WD Elements vs My Book [Comparison]

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We have come a long way in terms of data generation, processing, and handling. Today, a pocket-size 1-TB external hard drive can store the data of almost 754297 standard 3.5” floppy disks (yes, you read that right).

If you are looking for a top-quality external hard drive and confused due to WD Elements vs. My Book debate, keep on reading.

While WD My Book is a better option among the two, here we will provide you with an objective review of both WD hard drive lines.

Also: See WD Elements compared with My Passport, and Easystore.

WD Elements vs. My Book: A Snapshot

Western Digital (WD) has been operating in the digital storage market for almost 50 years. It creates and sells data products and technologies, including hard drives, cloud services, and data centers. Elements and My Book are two of its popular external hard drive lines that we will review here.


ImageHard DriveCapacityFormatingWarrantySoftwareDesign
Western Digital 2TB Elements...Price at AmazonMultiple optionsNTFS2-year limited warrantyNoneSleek design with curved edges
Western Digital 4TB My Book...Price at AmazonMultiple optionsexFAT3-year limited warrantyComes with WD Auto Backup softwareRugged design with sharp edges

WD Elements Pros & Cons


  • Easy to carry
  • Easy on the eyes— sleek, curved design
  • Comes in multiple storage options
  • Offers plug & play use on Windows devices


  • No software support
  • No hardware encryption

WD My Book Pros & Con


  • Boasts great value for money
  • Comes with password protection and hardware encryption
  • Rugged construction— better shock resilience
  • Features backup utility


  • Needs external power
  •  Not the best option for portable use

Face to Face Comparison

The above section has given you a quick comparative overview of the two external hard drives we are discussing here. For an in-depth comparison, let’s compare WD Elements and My Book feature by feature.

Storage Options and Speed

Storage and read/write speed are the two most important features to consider when you are buying an external hard drive. WD offers multiple storage options with both Elements and My Book hard drives. You can get Elements devices in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, and 5TB sizes. On the other hand, My Books come in 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, 14TB, 16TB, and 18TB storage capacities.

You will find My Book ahead of Elements with data transfer or read/write speed. WD Elements offer a sequential reading speed of around 130 MB/s and a writing speed of 128 MB/s. Meanwhile, My Book hard drives register the reading speed up to 208 MB/s and the writing speed of around 200 MB/s.

Verdict: My Elements wins this round with its better reading and writing speed and more assorted storage options.

Shocks Resilience

Hard drives should also be shock-resistant to falls and impacts to ensure your data in its physical form remains safe. WD doesn’t say much about the shock resilience capabilities of its hard drives. Both Elements and My Book are marketed as devices with long-term readability, shock tolerance, and durability.

Verdict: There is no rating and spec that particularly gives away the shock-resistant attributes of WD Elements and My Book. However, going by appearances, we can say that My Book might do better on this front with its relatively rugged construction and strapping form factor.

Compatibility and Connectivity

WD Elements boasts NTFS formatting, which means you can use it directly out of the box without fiddling with any configuration. Moreover, it uses both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
On the other hand, My Book has exFAT formatting, making it a plug-n-play device for both Windows and macOS operating systems. Like Elements, My Book hard drives also offer both USB 2.0 and 3.0 connectivity.

Verdict: WD My Book boasts better compatibility than Elements. Unlike Elements hard drives, you don’t need to reformate My Book before using it with Mac devices.

Hardware Encryption

Hardware encryption represents using the physical element of the device to execute or assist data encryption. It is considered a better option than software encryption because its encryption process remains separate from the rest of the device, making it harder to intercept or break into the drive.

Moreover, the encryption and decryption process remains faster in devices with hardware encryption. However, this valuable feature is only available in WP My Book. Elements devices come without hardware encryption.

Verdict: It is pretty obvious which external hard driveline is the winner of this round.


There isn’t a stark difference between the prices of WD Element and My Book hard drives. However, WP My Book devices certainly lie at a higher price point overall. We think their higher prices are justified since they fare better than Elements devices in many areas. The price uptick in My Book devices is also due to its extended warranty, which is one year longer than what you get with Elements hard drives.

Verdict: If the price is your main concern, then WP Elements hard drives are a better option for you.

Standout Features

Before we wrap up our comparison review of WD Elements vs. My Book, we’d like to outline some standout features of both hard drive lines.

WD Elements

  • Portability and Sleek Design: WD Elements features a sleek design and offers portability that is hard to find among external hard drives with multi-TB storage capacity.

WD My Book

  • Impeccable Security: WD My Book drives come with built-in password protection and hardware encryption, which offers better defense against the shenanigans of hackers and data thieves.
  • Great Backup Performance: WD My Book comes with propriety Auto Backup software to ensure automated real-time data backup. These WD hard drives are also compatible with Dropbox Cloud Services and Apple Time Machine.


We hope that the above comparative discussion helps you identify the most suitable external hard drive option for your use.

While WD My Book is a better option among the two, you can pick either of these options for different reasons.

Use WD Element if:

  • You want an easy-to-carry external hard drive with moderate storage capacity (up to 5TB).
  • You don’t want to spend too much on an external hard drive.

Use WD My Book if:

  • You need a rugged external hard drive boasting great storage (up to 18TB).
  • You need better security and backup regimen irrespective of the price tag of the drive.

Last update on 2022-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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