External Hard Drive Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bingefeller, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. bingefeller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #1
    Hello folks,

    I am looking for an external hard drive solely for use as a Time Machine back up disk.

    On Amazon I saw this and thought it looked quite good.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #2
    Well I have the similar make & model but in 1 To, and it certainly suits my TM backup needs.
     
  3. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    Do you need a portable drive or will a desktop drive work for you? Your laptop will save Time Machine backups during the day when the drive is not attached and dump when drive is attached.

    Check out the Western Digital 3T on Amazon. Come Mac and/or PC. Get the one that is cheapest. Format with Disk Utility and not use the WD software. Prices vary. Note: Best Buy and Staples will match amazon pricing if you want to buy locally.

    WD My Book Hard Drive for Mac 3 TB (WDBYCC0030HBK-NESN) $109.00
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E6N9HEC/

    WD My Book 3 TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Backup (WDBFJK0030HBK-NESN $103.97
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E3RH63A/

    I’ve seen the 3T drive cheaper than the 2T on occasion, but normally there is only about $10 difference between the 2T and 3T drive.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #4
    The one in the OP's Amazon link seems kind of expensive. You can get a larger drive for quite a bit less coin than that. For Time Machine, portability probably isn't as much of an issue as you might think.
     
  5. lsh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #5
    I have WD Passport Ultra that works great for TM and is quite a bit less. You will need to reformat it for Time Machine.
     
  6. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #6
    Get an external powered drive rather than a portable one like dianeforegon's suggestion above.

    Portable drives require you to remember to plug it in every so often which no one ever does, and its more expensive and unnecessary. With the externally powered, I plug mine into my USB hub and leave the power on, that way when I'm at my desk, I plug in the USB hub, the drive powers up and the TimeMachine backup triggers automatically. I never have to think about it anymore. When I disconnect my laptop from the hub, the drive powers down after a few minutes on its own.

    Portability is not necessary for a TM drive.
     
  7. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #7
    I like the desktop drives for backup.

    I'm not sure what Mac you have, but if desktop plug directly, or, if laptop - connect drive to your wifi router and have it backup that way.

    Backup systems HAVE to be automated if it's actually going to work for you consistently.
     
  8. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #8
    ANY backup drive is better than NO backup drive. However I'll +1 those who recommend a desktop-class HD over a portable. I've got a 7200rpm 3TB desktop-class USB 3.0 for Time Machine on my main iMac (1.128TB) and it's worked invisibly & flawlessly for three years. Last weekend I ran a script that screwed-up my iTunes library and Time Machine saved my a$$. Extremely happy with how elegantly Apple handles the mundane -- while vital -- task of incremental backups.
     
  9. hauntvictim macrumors regular

    hauntvictim

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #9
    Sorry to hijack the thread. What is everyones thoughts on something like the WD MyCloud drive. Not for Time Machine back ups but rather to host my iTunes Library? I was thinking of ditching my 2009 iMac in place of a Macbook. I know the latest MacBooks come with up to 128 gig of storage, so I realize the need for an external drive.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #10
    Seems like a fine idea to me, as long as your MacBook is the only computer that will access it.
     
  11. JoeInMilwaukee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #11
    Another big advantage to externally powered drives is that you're not putting more burden on the internal power supply of your Mac. It's FAR less expensive (and easier!) to replace a wall wart than the power supply built into your Mac!
     
  12. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    #12
    Have one and love it. I backup two macs to it via time machine and it streams all of my media over dlna.
     

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