External Hard Drive

Buying an external hard drive can be as simple or as complex a process as you make it. Distinguishing factors include cost, ease of use, capacity, brand, interface type, security, network capability and speed.

Deciding how much capacity you need from your product is as easy as figuring out what data you are trying to preserve or transfer, and making sure you have ample room for that data plus however much more room you’d like to have available for future back-up decisions. Therefore, the size of the product you’re looking for should directly relate to the size of the hard drive you currently are replacing or backing up.

Logically, cost relates directly to capacity. External hard drives with storage amounts around 80 gigabytes can be found easily for under or about 100 dollars. If your project requires a larger drive, you can spend up to a few hundred dollars. Smaller external drives are meant to be portable, as a means of transferring documents from work to home or vice versa with relative security.

If you’re planning a large back-up process, interface and speed become a more important factor. While most drives offer a principal interface option of a USB 2.0 connection, others offer (in addition to or in replacement of the USB option) a firewire connection. Product reviews will usually prominently mention the speed of the drive’s USB 2.0 interface and how that rates against other drives in general.

Most external drives come with installation software and drivers wich allow for easy use. Many larger drives not meant to be portable offer network capability. While individual home users have little use for this feature, it is helpful for business users.

For help in deciding which device to go for, consider these choices highly lauded by some experts.

  • The Drobo is a highly regarded device for its basic useability, and it has a flashy appearance. There is no need to mess with RAID arrays or deal with a stack of burned DVDs. All you must do is fill this external hard drive with two drives or more and transfer over the data. Data protection is taken care of without any additional steps. Unfortunately, Drobo is USB only, and adding network capability adds money to the final bill.
  • The Synology DS107 is a very sophisticated NAS device. You have to have a little knowhow to work this once, but the included software and the device’s useability are a big help. The Synology DS107 is considered a great value for all of the things that it can do. This device supports PlayStation 3 and Zbox 360 game consoles. Its download station doesn’t support web sites that require authentication.
  • The Seagate FreeAgent Go is a favorite of the experts when it comes to portable hard drives. It’s also credited for its design and value. The Seagate FreeAgent stores up to 320 GB. It’s a very thin drive that’s available in several colors and is considered costly for its price per GB.
  • The OWC Mercury is a fast device that at 500 GB is the largest you can get on the market at this time. While it’s bulky and the power switch is hard to find, this package includes a fantastic software bundle. It’s big and fast, bottom line.
  • The D-Link DNS-323 is an easy-to-use device with several futures that make it a comprehensive choice for storage and function. This baby also is easy to use and supports iTunes. It also has a USB port for printer capabilities. This device is criticized because its bays come off too easily.
This External Hard Drive Review is Written/Updated on Sep 11th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “External Hard Drive”

  1. Gary says:

    Great list, but the waterproof and fireproof ioSafe Solo should definitely have been mentioned (www.iosafe.com).

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