Which external drive?

i-sidd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 27, 2006
575
0
which usb 3.0 external drive to get to use with MBA to staore videos etc.

Does it have to be 3.0 or regular external drive will work too. what would be the benfit between 3.0 and 2.0.

Also, should I buy timemachine? do you guys have that or do you back up important stuff manually.

Is time machine also an external drive?
 

WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
which usb 3.0 external drive to get to use with MBA to staore videos etc.

Does it have to be 3.0 or regular external drive will work too. what would be the benfit between 3.0 and 2.0.

Also, should I buy timemachine? do you guys have that or do you back up important stuff manually.

Is time machine also an external drive?
Firstly, Time Machine is software that is already included on your Mac and can back up to any HFS+ formatted external hard drive.

Now, the only advantage to having a USB3 drive for videos is the speed at which you can copy to and from the drive. If you just want to watch videos from the drive, either will do.

Edit: You may be referring to Time Capsule, which is a wireless router/hard drive combo. It is nice if you want you backups to be wireless and are in need of a good router, but it is a little pricey compared to a USB hard drive.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,670
28
located
You can get any USB 2.0 or 3.0 HDD you like, the advantage of USB 3.0 is faster transfer speeds, which can help if you copy big files on a daily or regular basis, as USB 2.0 will take about half a minute to copy one 1 GB file, while USB 3.0 will do the same in 12 seconds or so. Thus 100 GB via USB 2.0 can take at least 50 minutes, while via USB 3.0 it takes less than 20 minutes.

But USB 2.0 will suffice for most consumers needs, though USB 3.0 HDDs are not that much more expensive.
Just get a drive of your liking with a good warranty and format it to whatever you want via Disk Utility.


____________________________________________________________

Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
    • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
  • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

exFAT (FAT64)
  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
  • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
____________________________________________________________
As for Time Machine, that is software and is included with Mac OS X. If you mean Time Capsule, then that has to be purchased separately, as it is hardware (1 or 2 TB HDD in an enclosure).

Time Machine FAQ

As for usage of Time Capsule, I cannot tell, as I backup via CarbonCopyCloner and not Time Machine, but I also have more HDDs than the average user and other requirements.
 
Last edited:

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
which usb 3.0 external drive to get to use with MBA to staore videos etc.

Does it have to be 3.0 or regular external drive will work too. what would be the benfit between 3.0 and 2.0.

Also, should I buy timemachine? do you guys have that or do you back up important stuff manually.

Is time machine also an external drive?
For use with a laptop I'd recommend an ethernet drive that you can plug into the router or connect wirelessly to the network. Something like a Time Capsule or the LaCie Wireless Space. Although I'm sure there's cheaper brands.

Time Capsule, of course, gives you seamless integration with Time Machine.
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,429
2
Pacific Coast, USA
Post #3 above by simsaladimbamba is excellent advice.

Take your time, read through the links and info provided there and you cannot go wrong.

I use all of the various resources due to the broad set of requirements I have. At the end of the day nothing beats good backups both on-site and off.
 

fleawannabe

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2011
163
0
Be aware that some USB 3.0 portable externals need too much power to turn on, I had a toshiba drive that would not turn on on my MBP but works on the PS3. I bought a WD 1TB that works fine.
 

i-sidd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 27, 2006
575
0
I already have a 500gb seagate usb 2.0 drive, but its formatted to NTSf to accomodate larger than 4gb files (movies) so that my TV can play the movies from the drive plugged into the tv.

I just want another one to back up all data, phots music etc.

I use it most of the time wireless, do I need something with an ethernet port, I did not think of that.

Also yes, I was referring to time capsule, but I don't need another router I have one from Verizon fios and its pretty good.
 
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