My Passport Essential
Western Digital, store.westerndigital.com
Affordable; compact; range of colours to choose from
Not designed specifically for Mac; has only USB 3 interface
The My Passport Essential isn’t specifically designed for Macs so you will need to reformat it before you can use it.
However, it does still come with a Mac version of Western Digital’s SmartWare software. SmartWare provides continuous backup of your files – compared to hourly backups with Time Machine – along with other options, such as password security and the ability to store multiple versions of your files.
Available in several colours, the My Passport Essential is the smallest drive in this group – small enough to fit easily into a jacket pocket – and one of the cheapest, at just $99.95. It has a USB 3 interface only, which ran at the same 250Mbps as its rivals when connected to the USB 2 port on our office iMac.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
If you want FireWire as well you’ll have to pay a little more for the Freecom or Verbatim drives, but this is a neat and affordable option if you’re happy with USB 2 for now (and the option of USB 3 in the future).