My Book 4Tb encryption - turn on/off, default?

So I finally settled on a My Book 4Tb. This one:

Installed successfully, formatted NTFS, and accessing nicely - just connected, I didn’t install any WD software yet.

Then I wondered - is the hardware encryption turned on by default? If it is, can I turn it off?

The manual, here:

says, page 1 of the document,:

“The My Book drive’s built in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD SEcurity software helps keep your content private ad safe. Just activate password protection and set your own personal password.”

and on page 18:

“Depending on your location, using a password may encrypt your data.”

An ordinary reading of these says that encryption is not being used until you set a password and activate password protection. In other words, I can start filling my new drive with data without fear that it’s being encrypted. I want it on there unencrypted. But I’ve seen other threads about encryption being always on without the ability to turn it off - but I suspect they refer to other products.

Can anyone confirm for this drive?

Thank you.

Hi WaterDays,

WD my Book drive has a built in 256- bit AES hardware encryption which cannot be disable manually. We have placed few helpful links below providing more information.

Hi John - thanks for the reply!

Your statement is very clear. If only WD’s documentation were as clear. The link you provided links to the same user manual as I referenced in my first post. I can’t find anywhere in that document that says it so clearly.

For example, page 18:

“WD Security: Implements password protection and the 256-bit hardware data encryption capabilities of your supported WD hard drive.”

To me this sure seems to say that the hardware encryption is dependent on running the WD Security app. I certainly don’t read it as saying “hardware encryption is always on and cannot be altered and the WD Security app has nothing to do with it.”