WD My Passport SSD attaches fast storage to USB 3.1

When you think "Western Digital," you probably think about hard drives. It's well past time for that idea to change, though. Not only does WD sell a range of high-performance and budget-priced internal SSDs, it's now offering external solid-state storage, too. The My Passport SSD is the company's first external SSD, and it comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities.

The My Passport SSD certainly looks flashy. Its impressive qualities aren't just skin deep, though. The drive uses a USB 3.1 Type-C connection to make sure its performance won't be bottlenecked by its interface. That said, the SSD inside caps out at a transfer speed of 515MB/s—the only performance figure WD offers—so you should be able to use it on a USB 3.0 port without sacrificing speed. WD includes a USB Type-C cable as well as a Type-A adapter, so the drive should be good to go with most current devices.

The drive supports 256-bit hardware encryption and has password protection functionality, although WD doesn't elaborate on how those features are managed. WD says the 256GB drive should sell for $100, the 512GB drive for $200, and the 1TB drive for $400. The company offers three-year warranty coverage on the My Passport SSDs and expects them to be available later this quarter.

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