I’m on a Mac, use Time Machine for backup and have four external hard drives, some off site. That probably seems like overkill. (Actually, now that I’m reading this, it really is overkill.) But if you’ve ever had an external drive die on you or suddenly hear clicking coming from one, you can get a bit paranoid. Sounds horrid, but I’m expecting one of these babies to keel over any minute. Thinking about my files and the client files I’d lose drives me nuts.
Yeah, yeah — I could/should use Mozy, Carbonite or other cloud-based backup service, but I’m also paranoid these days about hackers (aka the NSA) gaining access to my files. Too, these services don’t back up my software. I’ve got some ancient, perfectly serviceable software on my laptop, but I have no idea where their installation disks are. All of this probably sounds ridiculous, but, hey, there you have it.
Anyway, I swap out the drives every few weeks. Each is a different brand because I’m not convinced any one brand is better than another, meaning it will live as long as promised. (My very first external drive was a Seagate that sputtered out within months. I guess that’s when my paranoia began.)
My LaCie and WD Studio drive
My LaCie Rugged 1T has until now been my favorite to travel with. Its rubber casing inspires confidence. Should I ever drop the drive (knock wood!), I think it will survive just fine. At the very least, it’s held up to quite a bit of jostling in my purse. The LaCie buzzes a bit when it’s on my desk, but in a way that comforts me because it means it’s alive and well. A downside is that it runs hot. None of my other drives do (or ever have).
My WD Passport Studio drive is doing fine and is less bulky than the LaCie. I’m a whole lot more careful when traveling with it. But it’s nicely/cleanly designed and matches my MacBook Pro perfectly. (I like that kind of stuff.)
My Iomega drive
I will never get this Iomega (eGo 1TB USB) drive again, although it’s been reliable. It has a stand and bulky chords, and simply takes up too much room. I also have to plug it into an outlet and turn it on, even though it’s hooked up to my laptop. My other external drives start humming as soon as my system launches. What happens quite often, then, is that I’m typing away for a few hours, but nothing’s getting backed up.
The Iomega’s got an on/off button I find inconvenient and a bit tricky to press, especially because I’ve got to cram the drive behind my laptop to get the damn chords out of the way. Ditto for turning the drive off.
My SP Silicon Power
I’ve only had this Silicon Power drive for a month, but if it holds up, I’ve met my love match. It’s supposed to be military grade, shock-proof and even water-proof. (I can assure you I didn’t buy it for the latter.) It is light, totally silent and never gets hot or even warm. In fact, it’s so quiet, I have to put my hand on it at startup just to make sure it’s working.
You can see from the pics that it’s trim, and I love how the USB chord tucks into the side. Alas, I almost always need to attach a longer chord because I need room on my desk for my folders, notebooks and other junk. The shorter chord also makes it more difficult to plug in my printer, external monitor, phone charger, etc. (All these chords drive me nuts. I really should go back to using a hub … if I can remember where I put mine.)
If you have an external drive you love or have faith in, please let me know.