WD—a subsidiary of Western Digital—unveiled new portable drives today. The My Passport Edge drives are sleek, and they’re affordable. But, depending on how you intend to use a portable drive, or what type of data you plan to store on it, the My Passport Edge drives might not be the way to go. For access to crucial data on the go you should consider a more resilient portable drive, or move to cloud storage.
I have a 320GB WD Passport drive that I carry around in my messenger bag when I travel. It gives me some extra space if the 128GB SSD in my MacBook Air runs out of space, and it provides me with a simple way of transferring very large files from one PC to another.
The Passport serves a specific role, and it functions well in that role. For users who are looking to expand storage capacity with an external drive while sitting at a desk safely in an office, a drive like the WD My Passport Edge will suffice. An extra 500GB or more of storage will work nicely—especially if used with a feature like Windows 8 Storage Spaces. The new feature in Windows 8 lets you group drives under one logical drive letter so you can easily expand storage capacity by adding a drive like the WD My Passport Edge.
Road warriors looking for a safe, secure method of transporting mobile data may want to consider other options, though. It costs more, but the ioSafe Rugged Portable drive can survive a fire or flood—or even a shotgun blast for those in riskier lines of work—and keep on ticking. Crucial data deserves to be properly protected, and a drive like the ioSafe Rugged Portable is built to endure through just about anything.
Of course, you could still lose your data. If you simply lose the ioSafe Rugged Portable, or it gets stolen, your data will be gone. Hopefully you’ve employed some type of encryption on the data itself to prevent unauthorized access, but that won’t help you get the data back.
As an insurance policy in case your portable drive is lost or stolen, crucial data should be stored in the cloud using a service like Box.com. If your data is stored in the cloud, it is safe from fires, floods, and shotgun blasts, as well as loss or theft. Wherever your travels may take you, your data is only an Internet connection away.
Personally, I use both—actually all of the above. As I said, I have a WD Passport drive that I use for file transfers, or data I can live without. But, when I travel I carry the ioSafe Rugged Portable to store and protect crucial data. And, just to be safe I make sure my important data is uploaded to Box.com as well.
Go ahead and pick up a WD My Passport Edge drive if you just need additional storage space. But, for access to sensitive or mission critical business data on the go, invest a little extra in a drive like the ioSafe Rugged Portable, or cloud storage like Box to make sure your data is safe and secure.