticker. If any of those serial numbers do not tally, demand a refund immediately. You might be a victim of the switcheroo trick used by some unscrupulous customers.

My Passport 5TB Hard Drive Speed Test: Within Expectations

I used CrystalDiskMark to benchmark the speed when transferring a 64GB test file on the hard drive. The hard drive speed is great and within expectations for a 5TB drive, clocking 126-128MB/s write speed and 137-138MB/s read speed.

When copying/reading much smaller files, the speed won’t be that impressive. We’re seeing 12MB/s Write speeds and 0.38-0.48MB/s Read speed here. This speed is within expectation for hard drives.

Overall, the Western Digital 5TB My Passport drive is Great!

Overall the WD My Passport 5TB is a great drive. I’ve used a white colour version of this for the last 6 months, and haven’t had an issue with it. So much so that I bought this one (and decided to do this review). The Retail price is $199 SGD, but on a great sale day, with vouchers and limited time promo’s on Lazada, you might be able to get it for as low as $149 SGD – which is simply tremendous value for a 5TB worth of storage! I’ve also had great success using older USB-powered My Passport Hard drives, so I’m quite confident of Western Digital.

To put this value in context, Google One’s 2TB Cloud storage plan costs you $139.99 a year. 3 Years of coverage would cost you $420, and that’s still less than half of the storage this hard drive offers you out of the box. Of course, cloud storage comes with it’s own merits – from easier access on the go to reliability (provided that you use a reputable cloud storage service, like Onedrive or Google Drive) – but Hard drives still offer you a great secondary or tertiary layer to protecting your important files or carrying large files around.

Thus, this is a firm Editor’s Choice! I’m giving a score of 4.7/5 – deducting a fraction of points just because WD hasn’t updated this model with a USB-C port. But other than this, the Hard drive is well known for it’s reliability, and having at least one of these handy is almost a no-brainer.

WD, I’m waiting for you to launch a USB-C version of this drive – that would have secured you a full 5/5 score 😉

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