by Gregg Ellman
Let’s get the new year off on the right start in your personal technology world. The single most important thing that 99 percent of people do not do is consistently back up their digital files.
This includes videos, documents, music libraries with thousands of songs (if not more) and priceless digital photos.
After reading this, if you’re saying you don’t need to do this because your computer is fine, or your images are on your phone, etc, you are wrong. Everyone will have a computer crash with a hard drive dying at some point. It’s a guarantee. Backing up your files is critical.
So often I hear about people who are in a panic and can’t access cherished digital files. While there are ways to retrieve files off of crashed drives, it’s a cumbersome and often expensive way to get something done, and is easily prevented.
In a perfect world, valuable digital files should be backed up in two places, a cloud service and a hard drive. That brings me to Western Digital and the My Passport line of portable hard drives, which are ideal for home, work or any kind of use.
The My Passport Ultra portable storage is pocket-sized and built with a modern looking metal exterior. While the portability is great, what makes this easy for any level of use is how easy it is to work with the optional quick setup in auto mode.
The My Passport Ultra is a perfect companion for automatic backup systems such as Apple’s Time Machine. The hard drive comes with the WD Discovery app installers for both Mac and Windows systems, which you can set up to automatically import files from cloud storage and social media sites (Facebook, Dropbox and Google Drive) for backup.
The app has a layer of password security, with WD Security tools to enable the 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption chip on the My Passport Ultra drive.
If you don’t want files backed up automatically, no problem. When the hard drive is plugged into your computer with a single cable for connection and power, it appears like any other hard drive and works with a simple and fast drag and drop.
From the start, try and keep things organized because when files add up, obviously it’s in the thousands and a specific images, work documents or songs can take a while to find. So make some folders, start with the year and add folders for photos, music, documents, videos or whatever works for your personal system.
Within those folders you can add folders for months, themes or whatever will make it easier to find.
The My Passport Ultra is available in 1TB ($69.99), 2TB ($89.99) and 4TB ($129.99). The 1- and 2TB models are 3.21-by-4.33-inches with a 0.50-inch width and the 4TB drive is 0,83-inches wide. A USB-C cable with standard USB-A adapter is included.
Remember, this is something to do now, not later. You have been warned.
The wrangler has a magnetic base that holds all your cable tips in one place so they are accessible and easy to find on a desk or nightstand. Cables with magnetic tips will hold in place and those that aren’t can attach with a magnetic collar.
When you need a charge, take the cable off’ when you’re done just let the magnet do its thing so it’s there waiting for your next charge. No longer will you have to dig under your desk or behind a nightstand (like I do) to see where the cable fell.
The Cable Wrangler ($19.99) is available in No2 pencil gray and lightly toasted beige; a package option ($39.99) includes a magnetic tipped 6-foot Apple Lightning cable and USB 2-Port AC wall charger.