Choosing Backup External Hard Drive

Choosing Best Backup External Hard Drive to meet your needs.

Hey guys, today we are going to talk about external backup hard drives. Yes, those boxes that get attached to your desktop or laptop, so which one is best for you.

If you start looking around then you will notice that there are lots of choices and you have to choose between things like capacity, size, speed, connection interface, brands, warranty and price.

I could say just go get Samsung Portable T5 SSD 1TB Drive for under $400 from Amazon or Newegg.  Problem Solved!!! But what if you don’t have that kind of money to burn? Well, if you don’t have that kind of money there are still lots of options on a budget.

Let’s go over few thing that people ask often when they are choosing external storage device.

  1. Q: Does physical size matters?

A: Yes and No. The only thing here is that you really need to know is that the 2.5” hard drive has a limit of 4TB but most commonly you will only see 2TB for external drive. Even larger drives are in the works but the are expensive. Where as 3.5” you can go as high as 14TB (14,000GB) Mind Blowing!! There are additional things you need to know about size but we will talk about it later in the article.

  • Q: Does Hard drive RPM matters?

A: In general; faster RPM drives are considered faster and better. However when it comes to external backup drives the RPM speed is not really important. I will explain little later on as too why.

  • Q:  Does Brand Name Matters?

A: Yes, try to stick with brand names like Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi (Hitachi is owned by WD). Your data is important and you want to keep it in a reliable drive.

  • Q: What connection interface should I get? USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, USB 3.1 (USB C).

A: Well the best would be thunderbolt or USB C but they tend to be expensive and rare at the moment. The most common would be USB 3.0 because it is popular, fairly available and fairly fast. You still can use USB 2.0 but it can make a huge difference if you are transferring large files and you are doing it on the fly. However it is still used but lots of people.

  • Q: What size drive should I get?

A: Well it really depends on what you are going to store on the Drive. In my opinion the sweet spot would be somewhere between 2TB and 4TB because it should be large enough to support your important files and with some room to grow. But you don’t want it too big because if it fails then you lose it all at once; I rather have 2 separate drives of 2tb than one 4TB Drive.  That is because If you buy one dive that is 4tb for let’s say for $100  which is little cheaper then two 2TB drives and it fails. You lose all your data and the $100. Where as if I have one of the 2TB drives fail I would only loose half of my data and only like $65. Do you see my point?

  • Q: Warranty?

A:  Warranty is only important to see how reliable the manufacturer things the hard drive is. Even though this is not a good indicator if a hard drive is reliable or not, but it is good to give you an idea. However because we are talking about external hard drives that are not in use it 24/7 , its not that important. You will most likely keep the drive way longer than the manufacturers’ warranty because you will not be using it all the time.

  • Q: Are there any external hard drives I should stay away from?

A: Yes, there are so called fat 2.5” portable drives. Its hard to be specific but they are typically small drives that the twice as thick as a regular 2.5” drives. The reason is that they typically include two drives stacked on top of each other to give you slightly better performance and larger capacity. The problem is that to make them appear as one drive they are connected internally to be in Raid 0 mode so that it looks like one drive. Raid 0 strips your data and splits it into two drives. The problem is that if one of those drives fails not only is your entire drive dead, and the data most likely would not be revocable even by a professional recovery company.

So which might be right for you?

I would suggest going with a 2.5” Backup Hard drive. Why? Because small 2.5” hard drive run on 5V witch can be supplied by a USB port which provide 5V and since you are connecting it already to a USB port That’s all you need to connect, USB cable and you are all set. Large 3.5” hard drives run on 12V so they need external power supply to supply the power. That means they are not that portable as a small ones.

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