Buyers’ Guide External Hard Drives
Digital valuable for your life, and your external hard drives will help them stay safe, and accessible. We walk you through the steps you need to find the right one for you.
by Joel Santo Domingo
Backup, Backup, Backup. Although sounds like I’m giving driving lessons, I was really preaching about the need to keep our memories safe and working outside of the threat, and of ourselves (accidental deletion of files, etc.). While Microsoft and Apple have given us the tools on Windows Vista and Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, respectively, people still do not use the backup application. Windows Vista Premium Basic and there are quite easy to use Backup and Restore Center program that can automatically back up important folders such as Documents, Pictures, and Music. Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions have more advanced PC backup solution. Mac OS X 10.5 have Time Machine, a backup of External Hard Drives continue to provide the data and provide disaster recovery features. Digital life consists of digital photos, music, and videos from your camcorder home, and they are all kept very close to your fingertips, at 120GBto-500GB External Hard Drives in a PC or Mac. But what if you have a problem with your computer (choose one), and you have to take it to the local big-box store where you bought it. At that time the usual ways tech “fixes your problem” is by reformatting the hard drives and reinstall Windows or Mac OS X. Your memories, then the treasure, no longer useful digital life. There must be a better way.
With it, even though you have this tool, you need a SimpleTech t500GB SimpleDriveempat to store all these files in External Hard Drives on a PC or Mac running kablooey (which is bound to happen if you keep the old machine). Enter the compact disk. Compact hard drive like the one below capacity larger than most desktop hard drives and laptops to come, and they’re portable, boot! You can use it as an insurance policy for a laptop, or a shuttle data back and forth from your home PC to your work PC.
An external hard drives are the closest thing we have today to the digital attic. Sure, you can use DVD or (fear) CD-R discs to backup your files, but you really want to find “Disc 15, backup March 23, 2003″ to recover the image of Uncle Nick with a funny hat on? With 80GB capacity to more than 1 terabyte external hard drive lets you back up all your memories, and you can store it in a safe place such as a cabinet or even off-site relative at home, or use it to transfer your files to another computer. Small ‘portable’ or ‘pocket’ drive easily moved, only in a shirt pocket or use a laptop bag. But even bigger 500GB drive only child shoe box size, so that all external portable drives, up to a certain level. Seek and recover lost files is as simple as hooking up the drive and drag the files from the search window. Windows Vista and Mac Os X 10.5, there is a built-in backup utility, but this drive comes with backup software as well. There is a win-win all around.
The external drive must be connected to a computer somehow, and all of it’s USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port, which can also work at USB 1.1 speeds slow if the old system. FireWire 400 (aka i.Link) is one of the connector technology, about the same speed as USB 2.0. FireWire 800, as the name suggests, is about twice as fast as FireWire 400. The fastest is the eSATA interface, which theoretically as fast as internal SATA hard drive, but so far restricted to support a high-end motherboard or add-on cards you might need to buy separately. Each interface is built into the drive, and it’s up to you to choose the right one for setup (Macs have FireWire and USB, most PCs come with USB only).
You can start with just a Western Digital Passport (160GB), which is a “pocket” of the drive with a 2.5-inch notebook hard drive mechanism in a sleek black case and has fewer interface and not have to worry about power. Pocket is the only USB drives, and works well with both notebook and desktop computers. They’re also a great way to bring a spare in your travel bag. (Imagine your laptop through a die in the middle of a trip to Singapore and understand your value.) Western Digital adds utilities such as WD Sync, which can make sure you have the most current version of the file on the drive.
Users with security issues (perhaps you no nosy coworkers or kids) will drive like the LaCie SAFE safe (500GB). Its 500GB capacity can hold pretty much all your photos and music, and still have room left over for the video. The integrated fingerprint reader that works is: Once set up, it works to keep unauthorized users from your confidential data even if they moved the drive to a PC that does not have the software utility installed. No security system is perfect, but it will keep prying eyes away SAFE.
The Iomega UltraMax (640GB) is a different beast. Its twin 320GB drives can be set either for RAID 0 (640GB capacity, the best drive space and performance) or RAID 1 (320GB capacity, safe because if one drive fails the other still has all your data). Which has UltraMax USB and FireWire taste of both, making it a good choice for those who work on both Mac and PC.
The biggest dog in this package is a CMS system Velocity2 RAID Backup (1 terabyte). Like the UltraMax, the Velocity2 drive and have two options for RAID 1 (500GB) and the RAID 0 (1TB). Where different is that the UltraMax is sealed, which means that if one drive fails you have to send the Iomega for this service. Velocity2 which has a pop-off front panel and pop-out drive. You do not even need a screwdriver. You can swap drive within 30 seconds after powering down the system. The ability to replace the drive quickly is important for people who make their living with their computers, such as graphics and database developer freelancer. Velocity2 drive which is pricey, but if you work on the multimillion-dollar project, whether it’s worth it. USB, FireWire 400/800 and eSATA all make Velocity2 one connected drive.
External hard drives can be an insurance policy you took on your digital life. You can not put you on the price of the memory, especially if they are lost to the ravages of PC glitches. Spending among the hundreds of thousands of dollars and a small price to pay for keeping the priceless digital life safe. Read on for our take on the latest.