External Hardrive backup...recommendations?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JLaGreca, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. JLaGreca macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2011
    Hi everybody,

    Im new here but have had a MacBook Pro for a couple years now. With a new baby at home and tons of video and pictures on my computer, I finally have a legit reason to set up time machine as a backup. Do you guys have any recommendations for a good external hardrive that is decently priced (I'm hoping to spend around $80-110) for backup?

  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Just look around newegg or amazon and buy the drive with the best warranty. No platter-based hard drive is more or less reliable than any other.
  3. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    i have a 320GB G-Drive Mini, you can get a 250GB for $120 (i know a little over your limit) but personally i've never had a problem with my hard drive and i've had it about a year now. mine is 7200RPM so it backs up very quickly. great drive from my experience.
  4. sandylp macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2004
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I bought 2 of the Western Digital Passports (silver). They are so cute and they match my computer. Both are 1 TB each and cost about $110 each on Amazaon with free shipping and no tax!;)
  5. Kyzelios, Mar 19, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2011
    I use a Western Digital My Passport SE with 750 GB capacity for Time Machine and it works well, and the price I paid for the disk was what I'd consider to be a good bang for my buck ($100).

    General rule of thumb would be to either take the amount of data currently on your hard disk and multiply it by 2.5, or take the size of your internal hard disk and multiply it by 2. That will give you more than enough storage space for now and the future as well.

    Also, for your precious memories like photos and videos of your baby, I would highly recommend keeping two back-ups, and even store one of them off-site.
  6. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    I use a WD my passport and I have no troubles with it.
  7. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    Your baby pictures and videos are priceless. Find a perfect backup for it. I'd say find a hard drive that comes with recover software or warranties that will recover any lost files. Since not all hard drive are reliable, it could work one day and not the next, so maybe multiple backups too(eg a time machine backup of the whole system(where i guess the media is located) and another backup of the photos and videos itself, preferably on another hard drive).

    WD are nice


    I myself use a 320gb Buffalo and looking forward to buy a WD
  8. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
  9. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    I highly recommend Western Digital - their drives are portable well built and great price and don't require external power (desktops do).

    However - for the $100 price range look at getting an external desktop drive either from WD or from G-Technology "G-Drive" as the latter is aluminum case and very rugged.

    2nd I'd consider a large external NAS:
    Time Capsule (WLAN+External NAS with abilty to save storage & pw protected)
    Synology … look for dual HDD setups in the lower $200 area range.

    ^ when you're portable on MBP/MB these come in handy. It also pays to backup your Backups - DVD's burned monthly and kept in cool dry place helps.
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Over USB drive speed really makes no difference.

    Any drive will do the job for simple backups.
  11. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    You don't mention whether you want to use USB or Firewire for a connection. You'll find that units that use Firewire are a bit more expensive (and can usually use USB also). Other units are only USB and are a bit cheaper.

    I like to use Firewire, but it's maybe not that crucial for backups. I just got used to it from back in the day when a Firewire drive was bootable and a USB was not. Now I believe they are both bootable (someone please let me know if my understanding is incorrect here).

    Firewire 800 is a bit faster, but it's probably not that important for a backup drive.

    My newest backup drive is a G-Drive Mobile Firewire drive (they also make USB only drives). I have it partitioned and have one half for Time Machine and the other half for a Super Duper backup (I also have another, older USB backup as a spare). I think it's a good idea to keep a spare backup off-site, just in case of catastrophe.

    I was also considering an OWC Mercury-on-the-Go unit, but I needed one that day and so went with the G-drive which I could buy locally. It got good reviews. I'm sure there are many others that will work well; I just like to see a few names if I ask a similar question, so that's why I mentioned what I have.

  12. YsoSerious macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2008
    Check out smugmug.com for off-site back up of your family pictures and videos. Those are the most important files I back up off-site.
  13. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    All data in time

    Check out the Samsung Story external hard drives.

    In researching this, it appeared none of these drives, from any manufacturer, was entirely foolproof, with perfect results. But some reportedly better than others, with the Samsung Story at least as good as, if not better than most.

    I opted for the 2TB version, and have been happy with it. For what it is worth, it is attractive to look at. More importantly, has been reliable and fast. Reliable would be my primary consideration if using for backup. In my case it is, so only seeing periodic and relatively brief use, but without incident. A drive with Firewire or eSata connections will offer faster transfer rates, with this drive having but USB 2.0, but still fairly fast.

    If checking a vendor such as Amazon you'll find that this drive at 1.5TB can be had for less than $100, and 2TB for only a bit more than price specified.

    I gave this 2TB drive two partitions, one for Time Machine backup, the second partition the majority of allotted space for general storage. In having since exceeded the storage capacity of this MacBook, I needed most files (particularly movies) elsewhere. This raises a couple points to consider.

    If you allow it to, Time Machine will by design override all space on a hard drive, no matter how large it is. It will fill to the brim, until all space is gone, and then delete the oldest files as newer are added. That is fine if your only purpose for an external drive is to backup that on your computer. But it raises the question of why even a 1TB external drive if devoted exclusively to, say, 160GB of a computer in question. It does not, unless for some reason you wish access to many iterations of files you long since forgot about.

    For some reason Apple's Time Capsule comes in 1TB and 2TB versions, but without the ability to partition. So if running Time Machine on it, as intended, all they are good for. A perfectly fine solution for some, particularly if having a lot of data to backup, but I wanted most of that capacity used elsewhere.

    The advantage of the Samsung Story and other external hard drives is that they can be partitioned, so most of that storage can be used for other purposes. If, for instance, one's computer had 100GB capacity of data, then a partition a bit over at 110GB would suffice. Everything on one's computer would be backed up, only not many older versions of it back to the beginning of time. The caveat in this is how dealing with data beyond that backed up with Time Machine.

    I have movies that can be streamed from Time Capsule, since it with wi-fi capability, or using ethernet if wired. But since no longer residing on this MacBook, they were no longer backed up. That is where the Samsung Story came in, as a second external drive able to back up everything on the Time Capsule. Also, since able to be partitioned, Time Machine backup assigned to it. This might seem confusing, but a very valid consideration if using an external for anything but Time Machine backup. The bottom line is ALL data needs to exist in two separate locations, some how, some way. Perhaps this is a moot point, but not if envisioning using an external in part to remove files off of one's computer; reality then: TWO externals needed.

    In any event, thus far I am perfectly pleased with the Samsung Story.
  14. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    OS X's built in Disk Utility can partition Time Capsule; I've done this in the past when I had one.
  15. 2Turbo macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2011
    I'd get a Seagate Goflex for mac, as they are releasing a Thunderbolt cable for it soon.
  16. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    Do you want a desktop or portable external drive?

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