Need 1TB external hard drive - what is best to use?

Hadakeeko

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Original poster
Mar 7, 2017
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I need 1TB external hard drive for Time Machine, but can't decide what to buy from those that fit size and price.

Expansion Portable, Seagate / 1 TB STEA1000400
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000202
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000201
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000203
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000200
Seagate Backup Plus (1TB) STDR1000203
SEAGATE/MAXTOR HDD External M3 Portable (2.5'/1TB/USB 3.0)

Elements, WD / 1 TB WDBUZG0010BBK-EESN

A-Data Durable HD650 1TB AHD650-1TU3-CBK

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB HDTB310EK3AA

GOODRAM DataGO 1TB USB 3.0

Among there, any advice which I should pick?

EDIT: What is the overall opinion on Verbatim external drives?
Verbatim Store 'n' Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2,5'' 1 TB
Verbatim Store & Go 2.5'' 1TB USB3
Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' GEN 2, 1TB, USB 3.0
Verbatim Store'n'Go 1TB 2.5'' GEN2 USB 3.0
Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' 1,5TB USB 3
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
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Flip a coin. I've used Seagate, WD, Toshiba, and a Samsung-branded drive, among others. I generally buy on price and then retire/replace the drive every 8-12 months. Or, buy two and swap them occasionally. As a rule, you won't go far wrong with Seagate, WD, or Toshiba.
 
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LxHunter

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Flip a coin. I've used Seagate, WD, Toshiba, and a Samsung-branded drive, among others. I generally buy on price and then retire/replace the drive every 8-12 months. Or, buy two and swap them occasionally. As a rule, you won't go far wrong with Seagate, WD, or Toshiba.
Yep this.
I have 3 drives attached to Airport Extreme. 2 for TimeCapsule backups and 1 for archive (not critical) files. I just buy the least expensive when on sale.
They are consumables to me and replace them at about 18 months. I would never count on a single drive no matter who made it.
 
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pika2000

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Yup, get whichever one is the most economical, with the plan to get more than one on a recurring basis.
 
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whbunn

macrumors member
May 29, 2009
69
17
I need 1TB external hard drive for Time Machine, but can't decide what to buy from those that fit size and price.

Expansion Portable, Seagate / 1 TB STEA1000400
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000202
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000201
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000203
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000200
Seagate Backup Plus (1TB) STDR1000203
SEAGATE/MAXTOR HDD External M3 Portable (2.5'/1TB/USB 3.0)

Elements, WD / 1 TB WDBUZG0010BBK-EESN

A-Data Durable HD650 1TB AHD650-1TU3-CBK

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB HDTB310EK3AA

GOODRAM DataGO 1TB USB 3.0

Among there, any advice which I should pick?

EDIT: What is the overall opinion on Verbatim external drives?
Verbatim Store 'n' Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2,5'' 1 TB
Verbatim Store & Go 2.5'' 1TB USB3
Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' GEN 2, 1TB, USB 3.0
Verbatim Store'n'Go 1TB 2.5'' GEN2 USB 3.0
Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' 1,5TB USB 3
[doublepost=1488922136][/doublepost]Check out OWC. Their drive are very good, been using them for ages.

http://eshop.macsales.com/
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
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I've no issue with the quality of the OWC stuff, but in general you'll pay a price premium. Just spot-checking I'd guess at least a 50% premium on outboard drives and maybe more. I don't think one gets extra value worth that premium, but that's just me, and it's not my money ...
 

logicstudiouser

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2010
525
1,065
I agree with the others, find the one with the best price. They are all very similar for performance.
Right now for my main backup I am using a Toshiba external hard drive - no complaints. My old 2011 MacBook Pro had A-Data ram and SSD and a Samsung backup drive, no complaints about them either.

The only thing you absolutely should not do is buy a used hard drive.
 

tentales

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2010
771
1,184
I like the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB version, because it costs like $10-20 more than the 1TB when on sale. Usually around $80 for 2TB.
http://tinyurl.com/jsqnpf7

In terms of reliability, there really is very little difference between manufacturers these days. I personally find the WD drives a little heavier, so when carrying drives around, I tend to go for the Slim Seagates.
 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,394
I need 1TB external hard drive for Time Machine, but can't decide what to buy from those that fit size and price.

Expansion Portable, Seagate / 1 TB STEA1000400
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000202
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000201
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000203
Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000200
Seagate Backup Plus (1TB) STDR1000203
SEAGATE/MAXTOR HDD External M3 Portable (2.5'/1TB/USB 3.0)

Elements, WD / 1 TB WDBUZG0010BBK-EESN

A-Data Durable HD650 1TB AHD650-1TU3-CBK

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB HDTB310EK3AA

GOODRAM DataGO 1TB USB 3.0

Among there, any advice which I should pick?

EDIT: What is the overall opinion on Verbatim external drives?
Verbatim Store 'n' Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2,5'' 1 TB
Verbatim Store & Go 2.5'' 1TB USB3
Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' GEN 2, 1TB, USB 3.0
Verbatim Store'n'Go 1TB 2.5'' GEN2 USB 3.0
Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' 1,5TB USB 3
They are pretty much ALL THE SAME - there will be no real world performance difference that you would notice. Just buy the cheapest one from a reputable supplier (amazon, etc) and it's job done. It's really no more complicated than that.
 
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csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,310
1,746
Seattle, WA
Yep this.
I have 3 drives attached to Airport Extreme. 2 for TimeCapsule backups and 1 for archive (not critical) files. I just buy the least expensive when on sale.
They are consumables to me and replace them at about 18 months. I would never count on a single drive no matter who made it.
Do you just have them connected via a powered hub? I always wondered if this would work and they would show up in the finder sidebar...
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,432
10,233
California
But what's the lifetime of an SSD. I hear they have a definite life span. What happens when they start dying? Do users lose info?
In theory, yes the NAND cells are "rated" for a given number of write/read cycles. But the reality is they often last much longer, and even then don't normally just up and stop working. There are couple of long term tests here and here that might interest you.
 

tentales

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2010
771
1,184
Yep this.
I have 3 drives attached to Airport Extreme. 2 for TimeCapsule backups and 1 for archive (not critical) files. I just buy the least expensive when on sale.
They are consumables to me and replace them at about 18 months. I would never count on a single drive no matter who made it.
18 months?? That's a bit wasteful. I've got older 1TB drives from 5+ years ago, that work well as cheap backup/archival drives. Main working drives are of course SSDs and "near-line" working drives of the 2-4TB variety. My last drive failure was in 2001. I wouldn't dump them unless they failed or I'd need higher speed/capacity.

Modern drives (ie. the last 15+ years) have far less failure rates then some online reviews would have you believe.
Of course, some people drop them and then try to claim "failure" with the manufacturer. Trust me, they can tell!
I used to work for a data storage company in the 90s and 2000s and our actual failure rates were 1 in 1000 per quarter, those were 10'000rpm drives installed in cooled data centres.

At least keep them until their warranty periods run out, which varies between 3-5 years.
 
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BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,904
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Canada
Yep this.
I have 3 drives attached to Airport Extreme. 2 for TimeCapsule backups and 1 for archive (not critical) files. I just buy the least expensive when on sale.
They are consumables to me and replace them at about 18 months. I would never count on a single drive no matter who made it.
What does your setup look like? I.e. How are they connected to the time capsule and how do you switch between archive and backup?
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
What is your budget? take a look at Samsung's T3 SSD.
What's the real world benefit to this? Is there a significant speed difference writing to an external SSD, over an HDD? I have an internal 1TB SSD, but I understood that the bus speed will determine how fast data moves across the system, which is then limited by the port. Will I experience faster transfer speeds via USB 3.0 than I do now with an HHD? Will Thunderbolt make a bigger difference? Or does Time Machine limit the speed?

SSDs are not cheap, so unless there's a major difference in backup speed or other benefits, it seems like a more expensive, and less reliable method over time.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
(replace a drive at) 18 months?? That's a bit wasteful.
It's wasteful until it isn't. :)

The problem I've had with external backup drives is sudden death at about a year. I don't normally keep them powered up all the time, so it's entirely possible that it's a power cycling issue, but I don't care what it is. At $60 or so per drive I can afford to toss a drive into the backup drive archive drawer in the back basement every year or so. It buys me peace of mind, plus the assurance that if I do need to go back 3 years for something, the drive it's on is likely to still be working. That doesn't happen often, thank goodness, but it does happen.

Now, if we're talking about internal or regular (not backup) data storage drives, I agree. I'll run them to failure or for at least 6-7 years, whichever comes first.
 
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LxHunter

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Do you just have them connected via a powered hub? I always wondered if this would work and they would show up in the finder sidebar...
[doublepost=1489251164][/doublepost]
Do you just have them connected via a powered hub? I always wondered if this would work and they would show up in the finder sidebar...
Yes connected with a Belkin powered 4 port USB hub.
I am connected to the AirPort Extreme over WiFi.
Drives are slower that a USB connection but doesn't matter to me.
The Airport Extreme shows up in the finder sidebar - click on that to show the drives.
Have to first give permission to "connect" or something like that.
The Drives do not show up in the finder sidebar.

PS: I have a Samsung T3 which I use to carry archive and media files when I am out.
And use to transfer larger files.
Great fast drive.
And crazy small ... almost too small .... gets lost in my laptop bag with all the other geek gadgets.
 

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LxHunter

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Nov 14, 2010
502
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18 months?? That's a bit wasteful. I've got older 1TB drives from 5+ years ago, that work well as cheap backup/archival drives. Main working drives are of course SSDs and "near-line" working drives of the 2-4TB variety. My last drive failure was in 2001. I wouldn't dump them unless they failed or I'd need higher speed/capacity.

Modern drives (ie. the last 15+ years) have far less failure rates then some online reviews would have you believe.
Of course, some people drop them and then try to claim "failure" with the manufacturer. Trust me, they can tell!
I used to work for a data storage company in the 90s and 2000s and our actual failure rates were 1 in 1000 per quarter, those were 10'000rpm drives installed in cooled data centres.

At least keep them until their warranty periods run out, which varies between 3-5 years.
Depends what your data and time is worth to you. I give away the reformatted drives
But yes in a RAID enclosure or similar setup just run them until they die.
PS: Last month bought 48 refurbed drives for my guys for the NetApp rack of about 140 drives. They specify performance - I choose the lowest TCO. You know the drill, when drive fails just yank out, smash with hammer and replace with one from the spares pile. So yes wasteful to replace before failure in this environment.
.
[doublepost=1489256062][/doublepost]
What does your setup look like? I.e. How are they connected to the time capsule and how do you switch between archive and backup?
Connected to the AirPort Extreme via WiFi. Drives connected to Belkin 4 port powered USB hub plugged into the AirPort Extreme single USB port.
2 Drives setup in Time Machine as backup.
Connect to the archive drive through the AirPort Extreme - shows up in finder side bar. First time have to click and permission connect or something like that.
 
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Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
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Pick the cheapest.

Word of advice tho do a secure erase on the drive then check the drive for errors.
 

PinkyMacGodess

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In theory, yes the NAND cells are "rated" for a given number of write/read cycles. But the reality is they often last much longer, and even then don't normally just up and stop working. There are couple of long term tests here and here that might interest you.
Thanks. The hysteria over SSD lifespans seems overblown yet I had no concrete info to counter it. When I saw large enterprise storage arrays adopting SSD technology, I wondered how true the lifetime may be. Yet I've had Seagate drives die within weeks of first use. Backup, backup, backup...

EMC is selling petabyte all flash storage arrays. Impressive. SSD's can't be all that bad.

1-30-VMAX-All-Flash-2.png
 
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