How to Select an External Hard Drive to Purchase

March 26, 2010DavidBackup0

Q: My WD my book 500 gb external hard drive died.. whose a good manufacturer of external hard drives.. I have a seagate that works well should i just get another one… thanks.

A: Generally speaking, when it comes to reliability, most of the external hard drive products are the same as long as you by a well-known brand. To prove this point, search for an external hard drive on or and take a look at the user ratings. You will most likely see a large distribution of users in the 4-5 star range, as well as a small but present distribution at the 1 star range.

What can you conclude from this data? You can conclude that no matter what drive you get, the large majority of people who purchase the drive in question have a pretty good experience, while a small percentage of people get bad drives.

How Big Should the External Hard Drive Be?
Pick a drive that’s at least little bigger than you hard drive. Initially you may only want to image your drive or backup your documents, but once you start archiving data you will probably want more space — so it’s cheaper and more efficient to just buy it now.

Should I Get USB 2.0 or Firewire?
Firewire was popular for a while, but now it seems that USB 2.0 (3.0 soon) is the way to go. Make sure your computer supports USB 2.0 (most machines purchased in the last few years do support it) in order to take advantage of USB 2.0’s speed.

Remember that when you buy an external hard drive, you need to expect it to fail. That’s why it’s important that you make regular backups — so that if your external hard drive fails, you still have your original data on your original drive (and vice-versa).


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