A portable hard drive is a great local backup for a computer you take from your house to the coffee shop, on business trips, or on vacations.
You should consider replacing your backup drives between the third and sixth year of use. According to statistics from cloud backup service Backblaze , hard drives are most likely to fail either within the first 18 months of use or after three years. About 5 percent of drives fail in the first 18 months of use, and the failure rate lowers to about 1. At three years of service, the failure rate jumps to almost 12 percent.
At the four year mark, the failure rate is 20 percent. Based on five years of data, Backblaze estimated that more than half of hard drives will last six years. But if you spend most of your time working from one desk, a desktop external drive is the better choice. And although one bump can still lead to failure, portable hard drives are designed to withstand a little more abuse than desktop hard drives.
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If you can afford to pay around three times more for a smaller, lighter, more durable and much faster portable drive with hardware encryption, we recommend a portable solid-state drive. It should sit on your desk, quietly storing and backing up your data. These are the features you should look for in a portable hard drive, in rough order of importance:.
Portable or desktop?
For our update, we narrowed down our list of contenders by price and capacity and tested six 2 TB models and one 4 TB model. For each portable hard drive, we ran HD Tune Pro, a benchmarking program that tests sequential transfer speeds and random access time across the entire disk.
You can read a more in-depth explanation of the program at the HD Tune website. We also timed the file transfer of a Finally, we timed how long it took each external hard drive to back up To spot any widespread reliability issues, we read through Amazon reviews for each of the drives we tested and counted the number of reported drive failures.
This method has shortcomings. For one, people are more likely to post a review when they have a problem. Also, because of the limited information available in some reviews, it can be hard to differentiate between hardware failures and software issues or user errors that could cause problems with a drive. But this approach is the best we have for now. Backup servers are a very different environment than a box on your desk—bare drives in servers are accessed more often and are subject to more vibrations and more heat; drives in enclosures have more potential points of failure between the USB connector and the USB-to-SATA logic board.
The hard drives Backblaze uses are desktop hard drives, not portable hard drives, with some drives pulled from external enclosures. The Slim also comes with handy backup software. The Slim has been one of our picks since April 1 because it continues to be the most reliable drive based on the largest sample of Amazon reviews while still providing fast performance. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald.
The Slim top is much thinner than most of the other drives we tested, like the WD Elements Portable bottom. Photo: Rozette Rago. Multiple Wirecutter staffers have been using the Seagate Backup Plus Slim for all kinds of things with few to no issues. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is one of the thinnest and lightest portable hard drives we tested. Most drives we tested were similarly speedy but were much thicker, which is why the Slim is our pick over anything else.
But there are many options out there — scroll down to see our full list of recommendations, and the best external hard drive prices too. First, is storage. You'll want to make sure you buy an external storage device that has enough capacity for your needs — without paying for high capacities you'll never use. Around GB is a good sweet-spot for external storage, though you can buy smaller capacities, as well as larger ones at 1TB or greater. Another consideration is whether to get an external storage device that uses a traditional hard drive, or one with an SSD.
Usually, external hard drives with traditional drives are more affordable and come in larger capacities. There are external SSDs that come with large capacities — but these can be expensive.
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SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives, and because they don't have any mechanical or moving parts, they're generally more robust and smaller in physical size as well. So, if you want to store huge amounts of data while keeping prices low, an external hard drive is the way to go.
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But if speed is your top priority — for example, if you move a lot of large files, or want to run programs off the drive — then choose an SSD. The connection between the external hard drive and your Mac or PC is also important. These are now found on all modern PCs, and Macs. This is the fastest external storage connection there is, and it provides very fast data transfer speeds, though Thunderbolt storage is considerably more expensive than plain old USB. If you're in the market for a new laptop, don't miss our post on the best laptops for graphic design.
When it comes to the best external hard drives, look no further than the Western Digital My Passport range. This is the latest model to have launched, coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. These factors often go hand in hand.
There are a whole host of features that you want to look for in a portable hard drive or SSD. There is also speed so you can transfer your files as quickly as possible. There is little worse than having to keep your computer on all night while you transfer files. This can also be considered as part of connectivity. Tech sometimes fails, we all know this, but it can be frustrating having your files corrupted due to a rubbish connection.
The software is another key feature. Security is something that is becoming more prevalent with drives nowadays following hacking scandals. If you have sensitive info on your hard drive, then encrypting it will save you a lot of bother. Finally, the durability of your device. Can it withstand human error? Will it degrade after just a year or two? A: An external hard drive is a device that can be attached to your computer through a USB cable to store files that might be clogging up your machine. They are ideal for keeping pictures and videos safe, giving you extra space on your device and generally keeping everything secure in case of failure.
A: Depending on your computer, you simply plug it in via the USB port and go through the installation or formatting process if there is one. Following that, you can drag and drop or cut and paste what you need over to the external drive folder and voila.https://yoku-nemureru.com/wp-content/cell-phone/1565-messenger-tracker-for.php
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Really, really easy. A: As a rule they are very reliable. Some people have theirs for years before having to migrate to another one. Others fail as soon as you take them out of the box, but that is more a manufacturing error other than anything else.
A typical hard drive will last between 3 to 5 years depending on use. A: HDD stands for hard disk drive and requires more power but also gives you more value for money. When buying an external hard drive, you will typically purchase an HDD. SSD is a solid state drive and is more powerful, but of course will cost more money to run and purchase. A comparison that is often used to differentiate between the two is that an HDD means you have to collect a book across the room, whereas an SSD allows for the book to appear magically in your hands.
A: Like anything you want to last a long time, proper care is essential for maintaining your hard drive.
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