Which external drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by i-sidd, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. i-sidd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    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?
  2. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    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.
  3. simsaladimbamba, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012


    Nov 28, 2010
    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.

    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.
  4. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
  5. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    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.
  6. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    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.
  7. fleawannabe macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2011
    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.
  8. 8100/80 macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2012
  9. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    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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