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Old 10-04-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
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External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

I need an external hard drive to use to back up my photos, files, videos. I'd like something with lots of space and speed when transferring files from my laptop. What should I look for? I'm willing to spend up to $150 for one. Any recommendations?

I think I want at least 2 TB worth of space.

What's this about 3.0 USB and 2.0 USB? What does that mean?

What does 3.5" mean?

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:53 AM   #2
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Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

1TB runs about $90-$100 right now for external drive and $180 for 2TB. Any Western Digital or Seagate should do the job. I personally prefer Seagate but WD isn't bad either. Seagate Expansion and WD My Passport (seems popular).

USB3.0 is the latest version of the USB port where it can carry data much faster. I would double check your laptop as unless you have a new laptop most of them are USB2.0 compatible. But even then USB2.0 is fast enough for file transfers.

One thing to consider unless you do have over 1TB of file is to create redundancy as with all mechanical drives, it could last five years or few months. It may not hurt to have two 1TB drive and back up frequently if not, burn files that you absolutely cannot lose on DVD's and keep it in a safe place. Right now I have two sets of DVD's of DD's pictures up until two years old and also two hard drives worth of photos.

Amazon Glacier which I'm looking to utilize soon is their permanent backup system where you basically upload (for free) and they only charge a penny per 1GB. You can download up to 1GB per month without a charge but it's designed to have a reliable and safe permanent storage solution for digital media. Even if you were to upload 1TB, that's only $10/month. At most I would probably utilize 100GB at this point so that's $1/month. Price you really can't beat considering their very reliable servers
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:35 AM   #3
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Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

No advice on the actual hard drives just keep them away from kittens while they are running. My DH's first external hard drive was taken out by some foster kittens.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

I've been wanting to back up all of our photos, etc, but was worried an external hard drive would be just as vulnerable to viruses and damage as a computer. I can burn pix to CD's and that's fine, but would love a place where I could put everything. The Amazon thing sounds cool, but to keep them all there for a lifetime?? That cost could really add up.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
The Amazon thing sounds cool, but to keep them all there for a lifetime?? That cost could really add up.
Just a long time storage solution; unless you have tons of HD videos from home I doubt most people will need more than 1TB of backup sapce...even then it's cheap compared to other online storage companies. I think JustCloud is the only other company that may compete with Amazon with their unlimited storage for $10/month.

The worst thing of course is not to back up. I know few of my friends lost all their data...or their whole laptop was stolen, etc.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #6
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We bought a 2.5" SATA notebook hard drive and then a sweet USB 2.0 case for it that has the USB plug attached (so no extra cords to deal with). It works out awesome and is insanely easy to use. And it's very small.

My first external hard drive was a Seagate and it worked great but it is very large and there are two cords to deal with (power supply and usb attachment).
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Unhappy Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

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Originally Posted by PBAki View Post
Just a long time storage solution; unless you have tons of HD videos from home I doubt most people will need more than 1TB of backup sapce...even then it's cheap compared to other online storage companies. I think JustCloud is the only other company that may compete with Amazon with their unlimited storage for $10/month.

The worst thing of course is not to back up. I know few of my friends lost all their data...or their whole laptop was stolen, etc.
We have external drives for our backups. With the most recent breaks on Dropbox and One password, I can't stand to rely on the Cloud anymore than I have to.

I do use Rackspace's Cloud for almost every client and they are truly awesome but I cannot afford their costs for just my personal stuff.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

Ya my Dropbox free 2GB is starting to max out...need to clean it a bit but not really considering paying more for storage either.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: External Hard Drives - advice wanted!

I don't trust HDDs anymore, they are way to unreliable for me. Using DVDs/CDs would take too many, too much money, and way too much time to try and keep them up to date either for me. I don't have as big of a storage need as you for my important files (the only ones I care about backing up) and for that I want a SSD, Flash Storage,or waterproof/rugged memory cards with large storage capacity. I haven't tested an external SSD out yet but i'm so tired of falied HDDs my next laptop purchase is going to be one with a SSD. For storing my files I can't live without I rely on USB flash drives and rugged memory cards. I've swam with mine before and afterwards all files were still there and fine. I would reccomend trying to find a SSD and an external coversion kit or just buying a mix of high storage capacity USB flashdrives and memory cards.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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I would recommend a Western Digital external drive. That's all we've ever used and we love them. I think we have the 2TB version of this: http://m.wdc.com/en/product/240
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