Portable external drives are growing in capacity which makes them an ideal solution for those users who move around a lot and need large amounts of storage space. Typically they are 2.5” drives of the laptop variety and what makes them convenient is that they are powered via the computer’s USB port, so unlike desktop external hard drives no external power supply is required.
There can sometimes be a power issue if a lot of devices are connected to the computer but in most instances this is not a problem. They are easy to transport around and most are small enough to fit into your pocket. And because you are most likely to use these drives on different computers at various locations they have a straight forward plug and play setup.
Depending on the model there are USB2.0, USB3.0 and Firewire interfaces available for more connectivity options. If security is an issue due to portability and the possibility of losing the drive, something like the Seagate Freeagent Go offers 256bit AES encryption as protection. Alternatively if you are looking for a drive that’s durable and may take some knocks then the Freecom Toughdrive may well fit the bill.
Portable external hard drives make carrying around your important files, photos and documents so easy and convenient. They are extremely light and durable, and with data encryption, safe if you happen to lose them. With capacities now of 1TB, you have an incredbly large amount of storage space for even the most demanding of users.
External USB hard drive
External hard drives,, connected to PCs or Macs,, have become increasingly popular. There are five major types of external hard drives: enterprise-class desktop drives, regular desktop drives, laptop-class portable drives, slim laptop-class portable drives, and flash drives. Also called mirroring, RAID 1 requires at least two internal drives. Storage capacity in external HDDs can range from about 2GB to 4TB. More and more people are archiving huge amounts of data, sometimes gigabytes (GBs) at a time, to optimize their daily work routine.
- The first two use 3.5″ hard drive mechanisms and are effectively non-portable: they sit on your desk, depend on wall power, and aren’t easy to carry in typical bags.
- In this setup, data writes identically to both drives simultaneously, resulting in a mirrored set.
- In fact, some drive companies put two 4TB drives in one chassis, creating an 8TB HDD, which is total overkill for most people.
- Hundreds of thousands of MP3s or graphics, or hundreds of DVD-size movies, may be stored on a single and very affordable 1-terabyte (TB) external hard drive.
- Flash drives are keychain-sized but relatively limited in capacity and crazy expensive when they begin to approach laptop drive capacities.
What’s more, a RAID 1 setup continues to operate safely even if only one drive is functioning (thus allowing you to replace a failed drive on the fly). The drawback of RAID 1 is that no matter how many drives you use, you get the capacity of only one. For reference, computers these days usually come with anywhere between about 250GB and 750GB of space in the hard drive. Get some kind of automatic backup. Much larger than a USB flash drive, yet still small enough to fit inside your coat pocket, portable hard drives offer an excellent middle ground for those who want to combine large amounts of storage with the flexibility of a flash drive. RAID 1 also suffers from slower writing speeds.
Whether you want a mini external HDD (also known as a flash drive) that you can pin to your keychain and store a few important documents on, or a considerably larger one where you can keep all of your photos, songs, and videos, the possibilities are almost endless. Buying an external or portable hard drive to back up your data is a great first step, but it will be worthless if you don’t remember to actually use it. In most cases they do not require an external power source. Everyone has a horror story about a drive from Company X or Company Y going south on them, along with a warning to steer clear of everything with a particular brand name on it. Many new computer hardware components and computer accessories are plug-n-play, meaning you plug them in and start using them immediately.
Having automatic backup software will take the burden off you and make sure it gets done. Most portable hard drives are compatible with either Mac or PC, so it is important to check requirements before choosing. But the truth is all drives fail at some point, no matter who makes them. Other hardware may require you to install a driver. I do suggest regularly checking to ensure that the auto backup is working, especially at first. Certain devices can be re-formatted but this process can be complicated, so it’s best to get it right from the offset. Your primary concerns should be the size of the actual drive and the warranty period. 500GB and 1TB drives have been around for a long time and are well proven. If you want a faster motherboard, better sound card, an extra computer fan or a new Blu-ray drive, you can easily do the installation yourself.
External hard drive – Trouble shooting
Do you constantly lose important data on your hard drive? Are you seeking help to restore hard drive data back into your computer? Then worry no more as this article will help you on how to restore hard drive data in your PC. This information will give you tips on how to diagnose the problem of losing important documents, files, and stored data in your desktop computer.
Confirm the Source of the Problem
First of all, you need to diagnose whether the hard drive is the ultimate source of the problem. Most of the time, people might only have controller problems that is why they cannot locate their hard drive data. When you experience a mere controller problem, then you must be able to physically remove the hard drive from your computer. The next thing you need to do is to test this hard drive within another computer. If it works, then you have a problem with your computer. If it does not, then clearly, you will have to restore hard drive data.
Avoid Overwriting Data
As much as possible, you do not want to overwrite your data to avoid permanent data loss. The trick is to refrain from adding more data into the hard drive. To illustrate, imagine yourself erasing all your files on the recycle. Once you’ve realized the faulty action, never attempt again to save other files into your hard drive. This is because the new data will overwrite the lost file and this action may be permanent and irretrievable.
You may want to attach the hard drive into another computer and see if it works. You can restore hard drive data by accessing Windows Explorer to check if the partition has not been changed. You may want to transfer the lost data to the main hard drive of your PC. You might also want to try using DOS program such as TestDisk to reset hard drive data. If used properly, you are assured to access your lost data in no time.
Download Free Data Recovery Software
There are numerous freeware online to help you recover hard drive data. These free Data Recovery software should help you in acquiring back all your lost files. However, if you are technically challenged, then you might want to consult data recovery services and be sure to contact companies with good track record. In order to prevent the same problem to arise, please back up your files daily.
Top External Hard Drives in India
For those people who have huge amounts of data to file, save and backup, a 2TB external hard drive or larger is the way to go. These drives are extremely large and should be able to store all the information you save on them for a long time to come. Cloning internal disks as large as 1TB will be easily achievable and and storing huge HD video files will be no problem either. If possible it is advisable to get a drive that has a USB3.0 connection so you are able to greatly increase the speed of transfer of up to 6 or 7 times faster than USB2.0. This will make a huge difference when backing up a whole disk.
Seagate Backup Plus 4TB Portable External Hard Drive
The drive is a basic box that measures 0.8 by 3.1 by 4.5 inches (HWD), and weighs about 8.6 ounces. Note that the 4TB is largest capacity for a compact single-volume portable drive, rivaling many desktop drives that are a few time larger in physical size. They have slowly been increasing in capacity too, and we even had a 1TB portable SSD from Samsung earlier this year. The Seagate Expansion portable drive is quite fast and offers a lot of storage for the money. It has a black-satin finish on its top lid, along with a disk-activity light and Seagate’s new swirly logo. The drive is ideal for those wanting to carry their entire music, home video library with them on the go. Unfortunately, the cost per GB is still too high for the average consumer. Especially Expansion`s new model, which is cheaper than old model. The logo is also echoed in the bottom-panel molding. On the downside, the Backup Plus/Slim drives lack security and has only a two-year warranty, which is shorter than many others on the market, including other drives from Seagate.
From the perspective of that market, bus-powered external hard drives (2.5″) are hard to beat. 2TB USB 3.0 drives have been around for some time now, but the 4TB mark in the portable 2.5″ form factor had only been achieved with dual drives and external power. chose to have only 1TB – big enough to hold loads, yet not so big you lose loads if one fails. The portable drive is small and good-looking, which makes it ideal for gamers and photographers. The base of the drive lacks rubber feet, so it has a tendency to slide off of a non-flat surface. This drive uses a standard blue USB 3 cable (included) that is backwards compatible to USB2 meaning that you can plug it into any Mac or PC. They have USB3 which is backwards compatible with USB2 and run at 625MB a second.
Seagate Expansion is a very basic portable external hard drive. Seagate’s newest high-capacity portable offering, the Seagate Backup Plus 4TB (not to be confused with the similarly named Backup Plus Fast), removes the chunkiness from the equation: It has just one 4TB drive in the body, a recent capacity advance among mobile hard drives. Thunderbolt drives are the fastest, but this drive isn’t compatible with Seagate’s Thunderbolt adapter. I haven’t had a single failure of these disks and am very pleased with them. All you get is big storage for less money.
That means it’s almost 10 percent slimmer and 20 percent lighter than the Backup Plus Fast. USB 3 is fast, but if you connect it to a Mac that doesn’t have USB 3 support it will run at the very slow USB 2 speed (ie long file copy times). Unlike PCs which use a blue USB port to indicate USB 3 compatibility a Mac doesn’t easily tell you if it is USB 3 or USB 2. I didn’t bother with any of the included software, just used the disks as ‘drag and drop’. And that is the main reason for it`s popularity. I’m a little paranoid about security and privacy and I prefer keeping my data at home and offsite rather than online, that’s why I have so many disks.
Expansion is a great choice for home user`s, photographers and gamers who love Xbox and Play Station. Some I use as portable storage so I can work between laptop and home. I love the size of this portable hard drive. I save data for 6 desktops/laptops and keep two separate copies of everything, including Windows 10 system image backups and all the kids’ stuff. It’s very speedy using USB 3.0 port on my Mac Mini – (Mac-formatted of course). After a year of use and it’s still working great. I love the fact that these are not frankenstein drives like its competitors, meaning if the USB controller ever dies or acts up, I can take it apart and still be able to recover data with another computer – I don’t know if Seagate is doing this purposely or not but I and many others certainly appreciate this approach.
WD 1TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive
The drive was a good performer on our benchmark tests, scoring 6,064 points on the PCMark05 hard drive test and 1,432 points on the PCMark7 test. Sequential read/write speeds hit 114.3/114.1MB/s respectively, with its 4KB benchmark only achieving 0.5/1.4MB/s. The 7th generation My Passport Ultra is a USB 3.0 external HDD designed for ultimate portability with the ability to back up user data automatically and to the Cloud. Western Digital has bundled three programs with the My Passport Ultra that are compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, and the installers are stored on the disk itself. That’s significantly faster than the Adata HE720 and the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC on the same tests.
The drive’s 4KB performance is nothing to be surprised about, with all portable hard drives on the market achieving similar speeds, such as the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB and Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 2TB. The My Passport Ultra is a tried and true technology that WD has been selling for some time. Smartware is a backup program that can back up your files either continuously in the background while you work or according to a schedule of your choice. The Seagate Backup Plus Fast scored a whopping 87,971 points on PCMark05. The latest version comes with a maximum capacity of 3TB, comes in a variety of colors, and comes with a Grip pack of soft band accessories that encircle the device.
The former’s likely to be the more useful option for a portable disk that isn’t going to be connected to a computer all the time. WD is also selling a version that is specifically formatted for Mac users, WD My Passport for Mac. Though it really doesn’t add anything new to the market, the Ultra is certainly a proven device, as it adds plenty of value to consumers with its speed and included software.