Choosing the best external hard drive
The demand for outdoor media has become particularly evident in recent years. The reason for this was not only an ever-increasing weight of media content, but also daily growing activity of virus attacks and the risk of data loss.
In a huge variety of HDD and SSD difficult to determine which to choose – the most efficient or the cheapest. The purpose of this article is to give an objective view about all aspects of the selection of this device.
Why you need a hard drive?
Portable hard drive is a portable storage device.
Its main functional features:
- high storage capacity. The device allows you to store and carry vast amounts of information – from hundreds of gigabytes to several terabytes. It can be used as a second hard drive as the operating system loader;
- mobility. You can connect to multiple computers through standard USB interface, transfer from place to place;
- security. You can duplicate and store information outside of a PC or laptop, and to restrict the access by third parties.
Higher reliability of data storage and the files you need are always at hand.
The selection parameters
Among the criteria for selection of the external USB hard drive it is possible to note the capacity, bandwidth, warranty period, low power consumption.
- performance. This option is characterized by a spindle speed varies from 5400 to 7200 about/m. the higher it is, the quicker data exchange. But this increases the temperature. Therefore, high-performance drives with speed of 7200 rpm are equipped with an external fan or other structural elements for heat dissipation;
- form factor. This is the size of the device. The most common form factors 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch;
- buffer size (cache). The cache memory is used to store previously read data. Buffer size in modern hard drives 32 or 64 MB. There are 3.5-inch models with the cache memory of 128 MB. The increase in buffer memory increases the performance of most operations.
- software. Increases the efficiency of the drive. Utilities from different manufacturers may support additional functions:
- relief disk;
- a convenient mode of preservation copies;
- energy saving;
- encryption information;
- synchronization with the system;
- the ability to restore files, etc.;
- appearance. Pocket options include a wide range. Soup in bright, eye-catching body will appreciate creative people. Model in a stylish aluminum casing to complement the image of a respectable businessman. Stationary hard drives feature smaller variety, but they can be matched to any interior;
- guarantee. Depending on the manufacturer from 1 year to 5 years.
The format factor: pocket and table
Format factor one of the key indicators of the hard disk.
SSD and HDD hard drives 2.5 inch most popular. Their dimensions do not exceed the size of a smartphone – they can easily fit in a pocket or purse. These devices have low power consumption, can work from a standard USB port on a PC or laptop. The volume does not exceed 2 TB.
Drives 3.5-inch – stationary variants. Compared to handheld models they weigh more significantly (to 1.5 kg) and have a maximum capacity of up to 4TB. Their work may require a separate power supply. Some manufacturers produce sets of several winchesters. The volume of such a set can reach up to 20 TB.
UMD options – a 1.8-inch SSDS.
Type: SSD or HDD?
The type of media drives are divided into SSD and HDD.
HDD electro-mechanical device, made of aluminum or glass platters, coated with ferromagnetic layer. When the plates rotate, and the magnetic heads hover above the surface at a height of 10-12 nm and do not touch the surface of the plates.
Solid state drives are a storage device on the basis of chips.
Speed of record/reading from the SSD is higher than HDD about 5 times, but its capabilities are limited to low speed interfaces.
The SSD is completely silent, resistant to mechanical damage. Their disadvantages are the high price for low volume and a limited number of write cycles. Some enthusiasts have long predicted victory of SSD over HDD, but the price of such alternatives is too high.
Speed portable drive depends on the connection interface.
The most common USB 2.0 with a transfer rate of 480 Mbps. This is not a high figure.
Today, almost all modern laptops are equipped with USB 3.0 interface with speed up to 4.8 Gbps.
Additionally, you can use:
- FireWire – high speed interface 400 – 800 Mbit/s;
- the eSATA standard with throughput up to 3 Gbps;
- Ethernet interface, which turns the external drive in the network.
Ethernet and FireWire only supports hard drives of 3.5 inches.
Video: choose an external drive
Which company is better to choose the external drive?
External media which company is the best? Tough competition in this segment of the market has long supplanted the weak. From the «old» manufacturers left Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba.
Seagate Technology is the largest American company founded in 1979. Releases SSD, HDD and hybrid models. It owns trademarks Barracuda, Cheetah, Savvio, Constellation, Pulsar, DiamondMax, Momentus. Bought the segment of production of hard drives Samsung.
Hard drives Seagate has the highest performance.
Western Digital is an American manufacturer of computer electronics. The only company that provides service warranty refund defective products. In 2012 I bought Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Storage media Hitachi are among the most reliable.
Toshiba large international conglomerate specializing in different areas of electronic equipment.
Although Samsung and Hitachi exist only as brands, their products are widely available on the market.
Among younger companies, it is possible to note Transcend Information, ADATA Technology, Silicon Power.
Pocket media 500 GB – the most compact, reliable and quiet. Conditionally they can be divided into 2 classes: high-speed devices with rotational speed 7200 rpm 5400 and economical. economical models are almost comparable in price with solid-state drives of the same volume.
Media from Transcend and Western Digital are reliable and well tolerated in transportation. The device is made in slim cases come IN, which implements a wide range of features to ensure safety.
Seagate Slim and Samsung G2 Portable – one of the most compact devices to date.
G2 Portable has average performance but has a few original innovations:
- designed with special technology USB on-board (the USB controller is right on Board of the hard disk);
- comes with software that allow you to encrypt data in real time and set the password to access important information.
Transcend StoreJet 25M3 is the best protection from blows, as is mounted on a special shock-absorbing hangers. It has a fairly good throughput of 89 Mbps.
1TB is the most popular capacity.
For those who fundamentally important the miniaturization of the device, a great choice will be WD My Passport Ultra. More compact «terabitia» you will not find.
If in the first place for you, the safety information, you should opt for Transcend StoreJet 25M3 best works with large files and has superudachny case.
3.5-inch Transcend StoreJet 35 Ultra combines high volume, high speed transmission and efficient consumption of energy. Portable drive, the StoreJet 35T has a lower transfer rate, but a very attractive price.
2TB devices choose those who store large amounts of data.
The WD My Passport Wireless WDBDAF0020BBK-EESN supports Wi-Fi network and reads the external SD card. The device is made in the form factor of 2.5 inches. It combines all technologies, is not dependent on a power source and very reliable.
Hard drives Hitachi in contrast to media, technology Advanced Format, allow you to install OS without partition alignment.
Line of Seagate drives performance leader the model STBV2000200.
Review of prices for the producer
Although the price of media is falling, portable hard drives 1 TB, as before, are the leaders of sales.
Seagate Expansion Portable
From 2935 RUB.
3 550 RUB.
from 4 800 RUB.
Western Digital Elements Portable
2 999 RUB.
3 799 RUB.
Of 6 999 rubles.
Toshiba Stor.E Plus USB 3.0
2 860 RUB.
3 820 RUB.
3 440 RUB.
4 169 RUB.
From 6500 RUB.
Hitachi Touro USB 3.0
3 880 RUB.
4 070 RUB.
4 420 RUB.
With the advent of the USB interface of the third version of the external media can make a tangible increase in speed of data exchange.
Choosing a portable hard disk you need to decide on its tasks. If he was needed at home for media storage, it is better to choose a roomy, but not the velocity model. If you plan to use it for work, fit compact shockproof device. In any case, it is desirable that the device was compatible with modern interfaces.
Not worth saving, buying hard drives is questionable brands. The risk of losing not only money, but also important information. Well-known brands are also mistakes happen in a mass marriage ceremony. So before purchasing it is better to go to the manufacturers website and read the reviews about a particular model.