Best 1TB SSD External Drive for Time Machine?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mechanicallion, May 20, 2019.

  1. mechanicallion macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
    Hello all,
    I recently placed a BTO for a new 5K i9 iMac to replace our Late 2009 model which was becoming frustrating as it took a few minutes to load Safari. I was wondering if there was any specific model of external drive I should buy to use as our Time Machine backup. I looked on Apples website and the selection was fairly limited so I figured I would ask for advice from the people who know the best. Thanks in advance!
  2. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Probably Samsung T5.....$167 on Amazon right now.
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    I wouldn't bother with an SSD for Time Machine.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
  5. mikehalloran, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    None. Use an HDD. Speed is not an issue.

    I would never use USB or Thunderbolt for Time Machine. Wireless or Ethernet only. No sleep/wake issues ever.

    Most of my clients are using the WD My Cloud Mirror. Time Machine is one of the default settings. Instead of RAID 1 — both drives backing up simultaneously every hour, I set them up as JBOD so that the drives alternate hourly (or rotate through on the 4-drive version). These use the WD Red (1TB-10TB), an extra heavy duty drive that runs cool and has heavier bearings. Haven't had a drive fail yet but, if one does, it takes 30 seconds and a screwdriver to swap one out. The other reason to set them up as JBOD is so that the drives don't have to be matched for capacity.

    If you feel you have to use one of your USB ports, there's the My Book.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2019 ---
    If you prefer wireless, there are many solutions out there. Likewise, you can connect a Mirror via Ethernet to any wireless router.
  6. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Great to know! I wasn’t aware the WD My cloud drives supported Time Machine.

    However I personally still prefer going for a USB drive. It takes one less cable than a Wi-Fi drive, probably generates less heat, is dramatically smaller with potentially zero physical footprint as it can be easily tucked away under or or even hidden behind an iMac. And it is also much cheaper. A 2TB USB 3.0 drive can be easily had for under $100. Of course if I had a MacBook, I would go for a wi-fi drive without question :)
  7. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    The My Book is USB 3 and $89.99 for 3TB at the link I posted. Robust HDD inside built for this exact use... 3 yr warranty and phone support if you need it. I have no affiliation but it makes the case for itself, I think.

    Additional info:

    Heat isn't an issue with these. There is a little bit of noise—true of any HDD. None of my TM backup drives are in my or my wife's offices.

    How are you connecting to the internet? If there's a wifi router involved, it usually has an ethernet port and some also have USB. Hook up your TM drive to that. Doesn't have to be in the same room. I just don't like dedicating a port to the TM drive. With a wireless connection, if you add a notebook later, it's simple to add it. I have 3 desktops and 4 laptops using the same TM drives. Only two of the desktops are connected via ethernet.

    Add to that the fact I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to data security. No one knows where my Mirror is hidden and, if I were to be ripped off... yea, it would hurt but my data would most likely be safe.

    Although TM is a default setting for the WD externals and it's really easy, JBOD isn't as intuitive but WD has phone support.

    The current Mirror is 2nd gen. I find the 1st gen Mirrors on eBay really cheap and, if the drives aren't large enough, buy them separately and drop them in. The difference between the two generations is speed—not an issue with Time Machine. Here are a few. A 4T is 2x2, 6T is 2x3 and so on.

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6 May 20, 2019