A drive that can hit 10Gbps USB 3.1 speeds! Hard drive enclosures come in all shapes and sizes — much like the drives they help protect. USB 3.0 put the last nail in its coffin, though, so you can ignore this port today. Plus the T5 has an indicator light that lets you know when it’s connected. External-drive shopping can pull you deep into specs and features, but the most important two numbers for most consumers are capacity and price. A Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD that is our runner-up for portable storage can be had for $125 in a 500GB capacity. However, this doesn’t mean you should automatically shell out for that 4TB drive. Like Thunderbolt 2, the only reason to invest in an eSATA drive is for use with older computers. The key phrase here is “up to.” USB Type C is just the connector and port on the drive (or phone), but the rules allow USB Type C to support transfer speeds from USB 2.0’s 480Mbps to USB 3.0’s 5Gbps and USB 3.1’s 10Gbps. Check out our step-by-step guide to backing up your computer for an easy way to get started. Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic The Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tools for Western Digital drives includes both DOS and Windows versions and is written to test many different types of WD drives. Its most important feature is that it supports up to 10Gbps transfer speeds. We use our standard storage test bed to evaluate the performance of the drives we review. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, The most convenient drive for backups: Portable hard drive, If you spend most of your time at one desk: Desktop hard drive, The best performance: Portable solid-state drive (SSD), If you have a large media library: Network-attached storage (NAS), If you frequently move data between computers: Flash drive, For large media libraries or multiple home computers, step-by-step guide to backing up your computer, The Best External Optical Drives for DVDs and Blu-rays. Our storage test bed is a Core i7-5820K with 32GB of RAM on an Asus X99 Deluxe board with an Asus Thunderbolt EX 3 card or AFT USB 3.1 add-in card. PCWorld |. There’s an old saying that “one is none and two is one.” You can apply that phrase to space capsule oxygen tanks, plane engines, or whatever mission critical system you depend on, including hard drives. *At the time of publishing, the price was $293. So don’t caught up thinking that because a drive you buy has this nifty new interface and port, you’ll get awesome speeds. Find data recovery services at a Best Buy near you. In fact, the price of the 1TB hard drive has actually increased slightly from earlier this year when it was $58. Learn more in our full guide to the best portable solid-state drives. Why we like it: The 64GB Kingston DataTraveler Elite G2 combines a low cost with one of the most consistently fast speeds in a flash drive we’ve tested. There’s no reason to pay extra for a Thunderbolt 3 drive unless it’s high-performance. You’d need to be driving a brand-new Dell XPS 13 or HP Spectre x360 13 to be able to use Thunderbolt 3. A Thunderbolt 3 portable hard drive would be a complete waste of time and money for most people. We use various synthetic benchmarks including Crystal Disk Mark 5, AS SSD, and Iometer. That said, it was one of the slowerUSB 3.x drives we've tested when writing large batches of smaller files and folders. It’s also useful for backing up multiple computers to a single location. Which I didn't request. You could also use a NAS if you have too much data to store in Dropbox or Google Drive, or if you don’t trust your data to a cloud storage provider. The vast majority of drives today are USB drives. It comes with a three-year warranty. In our tests of the 4TB version, we found the Seagate to be slightly faster with large file transfers (think movies) but worse with small file transfers (think Office documents). That makes finding the right for you a little difficult. Although no hard drive is immune from failure, the WD My Book has proven reliable. The display is a 13.3 inch IPS LCD at a Full Like the WD above, it’s a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) drive. Discover how easy hard drive recovery can be with help from the tech experts at Geek Squad. Here’s what you need to care about. Learn more in our full guide to the best flash drives. Learn more in our full guide to the best network-attached storage. Seagate BarraCuda 1TB Internal Hard Drive HDD – 2.5 Inch SATA 6 Gb/s 5400 RPM 128MB Cache for PC Laptop – Frustration Free Packaging (ST1000LM048) 4.7 out of 5 stars 4,413 $44.99 A step-by-step guide to formatting your external hard drive, and what file systems are best for Windows File History and macOS Time Machine. Level 1 Level 2 … The test bed boots to a plain SATA drive, but all targets and sources for drive performance use a 24GB RAM disk. Plus, 4 TB should be more than enough space for your future storage needs. Backblaze is affordable, easy-to-use cloud storage. If you find a drive we’ve tested that costs less, go for it: WD’s Elements and Easystore drives are just as fast and reliable as the My Book. If you’re paranoid about backups, consider getting two backup drives, possibly in different colors, and then alternating complete backups of your PC to the drives every few month. I made an order then had to wait 3 weeks to find out I'm being refunded. The bottom drive features USB-C or USB Type C at up to 10Gbps. Hard drive-based portables make use inside of the same kinds of platter-drive mechanisms used in laptops. I recently purchased a Western Digital 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive for my desktop computer and I love it. Our award-winning technicians in Brighton & Hove have vast experience with Apple hard drive recovery. *At the time of publishing, the price was $96. Wirecutter is reader-supported. 1 review of Geeks 2 You Computer Repair - Tempe "I bought a new printer and decided to forego the frustration of setting it up as hardware is not my thing. A tethered cap would solve this issue easily. USB 3.1 Gen 2 is the fastest USB version and can move data up to 10Gbps. It's fast with large files, but on the slow side with small ones. The Toshiba Canvio Advance is an external hard drive that comes in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacities. More important, it’s reliable—the tried-and-true Slim has been one of our picks for four years, and has an acceptable 9 percent reported failure rate across nearly 2,701 user reviews on Amazon. The port basically adopts a USB Type C port and connector but also offers the ability to run pure PCIe at up to 40Gbps. Call us today for Laptop, PC & Mac Repair! A 1TB Samsung T5 on USB is only $278. Outside the theoretical speed advantage of USB Type C is a power advantage. If you’d like to learn more about our top picks as well as other options, you can find links below to all the external drives we’ve reviewed. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. Why we like it: The 2 TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is one of the lightest, thinnest hard drives we tested in our guide to the best portable hard drives, and it was consistently faster than the competition in our multi-file music and photo transfer tests. Learn more. Justin Krajeski is a staff writer reporting on everyday carry at Wirecutter. Keep in mind, this is one drive on one day (Oct. 10, 2017), and just one vendor, Amazon, but it illustrates the point. One negative, though: It ain’t cheap. The Kingston DataTraveler comes with a five-year warranty, which is less than SanDisk’s lifetime warranty, but we still think this is plenty of time to find any issues with the drive. Notice that we don’t say “best portable performance Thunderbolt 3 drive,” because by very definition, a Thunderbolt 3 drive should be blazingly fast. Our pick for best portable external backup drive for 2020 is Western Digital’s My Passport 5TB driveRemove non-product link. It’s both a useful means of data backup and storage, and a way to transport files from your desktop or laptop to another device. This should mitigate data loss should a drive die. The only place Gen 2 can help is with an SSD. The T5 is about as expensive per gigabyte as other external SSDs, and it’s one of the lightest and most compact. enable… Far faster than the average USB 3.x thumb drive, not that expensive (for an SSD), and available in capacities up 2TB—it's the one you want. Still, a very nice product. Made as an extension of SATA, eSATA was a cheap way to get beyond the 60MBps performance of USB 2.0. At least until the USB SuperSpeed+, Gen 2 version shows up in a year or two. Quite frankly, the best portable storage product on the planet. The Asus card uses an Asmedia 1142 controller. External drives come with a variety of confusing and esoteric ports. This is the one: SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable SSD (1TB) is the fastest USB 3.1 Gen 2 external SSD we’ve seen to date. An excellent bargain. Flaws but not dealbreakers: All of the desktop drives we tested were good, and we found the speed differences between them to be small. If you break the port, you won’t be able to access your data until you find a new enclosure. No single hard drive today can surpass the throughput of USB 3.1 Gen 1, though. If capacity and portability are your primary concerns, and the Backup Plus Portable fits up to 5TB in pretty much a standard 2.5-inch USB external package. It has loads of space and is super quiet. Who this is for: People who spend most of their time working in one place and want to keep their important documents and photos safe on a higher-capacity, faster, and more cost-effective hard drive. Seagate includes handy backup software, too. Learn more in our full guide to the best portable hard drives. Portable Thunderbolt 3 drives have been long overdue, but we’re happy to recommend Samsung’s new Portable SSD X5. You can use the DS218+ as a home backup device, a media streamer, a mail server, a website-hosting device, a BitTorrent box, or a video-surveillance recorder. As its name implies, it’ll hit USB 3.0 speeds at up to 5Gbps. Scanning your drive for errors is the first thing you need to do. USB 3.0 Micro B port is the most common port on portable backup drives today. Anyone who uses a PC should have an external drive. Flaws but not dealbreakers: Compared with hard drives, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is extremely expensive. We also use a manual file-copy test where 20GB of small files and another 20GB single file are written to and read from the storage drive. He previously wrote about tech at Wirecutter. *At the time of publishing, the price was $108. Many assume the lowest-cost drive gets you the most value, but it often doesn’t. Drive Cleaners Drive Partitioning File Encryption File Lock & Encryption Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Tools Shred, Format & Wipe SSD Tools USB Tools MajorGeeks.Com » Files » … Sure, the 4TB version is actually a tick lower in cost-per-terabyte, but that extra space can be invaluable if it allows you to jam all your valuable files onto this drive before gently placing it in a safe. Dozens of 2.5-inch drive enclosures can be found online for between $10-$25 (£15-25) that will let you drop in an old drive easily, and turn it into an external hard drive or SSD. Hard Drive Cloning Software free download - Hard Drive Inspector Professional, Hard Time, Erase Your Hard Drive, and many more programs Thunderbolt 3 was designed as one cable to rule them all, and it’s rapidly looking like it will. The top drive uses the older, slower Mini-USB interface. (Read our full review of Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable.). Still got a spinning-platter hard drive inside your desktop or laptop? (Read our full review of the WD My Passport.). Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc. After testing seven hard drives, we found that Western Digital’s 4 TB My Book is the best external desktop hard drive for most people. USB Type C is the newest of the USB connectors and features a nifty reversible design that’s being used on phones, tablets, and PCs. We also use an Asus Thunder EX3 discrete Thunderbolt 3 card and Asus USB 3.1 10Gbps card for testing. Sure, you could get an official FIPS-certified secure drive, but those cost far more than the T7, which gives you this extra bit of security while remaining within the price range (currently $130 on Amazon for the 500GB model we tested) of a normal USB SSD. But we also have recommendations if you want more storage space, if you want something more reliable or even faster, or if you need to regularly move large amounts of data from one computer to another with an external drive. The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is reliable, thin, and light, and it offers fast speeds at a reasonable cost. The price of the 4TB drive has also come down slightly from this Spring when it cost $29 per terabyte. The Samsung supports faster, USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds with a Type-C port, and it includes AES 256-bit hardware encryption to protect your sensitive data. He carries things every day. Hard Drive test data from the Backblaze data center. Two things are for sure: No one ever said they wanted less storage space, and no one ever said they wanted a slower drive. Our latest top picks for best external performance drive (SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable and Samsung’s T7) are blazing-fast, great news if you’re moving around large amounts of data. Unless you have an older Mac, there’s really no need to invest in a pricier Thunderbolt 2 drive or port today unless it’s for legacy support issues. The vast majority of the time, I want something fast and graphical that supports all file systems.Offering an extremely small footprint and very quick boots, Partition Logic seems to work fine, at least with internal IDE drives. The only reason we’re not universally recommending the Portable SSD X5 is the relative rarity of Thunderbolt 3 ports on PCs. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology)values for all hard disks. MajorGeeks offers only 4-star or better geek-tested and reviewed software for Windows along with tutorials and videos when you need help with your computer. Today, the flavors include: USB 3.0, USB SuperSpeed, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (which is basically USB 3.0), and USB 3.1 Gen 2. The second drive features today’s standard: SuperSpeed Micro B connector. Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Backup Plus Slim’s USB port wobbles when pressure is applied to the cable. There’s even a “fast” 4TB version that uses two hard drives in RAID for more performance. Let’s just say it’s stupidly fast and kinda like putting a scorching Samsung 970 Pro in an enclosure that fits in your pocket and not giving up much performance at all. It has the most straightforward software to navigate, which makes it a breeze to set up encryption or check for updates. eSATA is another mostly dead port. (See the full review of the Portable SSD X5 on our sister site Macworld.). And no, hooking up a hard drive to a USB Type C port doesn’t make anything faster. It also measures the disk transfer speed in Right now, that means the 4 TB Western Digital My Book. It tops out at 5TB in a single drive and can also be had in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. It’s an Intel six-core Core i7-5820K on an Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard with a Thunderbolt 3 card and 32GB of RAM running Windows 8.1. If that drive gets chewed up by the dog or otherwise dies, you’ve lost it all. It was about as fast as its competition in all of our tests, it’s the least expensive drive we tested, and it has a longer warranty (three years) than the other contenders. Because they perform so similarly, we recommend getting the cheapest desktop hard drive you can find from a trustworthy maker. Samsung’s Portable SSD T7 Touch runs a close second to the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable. If you look at the chart above, you can see the worst deal is that $60 1TB HDD, while the 4TB nets the most storage capacity for the money. The Western Digital 4 TB Elements drive has consistently been a few dollars less expensive than the My Book. If you’d like to learn how to reformat your external drive to work with your operating system of choice, check out our guide. If you want a dependable external drive that has plenty of storage space for documents and photos and is easy to take on the go, get the 2 TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim. Burst performance is roughly on a par with the runner-up Samsung T7’s, but it blows that drive out of the water during long writes. It’s basically the same Micro USB port used on your phone, but beefed up with more connectors to hit USB 3.0 speeds. It makes full use of its Gen 2, 3.1 interface while retaining the svelte profile of the T3. For the most part, it doesn’t matter which of these versions you get (beware the much older USB 2.0, though). The Slim has a two-year warranty that’s a year shorter than that of Western Digital’s drives, and we’ve read some complaints about Seagate’s customer service on Amazon, but we don’t think either of these issues are dealbreakers. A hard drive’s worst enemy is to have bad sectors. Ability to Recover Data from Damaged Hard Drives: Regardless of whether you have a formatted hard drive, hard drive with a bad partition, or any corrupted hard drive, you can recover photos from them with ease. When was the last time you backed up all of your important documents and photos? Read our full review. The Synology DS218+ is big, bulky, and expensive, and it requires more setup and management than a portable hard drive, but it’s easy to use for a NAS and faster than the competition. For the performance-minded, Thunderbolt 3 is the natural alternative. Compared to its predecessor the T5 (which will still be available) it’s thinner, a significantly faster reader, and it also sports a fingerprint scanner. In terms of storage you are getting a 1TB 2.5” Hitachi hard drive. In the end, it still costs more. For anyone who still needs an optical drive, the Asus ZenDrive U9M is the best DVD-only option, and the LG BP60NB10 is the best choice for Blu-ray discs. And while we’re talking about storage drives, know how to monitor the health of your hard drives—the preservation of your precious data depends on it. It’ll hit 5Gbps and for everything but the fastest portable SSDs is still fine. That makes it a sweet deal for the average user who still wants effective data protection. Truly paranoid people will even take the second drive to work so there’s no chance of losing both drives to the same local disaster. Who this is for: Network-attached storage is ideal for people who have large media libraries, because you can store your files in one place and stream them locally to other devices. Also, these utilities will give you information on the drive’s temperature, read and write speeds and in some cases (if you have a S.M.A.R.T. One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998. Why we like it: The 500 GB Samsung T5 Portable SSD works reliably, and it was consistently faster than other portable SSDs in our tests. It's time you joined the flash generation. From there it gets confusing. Our recommended portable, the Samsung Portable SSD X5 is $697 for 1TB of capacity. *At the time of publishing, the price was $65. The T5 is easily the fastest non-RAID portable USB SSD we've tested. c) A short is a short so it makes no difference if it is at the motherboard or the hard drive. We found just 21 reported failures out of 358 Amazon reviews of the 4 TB model, or 6 percent. Xbox One X users, as well, would be wise to invest in an external drive as a way of augmenting the console’s measly 1TB hard drive (the external drive needs to be USB 3.0-compatible and will be formatted when you insert the drive). A dual volt hard drive just means that the logic can operate at either 3.3v/5v. Our runner-up for this popular category is Seagate’s Backup Plus Portable. The sleight of hand to watch for is if a drive vendor lists “USB 3.1” in the specs without specifying Gen 1 or Gen 2. So yes, if you’re buying an external drive, you pay more for the lowest capacity. This owes to the fact that all the information that you hold dear will be stored in this device. We have experience with all types of data loss. Lots of storage for less than the competition, attractive styling, and good performance with small files highlight this USB 3.0 portable hard drive. If you really don’t need the storage capacity of a 4TB drive, put that extra cash toward something you actually do need. Who this is for: People who frequently move between locations and want a hard drive to back up important documents and photos from their laptop. Not all RAID failures occur because of a faulty hard drive, and not all faulty hard drives are non-operational.
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