External HDD recommendations

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ScottDrummer, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. ScottDrummer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi,
    Been asked before but there are a few new options out atm so i thought id update the question
    Im looking for a large (500Gb+) hdd to share between my MBP and the girlfriends powerbook, we are going to be living in canada for a year so we want some portable backup and large storage which we can share.

    can anyone suggest an external HDD that could be shared between two laptops without neccesarily having to swap the firewire cables in and out between them?
    Do ethernet based hdds have as good data rates as firewire?, considering we will both be connecting to a wireless router(to which the hdd would be connected via ethernet) i assume this would be usefull for sharing the same device but not so good on speed.
    or
    firewire - better for speed but a pain to keep plugging in and swapping over.

    ive prolly answered my own question but are there any other solutions i dont know about? can you get ethernet based HDD's which have firewire aswell?

    Thanks
    Scott
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    You'll want to get a NAS, or Network Attached Storage. You'll probably want to look through this search.
     
  3. ScottDrummer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    I want something fairly portable as we are temporarily living in Canada we could move property after a while and we will want to bring it back with us too, something like the WD size or the lacies exterme drive.
     
  4. thefoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #4
    I have a Seagate 250GB connected via USB 2. Works fine. I hear Western Digital or Seagate are both excellent choices. Bear in mind the quality of the drive may not be indicative of the quality of the enclosure.

    In terms of connectivity I would suggest plugging the drive directly into your router via ethernet. If it happens to be gigabit enabled all the better for speed. I'm always a bit wary with Wireless and mounted drives due to reliability issues (like wireless disconnecting and losing your data).

    The gigabit may prove handy if you end up with a fast SATA disk in the enclosure too...

    If you can't connect directly to a router, I'd probably stick with USB. It will work with most things (firewire tends to be more modern).
     
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    This one looks to be as portable as you're going to get with the storage that you want, and it's got great reviews.
     
  6. ScottDrummer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    can you plug directly into the ethernet interface HDD's i.e Laptop -> ethernet cable -> eHDD or does it have to go Laptop -> wireless/ethernet -> Router -> eHDD ?
     
  7. russell.h macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #7
    You could always plug the drive into one computer, and share it to the other. That way you get the speed and reliability on one computer, save money (in my experience NAS is more expensive than a normal external drive), and you can still use it from both. Assuming the "host" is on when the other needs access... its not perfect.
     
  8. ScottDrummer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    again the weak link in the chain there is that id be wirelessly connected to the host, meaning an extra hop, going from hdd over ethernet to laptop then to laptop 2 via wireless is more prone to data loss, distruption and speed issues.
    after briefly reading up and looking at some benchmakrs (tomshardware) it seems firewire 800 is the best option and outperforms ethernet (even gb ethernet).
    i think ill go with an external HDD via firewire rather than ethernet.
    second question is whether to buy one prebuilt i.e WD mybook, lacie extreme or get a housing and hdd seperate?
     
  9. koalition macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    #9
    speed

    I was wondering.. will a fast 7200rpm Firewire800 still be slower than the internal 5200 drive?
     
  10. amusiccale macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #10
    koalition: it really depends on the interfaces (on the 5400 rpm, I assume) you're using, but, from my experience, it's hard to be faster than internal. That said, if you're worried about speed, perhaps take a look at eSATA.
     
  11. koalition macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    #11
    thanks for the reply. Yeah, I am just thinking about buying a mbp but I am working with large .psd files that would probably live on my external drive.. Just wondering when some F800 externals claims 80 Megabytes Per Second transfer, what is the transfer speed for the external mbp for comparison?

    cheers
     

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