Looking for cheap/reliable 2TB+ external drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mgpg89, May 10, 2012.

  1. mgpg89 macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    I'm looking for an external hard drive that meets the following criteria:
    - reliable
    - 2TB capacity or more
    - USB connectivity (FireWire etc would be nice, but is not mandatory)

    Doesn't matter how it looks, as it's going to be stashed away somewhere. Any inexpensive options you can recommend?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    #2
  3. macrominnie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #3
    Some general guidelines:

    a) Hard Drives are not going to be super reliable. If more reliability is needed, backup is needed. The failure rate is around a few per cent. There are zillions of discussions about manufacturer based on user anecdotes. Some batches of the same model can be stinky. If you find one that seems well priced, check the reviews on Newegg or elsewhere to see if the choice is notorious.
    Here's one recent report:
    http://www.behardware.com/articles/843-6/components-returns-rates-5.html
    It's better just to go with one of the major manufacturers (only 4) than to fret about which one. If "stashed away" means not used frequently and not bumped around, general chances of hard drive longevity are good. Based on reports, 2TB has been more reliable than 3TB.

    b) Firewire option is consistently more expensive than USB only. For long & frequent transfers it may be worth the extra $30 or whatever. I agree with Dustman that USB 3.0 would be good to have. There's little price difference from USB 2.0 and more flexibility later on.

    c) The $110 to $120 price range has been the on sale/bargain range. Deals come up all the time, listed on dealmac type bargain search sites, in stores, & at OWC, newegg, Amazon, etc. Dustman's suggestion fits.

    d) The build your own approach has some advantage. You can get a decent enclosure and pick the hard drive (specs) you want, often with a better warranty than the package. But recent hard drive prices have remained high since December (Thailand flooding). It's hard to beat the complete external hard/enclosure sale prices.
     
  4. mgpg89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #4
    a) You're referring to the 4 major manufacturers ... being? Western Digital? Seagate? Lacie? Iomega?

    b) I'm going to plug the hard drive into my Airport Extreme so I have a NAS. So USB is all I need, as the AEBS doesn't have a FireWire port.


    Additional question: is a USB-connected drive to an Airport Extreme fast enough to stream 720p HD content to my (jailbroken) Apple TV?
     
  5. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #5
    The four major drive manufacturers are Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, and Fujitsu. Everyone else just uses their drives in their own cases for the most part. Lacie and Iomega, for instance, don't manufacture any drives themselves, they simply manufacture cases and put one of those other manufacturers drives inside.

    jW
     
  6. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #6
    I can't remember if it was this past black Friday or 2010's, but I got a 2TB Western Digital for ~$70 from Target. Works just dandy and backs up my iMac and MBA daily :D
     
  7. mgpg89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mgpg89

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium

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