WD Easystore vs. Elements - What's the Difference - DataHoards (2023)

WD Easystore vs. Elements - What's the Difference - DataHoards (1)

If you're looking for additional, inexpensive data storage, you've probably heard the names Easystore and Elements. These names refer to two popular and highly respected product lines from the Western Digital (WD) company. They are often similarly priced and look nearly identical; therefore, you might be wondering what the differences are and how they compare.There are only minor differences between Easystore and Elements., but we'll explore some of them in this article.

1) Availability

WD Easy Shop

For starters, the WD Easystore line of hard drives is only available at Best Buy. Best Buy is an American company with operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This means that Easystore is not officially available outside these countries, as the product is exclusive to Best Buy. If you live in one of the countries listed above, you can buy Easystore in several ways:

  • In store at a Best Buy location
  • Online via the official Best Buy website
  • Through another online retail platform such as Amazon

WD Elements

Unlike Easystore, the Elements range of units is not exclusive to any retailer, so it is more widely available. They can be purchased through any Wester Digital or VAR distributor worldwide. They can also be easily purchased online from any of the usual places (Amazon, eBay, NewEgg, etc).

2) Price

In general, the cost of Easystore and the cost of Elements are quite comparable. For example, a 10TB Easystore will likely cost the same as a 10TB Elements and certainly within 10%. However, the big advantage that Easystore has is that Best Buy often runs promotions, selling Easystore at deep discounts. For example, on Black Friday 2019, Best Buy reduced the cost of the 12TB Easystore from $279.99 to just $179.99. At the time, it was impossible to find a 12TB Elements for anywhere near that price, making Easystore the clear winner. If you don't need your hard drive urgently, I suggest you wait for the next Best Buy sale and get an Easystore when it's on sale.

(Video) WD Easy Store 4TB Review 🤑 Is it Worth It?

3) Hardware encryption

The latest generation of WD Element drives support hardware encryption. What does it means? Well, basically, the unit's controller has a built-in microchip capable of encrypting/decrypting data on the fly. Before the data is written to the disk, the chip encrypts it using AES algorithm and similarly, after reading the encrypted data from the disk, it will be decrypted by the same chip. Currently, no WD Easystore drives support hardware encryption, according tothis official documentde Western Digital.

If you are concerned about security and really want your data encrypted, you might be thinking that Easystore is not for you. Fortunately, this is not the case. While Easystores doesn't support hardware encryption, nothing prevents you from using something like BitLocker or VeraCrypt to keep your data safe. Technically, encryption and decryption will be a bit slower as your computer will have to do the task instead of the drive itself. In reality, you're unlikely to notice any real-world performance impact. The vast majority of CPUs released in the last five years were built with support for the AES-NI instruction set. This means that the CPU can perform AES encryption/decryption extremely efficiently. Western Digital has recognized in the past that the hardware encryption on some of its drives is weak and susceptible to attack, so using BitLocker or Veracrypt is a good choice whether or not your drive has hardware encryption capability.

4) Speed

As hard drive capacities increase, the speed at which we can transfer data to and from them becomes even more important. Years ago, when capacities were small, it didn't matter much if the drive had a USB1 or USB2 interface, as you could copy all the contents in a few hours.

As you'd expect with the Easystore and Elements line of high-capacity products, USB3 comes standard. With capacities close to 14TB, using anything slower than USB3 would mean taking days instead of hours to complete large data transfers. That said, USB is backwards compatible, so if for some reason you're working on an old computer with only USB2 (or even USB1!), you'll still be able to use your WD drive. Of course, performance will be limited to the speed of the old USB interface you're using, but it's better than nothing.

(Video) WD EasyStore 14TB USB 3.0 Helium Filled External Hard Drive Review (With Real World Speed Test)

Thus, in this category, units from the Easystore and Elements ranges are combined.

5) Suitability for “peeling”

If you just want a plug and play hard drive to download your movies, music and homework, you can skip this section. If you just need an Easystore or Elements drive that you can use with your PS4 then this section is not relevant for you.

If you're still with us, I'm going to assume you're a data hog and interested in taking apart one of these WD drives to increase your NAS storage on the cheap. The good news is thatboth the Easystore and Elements range of units are easy to dismantle🇧🇷 It's difficult to remove the drives without breaking the case's tabs, but that's not really a problem as your warranty will be void anyway. For a long time, both ranges contained WD blue or WD red drives with similar specs (cache size, etc.). However, in early 2019, I noticed that every drive I discovered, be it Easystore or Elements, contained a white label WD drive. Some have speculated that the white-labeled drive is actually just a re-badged red WD. The white version certainly performs just as well as the red one and it would make sense for WD to rename the red ones to keep them from chipping and selling for a higher price on places like eBay.

Problem de 3.3v

It's worth noting that several of the white label WD drives found in Easystore and Elements products are in need of a mod after being scrapped. WD has implemented a new feature on white label drives to allow the host system to perform a hard reset or reset of the drive. This function was implemented using pin 3 of the SATA interface. Traditionally, pin 3 was not used, so some SATA connectors would bring 3.3V to that pin, while others would leave it unconnected. On newer commercially available units, if 3.3V is applied to this pin, the unit will reset. This, of course, is not an issue when the drive is still in its enclosure, as the SATA connector used in the enclosure does not carry any voltage to pin 3. However, once the drive has been disconnected, it is possible that the O SATA connector on your PC's PSU or NAS will carry some voltage to pin 3 and prevent the drive from spinning (effectively it is constantly resetting).

(Video) Best Cheap External Hard Drive? (Western Digital easystore External 5TB Hard Drive Review)

There is a WD articleherewhich documents the issue and lists all drive models affected by the issue. Some nifty solutions have been offered on the web, from cutting the cable at the SATA connector to removing the drive pin. A solution that I find particularly elegant can be found atBlog do Zack Reed🇧🇷 It involves isolating pin 3 of the connector using Kapton tape. This allows the unit to be connected and disconnected repeatedly without any problems.

Checking the unit model number

Even if you don't intend to disassemble your Easystore or Elements unit, it's good to know what's under the hood. Fortunately, there is a way to query the drive via USB and have it return its model number. This can be done on both Windows and Linux and it's easy.


The quickest way to get the drive model number if you are running Windows is to use a program known as CrystalDiskInfo. The program doesn't come with Windows, so you'll need to download it fromhere🇧🇷 There is a portable version that doesn't need to be installed, so you can use it if you don't want to keep it later.

Just launch the program as an administrator, accept the UAC prompts, then go to the "Disk" menu. Make sure the Easystore/Elements unit is selected and the model will appear in bold. In the example below, the model is “CT960”. The serial number will also be displayed in the highlighted field:

(Video) Shucking WD Easystore Drives (an r/DataHoarder favorite) - 1000 Subscriber Special #1 - Jody Bruchon

WD Easystore vs. Elements - What's the Difference - DataHoards (2)


On Linux, it's also trivial to find the model number of the unit. This time, we can use the built-in "ls" command to list the contents of /dev/disk/by-id/. The "id" includes the model number as follows:

WD Easystore vs. Elements - What's the Difference - DataHoards (3)

You can see in the image above that the drive in this Easystore is a WD WD80EFAX. A quick search for this model number online reveals that it is a WD Red with an 8TB capacity and a 256MB cache. Very nice!

(Video) WD EasyStore How To Install / Set Up External Hard Drive on Mac | Manual | Setup Guide


In this post, we discuss the differences between the hard drive models in Western Digital's two main product lines. We put the Easystore and Elements lines side by side in terms of price, features and the ability to combine them. Finally, we discuss how we can easily query any Easystore or Elements USB hard drive to reveal the model number of the enterprise hard drive that runs everything behind the scenes.

The short answer is that there are no noticeable differences between Easystore and Elements devices. If you really need hardware encryption, choose an Elements model. Otherwise, buy whatever's cheaper, and remember to monitor Best Buy for their famous Easystore sales.


What does WD Elements mean? ›

WD Elements is also a lightweight and portable hard drive with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interfaces. This drive attracts a large number of consumers due to its high-capacity storage, fast data transfer speed, and universal connectivity.

Which is better WD Passport or elements? ›

To be straightforward, WD My Passport HDD is a better hard disk drive than WD Elements. In terms of capacity and performance, both are not very different as they're both Western Digital Products. WD My Passport takes the edge over WD Elements mainly because it comes with the WD Discovery Software.

What type of drive is in Easystore? ›

WD Easystore Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive HDD (1 TB to 5 TB) | Western Digital.

What is difference between Western Digital Easystore and my book? ›

Easystore is for always on backup, streaming and cloud share. Mybook it like an oversized thumb drive that requires USB power via PC (Not great for maintaining constant backups) that is morely used for storage and portability of school and work files with less software/network shareing capabilities.

Why is my WD Elements so slow? ›

According, the below-listed errors are the main reasons that cause your external with slow issue: Low storage space: storage device runs out of free space. The device is occupied by large useless files. Corrupted system files/bad sectors on the storage device.

How long do WD Elements hard drives last? ›

The simplest answer is that they can run smoothly for three to five years.

Which is best external hard drive to buy? ›

The 13 Best External Hard Drives and SSDs for 2022
  • SanDisk Extreme Portable 1TB SSD. Rugged external mini SSD. ...
  • Seagate Storage Expansion Card. Best for expanding storage for Xbox Series X/S games. ...
  • Seagate FireCuda 530 with Heatsink. Best for expanding storage for PS5 games. ...
  • WD Black P10 2TB. ...
  • Seagate Game Drive 4TB.
17 Nov 2022

Is WD Elements SSD or HDD? ›

The durable and dependable WD Elements™ SE SSD continues the renowned storage legacy of Western Digital and comes backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

Is Western Digital better than Seagate? ›

As you can see, Seagate Internal Hard Drive is much better than Western Digital Internal Hard Drive in all terms. So, whether it's price, speed, or storage capacity, Seagate Internal Hard Drive will deliver better results by being cheaper and affordable than Western Digital Internal Hard Drive.

Are WD Elements and Easystore the same? ›

WD Elements vs Easystore: Differences. There is no software support from WD Elements, while you can get some dedicated software out of the box with WD Easystore. The software includes WD Discovery, WD Backup, and WD Utilities.

Can I use WD Easystore as an external hard drive? ›

A: No problem, just plug and play. A: Yes, this hard drive can be used as if it is an existing hard drive. Folders and files can be created and moved onto or off of it. A: Hi Amanda, WD Easystore drive works seamlessly with the latest USB 3.0 devices and is backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices as well.

What is Easystore used for? ›

Carry and preserve important files wherever you go with this Western Digital easystore portable hard drive. The 1TB capacity offers ample storage space for your files, while the USB interface ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices.

Can you password protect WD Easystore? ›

4. Click the "Security" button to display the Set Security screen. Enter a password in the "Choose a password" box, and then enter it again in the Verify Password box.

Does WD Easystore SSD have DRAM? ›

Nope it sure don't.

Can I connect WD My Book directly to computer? ›

WD My Book Live 2TB Personal Cloud Storage NAS Share Files and Photos. The lack of a USB port is not an issue if you want to direct-connect this WD drive to a computer. For this WD drive, you simply connect a normal ethernet cable -- e.g. the one provided in the box -- from the NAS to your CPU.

Is WD better than Samsung? ›

In general, Samsung SSDs tend to be more expensive than Western Digital SSDs. However, they offer superior performance, with faster read/write speeds and lower power consumption. They also tend to be more reliable, with a lower risk of data loss due to shock or vibration.

Is WD a Chinese? ›

Western Digital Corporation (WDC, commonly known as Western Digital or WD) is an American computer hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company, headquartered in San Jose, California.

How do I fix a slow WD external hard drive without losing data? ›

1. How do I fix a slow external hard drive?
  1. Change the SATA data cable.
  2. Change the USB 2.0 port to USB 3.0 port.
  3. Perform disk fragmentation to optimize the disk.
  4. Check for and repair hard drive logic errors and bad sectors.
  5. Send the drive to a hard drive repair center or simply swap it for a new one.
22 Sept 2022

Can an external hard drive last 10 years? ›

The average lifespan for an external hard drive, assuming no physical damage occurs, is around 3-5 years, depending on the make, model and conditions it is stored in. If you're using an external hard drive to back up your data, you might want to consider replacing it every few years to ensure your data is safe.

Can a hard drive last for 10 years? ›

A Hard Drive's Life Span

Generally speaking, you can rely on your hard drive for three to five years on average. A compelling study that proved this statistic comes from the online backup company Backblaze who analyzed the failure rates of 25,000 running hard drives.

Can hard drives last for 20 years? ›

For disk drives, it may be that all of them will wear out before they are 10 years old. Or it may be that some of them last 20 or 30 years. If some of them live a long, long time, it makes it hard to compute the average. Also, a few outliers can throw off the average and make it less useful.

Which brand of external hard drive lasts the longest? ›

Let us explore the most reliable external hard drive below.
  • #1) WD Elements Portable Drive.
  • #2) Seagate Portable Drive.
  • #3) Maxone 500GB Ultra Slim Drive.
  • #4) Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable Drive.
  • #5) Silicon Power Portable Drive.
  • #6) LaCie Rugged Mini Drive.
  • #7) SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD.
25 Oct 2022

What is the longest lasting external drive? ›

The Best Long-Lasting Hard Drives
  • LaCie Rugged Mini 1TB Hard Drive. Touting drop, crush, and water resistance, this external hard drive is durable and built to last. ...
  • Western Digital WD Purple 8TB Hard Drive. ...
  • G-Technology 6TB G-DRIVE. ...
  • Western Digital 4TB External Hard Drive. ...
  • Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive.
23 Mar 2022

Is it better to have SSD or SSD HDD? ›

SSDs are faster, more durable, more compact, quieter, and consume less energy. HDDs are more affordable and may offer easier data recovery in the event of damage. As long as price isn't the determining factor, SSDs come out on top — especially since modern SSDs are just about as reliable as HDDs.

Is it better to have SSD or HDD? ›

It is well understood that SSDs perform significantly better than HDDs. Almost as well understood is the reliability advantage of SSDs. Given these intrinsic advantages, SSDs do not need replication for performance, and they generally require much less replication for reliability.

Which hard disk is best in WD? ›

The Best Western Digital External Hard Drives – Portable
  • WD My Passport Portable External Hard Drive HDD, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Compatible.
  • WD My Passport SSD Portable External Solid State Drive Password Protection with Hardware Encryption.
  • WD Elements Portable External Hard Drive, USB 3.0, Compatible with PC, Mac, PS4 & Xbox.
25 Feb 2022

What is the most reliable type of hard drive? ›

Seagate 6 TB ST6000DX000

These drives sharply contrast the failure rates of many of the other Seagate drives they're running. With an average age of 80.4 months (almost 7 years), the AFR of the drives is a mere 0.11%, with only 1 out of 886 drives failing during 2021.

Which hard drives are most reliable? ›

The oldest drive is the most reliable: 6TB Seagate drives (model: ST6000DX000) have an average age of 80.4 months (almost seven years) yet incredibly these also have the lowest annualized failure rate (AFR) of 0.11 percent.

Who competes with Western Digital? ›

Western Digital's competitors and similar companies include Netgear, SMART Global Holdings, Toshiba, Samsung Electronics, Intel, Micron Technology and Seagate.

Does Easystore work on Windows 10? ›

A: Yes it works with windows 10. to do a back up, first make sure you have it plug in to a usb port.

How fast is the WD Easystore external hard drive? ›

Hi Mike, WD Easystore Portable drive offers upto 5 Gbps data transfer speed with USB 3.0. Need Help? Please see our "'Contact Us" page for information. Sorry, there was a problem.

Can you lay WD Easystore on its side? ›

Yes it can. Vertical or horizontal, it doesn't matter, but if you do lay it on it's side you should get some stick on rubber feet/pads to minimize vibration and noise.

What should you not do with an external hard drive? ›

Keep your external hard drive in a cool room with temperatures that are appropriate for its model. If you unsure what that temperature is, contact the manufacturer for appropriate storage information. Never store your hard drive in a hot attic, closet, or garage.

Do external hard drives become obsolete? ›

Yes. As the storage market is changing, it's very likely that hard drives will be replaced by future technology. According to research from the online company Backblaze, the use of hard disks could come to an end soon. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are already replacing hard disks as a primary storage source for computers.

What are the 2 types of external hard drives? ›

External drives are served up in two flavors: HDDs and SSDs. They both do things quite differently, but at the core of it, SSDs are faster than HDDs. They're more expensive, too. HDDs (hard drive disk) use spinning magnetic disks to store data.

Is a WD Easystore fast? ›

Read speeds up to 400MB/s2 let you move large files fast so you can get more done in your day.

Is WD Easystore wireless? ›

No, this disk drive does not have any WiFi capability by itself and can only be connected by a UBS3 cable. However, if you have a USB jack on your WiFi router, you can connect the drive to the router to make it WiFi accessible.

Does Easystore work with PC? ›

A: Hello, Please be informed that the WD Easystore drive is a plug 'n' play device tested and designed for Windows and Mac computers. The drive is both USB 3.0 ready and USB 2.0 compatible.

Does WD Elements have encryption? ›

WD provides hardware encryption as a feature on some DAS products. This feature is built into the device and is not user configurable.

Can you put a password on a WD external hard drive? ›

WD Security allows password protection of external drives that support 256-bit AES hardware encryption from unauthorized use or access. The computer must be able to run .exe files. Important: The WD Security software uses the set password to electronically lock and unlock the drive.

How do I stop my WD hard drive from going to sleep? ›

Right-click and select properties, and in the next window, click on the power management tab and uncheck the box that says allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. And click on. I guess this method will help your external hard drive not to go to sleep anymore.

How much faster is SSD with DRAM? ›

You're also getting much more speed than you would with an equivalently priced SATA SSD, as the DRAM-less 980 line can achieve speeds up to six times faster than a standard SATA SSD.

How do I know if my SSD has DRAM? ›

Most manufacturers do not outright mention if a particular model has DRAM or not. Sadly, no software can detect the presence of DRAM Cache either, not at the time of writing this article anyway.

Does WD My Cloud need to be connected to router? ›

Connect your My Cloud Home

Because the My Cloud Home works over the network, you do not connect the drive to your computer with a USB cable, but with a network cable to your router or modem. Place the WD My Cloud Home near your router.

Can I use WD My Cloud without internet? ›

A: Hello , Please we would like to inform you that My Cloud Home device requires internet all the time . It doesn't work without internet . However, If the device fails and the device is not connected with the internet you can not access the data from your device.

What is the purpose of WD My Book? ›

Equipped with WD Backup software for Windows and Apple Time Machine compatibility for Mac, the My Book desktop hard drive can back up your photos, videos, music, and documents. The My Book drive's built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security™ tools helps keep your content private and safe.

What does WD brand stand for? ›

Take a trip through WD-40 Company history

WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. That's the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed the product.

Is a WD Elements drive SSD or HDD? ›

The durable and dependable WD Elements™ SE SSD continues the renowned storage legacy of Western Digital and comes backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

Is WD Elements fast? ›

WD Portable Overview

The Elements drive connects to your computer with a USB 3.0 port at speeds up to 5 Gb/s, is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 at speeds up to 480 Mb/s, and is formatted as NTFS so Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 systems will recognize it right out of the box.

Is WD Elements a HDD or SSD? ›

Portable Hard Drive (HDD)

Which is better Seagate or WD? ›

As you can see, Seagate Internal Hard Drive is much better than Western Digital Internal Hard Drive in all terms. So, whether it's price, speed, or storage capacity, Seagate Internal Hard Drive will deliver better results by being cheaper and affordable than Western Digital Internal Hard Drive.

Is Western Digital a Chinese company? ›

Western Digital Corporation (WDC, commonly known as Western Digital or WD) is an American computer hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company, headquartered in San Jose, California.

Is WD Elements a good external hard drive? ›

The WD Elements Portable Hard Drive is a great option if you are looking for a reliable external drive. This storage device lacks automatic backup software, but besides that, it is a great portable external addition to your current computer setup.

What type of drive is in WD Elements? ›

WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive (HDD) 3TB - 18 TB for PC | Western Digital.

What is an SE hard drive? ›

The WD Se HDD is the company's latest 3.5" enterprise-class hard drive that ranges in capacities up to 4TB, spins at 7,200 RPM and interfaces over SATA 6Gb/s. The WD Se is designed to provide robust storage for large-scale NAS deployments, replicated environments, bulk cloud storage, and backup and archiving.

Is WD Elements good for gaming? ›

However, like the Seagate, the WD Elements' simple design enables it to work well with both computers and games consoles as either storage expansion or a backup drive. That said, if you're looking for an easy way to carry data around, or extend the storage of your Xbox One, the Elements is an excellent buy.

What are the 4 types of hard drives? ›

Currently, hard drives are divided into 4 major types:
  • Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)
  • Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA)
  • Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
  • Solid State Drive (SSD)
4 Apr 2022

Is WD better than Samsung SSD? ›

In general, Samsung SSDs tend to be more expensive than Western Digital SSDs. However, they offer superior performance, with faster read/write speeds and lower power consumption. They also tend to be more reliable, with a lower risk of data loss due to shock or vibration.


1. WD easystore 8TB External Hard Drive It's A Bargain!
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3. How to Setup WD EasyStore 12TB Windows 10
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4. Shucking WD Easystore 14TB Hard Drives
5. WD (Western Digital) EasyStore 8TB Unboxing & Speed Test
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6. Before You Shuck, Find Out What's Inside Your External Hard Drive
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