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Thread: Most reliable external hard drive

  1. #1
    Member Beetroot's Avatar
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    Most reliable external hard drive

    Question to all you techy folk.

    I have decided that I am well over due to set up some sort of back up for my computer, for the inevitable day that it dies on me.

    A lot of people seem to think Cloud storage is the best way to go, but I'm not convinced:
    Firstly I like the one off cost of a hard drive,
    I like that I don't need to use my whole month of data to restore my computer from a cloud back up,
    I like that the hard drive will be readily available should I need the back up quickly
    And apart from it getting stolen from my house, it would appear to be safer to not have my whole like in Cloud storage.

    The only concern I have with a hard drive is that it may crap out on me also.

    Can anyone give me a few tips on how to keep an external hard drive alive and an idea on which brand to go for?
    From my research seems like a 2 or 4TB Seagate Wall powered drive is what I am after, but I am keen to find out if this is the ticket or not.
    Technology is not my strong point, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Yup, that is exactly the ticket.
    Get a good backup program. Windows does include one, but I don't trust many Windows programs.
    Western Digital is another brand - I prefer it to Seagate, but everyone likes their own. Think Blazer vs Sako vs Tikka vs Remington vs etc etc etc

  3. #3
    Member cambo's Avatar
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    Those external hard drives can loose all the data if knocked about.
    I've been advised by my tech head programmer brother to use flash drives or burn CD's as backups.
    Life is natures way of keeping meat fresh

  4. #4
    res
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    I use Apple cloud, and apple time machine(Both auto backups) and every so often transfer data from the time machine (a wifi router with a hard drive built in) to a solid state hard drive that I store in a fireproof safe
    Using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    R93
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    There is a new product in development in Australia that can store a couple gig on a drive the size of a flash drive or smaller due on the market soonish or so I have been told.

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  6. #6
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    My wife is a professional photographer, and has several Terabytes (1Tb = 1000 Gigabytes) of high resolution images on external hard drives. We have also uploaded the whole lot to Backblaze.com, who offer unlimited cloud storage. This is only feasible for massive amounts if you have a fast, unlimited VDSL or Fiber internet connection. I doubt that's the case where you are.

    I can understand you concerns regarding cloud storage, but if ongoing cost is your primary deal-breaker for cloud storage, you can still get a decent amount of Gb free from Dropbox.com, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive etc without having to pay a cent. Just prioritise what you want backed up.

    In terms of offline backups, again it all depends on how much stuff you're talking about, and how often you want to access it. Dual layer DVDs will store 9.4GB each. Backblaze.com published some stats on the consumer-grade hard drives they use to store everyone's stuff. Of the 30k+ hard drives they use, there ARE differences in reliability between brands and across different models within the same brand. https://www.backblaze.com/blog/best-hard-drive/

    Whatever you decide, there's a basic rule to follow: Two different mediums, one of which must be off-site. That means two separate, identical backups, and store one in your safe, and store one at a mate's place or at work. It's no good having all your eggs (backups) in one basket (your house). If your house gets burgled or burns down, you're still fucked.


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  7. #7
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    Time Machine and a 2T Time Capsule has saved all our data once already.
    Last edited by Moutere; 24-08-2015 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Gramma

  8. #8
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    I have my own cloud via a NAS. Network attached Server. Western Digital one. It's a good compromise and is the best of both worlds. I own my storage and manage it locally but can access it remotely via a browser. You can also get a server with RAID and depending on how you configure it you can have large layers of redundancy so should one drive shit itself there is backups available. RAID = more hardware though and also = more cost.
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  9. #9
    Member Beetroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stretch View Post
    My wife is a professional photographer, and has several Terabytes (1Tb = 1000 Gigabytes) of high resolution images on external hard drives. We have also uploaded the whole lot to Backblaze.com, who offer unlimited cloud storage. This is only feasible for massive amounts if you have a fast, unlimited VDSL or Fiber internet connection. I doubt that's the case where you are.

    I can understand you concerns regarding cloud storage, but if ongoing cost is your primary deal-breaker for cloud storage, you can still get a decent amount of Gb free from Dropbox.com, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive etc without having to pay a cent. Just prioritise what you want backed up.

    In terms of offline backups, again it all depends on how much stuff you're talking about, and how often you want to access it. Dual layer DVDs will store 9.4GB each. Backblaze.com published some stats on the consumer-grade hard drives they use to store everyone's stuff. Of the 30k+ hard drives they use, there ARE differences in reliability between brands and across different models within the same brand. https://www.backblaze.com/blog/best-hard-drive/

    Whatever you decide, there's a basic rule to follow: Two different mediums, one of which must be off-site. That means two separate, identical backups, and store one in your safe, and store one at a mate's place or at work. It's no good having all your eggs (backups) in one basket (your house). If your house gets burgled or burns down, you're still fucked.


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    Cheers,
    I currently use drop box for random not so important stuff on my phone and laptop, find it pretty useful actually.
    But the wife isn't keen on putting our info online, so I don't think i'll both exploring that avenue.

    I had never thought of DVDs, I may look further into that to back up a back up on an external hard drive.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stretch View Post
    My wife is a professional photographer, and has several Terabytes (1Tb = 1000 Gigabytes) of high resolution images on external hard drives. We have also uploaded the whole lot to Backblaze.com, who offer unlimited cloud storage. This is only feasible for massive amounts if you have a fast, unlimited VDSL or Fiber internet connection. I doubt that's the case where you are.

    I can understand you concerns regarding cloud storage, but if ongoing cost is your primary deal-breaker for cloud storage, you can still get a decent amount of Gb free from Dropbox.com, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive etc without having to pay a cent. Just prioritise what you want backed up.

    In terms of offline backups, again it all depends on how much stuff you're talking about, and how often you want to access it. Dual layer DVDs will store 9.4GB each. Backblaze.com published some stats on the consumer-grade hard drives they use to store everyone's stuff. Of the 30k+ hard drives they use, there ARE differences in reliability between brands and across different models within the same brand. https://www.backblaze.com/blog/best-hard-drive/

    Whatever you decide, there's a basic rule to follow: Two different mediums, one of which must be off-site. That means two separate, identical backups, and store one in your safe, and store one at a mate's place or at work. It's no good having all your eggs (backups) in one basket (your house). If your house gets burgled or burns down, you're still fucked.


    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk
    The results in that link are a tad skewed due to the varying ages of the drives and the nature of their use; these are not typical consumer drives. It does back up the observation I've made over many years in the industry that Western Digital are generally well ahead of Seagate for reliability. Strangely the best I've found for reliability are Samsung.

    Personally I would go for a couple of portable HDD's for backup. The downfall of most of these devices is usually not the drive itself but the connectors at the drive end. You can grab another box and swap the drive to it.

    The DVD's are easily scratched and rendered toast, rewritable ones degrade very badly over time. NAS is good for online storage but I would use something else to back it up and keep one copy off site.

    Pen drives are again usually let down by the connections between the USB connector and the electronics in them, though they do also have a high fall over rate with the drive itself. When they fall over the loss tends to be total where a HDD that has failed can often have a big chunk of the information recovered.
    Beaker likes this.
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  11. #11
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    I have had wd and seagate drives from -35 to 40+ and only had seagate fail.

    I now do backup of really critical stuff to cloud and portable wd hd. Photos and other crtical stuff to 2+ portable wd hd's.
    Thinking that i'm a bit exposed so looking at doing a nas and putting in the fireproof gun safe. Just a bit worried about heat generation and airflow. On the plus side, will make the safe a bit warmer ( with resultant negative factors)

    Also a bit lazy, so any automation is good, hence nas and software
    Please excuse spelling, as finger speed is sometimes behind brain spped........ Or maybe the other wayy.....

  12. #12
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    I guess it also depends on what time frame are you looking for, for retrieving the data from the backup. DVD's will eventually get scratched and/or unreadable. External HDD will eventually fail mechanically. Both can be physically stolen or destroyed.

    The ubiquitous cloud storage has one advantage - if it ever goes tits up, chances are you won't be in a position to use the data from it anyway.

  13. #13
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R93 View Post
    There is a new product in development in Australia that can store a couple gig on a drive the size of a flash drive or smaller due on the market soonish or so I have been told.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    Do you mean terras? I get plenty of gigs on a micro sd the size or my pinky nail.

  14. #14
    R93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibo View Post
    Do you mean terras? I get plenty of gigs on a micro sd the size or my pinky nail.
    Not sure. The thing is not out yet.
    It is supposed to store more data and retrieve it faster than anything on the market now. It is also very small.
    It was a company I was advised to buy shares in. Similar to the new solar panalling developed by the shackle draggers.
    I will see what I can dig up.

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  15. #15
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    Wasn't called NearZero was it lol.....

 

 

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