Which External Hard Drive?

Eagle 20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2019
22
1
Michigan
I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) with 128 GB storage and macOS Catalina 10.15.3. Late last year I began having issues with running out of storage, and broke out an old Iomega 500 GB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive. It has worked fine as a temporary solution but now I have to replace it with something that has more space.

Unfortunately, I do not know the first thing about buying an external hard drive. Also, it has to come from Amazon and the choices are overwhelming and confusing. So I desperately need recommendations as soon as possible!

I am hoping to find a good one with at least 1 TB storage for as far under $100 as possible.

I found a Western Digital 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBU6Y0020BBK which is in "Used - Very Good" condition from Amazon Warehouse for only $50.59. Which seems like a great price, but I have never purchased anything "used" from Amazon and do not know whether or not it can be trusted.

Does anyone know if Amazons used and/or recondition devices are any good?

Also, the one I currently use just happened to come with its own power supply. But is having its own power supply necessary?

Another thing, all of the ones which say they are USB 3 the port on the device does not look like the USB port on my MacBook and it does not show the end of the cable. The one linked above for instance, the port on the device looks like a standard USB that is crimped in the middle, and my USB ports all look like solid rectangles. If that makes any sense.

How can I be sure they will in fact work with my MacBook?

I looked up the specs on my MacBook which says it has two Thunderbolt 2 ports and two USB 3 ports, but I am sure anything with Thunderbolt 2 will be out of my price range. Plus, I only have a USB 2.0 hub and cannot afford a USB 3.0 hub.

Does anyone have an external hard drive they can recommend? Or know if the one linked above will work?

Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
513
586
wpg.mb.ca
First, I'd toss the USB2 hub to the curb, at least for hooking up a disk. Mouse & keyboard, sure. But you will go mad at the glacial speeds when using it with any kind of disk.
So plan on USB3. Beyond that, it comes down to price point and quality. I would never buy a used disk. You have no idea what service life it previously had, and how would you be able to trust it with your files?
I purchased an 8 TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub for maybe $150 CAD ($199 regular). That's huge space plus it gives you two USB3 ports on the front. So you actually get a little USB3 hub for free there. So it seems to be a great fit for your situation.
As for form factor, full size USB3 has a weird-looking blocky connector but that part goes into the device. The part that goes to your computer is the same old regular old rectangular USB, so no worries there.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,255
6,129
This is more money but will serve you well, both with your current MacBook and with a new one, when you eventually get it:
 

Eagle 20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2019
22
1
Michigan
First, I'd toss the USB2 hub to the curb, at least for hooking up a disk. Mouse & keyboard, sure. But you will go mad at the glacial speeds when using it with any kind of disk.
So plan on USB3. Beyond that, it comes down to price point and quality. I would never buy a used disk. You have no idea what service life it previously had, and how would you be able to trust it with your files?
I purchased an 8 TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub for maybe $150 CAD ($199 regular). That's huge space plus it gives you two USB3 ports on the front. So you actually get a little USB3 hub for free there. So it seems to be a great fit for your situation.
As for form factor, full size USB3 has a weird-looking blocky connector but that part goes into the device. The part that goes to your computer is the same old regular old rectangular USB, so no worries there.
I would toss the USB 2 hub, but it is not an option because I cannot afford a USB 3 with the amount of ports I need. Mine has 7-ports, four of which are used at all times between my wireless charger for my iPhone, all-in-one printer, thumb drive and external hard drive. The hub itself is permanently plugged into one of the two USB 3 ports on my MacBook, the other typically is in use by my charge/sync cable for my iPad, and I periodically swap it out when I need to use my Superdrive since it apparently will not work in any USB hub.

This is more money but will serve you well, both with your current MacBook and with a new one, when you eventually get it:
I thank you both for the recommendations, and I really do appreciate it, but both far exceed my budget. As I said, I am looking to get something for as far under $100 as possible. Unfortunately, I cannot work and my only income is disability. The only reason I can afford this much now is because of the Amazon gift cards I received for Christmas, and the fact that my phone carrier had to comp my bill for the month :(